Practice for your perfect shot. Understand all that is involved and master your craft through repetition. Muscle and mind memory will take over from there. You must learn to focus and control your excitement when targeting a Big Buck. If you can’t, then plan to eat your tag.
Whether using a bow, rifle, or gun, you will become a better shot only through repetition. The more you shoot, the better you will shoot. Finding a mentor or instructor is a huge advantage.
Trigger pull Rifles, slug guns, pistols, and shotguns all have different trigger pulls from 2 1/2 – 8 pounds. Obviously the lighter the pull pressure, the smoother the pull will be. If you shoot a muzzle loader with a set trigger, accuracy also improves. Prepare dummy ammo and practice shooting, ejecting, and pulling the trigger. Use a spent primer to protect the firing pins.
Mounting Bring the weapon from carry to shooting position. Wear the clothing that you will be using when afield. If a sling is involved, incorporate that as well.
Sighting Adjust the scope appropriately for your eye relief. You do not want to get a scope ring scar from recoil. Normally, I keep my scope power at lower settings then crank it up as needed. Practice seeing a perfect sight picture and align the sights accurately.
Breathing Once you are on the target, take a full breath and slowly release half. Now hold and pull the trigger. You will see the scope reticles stop moving if you do this. You may eve feel your heartbeat and learn to shoot when all are relaxed.
Trigger Pull The weapon should surprise you when it goes off. Pull the trigger slowly and you will get a smooth and steady ignition. Jerk the trigger, or release, and a flinch is guaranteed.
Stock Ballistics Print out a small copy of your weapon ballistics for the ammo that you use. Use packing tape to secure it to your shoulder stock side, away from your cheek. Now you take the guess work out of the formula. Check your range and adjust accordingly.
Last but not least Visualize success. You are not planning to miss. Be confident and apply the skills that you practiced. Never think, “I got you know.” For some reason that will guarantee a miss. Be cocky after the critter is down.
Accuracy and shooting are perishable skills. Plan to ethically become a “One Shot One Kill” hunter. Enjoy your shooting year a round and share your knowledge with others.
Aim small, miss small!
For more Montana Grant, aim for him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.