Make Every Shot Count

Take aim at your hunting skills with these tips and tricks to bring down game quickly and accurately.


Photo by Adobe Stock/Rionegro

I hunt fish, and forage to fill the freezer and put food on my family’s table. To make that happen, every shot should count. The shot must be ethical, and the kill as quick and humane as possible. No animal should suffer because I made a poor shot. And that means I need to spend a great deal of time on the firing range, learning the limitations of both myself and my firearm.

All too often, I encounter other hunters in the woods who have the latest gear, but no clue how to use it. They can’t tell me how their rifle shoots or understand good range (the distance at which you can consistently hit the target). These hunters have no real idea what they, or their firearm, can do. But this knowledge is much more important than the newest gear.

Throwing Away Your Shot

Shooting a firearm effectively goes beyond just squeezing the trigger. Techniques range from proper breathing to proper mounting of the firearm. Confidence in your abilities is also critical. The only way to master these factors is to spend time on the firing range. The old adage “practice makes perfect” applies.

Hunters frequently tell me they don’t visit the range because of the cost of ammunition. This is the least of their expenses, though, when you calculate costs for gear, travel, and licenses. Ammunition goes on sale all the time, so stock up when you can.

I highly recommend practicing with the same ammo you hunt with. Firearms don’t shoot exactly the same. Your buddy may swear by Brand X, but when you use it, your shots are off. But when you use Brand Y — with the same bullet weight and powder charge — your shots are right on target. If you’re off on the range, you’ll be off in the field.

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