So now you’ve come down to this moment in time. You’ve done your homework on the precautions needed for long distance hunting. You’ve made sure that your rifle is fit for this kind of hunt. You’ve even went and bought yourself a high-powered scope that specializes in long range shooting. When checking off everything off your list of “to-do”s, it appears that you’ve done everything needed to prepare yourself for your first long distance hunt!
But just because you’ve done your research and upgraded your toys accordingly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re one-hundred percent ready to take on the new scores. There’s still that lingering nervousness that attacks all hopeful hunters. What if you missed something? What if you prove to not be good with this kind of distance? What if?
There’s no need to worry, Newcomer.
For today, we’re going to go over five tips that be only benefit you as you trek out into the wilderness.
Tip #1: Know what your rounds are capable of. Keep a mental note on the ammunition that you’re bringing with you. Are you bringing a box of .45s? Some .308s? Or perhaps some .375s, for those of you manly men toting around elephant guns? Regardless of the ammo, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the impact each bullet is capable of. Perhaps take your rifle target shooting sometime before your big hunting trip. Fire as many rounds necessary. This is so you’ll be fully prepared for the kick (or lack thereof) and you won’t be thrown off your groove in the middle of your weekend prowl.
Tip #2: Get used to the kick. This goes hand in hand with the first tip, though there is a difference between knowing the kick and embracing it. Not all guns deliver the same amount of recoil. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was a small child. I thought I was a hotshot with my dinky little .22 Browning. When my dad let me shoot his 12 gauge shotgun, on the other hand…well, needless to say that I was humbled! As much as I never wanted to shoot that monster ever again, he made me keep at it. He told me that I’d never get used to it unless I taught my body how to deal with the recoil. Many falls and bruises later, I eventually found myself not even noticing the recoil! Now as a 25 year old gun enthusiast, I find myself able to fire 12 gauges like they’re .22s!
Tip #3: Take notes of your gun’s progress. This sort of goes with the previous two tips. This time, however, it’s more so to test the gun’s prowess whether than your own. Say that you want to take your brand new Ruger out to the woods. How well does it shoot? How accurate is it and is that level of accuracy consistent? Does the gun ever jam or backfire? These are all important things that you need to keep in mind–especially when it comes to hunting. The worst thing that can ever happen to you is being face to face with an angry grizzly bear that you can’t even shoot!
Tip #4: Don’t rush the shot. So you’ve finally got your first deer in your sights. He’s just standing around, either eating some leaves or even just standing around. He’s still as a board–ripe for the killing! Calm down there, Killer. Just because you’ve got him in your sights doesn’t mean that you can just carelessly fire away at him! You have to take your time and collect your bearings. Take a deep breath. Count to three. Steady your arms. Aim for a sweet spot and then pull the trigger.
“I like to shoot on the respiratory pause on the down breath. I take three deep breaths. Once I let all my air out on that last exhale, that 1- to 3-second pause is the money spot where I want to take my shot.”
Tip #5: Adjust your scope accordingly. You didn’t buy a $300 scope just to not use it properly! Your scope will be nothing short of your best friend whenever you decide to indulge in long distance hunting. So why not make use of it and adjust the magnification level a bit? What about the reticle? Can you see it clear enough? How about that eyecap? You comfortable, or are you feeling a ton of pressure on your right eye that doesn’t need to be there?