Whether you use a basic air rifle or a military-grade sniper rifle, it is essential that any hunter practice up before a big hunt. Taking the time to bump up your skills and stay sharp throughout the offseason is imperative to have the most success out in the field.
Practising your rifle skills does not have to be rocket science. Simply getting out to the firing range and learning the essentials about your rifle will go a long way.
However, to make the most of your practice time, let’s look at some efficient and effective ways to practice rifle shooting before a hunt.
At The Shooting Range
Heading to the shooting range to practice your shooting skills is the natural way to bump up your abilities and prepare yourself for a hunt. It is important to practice the right way, however, to make the most out of your time on the range.
Studies show that it is not how much ammunition you blast through in each training session, but more about how often you head to the range. Frequency is important. If you can squeeze in a few short practice sessions per week instead of cramming in all of your practice on a Saturday, then you will see that your skills improve much faster.
Try a conventional shooting range with paper targets or consider mixing it up every once in a while, by heading to a skeet shooting range. Moving targets will more accurately simulate the conditions of a hunt and will help you to be well-prepared for your upcoming trip.
Try Different Shooting Positions
When you are at the range, do not just stick to the most comfortable positions when you are practising. Improving your shooting skills and accuracy in a basic standing position with a perfectly set up tripod is not likely to mimic the conditions that you will actually face when you are on a hunt, though that depends on what you are hunting, of course.
While it can take some getting used to, try moving around and shooting from as many of the basic positions, such as standing, kneeling, cross-legged, etc., as you possibly can. This will ensure that you are comfortable with a wide variety of stances and will help you to improve the overall control of your rifle. Not only that, but this will also ensure that you are ready to react quickly when you are out on the hunt.
Be Comfortable With Your Rifle
Many hunters do not have a full awareness or familiarity with all of the features and options that their rifle can provide. If you want to be an effective hunter, then it is important to know everything you can about the tool you have chosen.
Practice can help with this, but it is also important to read up on specific advice for your specific rifle. Perhaps there are customisable options that you have not heard about that will seriously improve your hunting game.
Know How To Zero Properly
Novice hunters give little consideration to zeroing their rifles in the best way. One of the most common mistakes is to zero a rifle too far downrange. However, during a real hunt, most shots that miss are fired too high rather than too low. Adjusting for this detail will save you from a lot of frustration out in the field.
Ready For The Hunt
These tips will give you a head start on brushing up your rifle skills for the hunting season. Once you have implemented them and practised up, you will be ready to make use of your abilities and maximise your success in the field.