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Close stalking practice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2012 at 10:29
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4806
There are times when I've been out in dense cover and have been close to elk or deer. The possibility of having to take a snap shot is high. I've had my share of success and idiotic bungles over the years. Getting ready for this season, I've been practicing a dry-fire, off-hand drill with snap caps whenever I can. It's been helpful in getting on target faster and reliably. By that I mean the optic, rifle and shooter are ready to go.
I run the routine like a checklist:
  1. Make sure the scope is dialed down to lowest setting (3X in my case)
  2. Check that elevation and windage are zeroed out and parallax (if applicable) is dialed down
  3. Open the scope caps (or remove cover)...nothing like bringing a rifle to bear on a running target only to be looking at black!
  4. Chamber a round and put safety on (depending on your comfort level, you might prefer unchambered/safety off)

When I sight a target I've been working on fast, accurate acquisition:

  1. Keep both eyes open and on target
  2. Flip safety off (finger stays OUTSIDE trigger housing)
  3. Bring rifle to bear
  4. Get into solid muscular-skeletal position with elbow against ribs
  5. Keep breathing
  6. Get good sight picture
  7. Verify target (legal species, sex, etc)
  8. Finger lightly on trigger
  9. Fire

Most of this can happen within a second or so if done properly. I'm trying to make it second nature and to avoid mistakes. The worst...and I've done it with snap caps and with live unsafe firing. Just this morning, I forgot to flip the safety off once and had my finger already on the trigger. In a live ammo situation that would have meant a stray round. I also did that once when sighting in on a cow elk 200 yards away and blew the shot.

All these steps are things I can think of to counteract situations I've been in. Another time, I almost shot a mule deer buck, thinking he was the whitetail buck I'd been trailing. They'd merely crossed paths and I didn't have a tag for him. Once I made the mistake of leaving polarized lens caps on right when entering a dark grove of pines, which happened to contain half a dozen elk. They might be fine for the desert but I was left standing there in frustration unable to get a sight picture.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2012 at 10:55
lucytuma View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight

Joined: November/25/2007
Location: Wisconsin
Status: Offline
Points: 5389
All good points, thanks for the refresher.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2012 at 12:20
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: October/31/2009
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 1757
jonoMT said:

"When I sight a target I've been working on fast, accurate acquisition:"
Thanks for the great tips, jonoMT.

Awareness and preparedness to act are essential..

Rabbit hunting is great training for immediate action. So is hunting birds, like pheasants, without a dog.

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