Hunter Sighting In

1 Comment

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

Advertisements 10 Items You Should Have In Your Deer Hunting Pack


Robert Gate at submitted the following article. Enjoy!

Deer hunting can be fun or a nightmare at some point depending on what you have carried in your hunting pack. It is always important that you get to pick the essential tools that will make your hunting easier. Many people will have different things on their lists, below are some of the important items you should never miss the next time you go out hunting for deer.

1. Scents and Lures

Scents and Lures

Today, various options exist when it comes to deer attractant. These are the items that will support you in attracting the deer to your position. Such can include having a deer decoy and scents that would make the deer think their fellow mates are in your position. Without a doubt, you should now be ready to take your shot when the deer end up in your staged location with scents and lures.

Having deer calls could be another great addition to your lures. Make sure that you practice using the call before applying it in the real world. The worst can be when you use the call and end up with the wrong tone.

2. Power Bank or Battery Pack

Power Bank or Battery Pac

Having a battery pack is important to help you recharge your phone or any other application that might need power while outdoors with no access to a power outlet. A charged phone could come in handy in a place where you are lost and need help.

3. Extra Clothes

Extra Clothes

Even it is hunting in the wild, you still want to have a change of clothes, especially if you are going to be out there for a few days. Well, you do not have to pack as if you were traveling. Just get the necessary clothes as you might not have to change daily. Do not over-pack, as it might make your luggage heavy all for nothing.

4. Flashlight and Matches

Flashlight and Matches

It does not matter which you choose, but just make sure that you have light especially when it gets dark. It can be quite tough to hunt at night if you do not have enough illumination. You could still use the fire for keeping yourself warm during the chilly nights other than help with visibility. Just be sure that at the camp they allow for lighting the fire. The flashlight, on the other hand, should help you get back to the campsite if it gets dark while hunting.

5. Water and Energy Bars

Water and Energy Bars

You have to keep yourself refreshed so that you get to stay in focus while outdoors hunting for deer. The water is important for hydration so that you can maintain focus. The energy bars should help give you more energy for hunting before you can get access to food later on after your hunting trip.

6. Compass and Updated Map

Compass and Updated Map

Having a proper sense of direction is always important to make sure that you end up at the right place all the time. It is the reason you must have a compass and an updated map for you to use. The compass can also help you in finding your deer after shooting it. If you shoot it in your stand, make sure to note the direction of your compass before descending.

7. Hunting Knife

Hunting Knife

The knife does not have to be always used on the deer. Sometimes you get into scenarios where having a knife could come in handy. So make sure to get one for yourself for the next hunting trip.

8. License


Having your hunting license is always important. You do not want to get in trouble with the authorities when asked about your license and permit. Always have it in your hunting pack at all times.

9. Binoculars and Rangefinder

Binoculars and Rangefinder

It can be binocular or monocular, you simply have to choose what works for you in terms of usability features. The binoculars and rangefinder are important to help you assess just how far you are from your target and also spot them at a distance. Miss them and you will wish you had carried one with you before going to hunt.

10. Gloves


You should not leave home without the gloves. They are not only important for keeping you warm, but also great for protection. You can never know what you get to touch while outdoors in the wild. The gloves can also be great to use with a scent killer to keep your scent to a minimum.

At least you now have an idea about the top 10 items you can never miss in your deer hunting pack. You could always add more to your list depending on your needs as a person. If you have the right items, then your hunting trip will have fewer issues of inconveniences, and you should get hunting done effectively.

Robert Gate is the founder of He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot, from then he decided to become a pro hunter. If you find something helpful on his blog, he would be proud to hear from you.

PDF version:
10 Items You Should Have In Your Deer Hunting Pack

Why Timers Are Critical

Leave a comment

It has become fashionable in some circles within defensive shooting and hunting communities to downplay any use of a timer or timed exercises. Yes, there are useful drills that don’t need or even benefit from use of a timer. And there are certainly a number of important things that aren’t improved by any range exercise.

Training/practice for defensive or hunting use that implements no timed drills is incomplete. All real-world shooting will almost always need to be done in an efficient manner. It will always be to your benefit to be able to perform correctly at speed. Given that real-world shooting has a stress component, performing under a ticking clock on the range is a valuable way to learn how to perform under pressure. Stupid cliches like “there aren’t any timers in a gunfight” or “deer don’t carry stopwatches” are novice excuses to avoid being held accountable for low skill levels.

Poor hit rates in law enforcement shootings are largely due to officers never being forced to shoot at speed and under a bit of stress during qualification or in-service training. Many dash cam videos of shootings show personnel forced to shoot at speed and under stress for the first time in their lives. It certainly didn’t occur during routine qualification and in-service training.

Law enforcement veteran and champion shooter Robert Vogel explains further:

Two Ways to Deal with Buck Fever

Leave a comment

Two Ways to Deal with Buck Fever
by David Petzal

Drawing on my extensive medical background, I classify buck fever as a form of hysteria in which your cerebrum and cerebellum shut down simultaneously and you are left either paralyzed and unable to do anything except wet yourself (or worse) or do really odd things like cycling a whole magazine of ammo through the rifle without pulling the trigger.

We know that the sight of a big-game animal can have a profound physical effect on the body. Back in the 1990s, at a plantation loaded with really monstrous whitetails, scientists attached heart monitors to a number of deer hunters who then climbed into their trees stands to await one of these behemoths. When a Serious Deer did stroll by, heart rates went instantly from normal resting (about 72 beats per minute) to close to 200 per minute, which is a trip to the ER for many people.

The only way I know to deal with buck fever is to shoot in competition, which is shooting under pressure, which is what shooting at game is. It doesn’t matter what kind of competition, just as long as you expose yourself to being publicly humiliated if you screw up and rewarded if you don’t. A leisurely afternoon of shooting cans with your .22 will not do this.

The Best 308 Shooting Practices and Tips

1 Comment

Author Bio:
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at

“Going hunting” is a poor way to practice

1 Comment

Rabbit hunting is a really good way to practice shooting from a standing position.”
Squirrel hunting is a good way to get some shooting practice before deer season.”

No, it’s not.

First problem is the ethics of using a living creature for casual target practice. This isn’t some animal rights drivel. Good hunters are conservationists and advocates for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife. Hunting animals is a normal and needed component of wildlife ecosystems for predator species, including Homo sapiens sapiens. Respect nature and give your fellow hunters a good name by being an efficient and ethical predator.

Second problem, hunting is too varied for this to be useful practice. You don’t know when, where, or if an animal will appear and for how long. The nature of the scenario (terrain, underbrush, distance, weather conditions) may be simple or demanding and can’t be known in advance. This makes hunting an excellent application of field marksmanship skills but a very poor way to create them. Much better to shoot under controlled and predictable conditions first. Identify what sorts of shots you can pull off.

Did you know that using a tree or rock outcropping for support will throw your point of impact off four minutes of angle from the zero you established at a bench rest? And that using those shooting sticks will move the point of impact almost the same amount but in the opposite direction? Or maybe it won’t. But you’ll never know if you don’t test it… or until you have that “unexplained” miss at the biggest buck you’ve ever seen.

Learn how to shoot on the range. Hunting is a place to use practiced abilities, not to create them.

Raw marksmanship skill is less important than marksmanship awareness. That is, knowing what sorts of shots are truly high percentage for you, and what should be passed up. Emphasis on knowing, not what you think, imagine, or wish you can do.

Small game hunting can provide additional hunting opportunities and experience, especially in preparation for more limited seasons such as big game. Just give it a little bit of the range preparation that it deserves.

Popular Contradictions in Hunting


Hunters afraid of evaluating their field marksmanship skills in a group environment will sometimes criticize HunterShooter events or other scored shooting formats for hunters that use timers for scoring or enforce some sort of time limit. “When I hunt, I’m not timed. I shoot when I want,” or something.

My counter to this foolishness is to demonstrate the use of a 1907-type two-piece loop shooting sling. It’s lighter and more convenient than a bipod or shooting sticks and doubles as a carry strap, making it ideal for hunting. Of course, they’re ignorant of proper sling use and immediately criticize it for being too slow for use during a hunt. Because we wouldn’t want to use something that slows us down due to the time-critical nature of the task… and then complain about any attempt to measure or test elapsed time when performing said task.

Of course, there are faster options than such loop slings. The Whelen, such as the Hunter Company Whelen sling #210 was developed as a simpler, potentially quicker option.


“For those used to the military sling and prefering the two-piece jobs, sporting slings like the military sling but made of lighter and narrower leather straps (7/8 to 1 inch) are available. Still better is the one-piece sling worked out by Colonel Townsend Whelen, dean of the American gun writers, back before World War I. This one-piece Whelen sling is a strip of leather from 3/4 to 1 inch wide and generally about 52 inches long. It has a claw hook at one end and the length for carrying is adjusted by the placement of the claw hook in a series of holes punched in the leather. It likewise has two leather “keepers.” The sling is held together and the size of the “loop” is regulated by leather lacings which tie through the holes.

I have used the one-piece Whelen sling for many years and on the whole have found it very satisfactory. I adjust it so that it is of the proper length to carry the rifle with the sling over my right shoulder with the trigger guard forward. I hold the strap with my right hand to steady it. If it is necessary for me to sling the rifle over my backso that I can use both hands for climbing, carrrying out a couple of quarters of venison, a sheep head, or some other burden, I simply move the claw hook back to lengthen the sling.”

– Jack O’Connor, “The Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns,”
O’Connor had a background in High Power and was versed in loop sling use.

The RifleCraft RS1, RS2, and RS3 modernize this. The Pronghorn, Safari, and Rhodesian slings have a pre-set loop built in. Richard Mann’s RifleMann sling is arguably the most versatile of all the two point designs. The CW and Ching slings with three point of attachment are potentially fastest of all.

These options can offer a speed advantage, which is good when speed is an advantage. Like it might be while hunting. Which means that a concern about that advantage is worth considering.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: