Looking for ways to increase shooting accuracy before the season starts?
If you don’t use it, you lose it. How many times have you heard that little tidbit for any number of life skills?
The skills and techniques involved in accurate shooting practices need to be constantly reinforced.
Whether you’re gearing up for deer hunting with a rifle or plan on wingshooting some birds with a shotgun, there’s no replacement for good old practice.
Aside from simply shooting round after round downrange during the offseason, there are other ways to hone your shooting skills. So, grab a friend or hunting buddy and try a few of the following suggestions this offseason to keep your shooting skills impeccable.
View the slideshow for the six suggestions, and leave your own in the comments.
Make it a Contest with Your Buddy
When the weather is warm and big game hunting is the furthest away, it is the perfect time to grab your rifle and a buddy and head to your favorite shooting spot.
Grab a target and spend the afternoon trying to outdo each other and gain eternal bragging rights. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to bring out the real kind of training every shooter needs.
Set up a Shooting Schedule
It isn’t necessary to spend hours on the range or waste hundreds of dollars on ammo, just to shoot your way through the offseason. In fact, if you shoot for just a little while once every month or two, it is enough to keep your shooting skills sharp. It’s more about picking up your weapon, practicing your breathing and keeping your trigger pull smooth than it is about seeing how many thousand rounds you can waste during the offseason.
Make it easy on yourself, set up a shooting schedule. Make it part of your routine, once or twice a week, or more if you can spare the time. You will be glad you did once season comes back around.
Challenge Yourself and Your Weapon
It’s incredibly important to test the limits of your weapon and your own accuracy. See just what your weapon will do at various distances or with different backdrops. That way, an unfamiliar situation during the season may not be entirely foreign.
Practice for Comfort
While shooting, it is important to test different shooting angles and stances. You won’t always be able to get a shot at a deer with a seated rest and all the time in the world to set up a shot. By practicing with different angles and stances (standing, sitting, kneeling, prone), you’re opening up your capabilities and comfort level for shooting in less than ideal situations.
Comfort with your rifle in a variety of angles and stances gives you an added advantage.
Buy New Firearms Early, Not Just Before Season Opens
If you’ve decided to upgrade or change hunting weapons before next season, upgrade as early as you can. Don’t wait until the week before season opens to run down to the gun shop.
You need time to familiarize yourself with your new gun and its capabilities. In addition, you need to make sure you are comfortable with the gun before you ever hit the field for your first hunt with it. Your hunting firearm should feel as comfortable to you as your hunting clothes and the only way to do that is spend time in the offseason with your rifle and a few boxes of ammo.
Try Different Ammo
During the offseason, it’s the perfect time to test your rifle with different grains and brands of ammunition. The differences you find in each box of ammo can tell you a lot about the ammo that works best for your particular firearm and skill.
This is valuable information to have when it counts. Finding out which ammo to buy in the offseason adds another advantage to a prepared hunter’s arsenal.