You do not become a better hunter by going hunting. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it is true.

Good players in the sporting world confirm this. Tennis players do not become better players by merely playing tennis. They work on individual skills, focusing on weak spots. A player wishing to improve, after identifying her wicked serve and weak backhand through matches, will concentrate on her backhand, slamming them out by the hundreds, probably under the watchful, knowledgeable eyes of a coach, and spend less time working on improving an already good serve.

We have dozens of gun magazines that tell you what equipment to buy, even more hunting magazines that tell you how to bring game in, and calling contests to reinforce some of those skills. But at the actual moment of truth, at the critical juncture that determines what you bring home, the ONLY thing that matters (field marksmanship skill) gets brushed aside.

Outside of HunterShooter events, I challenge you to name one venue that promotes marksmanship skill for hunters. Of 11 million plus annual big game license buyers, name one shooting venue that regularly attracts even one half percent of them (55,000).

Buckmasters has 300,000 members, NAHC boasts 750,000 and about one million NRA members choose American Hunter as their magazine. Ten percent of the smallest is 30,000. The biggest, oldest, most popular shooting venues top out at 50,000 card carrying participants and don’t attract big game hunters in any serious way. Any hunting club/magazine that bothered to effectively promote a shooting venue for hunters that inspired 1 out of 10 of its readership to participate would immediately become the next big shooting discipline, and do a great job promoting hunting in the process.

Tiger Woods, demonstrably the best golfer in his era, has a golf coach. Every professional sports team pays a cadre of coaches for their players. But even suggesting that most gun owners and hunters are in need of coaching to improve their skills will often draw howls of protest.