Do this before you even load your gun at the range to be a better shooter.
I admittedly missed a huge muley buck this past season and have had time to reflect.
First of all my heart rate was elevated from running around a ridge. I was breathing heavy, and looking back, I most definitely didn't relax and take my time before pulling the trigger.
Here is what I plan to do differently so this doesn't happen again. It all starts at the range.
1. Push Ups
Do a bunch at the range! Your arms need to be tired as if you were lugging that rifle around all day up and down hills. Learning to hold your firearm with fatigued arms is important.
2. Sweat a Little
Get that heart rate up. Run a couple laps or run in place if there isn't really any room. Feel your pulse and make sure it is elevated.
Most situations happen with adrenaline flowing through the veins. If you can hit your target like this consistently you will likely have more success.
Real life situations usually involve some sweat. So get sweaty!
3. Practice reloading on the clock
Put yourself on a stop watch and see how quickly you can reload your weapon when it is empty. More often then not you will find yourself under pressure to reload quickly during various real life situations.
Reload on the clock and get better at doing it quickly.
4. Prepare a Real Life Scene
You don't get to shoot from a bench or lead sled in the wild, so don't always practice that way. Those things are great when you are trying to sight in your weapon but you won't have them at your disposal on the mountain.
Prepare your pack or shooting sticks and shoot from them with your heart rate elevated.
5. Take your gun off your shoulder
Practice taking your gun from your shoulder or remove from the holster and shooting from a standing position.
Pull your firearm up and just look through the sights. Visualize yourself pulling the trigger over and over again.
Real life scenarios can only improve our shooting.
Now it's time to load your gun and finally start shooting. Good luck and tighter groups this coming year!