Shotgun, rifle, handgun, muzzleloader, bow, and crossbow are the tools we use in the field to achieve some level of success as we pursue our favorite game species. There are some diehard hunters who just can't give it up and continue to hunt some animal or another throughout the entire year. Yet most hunters stowed away their hunting gear at the end of the last hunting season and have not looked at it since. We really take only about 4 short months to get it all done. With that, we have to figure out how to get ready for hunting season so we can make the most of our time outdoors. Us outdoor people need to work with our tools to keep from losing our edge. And that my friends, is what makes the month of August so very important.
How to Deal with Equipment Failure:
August is my favorite month to get out all my hunting gear and begin where I left off the previous fall. Inspecting your shells, cartridges, arrows, and broad heads are critical. I can't tell you the number of stories I have heard over the years concerning malfunctioning weapons and ammo just when the stars had finally aligned. Considering the short timeframe we have to hunt, we can't afford to take any chances. And equipment failure is not the worst of it. We all feel terrible when we finally get the shot and end up with a wounded animal. We are not always going to hit the mark precisely, but missing the shot because we are ill prepared is by error and not an accident. Once we determine that the tools are in good order, we need to concentrate on getting our mind and body ready for hunting season.
Practice Makes Perfect:
Practice can help you become proficient in shooting your weapon but practice alone won't make you a perfect hunter. On the other hand, perfect practice can help you to become a perfect hunter. To make the perfect shot, it takes a certain level of perfect practice. No matter what type of weapon you are shooting, there are techniques that help support executing the shot. So when I talk about perfect practice, I am saying that every single shot should be made using the same perfect technique. Without holding a gun tight to your shoulder, the kick of a gun can cause serious injury to your cheek or eye. That new pain is bound to make you want to flinch on the next shot. Having a good firm grip on the first shot will prevent the pain that prevents the flinch that prevents the less than perfect shot. Developing our perfect practice will help us get ready for hunting season.
Archery Practice differences:
Archery is a bit more technical when it comes to practice however. I have a friend who simply loves to shoot his bow. Practice for him has always been pure pleasure and was all about shooting over and over again. But practice also became his undoing. In the midst of all that practice he developed a case of tendinitis. His plan was to just shoot through the pain. Finally the pain got so severe that it forced him to switch to a crossbow. While he is still able to hunt he dearly misses everything about shooting a bow. So in this case too much practice was the problem. There is a point where your body will tell you when you need to slow down and listen. It is more important to make a few good perfect shots than to just fire off aimless shots. Again, it is all about technique. The perfect form followed by the perfect release should result in the perfect shot.
The final aspect of this talk of perfection is that by making the perfect practice shot you will gain confidence. You cannot overstate the confidence that has been built. During the course of your practice sessions you should have gained a certain level of confidence that will guide you into the field. If you have any doubt that you can't make the shot, please don't. Doubt means that you are about to take a shot that was not built into your confidence level. At this point, your level of confidence trumps everything else.
Let your mind and body be a part of your hunt.
Now that we found out how to get ready for hunting season, get out there and experience your Perfect Hunt!