View Full Version : Field Marksmanship-Ideas to practice

Ted Bear
February 25, 2002, 02:12 AM
Even though most of the game seasons arent untill the late summer and fall, I got to thinking about what people could do to improve thier shooting ability in the field. I know a lot of hunters in my area that just go to the range once a year to sight in and thats all. Perhaps by trying some different things at the range now untill hunting season might help many hunters during the season.

Some ideas to get this discussion started:

Run in place for 30 to 60 seconds before shooting at a target, to simulate coming up a steep hill and getting your heart rate up.

Wear the clothing and equipment ( backpacks, fannypacks,gloves, etc) that you will use hunting and practice shooting with it on.

Practice shooting from different field positions, as an offhand or benchrest shot is not common in the woods.

Shoot at different times during the day to get an idea of the varying lighting conditions.

Shoot in the rain or inclement weather.

Learn to estimate range!

Practice shooting uphill and downhill.

If you use a treestand, take a folding chair to the range and shoot from it to simulate being in the stand.

Use earplugs at the range, most earmuff type protection puts your head in a different position on the stock than when you arent wearing them in the field.

Shoot at realistic deer or elk targets.

Load the first round as a dummy round, to simulate a bad round in the field and have to cycle the action for a second shot.

Get a ballistics program and figure out your point blank range for your caliber that you shoot.

Ok Ill have some more soon, but lets hear your ideas!


Art Eatman
February 25, 2002, 08:55 PM
The key to any shooting of any sort is the coordination of the eye, sight picture, and the signal to the trigger finger. Nobody is a human bench rest, at least not since Harry Pope. The idea is to anticipate when the sights will move on to the targeted spot, and remember the 0.2 seconds time lag between telling your trigger finger to move and actually having it to move.

For all practical purposes, working on beer cans, offhand, at 100 yards, is as good an exercise as there is. If you can become reliable there, all else is easy.

Physical conditioning is a Good Thing. Upper body strength helps; the left arm has the most load to deal with when shooting a rifle in the field. Lots of curls with maybe a 50-pound barbell helps. The other ideas are obviously useful, but not particularly necessary.


Dave R
February 25, 2002, 11:41 PM
Ted Bear, I think you n' Art covered it pretty well. Only thing I might add is, shoot with a buddy and have him/her set out some targets at varying, unknown distances. Should help with distance estimation.

February 26, 2002, 09:00 PM
I always thought the way the Africans licence their PH's is good. They are on a 100 meter range, start at the benchs and race 50 meters to the half way point. There are three 6" targets placed - one at the far end 50 meters away, another at 25 meters away and finally at 10 meters in a zig-zag pattern to simulate a charging buffalo. All bullets have to be in the circle and must be completed in under a certain time.

I try to do this with my .22 every now and then, just to stay sharp. Add a few extra pounds on the big rifle and my huffing and puffing sure does make it interesting!!


February 27, 2002, 12:06 AM
The week before I go into the field I try to get to the range and practice some quick offhand shots at about 50 yards. I prefer to do it in a gravel pit with a big back stop. Using cans etc. I try to bring the rifle up quickly into the firing position either standing or droping to one knee and fire a quick shot, good enough to be lethal. It helps overcome the "buck fever". Works with iron sights. I don't do well with a scope because I wear glasses.

February 28, 2002, 12:09 PM
Just getting up off the sandbags on the shooting bench and shooting from simulated field positions - standing, kneeling, sitting, prone, leaning against a post, using shooting sticks, etc. - is probably 10 times the "realistic" practice most hunters get.

And, done properly, it's all most people need.

Al Thompson
August 10, 2002, 09:14 AM
Floating a few of these threads as hunting season rolls around..