By Montana Grant

Posted: August 21, 2022

Hunters often are challenged by when and how to pull the trigger. They hunt all season for the excitement and opportunity that lasts just a few moments. When the moment arrives, only the prepared and disciplined hunters will fill their tags.

The sun was finally rising. I had been in the tree stand early. My stand was made from old, long 2×4’s. Great metal stands were not invented yet. My 12-foot-high stand put me overtop a stand of laurel. I could see both sides of the valley where deer were moving.

Suddenly several does came down the trail. Behind them was a nice 4×4 whitetail. This was a shotgun only county and I was allowed to tag 2 bucks. The ground had a nice coating of fresh snow. I had been in the stand since 3 AM and was cold. I was shaking, uncomfortable, and anxious. None of this would help me to fill my tag.

I raised my Ithaca Model 37 12 ga. Smoothbore, loaded with Remington 2 ¾ inch slugs. Sabots, rifled barrels, and scopes were not part of this outfit. On a good day, 75 yards was a reasonable but long shot. That is what my shot was.

It was time to finish what I was there to do. I switched into Predator Mode. Like the Terminator, I focused on my job. My mind was clear, my breathing was smooth and relaxed, and I slowed everything down. There would be plenty of time to get excited later.

I sighted on the buck and squeezed the trigger after taking a big breath, letting half out and… BOOM! The buck dropped in his tracks. The does had no clue what was going on. They stood around looking at the fallen buck. Suddenly, I heard a buck grunt. A second 4×4 was coming down the trail. He joined the group and stood broadside.

My Predator/ Terminator mode switched back on. This great buck also dropped and was lying next to the first. 2 tags, 2 shots, within 20 minutes. Now it was time to get excited!

Many hunters miss or wound critters because they shoot at the critter and not at a specific, lethal part of the critter. You goal is not to wound or miss, it is to kill the critter. Hunting is a Blood Sport, and we need to kill as ethically and effectively as we can. One shot should equal one kill. Try hunting with just one round in your gun. Use an accurate single shot weapon. Understand that you only get one shot, like when bow hunting. Take your one best shot! 

Aim for the vitals but consider the exit point. Analyze the path that the arrow or bullet will take as it travels through the critters body. This requires you to focus and become a computer. The projectile needs to hit heart, lungs, and vitals. Know this, understand this, and do this!

Aim small miss small!

Montana Grant

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