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Old November 30, 2019, 12:24 PM   #1
Ben Dover
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Do you practice before going hunting?

Many years ago, I was taught to get a lot of practice the month before hunting season.

I started by loading 225 rounds of my hunting load. For the 4 weekends before theseason opened, I would go to the range and shoot 25 rounds standing offhand and 25 kneeling. The terrain and vegetation where I hunt offers very little opportunity for the sitting or prone positions, so I practiced standing and kneeling.

I was already shooting expert in high power competition, but that was with a Garand, not my hunting rifle.

When I got to the field, my confidence level was very high after the extra practice. I never had to track an animal for over 100 yards.

Do any of you get extra practice just before the season opens?? Have you noticed if it pays off for you???


Just curious.
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Old November 30, 2019, 01:41 PM   #2
AgedWarrior
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Though not as much ammo as you are talking about, yes, I always get some extra work/time with the hunting rifle prior to the hunt. As you described, I avoid bench shooting and work on various positions shooting freehand. When we lived in New Mexico I would occasionally thin out the Jackrabbit population a bit as a form of practice. That practice work with the rifle gave a higher comfort and confidence in the field to some degree. Prior to that I hunted with revolvers for most of 25 years; same thing applies, get practice prior to the hunt. Have not hunted in recent years due to some health issues, but looking forward to resuming in the coming year.
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Old November 30, 2019, 02:29 PM   #3
Pahoo
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It does pay off!!!

Quote:
Do any of you get extra practice just before the season opens?? Have you noticed if it pays off for you???
I do but not as much as I use to. It all started back in my Bow-Hunting days and started in July. Then when I switched to Muzzleloaders, hunted squirrels with my .36 and by the time deer season started, I got most of the kinks out as well as being re-introduced to my hunting grounds. Getting current on your hunting grounds, is important. ….

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 30, 2019, 06:16 PM   #4
Ben Dover
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Originally Posted by Pahoo View Post
Getting current on your hunting grounds, is important. ….

Be Safe !!!
Absolutely. Most of my summer camping and hiking is done in the areas that I hunt.
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Old November 30, 2019, 06:54 PM   #5
7.62 man
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I target practice all the time & squirrel hunt to get the lead down pat before deer season. Because I deer hunt with a .300 blackout 8.5" barreled AR pistol. I can hold a hardball sized group at 100yds & hit deer in a full run like I did this one a few weeks ago.
It was opening morning I saw this one running through the woods, I gave it a bleat to get it to stop but it dropped it's head & ran faster. I pulled up the gun took quick aim & squeezed the trigger. The doe jumped, gave a kick & piled up after about 20 yds, she was about 50 yds away when I pulled the trigger. It was a good double lung shot.
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Old November 30, 2019, 07:04 PM   #6
Capt Rick Hiott
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The only thing I do is check the scope on my handguns and long guns......
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Old December 1, 2019, 07:11 AM   #7
thallub
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This year i've fired thousands of rounds from center fire rifles, mostly 5.56mm and 7.62mm.

Periodically i check the zero of my hunting rifles. i "practice" on wild hogs year around.
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Old December 1, 2019, 11:40 AM   #8
buck460XVR
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There are very few things, we as humans can do with confidence, without practice. Shooting is a skill that takes a coordination between eyes, hands and mind. It takes knowing when to breathe, and not only how to pull the trigger, but when. In some hunting sports it takes knowing how to lead. Seems the OP is only talking hunting deer/big game with a rifle, but many of us use other platforms and hunt other game. All take practice. I shoot Sporting Clays all year to keep up my shotgun skills. I shoot bow/crossbow in the backyard to keep up my archery skills and having a personnel 200 yard range on my son's land keeps up my handgun and long gun skills. None of this is a week or two before season, but a continuous and ongoing hobby. Having a weapon that feels at home in your hands is just as important as putting crosshairs on the target.
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Old December 1, 2019, 03:30 PM   #9
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dover View Post
Many years ago, I was taught to get a lot of practice the month before hunting season.

I started by loading 225 rounds of my hunting load. For the 4 weekends before theseason opened, I would go to the range and shoot 25 rounds standing offhand and 25 kneeling. The terrain and vegetation where I hunt offers very little opportunity for the sitting or prone positions, so I practiced standing and kneeling.

I was already shooting expert in high power competition, but that was with a Garand, not my hunting rifle.

When I got to the field, my confidence level was very high after the extra practice. I never had to track an animal for over 100 yards.

Do any of you get extra practice just before the season opens?? Have you noticed if it pays off for you???


Just curious.
Yes and no. I am always shooting something. My skills stay sharp. Most of my hunting rifles are barrel burners. I develop loads. I zero them in. I Develop dope sheet. Then, they rarely get shot. I pull rifle out of safe before season, run clean patch down bore, and shoot it once out back door of my shop. I then take it the next day and shoot 1 shot at 200 or 400 yd, depending on the rifle. If it hits the 1" dot, it goes hunting that season.
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Old December 1, 2019, 04:08 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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Our old range used to have an open to the public sight in day(s) at the start of hunting season. We got a number of people coming in about 10:00 of opening day who were in the woods at sunrise and missed their deer.
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Old December 1, 2019, 05:26 PM   #11
jmr40
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I get to the range at least once a month year round. I try to go once a week now that I'm retired.

I've also been a firm believer in dry fire practice forever. I can spin the chair around from my desk and see all kinds of birds, squirrels, knot holes etc.in the woods behind my house that make great targets to dry fire at.
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Old December 2, 2019, 03:22 PM   #12
godale
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I don’t hunt I just shoot targets but my son will practice a week or so before the season


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Old December 2, 2019, 09:26 PM   #13
gw44
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YES i have a 100yrd and a 200yrd deer target that i practice on ever year be for season !!!
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Old December 3, 2019, 12:33 AM   #14
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Haven't for years spent any time target practicing. My deer rifle goes from the den wall to my hands and laid onto the back seat in my truck in its secured case. Then to the woods and back again. I'm anal careful with it afield. The rifles scope hasn't lost its 200 yrd zero in years. As far as shooting. I've killed so many deer over the years my heart no longer races. Stone cold no anxiety what so ever. And too. Having a enclosed above ground over looking a hay field on private property I have plenty of aiming time to get a accurate shot off at my pleasure. My deer caliber. 270 win 130 gr which cartridge is a home-reload that exceeds nearly all commercial cartridge velocity's and 100 yrd bench rest accuracy. Those whom choose to practice before hunting. No problem here with doing. In fact "I encourage it."
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Old December 3, 2019, 02:12 AM   #15
FrankenMauser
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10 years ago, I would have had a different (and possibly more PC) answer.

But, right now...

The answer is primarily only a 'yes' because I've been screwing around so much with my primary freezer-fillers.
I've been improving them, chopping barrels, threading and recrowning, and having all kinds of work done (by myself or proper gunsmiths).

So, more often than not, I HAVE to get out and practice with the rifle before hunting season. ...Not because I feel that I need to practice, but because I need to get used to (or at least test) the rifle in its current configuration - or at least sight it in again...

Just this week, I tore apart (fully detail-stripped) "Ole Reliable"- a Ruger 77 Mk II - and pillar bedded the action. I have no doubts that the scope will return to zero pretty well (within 3/8" or so), with the Ruger rings. But I messed with the bedding. There's no telling what I'll see on paper when I take it out next -- which could be this Saturday, as planned; or ... next September. Life happens. Sometimes, things don't go to plan.
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Old December 5, 2019, 02:14 PM   #16
T. O'Heir
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"...a Garand, not my hunting rifle..." Same techniques. Probably the best practice for deer season is varmint hunting with your deer load. Only if it's legal locally, of course. Varmint hunting is good practice with a varmint load.
"...deer in a full run..." Will taste like crap and be tough due to the buckets of adrenaline running through it.
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Old December 5, 2019, 03:22 PM   #17
603Country
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I shoot all the time, all year round. Got my own 100 yard range. So I guess I wouldn’t call what I do ‘practice’.
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Old December 5, 2019, 03:26 PM   #18
godale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 603Country View Post
I shoot all the time, all year round. Got my own 100 yard range. So I guess I wouldn’t call what I do ‘practice’.


That’s a nice thing to have ! Don’t really have to even pack


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Old December 5, 2019, 08:48 PM   #19
std7mag
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Your method of firing a few hundred rounds the weeks before season are doing you no favors.

Your much better off using a 1" orangesticker on a piece of white paper, and shooting several shots a day, all year.

About the only reason i go to the range the couple of weeks before season is to keep up my practice of field position shooting.
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