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Shooting Tips: Rifle Skills That Will Make You a Better Hunter

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Shooting Tips: Rifle Skills That Will Make You a Better Hunter

It’s the time to elevate your skills for next hunting season. We reached out to two authorities to assemble this guide. Both are accomplished hunters, shooters, and competitors. Wayne Van Zwoll discusses the fine points of practical field marksmanship while Bryce Towsley interviewed some of the country’s best shooting instructors to create the drills illustrated here, most of which can be done at ranges of 100 yards or less. Good shooting.

Focus While Practicing
Good shooting starts in your head. Dry-firing can be as valuable as live-fire practice. But simply pulling a trigger isn’t a drill. “Make each shot count,” says Lones Wigger, who’s won a truckload of shooting medals, including Olympic gold. “When I practice, every shot gets my best effort, down to the smallest detail. Consistency matters. Such focus is exhausting. When I can no longer concentrate, I quit for the day.”

As with any discipline, bad shots in practice amount to practice in bad shooting. Call your shots before you see where they’ve hit. Not all will punch the middle, but if you feel the rifle hop to 10 o’clock at let-off, and a hole appears there, rejoice! When bullets hit where you don’t predict, suspect a flinch or rough trigger squeeze. Slow down. When practicing, a bull’s-eye and a couple of well-called bloopers beat a target sieved by holes you can’t explain. And with a hunt on the line, a slow hit trumps a fast miss.

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