By Zach Lazzari
Too many hunters sight in their rifles just before the season and head straight into the field. Shooting on a regular schedule and practicing in real hunting scenarios is essential for building a reliable skill set. Training at the range and in the field will make you a better marksman and a more successful hunter.
1. Get Your Setup Dialed
Shoot with the same rifle, optics and rests in practice as you will use during the hunt. Shooting on a bench with a rest is great for sighting but it does not represent the shooting scenarios you will encounter in the field. Get your rifle outfitted with a bipod or use a tripod and rear sandbag for long distance shooting.
2. Shoot from Different Positions
Hunting rarely puts you in an easy shooting position. Get used to shooting from the ground, setup in prone positions, use shooting sticks and rest on tree limbs. The ability to set up efficiently and find a stable shooting position in any type of terrain will quickly give you an edge in the field. Simply working through the setups to find stable positions without firing is a useful practice. Focus on finding a stable rest and settling on your target downrange.
3. Shoot At Angles
In many hunting scenarios, you’ll find yourself shooting at uphill or downhill angles. Practice shooting at different inclinations or declinations to prepare for hunts that take place in rugged terrain. It’s not uncommon that you must take a shot down into a drainage or slightly uphill. Take the time to work through different scenarios and practice at a variety of angles until your shot placement has confidence on the mountain.
4. Range vs Field
Shooting at the range is great but it’s difficult to get angled positions and mimic hunting scenarios. The range is a great asset and is convenient but head out into the field for practice whenever possible. You can combine shooting sessions with physical training by hiking to a remote area where shooting is safe and legal. The range is ideal when you are short on time but hit the mountains for shooting practice whenever possible.
5. Practice Often
Frequency makes all the difference when developing marksmanship skills. Set a schedule and shoot as often as possible. Ideally, you will shoot once a week throughout the summer. Consider ramping up the month or two prior to a hunt and really find your groove while building confidence. It will make all the difference when you make a difficult shot in the field.
Learn About Hunts with Table Mountain Outfitters
If you’d like to learn more about guided hunts with Table Mountain Outfitters, please explore the rest of our website. We offer hunts for antelope, deer, elk, mountain lion and spring black bear hunts. Send us a message or give us a call at 307-632-6352. We’d love for you to come live THE LIFE with us here in Wyoming!