Shooting Running Game

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Shooting at running game used to be a standard part of the American hunter’s skill set. The guns they carried—lever actions, old semi-autos like the Remington Model 8, and sporterized military turn-bolts—excelled at this task.

We live in a different world today. The mere mention of shooting at running game during a hunter’s ed class would induce chest-gripping seizures among the gray-haired corps of instructors. I get why this is, but those old skills, like many other traditional exercises in woodsmanship, have atrophied and our hunting culture is the poorer for it.

We had to take a shooting test the day before our hunt in order to be allowed to participate. We shot a running boar target at 100 meters, going left to right and right to left, and had to go five for five in the vitals to pass and get a hunting license.

The shooting isn’t difficult with the right technique. Your mom would be happy to know the key is good posture and standing up straight. The goal is to have a smooth, even swing so you can track the target, establish the correct lead, and pull the trigger. Standing straight minimizes the vertical wobble of the barrel and lets you focus on the horizontal motion of the rifle. If you hunch over in a quasi-tactical stance, you’ll have less control over your muzzle. Do some dry-fire practice and see for yourself. Learning the right lead is a matter of time in the field. A good rule of thumb is to put your vertical crosshair in line with the boar’s ear, but, as with wingshooting, there are too many variables to give a single correct answer. No matter what, good trigger control and follow-through are critical. Keep that barrel moving after the shot.

More:
https://www.outdoorlife.com/how-to-shoot-running-game

Great article! Ranges for hunters need more moving and reactive targets shot from field positions and less bench rests. See the Monolith of Medicore for more details.

We had to take a shooting test the day before our hunt in order to be allowed to participate. We shot a running boar target at 100 meters, going left to right and right to left, and had to go five for five in the vitals to pass and get a hunting license.

This is the most important part. Notice how these hunters set up relevant shooting tests on the range to confirm skills before going after living game. Americans hunters need to do likewise.

I’ve observed hunters shooting on the range for whom any shot at game at any distance and circumstance would have been unethical… A shot taken with a high hit percentage is ethical. “High hit percentage” is dependent upon the skill of the individual attempting that shot. One of the goals of HunterShooter events is to help hunters identify what constitutes high hit percentage for them. Participants at HunterShooter events can evoke the Decline rule on any given Scenario. At such an event, all participants shoot all targets but don’t incur Miss penalties on Declined targets.

The idea is to practice learning what constitutes a high percentage shot (and what does not…) Like the hunters in the article here, they learn if the can or can’t pull off a given attempt on the range at a high percentage before trying it in the field.

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Schools Adds Hunter Education to Curriculum

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https://www.guns.com/news/2018/12/14/iowa-school-districts-add-hunters-ed-course-to-pe-curriculum

https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/iowa-school-districts-roll-out-mandatory-gun-training-for-middle-schoolers-pGCSz4ObR0KjvV2QzO0hWA/

Both the North Butler and Clarksville Community School Districts will deliver a mandatory hunter safety course in the 7th and 8th grade PE curriculum reports Radio Iowa. Students in grades 9 through 12 will be given a chance to take voluntary classes.

“What we do best is educate our kids,” said Superintendent Joel Foster. “We feel if we educate our kids in how to use weapons responsibly, how to respect them, understand it’s not a video game and those sort of things, that maybe we’ll cut down on our chances of having a severe incident.”

Parents who do not want their children participating in the training can opt out of the class.

Deer Hunting Is Getting Safer

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the results of Wisconsin’s gun deer season.

Wisconsin’s 2018 gun deer-hunting season was safest on record
https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/outdoors/2018/11/26/wisconsins-2018-gun-deer-hunting-season-safest-record/2118774002/

With three non-fatal shooting injuries, the 2018 Wisconsin gun deer season set a record for hunter safety, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re going to call it the state’s safest gun deer season ever,” said Jon King, DNR conservation warden and hunter safety coordinator.

The 2018 gun deer season ran Nov. 17 to 25. Although the agency has not released a final tally of gun deer license sales, it is expected about 570,000 hunters were authorized to participate.

Prior to this season, the DNR considered 2014, with four non-fatal shooting injuries, the safest.

There has been a long-term trend toward fewer shooting incidents in Wisconsin gun deer hunting seasons, especially since hunter safety education was made mandatory in 1985.

In step with these changes, the shooting accident rate in the gun deer season was 10.6 incidents per 100,000 participants in 1985, 4.8 in 1995 and about 0.5 in 2018.

The DNR is investigating the three incidents that occurred this year.

The first took place 1:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Marcellon Township of Columbia County where a 24-year-old shooter participating in a deer drive shot at a running deer but struck the victim, a 23-year-old male, in the foot. The men were members of the same hunting party. The victim was treated at a local hospital.

The second occurred about 5 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Village of Colfax in Dunn County. In this case, a 21-year-old male who was not wearing blaze orange was working on his downed deer when he was hit in the arm by a bullet from a 17-year-old shooter who thought the victim was a deer. The victim was transported to a hospital and released.

The last was recorded at noon Nov. 25 in Sauk County. A 39-year-old male had stopped hunting and was unloading his firearm, a handgun, when it discharged and the bullet struck him in the palm, King said. The victim was treated for the wound and released.

This all occurred with an increase in total tagged deer during the season:

Hunters registered 211,430 deer during Wisconsin gun deer season, up 7% from 2017
https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/outdoors/2018/11/27/gun-deer-harvest-up-7/2123819002/

This is in line with trends over the past decades:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education/

https://firearmusernetwork.com/lessons-learned-of-hunter-education-2/

Target Angle and Hunting

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Shot placement is arguably the most important component of field marksmanship, right after having the experience to know when a given shot opportunity is high percentage for you.

Two articles you must review before getting ready for fall hunting season:

https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/big-game-hunting/whitetail-deer/where-to-shoot-a-deer

https://blog.1800gunsandammo.com/target-angle-for-hunters/

Hunter Drills

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List of useful articles on shooting drills for hunters:

http://sportsmansvintagepress.com/marksmanship-for-hunters/

http://m.thetandd.com/sports/outdoors/marksmanship-and-respect-for-the-whitetail-deer/article_8275b324-4660-11e2-83b8-001a4bcf887a.html?mobile_touch=true

http://www.boone-crockett.org/news/featured_story.asp?area=news&ID=222

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/gun-shots/2013/01/shooting-range-drill-snipers-and-down

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/gun-shots/2013/01/shooting-range-drill-how-speed-run-bolt

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/gun-shots/2013/01/shooting-range-drill-how-shoot-keyhole

http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/big-game-hunting/the-best-answer-to-any-anti-hunter-attack/

Free Hunter Education Course

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https://nra.yourlearningportal.com/courses/hunter-education

This NRA Online Hunter Education course is designed to help new hunters of all ages learn how to be safe and responsible members of the hunting community. From the organization that built the first-ever hunter education program in 1949, this state-of-the-art course is the most comprehensive online hunter education instruction in the United States…and it’s 100% FREE

From John Tate:
In 1949, the NRA introduced the first Hunter Safety Course. Over time, it has grown in scope; but the central theme remains safe handling and use of firearms.

Now, exploiting electronic connectivity, this course is available for FREE over the internet. Of the four options, each may have some state-specific content; but the essentials of firearm safety are universal so any course will do.

Hunter Sighting In

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HunterShooter events were designed to encourage hunters to practice their shooting on the range in a manner more in line with their shooting in the field. Too many hunters that at least bother with a formal sight-in session (and too many skip even this preliminary step) fail to attempt shooting other than slow fire from a bench rest.

I’ve seen this play out poorly many times. Here’s an example shared elsewhere.

When I helped with gun club-required membership weekend hunting sight-ins, I would see folks shooting 100-yard one-inch groups – sometimes the rare tighter groups. If they looked like good sports, I would ask them to play a game with me.

After their sighting-in I would have them stand ready with a round chambered and safety on and when I said “start” they had 10 seconds (actually lots of time) to shoulder up and fire one shot offhand at their 100-yard target.

I have done this about a hundred times. Only six times has anyone hit an 18×18-inch target with the first shot!

All are shocked! Actually, about 40 percent miss the entire four-foot square backing board. Then the learning curve comes into play, assuming a deer or elk gives you a second chance at 100 yards – oh sure. I ask them to try again. About 20 percent are on paper. By the third shot they settle in and 95 percent get on the sheet of paper. After this little drill, most get quite a kick out of seeing the effects/results from the bench to the real world of their shooting. A high percentage then stuck around to finish the remainder of their box of hunting ammunition firing from kneeling and standing positions.

– Jim Shults
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2018/1/17/a-few-techniques-about-sighting-in-your-rifle/

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