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Old May 7, 2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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Zombie Squirrels...(read before you judge)

My father (who was in a position to know something about training) taught me to handle quick target acquisition by making me shoot squirrels. We would go out with a .22 and take squirrels all the time.

There was a catch to this however that was training which I didn't realize at the time. He would make me hold at the ready across my lap sitting and only let me shoot on his command. This meant I had to pull acquire and fire all within a very quick time frame.

This leads me to the real topic at hand. What correlations do you all see between hunting and training and more importantly what drills can a shooter do while small game hunting?

The reality for most of us is that we cannot spend money on training and are not heading to "gunsite" anytime soon.

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Old May 7, 2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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The skill of shooting from a ready position is similar for defensive training as what you are doing for hunting.
With one big exception.
For hunting, you are probably engaging one target and stopping.
And that will become ingrained in your subconscious.
You might also include, in your practice, multiple targets, engaged quickly, in one string of fire.
Preferably something reactive.
It doesn't matter what they are, soft drink cans, steel, clay birds, whatever is handy.
Also include moving around while doing so - sideways, in reverse, diagonally rearward, 'etc.
Stuff not usually needed for hunting.
Just a thought, or three.
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Old May 7, 2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Try shooting a round of Skeet...

the old fashion way, with the butt below the belt and the trapper doing up to a three second delay.

That's the only way to learn to shoot.
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Old May 7, 2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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There is more to this then is apparent

The USA Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) use to conduct sniper schools before the marines started theirs (1978) and the army Benning's School (1986) (dates might be off one way or the other).

They also conducted Sniper Schools for Civilian LE, including the FBI before the FBI started their own.

The AMU put out a Counter Sniper Guide for LE. To bring this back to the topic at hand I'd like to post a quote from that manual.

The counter sniper is a hunter and must use any and all tricks of the trade to assure a proper hit. The lives of his fellow officers and that of the general public are at stake. Time is extremely critical, therefore, he can expect to be required to make shots at varying angles and distances on a split seconds notice. The hunting of varmints such as woodchucks and crows provides outstanding training because the techniques involved are almost identical.
I'll add, at least where I go pairre dog hunting you get to work with wind and other enviormental conditions. I normally set up on a hill where I can see the dogs in a 270 angle giving you varing wind directions. You also get verying ranges, from right at your feet to out to 600 yards or so.

Not a whole lot different what your father was teaching you.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old May 7, 2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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While I do agree that the skills developed can be beneficial I do see one significant difference. When hunting you are the aggressor in a self-defense situation someone else is. Although I do try and keep my “head on a swivel” I also have to function in the everyday world. So, regardless of how hard I may try I am not as alert at the mall as I might be while hunting birds.
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Old May 8, 2011, 02:59 PM   #6
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Vermonter, Hunting the way your dad had you hunt would certainly develop the skill you need to be able to fight with your rifle. What would be missing of course are the tactics to best utilize the fast shooting and accuracy.

Practice need not be expensive. Especially using a 22lr rifle. Learn the tactics on line, understand the theory behind them, and work on them.
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Old May 10, 2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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The similarity between hunting and sniper training seems apparent; not being a sniper, still it seems they both involve:
minimal movement
avoiding detection
hyper awareness
precise shot placement
one shot one kill

Don't see a lot of correlation with self-defense in most hunting situations; although snap shooting at moving targets can be fun, it is generally discouraged except in a place designed for the purpose like a skeet range. Certainly in the woods where the higher chance of a missed shot and/or presence of another human (or other unintended target) could lead to tragedy, this should not be encouraged, even with a .22lr.

Remember:know your target and what is behind it.
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness... How pathetic." - - Ted Nugent

"Cogito, Ergo Armitum Sum" - (I Think, Therefore I Am Armed)- - anon.
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Old May 11, 2011, 09:58 PM   #8
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Watching this thread develop, I kept waiting for someone to mention one very obvious area of training that hunting will provide to the new hunter, especially if it is in the realm of larger game than squirrels. No longer are you dealing with little holes punched in paper as a result of your pulling the trigger.

In hunting, you get to see the generally gory results of your use of a gun - the blood, the sometimes large exit wound with accompanying display of internal organs. However, probably the most important part of the training is to see that you have deliberately and violently extinguished the life of one of nature's animals.

If you can deal with all of the aforementioned areas while hunting, you "probably" could deal with the same areas if you need to use a gun in self-defense against someone that is a true threat to your well-being as apposed to the generally benign target of your hunting experience.

In discussing the merits of having a gun for self-defense with female relatives of mine, I have noticed that those that are hunters usually feel prepared to use a gun and handle the consequences. Those that have not hunted may not have any fear of the gun itself, but sometimes just can't handle the thoughts of actually shooting an attacker.
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Old May 12, 2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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I was hunting, was walking thru a wooded area, a squirrel fell out of a tree. He fell onto the path, got up looked at me and run off. My dog looked at me as if to ask if I saw it too.

Being a sniper is way more than shooting a fast object. my nephew was on target for this but after learnig what it was all about decided to pass.
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