September 08, 2008
Petzal: Why Americans Can't Shoot
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Whenever I’m lucky enough to get back to Africa, I make a point of asking professional hunters who shoots good, who shoots bad, and why. The reason is that these guys get to see more shots fired at game in a single season than most North American guides do in ten, and are likely to know what they’re talking about.
This time, I caught a withering blast from a PH with 20 years’ experience.
“Americans are the worst shots,” he said. “You guys love your benchrests. You spend a fortune to come out here with me and you never practice offhand, off kneeling, or with shooting sticks. You’re afraid of your rifles and you never even check to see that they’ll cycle properly.”
“What are the major flaws in shooting technique that you see?”, I asked.
“You look around your scopes when you try to aim, and you yank the trigger.”
On another occasion, I asked another PH what he thought and he agreed with the above, but he added: “On the other hand, a good American rifle shot is better than anyone else.”