Tagging a ten-point buck is only one shot away. The question is, given a chance with the target just a few yards out, will you take it?
Well, hunters bungling shots at close range that could have been clean kills is a common occurrence in the wild. Interestingly, many of these guys have meticulously trained hard in the range, after which they tell themselves—Yes, I’m good enough to punch a tag when the season starts. Thing is, just spending time in the range, having the best outfitter, or finding the best hunting area doesn’t always translate to a successful hunt.
So, how do you become a better rifler to take on wild games? In this blog, you’ll learn proven shooting rifle tips to make you a better shooter. Let’s get started.
Know Your Rifle
When it comes to wild game hunting, preparing yourself and your rifle is as important as hunting itself. Outfitters, great hunting areas, and licenses all count, but self-confidence and understanding your rifle, and having it in good shape counts more when accuracy is a must. The off-season is the perfect time to train at shoot hunting clubs and tweak your gear for the field. An accurate and reliable rifle is a well-maintained rifle. You’d want to clean and carry out checks on your rifle as often as possible. Take the rifle apart, degrease all its metal parts using protective gun oil. Sealants or wood preservatives work fine for the inside of the stock wood. Allow the rifle to dry before assembling. Next, mount your scope onto the rifle. It doesn’t matter if yours is the best rimfire scope; transportation or a little push in its storage is enough to ruin the sight. Therefore, a mounted scope requires regular checks to ensure everything is in place. Be so acquainted with your rifle, that you can shoot without shilly-shallying, swift, and full of confidence.
Use the Proper Tools
For a successful hunt, it is imperative to have the proper hunting tool combination. It boils down to visualizing the myriad of events that can occur in the wild and having the tools to make up for them. This is simply matching your arsenal to the game you are chasing. Depending on your hunting strategy and style, you should consider the rifle, ammo, and scope options long before the hunting season starts. If you’ll be chasing elk or moose, now is time to invest in high-efficient ammo like the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, as well as picking up the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor. This cartridge doesn’t just offer much-needed accuracy; it also comes with deep-penetrating tough bullets.
Practice Various Field Positions
Out there in the woods, one must have the right level of confidence to shoot accurately. A simple and intelligent way to achieve this is by practicing different field positions. In order from the least stable to the most, there are four shooting positions every hunter should master: standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone. Scenarios in the wild would demand the use of any of these. It’ll do you a lot of good if you are acquainted with these positions beforehand. You can also mix things up by shooting sidehill, sitting, standing, kneeling, resting on a rock or a tree, and prone positions.
Master the Sling
Whatever the shooting position: sitting, prone, kneeling, or standing, using the sling is the proper way to go when accuracy is a must! A good rifle sling allows for decent weapon retention and stability to facilitate longer accurate shots. Mastering the sling calls for a lot of practice, just as the rewards are enormous if you manage to get it right. There are a plethora of slings out there: you’d want to pick a leather rifle sling ahead of the nylon variants as these flaunt the tendencies to slip, and we don’t want that.
Train Shooting with a High Heart Rate
The answer to how to become a better rifle shooter lies in the amount of work one is willing to put in. Taking accurate shots when you are calm is one and placing a clean shot when your body is in fight or flight mode is another. Hunting in the woods is not a walk in the park, and you should be prepared for everything. You’ve probably heard stories of wounded hogs charging towards hunters. A rifler who hasn’t trained to shoot when their heart rate is up may not have the attributes to take out the wounded pig. This could turn out to be a disaster, given that wild pigs are hazardous animals when cornered. When practicing, get involved in strenuous physical activities to get your heart rate up. This includes drills such as engaging targets on the move, sprinting, and transitioning between targets.
Practice Longer Distance Shooting
Ethical hunting is associated with knowing the distance from where a kill shot will be possible. Usually, many hunters know this and do not waste their ammo when a target is out of their reach. Luckily, you can increase your confidence and accuracy in hitting long-distance targets if you put in the necessary work. The off-season is a great time to do this. Shoot at targets out of your comfort range when you hunt. Pay attention to details such as distance, sequence, and weather. Watch out for things you are not doing right, then adjust. By repeating this over and over is how to be a better rifler at long distances.
Get in Good Physical Shape
When you notice a movement in the woods ahead of you, you may have to hike your way through rocky and rugged terrains to be up close. This is enough to break you down if you are not in good physical shape. You don’t have to hit the gym to be in shape for your deer hunting expedition. And, lifting gym equipment is nowhere near shooting rifle tips. But, a good amount of air squats, push-ups, step-ups, and walking down the trail will do.
There you go: proven shooting rifle tips on how to become a better rifle shooter. Depending on your style, you should, of course, have more to add to the list. But in the absence of none, the shooting tips above can improve your accuracy the next time you hit the woods.
Mike Fellon is an experienced firearms enthusiast and optics expert. He delivers unbiased and detailed rifle scope reviews. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He inherited his hunting passions after his father John – he was fascinated by his stories, hearing how much attention, focus, dedication and patience he invested in shooting every animal. When he was old enough, his father first allowed him to shoot some cans and bottles with his shotgun, and then took him hunting – it was love at first sight. Mike has never stopped shooting ever since.