Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Petzal: Why Americans Can't Shoot

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

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.”

Comments (78)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Neither do I know what shooting around the scope is?????. I know about see-thru mounts, but 360 degrees,?????? boggles my mind.Appears to me a gun with sights would be moer pratical, if you can see your game enough to find the vitals. My eye sight will not allow that./ Man, I love these new scopes with the eye focus at the eye end. Will be amazed how much better you can focus early and late in the day. I got that type by Nikon and Bushelll in their Dusk to Dawn with 6" eye relief, works great on the B/P gun.As had the B/P scope cut over nose before. If you really want a challenge, try going from a Auto 06 to a bolt gun when you have shot a Auto for 40 yrs.It's like learning to play a Banjo. I always want to bring the gun down to eject a new round, but improving with pratice. Best way to eliminae that habit, is to make the first shot the only one needed, so far been able to do that except once on a sneeking buck to a hot doe with his nose on the Does hoof, I over shot him as my rifles all zeroed for 200 yds . Now I got guns for here zeroed at 100 yds, which is a long shot for this area, with much wooded area around fields and many farmsa grown up with small crappy trees, but a Deer paridace. I leave my Rocky Mtn guns zeroed at 200 yds and never change the zero, so far, the plane ride has not changed the 0, but I pad the scope well. S for detachable scope, do not like, as all i ever tried will not be zero when you test fire after arriving at camp. The Guy I hunt with requires all his clients to show him how they shoot on a 100 and sometimes a 200 yd target. Once a guide, told the guy to put his gun away and use his spare.AS the guy had not fired teh gun and when bought ws only bore sighted, and the scope mounts were way off and no way to fix l5 miles from no where.So, I take 2 guns to the Rockies. Shoot-um-straight and often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Returned from a month in Tanzania and just read your "Why Americans can't Shoot. Over 40 years of hunting every square inch of Africa, I've always been left with the feeling by PH's that Americans represent 70-80% of their clients and therefore represent the best and the worst, but with most in the better category. A few European countries require marksman examinations to hunt at home, so those who pass won't fall in the worst category, but rarely in the expert area. PH's all have horror stories of an American who joins friends on a safari and does not know how to load a rifle let alone shoot it.Not nearly as many Europeans have the hunting heritage that many Americans still have. They spent less time at a range. Those that do don't have the benchrest mentality "one ragged hole" we Americans so often succomb to. I shoot 2 days a week at a busy range and am often questioned about Africa and other continents. My first admonishment is sight in and never go back to the bench. Practice positions and use of sticks. Also throw in alot of .22 cal shooting. Don't take a rifle you're not comfortable with (to much gun).Practice, practice.Over the years afield around the world, Iv'e run into hunters from everywhere. American shooters more than hold their own against foreign shooters in the hunting world.Some observations: Once you've found a good handload, stop experimenting and start shooting. Lastly, I don't have a clue what "shooting around your scope" is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

WMH and Dr Ralph: Thanks for responding. After i became disabled in 90, I think without guns, hunting, reading I never would have lived the extra l8 years. Guns, hunting and my family are all I live for. I really was down and out when I failed to draw either MT, C0 or KY, but afteri drewe on the 2nd round in MT it was like a shot in the arm. Now I've had lots to keep me occupied till we leave on Oct.23rd for l6 days. No medication I take and I take lots of it, does for me what a day in the outdoors does. Feel sure this up-coming trip will ne a great outing again. Now got to figure out the different ways to get all my gear out there as the Airlines have begun charging for each piece, up to $l00.00 per bag. With a gun case full, the best we( wife and l) can pack, it takes 3 additional pieces plus the carry on bag. With plane fares up about 40% and now charging for luggage, a trip West is costly. Dr. Ralph, as for Political positions,I was raised to be different from you, but this election I feel we both got the crumbs. I only hope whom ever sits in the WH next 4 ys can get this great country on right track again, what a job that will be. Not even sure i will vote this year, as will be in MT on election day. Regardless, I will not allow this election or any other ruin my outdoor adventure this year, as my time is slipping away much to fast. Hope both you guys have a great hunt this fall, then we can have something enjoyable to talk about on this Blog. Shoot-um-straight and often. Got to mount the scope on the 270 and get to zeoring it in, been waiting for the Leupold Dual Dove tail mounts to arrive, as no dealer in my area carried them. Had to go direct to Leupold. If you never used the DDT's try your next gun with them,believe you will agree that they are great.Once zeroed, the rifle stays zeroed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow may never come, live for the moment...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

RMH I love reading your posts, too bad we are such political enemies. I too am in love with the 30-06 but read O'Connor and wonder if the .270 is all he said it was. Don't forget he was out west shooting longer ranges than we see in the south and the .270 50 years ago was a 130gr bullet and O'Connor himself said the '06 would have been much more popular if anything but 180gr projectiles were readily available. Take that Marlin and drop your elk! Good luck, God be with you and shoot 'em straight and often!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nativerat wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jack O'Connor's classic "Big Game Rifles" is a must-read primer for anyone truly interested in this topic. He may talk about some out-of-date guns, but his observations and advice about big-game shooting are timless and on target. Esp. the chapter "Becomeing a Good Game Shot."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Rocky Mtn Hunter:Great! Good to hear that you got your Montana tags in the leftover. I hope you have a great hunt and get your game. We are headed down to Colorado for the October 18th season for a week (actually 9 day season).Let us know how that Marlin .270 works out for you. I think I am only taking my .30-06 and .257 Roberts on the hunt this year. That's right, enjoy every second of every hunt. No matter what our age or health, it could always be the last. Only God Almighty knows that for sure.Best of luck to you.WMH

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Clay: We need many people in the shooting world today such as you. Also,you were fortunate to have had a Dad that taught you well. My Dad only when hunting with me once, othr things he preferred for me to do, like work my A-- off on the tobacco farm. I also enjoy helping others if I know a tad about what they are trying to do. I'm no expert on any subject, but do know a tad about shooting, guns and hunting the Rockies as well as our local game. It gives me great pleasure to know you have helped someone in need of assistance. Few will take the time today to even say thank you. I meet this family thru NAHC many years ago that live in MT. I've been to their ranch several times and if my health will allow me, i will be there again this Oct. 26 for l6 days of visiting, hunting and just having a great time. If I'm lucky enough to pull the tigger thats a bonus. Few people like these folks left today. I feel as if they part of my family now and look forward to this years visit. Hopefuly when I return in mid Nov. will be able to report i was able to kill either a Elk or nice Mulie as got tags for either. Plus, got to try out this new Marlin XL7 I bought. Got to find out for my self if OcConner was correct on the 270 or blowing smoke. My first 270 ever. In the past my guns for out there has been a 30-06 and the 25-06. This 270 has a lot to prove to me to compete with the 25-06 on Deer . Being a gun nut I;ve owned many guns and traded lots as well, but for my personal use the 06 yet does the job for me with correct, quality Ammo. Let us all try to help someone this fall that will improve their hunting and shooting skills. Shoot-um-straight and often.The old Southern Gun Slinger PS; i do feel lucky this year,as i failed to draw on the first round, but drew on the left over or turned in licensese for Elk, Mule Deer and w-tails. With my ge of 73 and very poor health, fw hunts out West remaining, but rest assured, will hunt just aslong asable to get to the woods. A day in the wild is the best medication anyone who loves hunting can do. So much of Gods great place to see and enjoy. I love to watch the Chipmunks/squirrels play, like a kid with a new toy.I bought some ground blinds a few yeas back, best equiptmet other than my guns I own now. A Buddy heater in the Am will keep you warm and then allows me a noon nap or two for the evening hnt from my comfortable chair, well padded. Now if can get my Lazy Boy in side will just live there the remainder of the season. My dream was to take a l0-15 day trip by horse back into the wilds of the Tetons, but health problems put the whoa's on that.So now I hunt the only way I can and enjoy every second. Take care, enjoy tomorrow, as may be our last.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from B. Cameron wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave - this is perfect timing for a personal invite. I've been checking out the Appleseed program this year, and actually will be an instructor at one this coming weekend.If you read Shotgun News, you've probably seen the founder/creator's ad (Fred). Regardless of how you feel about Fred and his personal politics, I've found the Appleseeds to be a heck of a way to learn accurate marksmanship without using a rest.So here's the invite: come to an Appleseed. As mentioned, there's one this weekend (although that's short notice), and there will be others throughout 2009, several in the Upstate NY area (VanEtten, Auburn, and New Bremen are almost certain), a few in Pennsylvania... they're spread around all over. We'd love to have you come, check out the program, and if you're up to it, say a nice word either here or *gasp* in F&S. Your entrance (and range) fee is on me, ammo and rifle is on you - but most of us shoot .22s.Drop me a line if you're interested, please!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

sarg1cWas you or are you on a Air Force Team?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphI was blessed with a Father that went out of his way to teach, train and be the Sportsmen that it takes to promote and lift those to be better and to learn even from someone’s first time. Today I try my best to pass those traits onto others. I rather buddy up or to sit out a Match that I know I would win just to loan my equipment to help a new shooter so they can learn and to become tomorrow’s Sportsman. I find it to be a sad fact that those that are currently in positions I was yesteryears are so self centered they will not give the time of day to anyone.I wish I can remember one of the National High Power Champions, the Lady from Tucson Arizona, Randy Pitney last I heard to be the Director of University of Alaska Fairbanks Athletics and Recreation and the Tanana Valley Sportsmen Association Fairbanks. What a blessing, experience to learn, assist and to truly promote Hunting and Competition at all levels.It’s too Bad, those in positions to do the same overlook the chance or too ignorant and self centered to promote they claim to love and cherish.That is one of the reasons“Why Americans Can't Shoot!”Today is 9-11I REMEMBER!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg1c wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

While shooting in the Air Force, one trick that has stuck with me on getting a quick second shot, Time permitting), is while in a prone or sitting position is to get a good sight pic, then before firing, just glance away or turn your head for just a sec. If you have to correct your position when looking back again, you will have to correct after the first shot,If you are still on target, you can shoot several shots with out having to correct each time.... try it. it works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I am 73 yrs old and hunt as many days here at home as the season allows. I also hunt 2-3 weeks in the Rockies.I cannot walk more than 200 yds, as I have to replaced hips and many other health problems. There fore i pratice and use my bench at home a lot prior to hunting. When hunting I use my Stoeny Point Bi=pod as a rest an have the gun weighing about 10 lbs with the extrawt on the butt in. That way the wt is against my shoulder and not on my off arm. 2 yrs ago in Wy and in MT i kiled a Lope and Deer at 345+ yds using the Bi-pods and one shot was all needed , using a 25-06 and a 30-06. I can drp down to one knee and when I do I wrap the sling around my off arm to hold teh bbl steady, you will be suprised how steady you can be with your elbow on your upward knee and the sling around your off arm. i never come down on the sight, always across, as can follow the animal if movig betterthat way and can keep my eye on the scope and not above or below it if looking up or down on the game. Aways follow the game in the diection its moving. If not a makeable shot don;t fire, as a wounded animal animal is not my cup of tea. Never lost one in all my 60 yrs of hunting. The best pratice you can use is a 22 or a BB gun try all positions then when you think you got a tuch for how to stope teh game, switch to the hutgig gun you gonna use with cheapo ammo. Once satisfied, then try 3 rounds of your hunting ammo. Always buy the best Ammo for hunting you can find, as that is the cheapest part of your hunt and the most impotant. U ise Re, Scricco's and winchester Ballastic tips for actual huntting, as I want that bonded bullet to go thru the animal, not hang up midway. My last Animal killed was shot thru both shouldes and got the lungs on the way. If in doubt on your shot, try breaking down the front end then follow up with a lung shot.First Elk i ever killed was a Neck shot(265 yds) with a 30-06 extended range l78 grs. as that was alll i could see was his rack 6 x 6 and his neck above the 40 Cows he had. Good Hunting, Shoot-um-straight and often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crais wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i knew that the special ones that could afford to hunt africa were a bunch of bungling idiots !but i still take offense to this guides stereotyping americans . as if we are all silver spoon spoiled brats that let the butler sight in our guns . did you stand up for us mr. Petzal???????

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I guess you're right Clay, I should have said as long as I pull a trigger everyday I'm good. Some people just don't have what it takes no matter how hard they practice. Thank God every day for what he has given you, because if your posts are honest you're one of the lucky ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cody wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I read the comment by Zermoid about dropping or raising your sights to your target. I had a friend with this same philosophy. He managed to cripple three bucks in one season, fortunately I was able to dispatch the third before it too hobbled off to die in the woods. Once I convinced him that if the target is stationary your sights should be too, he actually made a good clean shot and filled his tag. I don't know how much actual hunting experience you have, but my experience with that "method" of sighting has been nothing but tragic. Good shooting is all about the basics, form, breathing, focus and followthrough. Unnecessary movement means errant shots.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphAs long as you pull a trigger every day you'll be good?Are you feeling ok Doc?If you shoot a million times and still cannot hit the barn from inside the building, you’re still a lousy shot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DavidS wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i agree for the most part. whenever i see other people shooting, unless they are shooting shotguns, they are, for the most part, shooting from a bench. i for one do that on occasion, when working up loads to find what works best (accuracy). but for my actual practicing, i shoot from a sitting position, or with a mono stick. i want to work the muscles that will help me bag game. so i shoot the vast majority of my rounds as i would when i am hunting. benches are great, for testing, or competition. other than that, get off the bench!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Ripper III; if you want to learn how to shoot well from field positions, take a Long Range Rifle class. Those M-1 boys will teach you things about holding a rifle, posture, sights, wind doping, etc. that you couldn't hope to learn in a lifetime on your own. And most of them can take one look at your technique and tell you exactly what you are doing wrong. These guys score at 800 or 1000 yards from prone with .30-06s, .308s, and .223s, using iron sights. I took a class thirty years or so ago, and it was one of the few good things I ever did for my shooting since I was dumb enough to give up the BB gun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I remember a friend wanted to go deer hunting with us in New Mexico. So I grabbed my Ol’03-A3 30-06 and dialed it in at 200 yards. Opening day, 7 inches of snow on the ground in the shadows and he found a nice grassy bare spot on the backside of the ridge from camp and the sun was out. Yep you guised it by golly, he fail asleep and woke up with a nice 4x4 mule deer so close and unaware he had to look down the side of the barrel!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Bronzeback and Gary Mc said it all... shoot a lot no matter if it's an air rifle or .22 or .338... as long as you pull a trigger every day you'll be good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

RipperIII,Sounds like your on the right track to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from james ti wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i was just watching a hunting show-sort of- while reading this and the guy took 4 shots at a mountain goat and missed every time. talk about shooting out of your comfort zone! don't practice once a year at 100 yards and take a shot at 400 when it's crunch time!i've seen too many shows where they are shooting into thick brush or with animals in front or behind the intended target. in my circles those are the people who have a hard time finding people to hunt with. good thing these guys get paid to hunt 25 times a year. where can us regular guys get all those tags?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sbrown wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

They either can't shoot or they can't hunt. There are guys that can shoot, but they're dropping deer at 200+ yards from an elevated box. Then you have the guys that couldn't hit a parked Buick from across the street, but it's ok, because they put arrows through 250 pound deer at 8 paces.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from micko77 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

On a slightly different note: I shot PPC back in the '80's with a Model 19, then a 686 Smith and Wesson. Cast my own bullets from wheelweights, reloaded them on my Dillon 450 (which I still use regularly), and put 4-500 rounds on paper weekly. At competions I would stand alongside fellas with $1500 and up in their pistols, belts, magazines, knee pads, etc., and see them score in the Marksman class. I'm not going to tell you that I shot in the Match class, but that you can't buy your game, you have to pay your dues by putting holes in targets. Same holds true for hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from micko77 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Squirrel hunting has probably taught me more than anything else, once my 10/22 was sighted in. Getting close enough for a shot, putting the crosshairs where they belong, using whatever available rest or best available position, then pressing the trigger. This holds as true for ground squirrels as well as tree squirrels. As I live in Illinois, I don't have to worry about using the latest super rifle for deer hunting, as we aren't trusted with them here; however, I have found that a 158 gr. .357 Mag through the neck, just about any 20 or 12 gauge slug through the chest, or a 100 gr. broadhead from a 45-lb pull bow will put them down; but then, I try to put 2-3,00 arrows downrange each year, as well as several hundred heavy hunting loads in various revolvers, and who knows how many bricks of .22s. I take my kids shooting as often as I can, and don't make a big deal about any competition--your biggest challenge is in your own head. Yes, I have lost a deer due to poor ammo selection once, but that was once. Find a place, any safe place to shoot, and shoot paper, steel, Tums,animal crackers with a pellet gun in the basement, whatever you can. Works for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Most of what I read on this blog on how or why Americans shoot so poorly is lame. IT isn’t culture. The problem isn’t access. European sportsmen have these issues, yet by a rule they can shoot much better than their USA counterparts. Many European countries insist a sportsman display a basic marksmanship in order to hold a hunting license.Americans have considerable knowledge on ballistics and hardware, but obviously can’t put it to use. 90% comes from being lazy and arrogant. I find it in shooting, I find it in hunting.Good marksmanship and filed marksmanship isn’t all that difficult to acquire as the military has shown. Yet I’ve seen too many sportsmen believe marksmanship can be bought through a new gun, or hardware.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

While I like Jim Zumbo personally, there is often stupid s--t on his (and every other) TV show. I enjoy a hunting show as much as the next guy, but most of them are so full of crap that they make the Weather Channel appealing!I see a lot of high spine shots and way back arrow hits. Are these guys all aiming for the spine to get the one-shot-drop for Thompson-Center PR? Seems like every idiot on the hunting shows is using a TC Encore. I have never seen one at hunting camp or kow anyone who owns one.What kind of meat are those bowmen getting during early archery season when they leave a deer or elk laying out there overnight in warm weather?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

This discussion reminds me of an old, old joke about an guy in his 90's who was a crack shot with his old mauser action rifle with a bull barrel. A observer asked the old man how he was able to hit the bulls eye every time shooting standing. The old guy replied,"I practice a lot. Besides, by the time I get this heavy old gun up to my shoulder, I'm too tired to move!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JLB wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

From some page of Lucan, read years ago and then forgotten, there came to my lips the word amphisbæna, which suggested (though by no means fully captured) what my eyes would later see…My feet were just touching the next to the last rung when I heard something coming up the ramp—something heavy and slow and plural. Curiosity got the better of fear, and I did not close my eyes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fh wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

How do you get to Carnige Hall? Practise, Practise, Practise.Best practise I've ever found was shootinga .22 rim fire at Silouett targets. Lots of shooting on the cheep and all off hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave's post this time around is certainly true of me -- I don't get the chance to practice off hand that much. Plus I love the challenge of seeing how tight of a group I can get at the bench with an old fat hunting rifle!Nevertheless, the venison was good last year and so far I have always hit at least the pie plate if not the center of it when I do shoot off hand.As for the guy that shot a Kudo through the hind quarters on the hunting show (per Clay Cooper's post above), he should not have been slapped on the back -- just slapped!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Visitor wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Most ranges around here typically require one to load one round at a time and shoot off the bench, usually on a bag/rest or carpet padded 4x4s ... elbows at best. Only one public range that I know of is more than 100 yards (it's only 200 yards). If you don't have access to private land then you have to join a club where shooting without the bench with multi rounds chambered is sometimes allowed.Just try to sight in a bow with broadheads. Archery ranges do not allow broadheads, except for the few broadhead-specific 20-yard only ranges, or leagues, where distances may not be known. Can get into trouble sighting in a bow or shooting an air rifle on public land or within city limits. Basement works for limited air rifle/handgun practice.Regarding sighting in on public land ... while grouse hunting on opening day I heard some shots that did not sound like shotguns blasts. Came out of the woods and here was a family sighting in their deer rifles on a tree. I was hunting a hundred yards or so behind the tree. So, yes, there has to be some guidelines because there are people out there with no common sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Lots of great comments here and I can add little to them. Since I learned to shoot in the 30's and 40's, I have watched the terrible changes in our landscape and doubt that America will ever again produce many really good shooters. I will say, however, that even when I was a kid, (long ago) there were not really that many good shots around. I think that many Americans, have always thought that simply by being born American automatically made them deadly shots, so I am not sure that the days of every American being a good shot ever really existed. Tom

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I propose that most of the clients the African PH's run across are wealthy or semi-wealthy dudes that spend more time in the bar at the Safari Club than on the range. I see these dudes with fancy rifles in pristine condition and wonder how they keep them in such fine shape elk hunting.Most of the guys I hunt with are vets that grew up shooting in an environment that made good shooting a must. Some of them shoot magnums and some of us don't.All are excellent shots at long range and know their limitations. Proof = game on the meat pole.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Mc wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

If you live in the city and want to become a better shot, buy a quality air rifle, silent pellet trap and practice in your back yard. Best part is that ammo is cheap and you must learn to follow through the shot with your scope to group. My choice is the RWS 460 Magnum in .22, but there are many other nice air rifles which will fit into anyone's budget.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TommyNash wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dan in the Burgh...I believe you are looking for Carlos Hathcock.Never want to go to africa. I'm guessing most of the yanks that hunt there are the rich doctor/lawyer/jock-sniffer types. I know a few boys from south Georgia that would make that PH proud.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from berkmach wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

We could solve this problem as a group in short order. Everyone picks a 257 Roberts, 6.5 Swede, 243, 7x57 for just about all their hunting. If you hunt elk or bigger stuff go to a 270. If you need a real cannon go with a 30-06. Africa or big bears in Alaska? You can have a 375. Practice,practice,practice. Hunt. By that I mean get within range of your game. Forget shooting game at over 300 yards. The new crop of marksmen under this regimen will go out and wow the world. America rules again. Be patriot and do your part.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Gentlemen,I'm anew hunter. I've been practicing a bit lately, primarily from a bench so that I can test various ammo to see which my gun prefers, interestingly enough at 100 yds. my Tikka T3 .270 shoots most of the premium ammo very well, 130gr, 140gr and 150gr.In just about every case, I get two rounds touching with a third round off as much as an inch to two inches, probably me pulling or jerking. I have begun to practice off hand standing and kneeling at 100yds,...I can hit the black but the dispersion is wide! @ 50yds I can keep all three rounds in the kill zone while kneeling, and typically 1-2 rounds while standing. My question is what is the best method to use when trying to develop off-hand accuracy? I'm not at all satisfied with my groups especially @ 100yds

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Practice and MAKE yourself practice. Regardless of weather or not you have a range two minutes or two hours, most guys I see coming to my club are doing so JUST before their big trip. I shoot all year long in my garage and in my basement with a BB gun and 22 Savage - you have to shoot these guns the same as my 300 Wby or whatever gun you like to use. Practice! Dave has been preaching that all along ever since I started reading his articles way back when and its right on the mark. Looking back at my last elk hunt, I ran a short wind sprint to get into position and there was no time for fancy sticks like you see on the ranch hunts on TV. I dropped to a sitting position with a range of 361yds and shot my elk. Did the same thing on an two goats in Wyoming, one sitting, one kneeling. I have never felt more satisfied than those kills because I followed my practice plan and was able to close the deal when I had to.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from devil_dog wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I blame the baby-boomers. Besides their horrific contribution of self-serving political whores that taints our government and leads to most of our recent spirited discussion, they've dropped the ball on educating their offspring on the finer points of hunting and shooting. Their fathers and uncles taught them about hunting and shooting, but then we had the 60's and everyone became self-serving. Now my generation, raised by the baby boomers to believe we're all special and that nothing is our fault, flounders away thinking that there's always an easier way to do things besides simply working harder at being better. I can't really be angry at my peers because their family never taught them any better. And only now am I developing the capabilities and resources to help alleviate this travesty of American shooting. Also, as a young American shooter, always in need of improvement and practice, anyone in the Camp Lejeune area of NC have ground hogs or coyotes that need to be shot on their farms? Just throwing that out there...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from suburbanbushwacker wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

GentsNow try living in england!Restrictions on the availiblity of arms isn't the problem, its a symptom. The real issue is the loss of availibility of LAND.Without land there is no practise without the practise they'll be no more hunters.America (still)has public land HANG ON TO IT!!!RegardsSBW

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bronzeback wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Couple of thoughts.....ONE. I'm a big black and white thinker.....not a whole lot of grey. There are two ways to do somthing - all the way or not at all. Sounds like the PH's mentioned think the same - hunters are at one end or the other of the shooting spectrum. TWO. Actually doing somthing is the best way to learn anything - "Experiential Learning". There are a lot of hunters who remove their rifles from their cases the night before "whatever" season starts, assuming zero, or shooting a few rounds to make sure that they are close. There is an excellent chance that they may only shoot a few rounds, if any, a year! Instead, I have talked a lot of people into using their big-game gun to shoot woodchucks all summer. Varmint hunting is an excellent way to practice under real field experiences (ranging, shooting offhand, shooting off a rest, trigger pull, stalking, actually killing something, etc.) THREE. I fish a lot of local bass tounaments and have said for years that just because one has a 60K boat and all the best equipment doesn't necessarily mean that he can fish. Same deal with Africa/Alaska/Wherever, just because you can afford to go doesn't mean that you know how to hunt/shoot. Just my .02.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I read once that western US guides said that as a general rule, the best shots they encountered were eastern groundhog hunters. Apparently we need to do more of that and I'm willing to make the sacrafice and volunteer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

eyeballIt could be that as Americans, we are used to solving our problems with technology?That my friend needs to be put in every Sportsmen Rag!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Southern Illinois wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I preached the use of open sights for years, mostly to deaf ears (no pun intended!)... Most people will benefit from the use of plain sights having never to shoot farther than a hundred yards or so. We see a much better picture of the game field when using them. Besides, cutting cattail heads with a .22 is the best practice in the world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It could be that as Americans, we are used to solving our problems with technology. Look at your golfer; if he can't drive the ball, he's in the pro shop looking at a new driver. Or your tennis player; his service stinks because he hasn't got that latest oversize racquet. Your average bass boat has better electronic technology than an Apollo spacecraft.When it comes to shooting, many of us concentrate so much on getting the gun right, the scope right, and the load right that when we make that neat 1" triangle 2" over the point of aim at 100 yards, we imagine the job is done. Actually, that is where the job starts.When I was a ten year old kid shooting bottle caps, wasps, and cattails with a lever-cocking Daisy BB gun, I was a far better shot than I am now just because I shot the gun a hundred times a day. And if I missed, it never occurred to me that the gun was at fault. Today I'm a human Lead Sled.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I used to live in the city and I never got to shoot. Finally we decided to quit renting and buy land and that is why I get to shoot these days, because I built my own range (to State Police specs). My dad never took me hunting or shooting, we only had 2 antique shotguns and I only ever saw him shoot one once. I learned to shoot in the USAF, (although I had an air rifle @ 12 and have been an archer since 14). I suggest that the media and video games have ruined Americans for marksmenship. All these movie badmen holding their pistols sideways, all the tv swat teams blasting dozens of rounds at their fantasy enemies as well as all those overgrown adolescents holding plastic gunstocks to aim at tv monitors. Most americans have had little exposure to reality when it comes to media representation of gun safety, handling, marksmanship and the damage a round can do.I do what I can to remedy this, I teach on my little range. I teach kids to shoot (start with single shot iron sighted .22s) and recently I assisted a girlfriend in getting over her fear of being on the buttstock end of a 12 gauge. (she should still be afraid of the muzzle end). I would have joined my local rod and gun club but the membership is CLOSED I am told. You guys can fault me for my liberal principles, but I do this to save our arms, by changing peoples attitudes. I am a Gun Nut too,if a liberal one. Just say I swore to protect the whole constitution and ALL the Amendments, not just #2. After all, If we loose trial by jury of peers, Habeas Corpus, freedom to assemble and of religion (all of them , not just the Eurocentric Monotheistic ones) then the guns in your lockers will do no good at all, because our nation will already be lost to Dictatorship.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dan in the BurghYou have a valid point Sir!I know David is going to love this one!!!When I was 13 I entered a turkey shoot with a short barreled open sights Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Serial # 12xxx with open sights. 100 yards shooting standing at clays. The fella that gave me the most completion was using a 243 with scope. During the run off, after my fourth shot considered all misses, his fifth shot he finally broke a clay. While this 30 year old guy was dancing around beating this 13 year old, one of the guys with a spotting scope noticed I was shooting the centers out all four!Speer 140 grain SPBT, 44 grains IMR4350 with CCI200 primer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Beekeeper and Ryan's comments are right on the mark. I would like to see responsible writing in the gun and sporting magazines, rather than the hyped-up swill being offered. The great writers of the recent past (Clyde Ormond, Ted Trueblood, Francis Sell, etc.) would not be able to sell any of their work in today's magazines. It would be too ordinary.I try to keep in the groove shooting 4" and 6" iron swingers offhand and from position with my little peep-sighted Martini.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan in the Burgh wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I definitely agree with the sentiment that their is not enough shooting out in the woods and too much reliance on big expensive gear (especially scopes).The Marine Corps sniper with the most confirmed kills in Vietnam- over 100 (his name eludes me)- used a Remington 700 in 30.06 with a little 4x Enfield scope. How many hunters in America would even head into the deer woods with a fixed-power 4x scope today??The best thing to do is take our kids out into the woods with 22s and teach them to shoot with open sights. 22LR rounds are still dirt cheap and a hell of a lot of fun to shoot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Fewer places to shoot means more than just lousy shooters. Just read the comments from people who love guns and shooting on this topic.It's bad enough to have to go to the range to shoot, but there are fewer and fewer ranges left and I can't tell you the last time I heard of a new range opening near me.Is this what will kill gun ownership for many in America?Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Suburbia. Thats the problem as I see it. The woods are disappearing. Encroachment. Many fathers would love to take their sons out to leisurely shoot the proper way, off hand. But today for many its the range or nothing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ken wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I guess I can relate to both the old ways and to today's ways people take hunting. I was taught to shoot with open sights with a .22 LR. Started deer hunting with a 30-30 model 94 my first two years of hunting. Then moved up to 30-06 with scope. As a kid I never taught to shoot from sand bags. It was always laying down, sitting, using your knees as a rest for your elbows, and to stand and shoot with no rest.Today, as a grown up, I did buy a 7mm WSM. I still don't shoot from sand bags, and I like the modern ammo. One bad thing is, is that I don't get out to shoot as much as I like anymore because of time, money, and no place to go with out traveling some distance to shoot. Then nearest range from me was closed down because of some envirmentalists said it was causing to much lead polution.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphYou’re so right about saying you think it's our culture it isn’t funny. I grew up with a Father who enjoyed hunting and competition shooting which exposed me to both worlds. I remember one day Dad was practicing with the Davis Monthan AFB AAA Skeet Team. One of the member’s sons hit one of the clay’s just before his dad squeezed off with a 45 cal 230 grain cast from the low house with a wrist rocket. We all got a chuckle out of it besides; they all knew we were taking shots too! Dad’s favorite skeet and trap gun was a Winchester Model 12 with a full choke.Getting back to David’s Blog here, there is deference for those who grew up with BB guns in the back yard to shooting rodents with pellet guns and 22's at dumps to those like myself shooting deer rifles for yodel dogs and jack rabbits while other used 22’s. I wished I had all the cash back equivalent worth in today’s cost of all those 30-06 130grain loads I burned up every weekend! It wasn’t anything to shoot 200 rounds every weekend.If you want to shoot with sticks and such, that’s your choice of marksmanship. There are those may require it do to health reasons or the ability to hold it up such a youngster. If you really want to be a good shot, get you a Military 1 ¼ inch leather sling and learn the use of the ling the way NRA High Power Shooters do it. When you’re shooting off a stick or any other way remember this. If you must force to aim right, you will shoot left, force up and left will cause you to shoot low and right and so forth. Close your eyes, swing left then right then back to position and open your eyes and If you’re off. Move your body to naturally be at that point of aim.As on fellow shooter put it,Keep the barrel hot and the “X” Ring full of holes!targets………………..UP!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Sad Ryan, but probably more true than not when professional jounalists (isn't that what Al Gore called himself when he went to Nam) venture out of the concrete jungle looking for a story... not exactly what real hunters face is it?Hey Dave, how about a link to that "other blog" F&S has. You know, the only real fishing site.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Its my soapbox day. This is my last post, for awhile, but to touch on the comment by Field Dress about the lack of stories in the field......The fact is, there are no more stories in the field. I'd love to see a writer talk about a day of hunting (such as the article a while back on deer dogging in Georgia), but most "hunters" can't relate these days. A modern hunting story would go like this....."First, I dressed in my $3567 worth of fine scent locked camoflage and drove my 60,000 dollar truck to our private hunting camp I pay $4000 a year for. Then I put a n orange vest over my camo. I stopped and admired how cool I looked in the mirror.......We then got in the golf cart and utilized out heated seats and rode down the cart path to the wooden air conditioned/heated shooting house. We waited for thirty minutes until the feeders turned on. Then when the pet deer walked out, we sat there talking about which one had the best antlers. We knew several of them by name. I then used my 12x scope and shooting bipod to shoot the 12 point trophy in the a** with my .338 Weatherby Mag. since I can't shoot worth a damn. Then I high fived my buddy over the animal, never stopping to pay respect for it giving its life. I then posed for a picture and had the creature mounted and processed for me. We made it back to the cabin by 9:00 for latte. I then waited for the writer from field and stream to stop by and write an article on my hunting prowess and our deer camp and how we "manage" our bucks. What a hunt!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JackRabbit wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

The sad fact is that shooting spaces are far harder to find now a days. Between travel time, work, and higher ranges and gas costs, I can't shoot as much as I'd like. You always need a few shots off the bench to confirm your rifle is doing what it's supposed to be doing before you go the unsupported shots. But that can eat up valuable time, especially if you're handloading and need to shoot off the bench to find what load your rifle likes best.I've found that 'snapping in' at home with snap caps is a good solution to limited range time. I find a nice picture of a deer/elk/bear/other in Field & Stream and tack it up on a far wall. In go the dummy rounds, breathe, relax, aim, sight picture, slow steady squeeze...click. Personally, I think it helps avoid flinching too because you don't eat recoil with each shot. Come game day, you're not anticipating any recoil because your body isn't used to the gun kicking when you squeeze the trigger. Worked well for me while I was stuck at Fort Knox and getting ready for a trip to Africa. Surely luck was involved, but I still came home with one spent casing for each head of game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Field Dress wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It's a different generation of hunter. Too many fathers are working more than spending time with their children. I hear more about the cost and type of gun than stories in the field. I'm with dickgun's post on the asphalt generation...not enough time in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dartwick wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Ryan made a lot of good points.Although unsure what the PH meant by "looking around scopes when trying to aim"?Is he talking about someone who cant get his scope on the target?If he is thats just someone who doesnt hunt much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

God help us if we start a debate on calibers and bullets...........Shoot what you want and what you shoot good. Hell, you can kill an animal with a swiftly thrown rock if you want or a blowgun for all I care or a .500 T-Rex magnum if its what you like. This is America after all. Just don't buy into the fact that a .300 weatherby shoots 0.1 inches flatter than a .257 Roberts at 300 yards and tell me its "a more accurate round" and expect me not to smile.The problem with kids getting their hunting info from TV and magazines instead of grandpa and dad is that the shows and mags are sponsored by Federal, Sako, Remington, Weatherby etc. and they all showcase the latest super duper item such as magical scent locker supreme camo for $4000 dollars and super excellent magi-bullet with 7 chambered varied expansion and outer space metal poly bonding technology. Yet, some geezer somewhere in a red plaid shirt, overalls stained with tobacco juice and chicken blood and a 60 year old rusted .35 whelen w iron sights, smoking a cigarette is coming from downwind, hiding behind a tree and filling his freezer with venison using "gasp" round nose core lokt without pretty plastic tips.This makes Dave's job difficult. But, really, I can't pity Dave for his job......Mine sucks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I think it's our culture. These days there are so few places to shoot that children learn at the range on sandbags. Throw them out in the woods and they can't hit the broad side of a barn with a Gatling gun... Fortunately I learned in the woods with iron sights off hand. Sparrows were my main quarry at the farm with a single shot Savage .22/.410. The deer don't stand a chance now, even if they're moving at a steady clip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Why Americans Can't Shoot?What Mr. David Petzal found out is to be a factual statement!And you range monkeys got the audacity to give me a rash of crap! My 9 year old Grandson Alex and I are avid watchers of The Outdoor Channel and VS and boy does he know how to pick out the pinheads especially last week when Ol’Jim Zumbo was spotting for a hunter shooting an African Kudo. Shot it right thru the hind quarters, good shot says Jim!Saturday night I watched a Gentleman who used a Military 1 ¼ perfectly in prone position to take a Cow Elk at 300 yards. Now that’s my friends is good shooting by GOD!So what’s the best rifle to use? Three questions you should find out is, what’s the maximum distance you can hit a pie plate and 2nd question what is the largest cartridge you can do so with and 3rd what cartridge is suited best for the environment that isn’t overkill?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave, you Carmichael, Boddington, et al are to blame for this...You tout sub minute groups as selling points of rifles. Never mind the fact that few if any folks out there can shoot such groups in field conditions off hand. You promise laser like trajectories from the likes of "Laz" and your other friends.Now let us throw in the precision accuracy of all the new and improved, new and improved bullets out there...The new generation belives what they read and digest from their Ipods. If that is all they see and hear then it must be what they need!Shooting from the bench "IS" practice... why would they want to ruin such wonderful grouping by shooting off hand... after all it takes time and effort to shoot from all those old, archaic positions...And by the way, if they are buying the best, why not hire the best PH. It is after all, the duty of the PH to make sure they don't miss... isn't it...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Livereatin' wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Shooting a LOT is still the key. And get away from the bench once you have the right load. In Africa, I too, asked my PH who shot the best. He said the Americans generally shot better than others. I killed everything up to Kudu, Gemsbuck, Zebra and Hartebeest with my .308 Win. Nothing needed to be tracked and none were lost. Let all the air out of any animal on earth and they die. The only reason for the big kickers is if they might eat or stomp you. Then you better have hundreds of rounds of fast and stressful shooting of that MAGnum under your belt before you go dancing with M'bogo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Scott, I have tried Zermoid's method with guns, bows, etc. It seemed to work fine as long as I remembered to squeeze the trigger. The problem is that with that method, I had the tendency to punch the trigger in anticipation of the moment when the sights crossed the plane of the target spot. What works better for me is the "aim small, miss small" method. I begin squeezing the trigger slowly as soon as I get the sights on a small piece of the target, and follow through regardless of whether they are exactly on the spot or just hovering around it. The more you do this, the more your muscles develop to holding that position and the less movement you get (smaller and more accurate groups). If I can't get the shot off in 8-10 seconds, I stop squeezing, let down, and start over.The other thing that has been good for my accuracy has been to use a relatively heavy rifle. It just doesn't move as easily.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jay, as for your gun counter comment, its far worse. I just recently had to talk a guy out of buying his kid a semi-auto .223 for deer. The guy at the counter tried to tell him it was a good deer round and that he needed a repeater "in case the deer was running". I showed him to the .243s Another time, the guy working the counter at XXXX Sporting Goods told someone that they needed a 7mm Mag or a .300 Win Mag to hunt in North Florida. Our deer here average about the size of a large dog and 40 yards of clearing is considered a pasture. Yes, you may get an open shot on a powerline and we do have the occasional big buck, but to see the guy tell someone that a .270 "wouldn't put em down fast enough" was ridiculous. I personally shoot a 7mm-08, which is perfect for moderate velocity close shot bullet integrity etc., but to see people who need guidance or who are just getting in to shooting being told that a .270 is too small for whitetail is absurd. Jack O'Conner should rise from his grave and beat that guy's a**

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I found Zermoid's comments about his method very interesting (e.g. "slowly drop down the sights and fire when you reach the spot you want to hit" Never tried that but it seems to make some sense. Anyone else have experience with this method or another that works for them off-hand?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CC-80 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Guilty as charged. But until recently, I made it to the range so infrequently that when I did go, I wanted to make sure I was printing decent groups--so I used a bench rest. It was only when I got to go often enough that I got bored with the bench rest that I started practicing offhand, etc...Now keeping that in mind, think about all the people you know that hunt, and think about the one time in any given year they'll actually go to a range (...in October, causing a mile-long line). They're not going to be concerned with getting a respectable group off their knee. From a bench, they're going to lob some lead downrange until their shoulder hurts (10 rounds or so) and if they hit within 4 inches of the X, "that thing is DIALED in", and they're good to go. Of course if it doesn't go that well, their rifle/scope/rings/mounts/ammo is obviously defective and off to Cabela's they go to give someone a piece of their mind. I'm really not making this stuff up, I just saw it again this weekend.Dave, these State of the Hunting Community posts are a bit depressing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jay wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Caveat: I suppose a .240 or .257 weatherby magnum would not be overgun for deer, I still wouldn't shoot them as a .25-06 or .270 can shoot almost as flat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jay wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I think Ryan is going down the right track with the caliber of rifles being used. Most (all) can't shoot a magnum rifle as well as a non magnum. Any gun producing more than about 18 ft lb is uncomfortable to shoot. That puts the .30-06 about the most tolerable caliber most can consistently shoot. I have a couple magnums and I shoot them only when I need too. I'll stick to my .30-06 or lesser for everything. I was talking to the guy behind the gun counter at bass pro a few weeks ago. He said 90% of the centerfire rifles they are selling are magnums, mostly the WSM (a fad in my humble opinion). This is in St. Louis, MO. besides an occasional black bear near Arkansas, the whitetail deer is the primary game for these rifles. I can't believe hunters would use a magnum rifle for deer...amazing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

As a long time PH in Alaska I would have to agree with both of the African PH's comments. I also know that, many, if not the majority of clients come from the asphalt generation and are two to four generations removed from the land. Also, for many, a two week hunting trip may consitute the major part of their time spent with their guns. Obviously, the reason the PHs get the 'big bucks' is not because of their hunting ability, but rather the need to, every now and then, save the clients back end!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Well, as a younger shooter, I find it more and more difficult to practice. The two ranges I used to go to were closed because subdivisions were constructed nearby. Now I have to drive 2 hours to go shoot and when I get there I have to contend with most if not all the benches being occupied by hobby target shooters with their AR-15's and M1's. When I was a kid, my dad and I used to just drive out in the woods and set up a target on a tree. Also, I feel that too many young hunters are being given scoped rifles in the .270 to .30-06 and up caliber as their first gun. This makes them recoil shy and scope dependent. I was lucky to have started on a .22LR with iron sights, but I see 15 year old kids with 7mm Magnums at the range with 12X scopes on them and I hunt in the southeast. Where did all the iron sighted Winchester 94's go?Lastly, lets face it. A good number of hutners that go to Africa are the newly rich and newly hunting and they have more money than sense and haven't even shot a squirrel let alone a cape buffalo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

The vast majority of American hunters/shooters couldn't hit the broad side of a barn @ 100 yards offhand, yet we set our guns up (even slug guns and muzzleloaders) with scopes the size of the hubble telescope (just in case) we need to shoot @ a deer on Mars.Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Only time I use a "rest" is to check the zero of a gun. (For "rest" read tree, spare tire on the hood, rolled up rifle case, etc.) The actual practice is at best with elbows on a table, most is standing.I was also taught to aim above my target and slowly drop down firing as the sights hit the spot you want to hit, works for target or game as no man can hold perfectly still and on target standing. Conversely aiming below and raising up seems to work almost as well, depending on situation of the shot, mostly hunting with open sights as you don't block out your target this way.BTW this is how the US Army taught my Dad to shoot, back in WWII, dunno if they have changed the way of aiming since but it still works for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Does hauling back on a trigger with conviction qualify as "yanking"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Not guilty on the cycling charge. I have cycled too often - deserving a "quiet dammit" on more than one occasion. But - I'm guilty on the scope charge - double checking what's beyond the target (as if my eyes were better than the scope). I call it caution - others might consider it needless hesitation.The second PH deserves a medal for diplomacy. I imagine that blunt criticism of Americans with the disposable income to throw at a safari is not a sustainable business practice. Some day I hope to afford the pleasure of being subjected to such a withering blast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jes wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Amen, in a way...at least the younger generation is that way...I guess that they "just don't have time", to shoot and practice...or don't want to! Amounts to the same thing. My generation grew up with the woods and hunting, we learned to shoot two ways: on our feet and with open sights, and add to that: accurately! But hunting accuracy is not bench rest, like the man says...and it's not just relying on your gun to close the distance, but it's how to close in and shoot quick enough to get the jump, that counts for more than the bench rest ability!Give them some MOVING target practice, and I'll guarantee you they'll be the best, along with the rest!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Returned from a month in Tanzania and just read your "Why Americans can't Shoot. Over 40 years of hunting every square inch of Africa, I've always been left with the feeling by PH's that Americans represent 70-80% of their clients and therefore represent the best and the worst, but with most in the better category. A few European countries require marksman examinations to hunt at home, so those who pass won't fall in the worst category, but rarely in the expert area. PH's all have horror stories of an American who joins friends on a safari and does not know how to load a rifle let alone shoot it.Not nearly as many Europeans have the hunting heritage that many Americans still have. They spent less time at a range. Those that do don't have the benchrest mentality "one ragged hole" we Americans so often succomb to. I shoot 2 days a week at a busy range and am often questioned about Africa and other continents. My first admonishment is sight in and never go back to the bench. Practice positions and use of sticks. Also throw in alot of .22 cal shooting. Don't take a rifle you're not comfortable with (to much gun).Practice, practice.Over the years afield around the world, Iv'e run into hunters from everywhere. American shooters more than hold their own against foreign shooters in the hunting world.Some observations: Once you've found a good handload, stop experimenting and start shooting. Lastly, I don't have a clue what "shooting around your scope" is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Neither do I know what shooting around the scope is?????. I know about see-thru mounts, but 360 degrees,?????? boggles my mind.Appears to me a gun with sights would be moer pratical, if you can see your game enough to find the vitals. My eye sight will not allow that./ Man, I love these new scopes with the eye focus at the eye end. Will be amazed how much better you can focus early and late in the day. I got that type by Nikon and Bushelll in their Dusk to Dawn with 6" eye relief, works great on the B/P gun.As had the B/P scope cut over nose before. If you really want a challenge, try going from a Auto 06 to a bolt gun when you have shot a Auto for 40 yrs.It's like learning to play a Banjo. I always want to bring the gun down to eject a new round, but improving with pratice. Best way to eliminae that habit, is to make the first shot the only one needed, so far been able to do that except once on a sneeking buck to a hot doe with his nose on the Does hoof, I over shot him as my rifles all zeroed for 200 yds . Now I got guns for here zeroed at 100 yds, which is a long shot for this area, with much wooded area around fields and many farmsa grown up with small crappy trees, but a Deer paridace. I leave my Rocky Mtn guns zeroed at 200 yds and never change the zero, so far, the plane ride has not changed the 0, but I pad the scope well. S for detachable scope, do not like, as all i ever tried will not be zero when you test fire after arriving at camp. The Guy I hunt with requires all his clients to show him how they shoot on a 100 and sometimes a 200 yd target. Once a guide, told the guy to put his gun away and use his spare.AS the guy had not fired teh gun and when bought ws only bore sighted, and the scope mounts were way off and no way to fix l5 miles from no where.So, I take 2 guns to the Rockies. Shoot-um-straight and often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

WMH and Dr Ralph: Thanks for responding. After i became disabled in 90, I think without guns, hunting, reading I never would have lived the extra l8 years. Guns, hunting and my family are all I live for. I really was down and out when I failed to draw either MT, C0 or KY, but afteri drewe on the 2nd round in MT it was like a shot in the arm. Now I've had lots to keep me occupied till we leave on Oct.23rd for l6 days. No medication I take and I take lots of it, does for me what a day in the outdoors does. Feel sure this up-coming trip will ne a great outing again. Now got to figure out the different ways to get all my gear out there as the Airlines have begun charging for each piece, up to $l00.00 per bag. With a gun case full, the best we( wife and l) can pack, it takes 3 additional pieces plus the carry on bag. With plane fares up about 40% and now charging for luggage, a trip West is costly. Dr. Ralph, as for Political positions,I was raised to be different from you, but this election I feel we both got the crumbs. I only hope whom ever sits in the WH next 4 ys can get this great country on right track again, what a job that will be. Not even sure i will vote this year, as will be in MT on election day. Regardless, I will not allow this election or any other ruin my outdoor adventure this year, as my time is slipping away much to fast. Hope both you guys have a great hunt this fall, then we can have something enjoyable to talk about on this Blog. Shoot-um-straight and often. Got to mount the scope on the 270 and get to zeoring it in, been waiting for the Leupold Dual Dove tail mounts to arrive, as no dealer in my area carried them. Had to go direct to Leupold. If you never used the DDT's try your next gun with them,believe you will agree that they are great.Once zeroed, the rifle stays zeroed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow may never come, live for the moment...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

RMH I love reading your posts, too bad we are such political enemies. I too am in love with the 30-06 but read O'Connor and wonder if the .270 is all he said it was. Don't forget he was out west shooting longer ranges than we see in the south and the .270 50 years ago was a 130gr bullet and O'Connor himself said the '06 would have been much more popular if anything but 180gr projectiles were readily available. Take that Marlin and drop your elk! Good luck, God be with you and shoot 'em straight and often!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nativerat wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jack O'Connor's classic "Big Game Rifles" is a must-read primer for anyone truly interested in this topic. He may talk about some out-of-date guns, but his observations and advice about big-game shooting are timless and on target. Esp. the chapter "Becomeing a Good Game Shot."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Rocky Mtn Hunter:Great! Good to hear that you got your Montana tags in the leftover. I hope you have a great hunt and get your game. We are headed down to Colorado for the October 18th season for a week (actually 9 day season).Let us know how that Marlin .270 works out for you. I think I am only taking my .30-06 and .257 Roberts on the hunt this year. That's right, enjoy every second of every hunt. No matter what our age or health, it could always be the last. Only God Almighty knows that for sure.Best of luck to you.WMH

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Clay: We need many people in the shooting world today such as you. Also,you were fortunate to have had a Dad that taught you well. My Dad only when hunting with me once, othr things he preferred for me to do, like work my A-- off on the tobacco farm. I also enjoy helping others if I know a tad about what they are trying to do. I'm no expert on any subject, but do know a tad about shooting, guns and hunting the Rockies as well as our local game. It gives me great pleasure to know you have helped someone in need of assistance. Few will take the time today to even say thank you. I meet this family thru NAHC many years ago that live in MT. I've been to their ranch several times and if my health will allow me, i will be there again this Oct. 26 for l6 days of visiting, hunting and just having a great time. If I'm lucky enough to pull the tigger thats a bonus. Few people like these folks left today. I feel as if they part of my family now and look forward to this years visit. Hopefuly when I return in mid Nov. will be able to report i was able to kill either a Elk or nice Mulie as got tags for either. Plus, got to try out this new Marlin XL7 I bought. Got to find out for my self if OcConner was correct on the 270 or blowing smoke. My first 270 ever. In the past my guns for out there has been a 30-06 and the 25-06. This 270 has a lot to prove to me to compete with the 25-06 on Deer . Being a gun nut I;ve owned many guns and traded lots as well, but for my personal use the 06 yet does the job for me with correct, quality Ammo. Let us all try to help someone this fall that will improve their hunting and shooting skills. Shoot-um-straight and often.The old Southern Gun Slinger PS; i do feel lucky this year,as i failed to draw on the first round, but drew on the left over or turned in licensese for Elk, Mule Deer and w-tails. With my ge of 73 and very poor health, fw hunts out West remaining, but rest assured, will hunt just aslong asable to get to the woods. A day in the wild is the best medication anyone who loves hunting can do. So much of Gods great place to see and enjoy. I love to watch the Chipmunks/squirrels play, like a kid with a new toy.I bought some ground blinds a few yeas back, best equiptmet other than my guns I own now. A Buddy heater in the Am will keep you warm and then allows me a noon nap or two for the evening hnt from my comfortable chair, well padded. Now if can get my Lazy Boy in side will just live there the remainder of the season. My dream was to take a l0-15 day trip by horse back into the wilds of the Tetons, but health problems put the whoa's on that.So now I hunt the only way I can and enjoy every second. Take care, enjoy tomorrow, as may be our last.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from B. Cameron wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave - this is perfect timing for a personal invite. I've been checking out the Appleseed program this year, and actually will be an instructor at one this coming weekend.If you read Shotgun News, you've probably seen the founder/creator's ad (Fred). Regardless of how you feel about Fred and his personal politics, I've found the Appleseeds to be a heck of a way to learn accurate marksmanship without using a rest.So here's the invite: come to an Appleseed. As mentioned, there's one this weekend (although that's short notice), and there will be others throughout 2009, several in the Upstate NY area (VanEtten, Auburn, and New Bremen are almost certain), a few in Pennsylvania... they're spread around all over. We'd love to have you come, check out the program, and if you're up to it, say a nice word either here or *gasp* in F&S. Your entrance (and range) fee is on me, ammo and rifle is on you - but most of us shoot .22s.Drop me a line if you're interested, please!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

sarg1cWas you or are you on a Air Force Team?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphI was blessed with a Father that went out of his way to teach, train and be the Sportsmen that it takes to promote and lift those to be better and to learn even from someone’s first time. Today I try my best to pass those traits onto others. I rather buddy up or to sit out a Match that I know I would win just to loan my equipment to help a new shooter so they can learn and to become tomorrow’s Sportsman. I find it to be a sad fact that those that are currently in positions I was yesteryears are so self centered they will not give the time of day to anyone.I wish I can remember one of the National High Power Champions, the Lady from Tucson Arizona, Randy Pitney last I heard to be the Director of University of Alaska Fairbanks Athletics and Recreation and the Tanana Valley Sportsmen Association Fairbanks. What a blessing, experience to learn, assist and to truly promote Hunting and Competition at all levels.It’s too Bad, those in positions to do the same overlook the chance or too ignorant and self centered to promote they claim to love and cherish.That is one of the reasons“Why Americans Can't Shoot!”Today is 9-11I REMEMBER!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sarg1c wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

While shooting in the Air Force, one trick that has stuck with me on getting a quick second shot, Time permitting), is while in a prone or sitting position is to get a good sight pic, then before firing, just glance away or turn your head for just a sec. If you have to correct your position when looking back again, you will have to correct after the first shot,If you are still on target, you can shoot several shots with out having to correct each time.... try it. it works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I am 73 yrs old and hunt as many days here at home as the season allows. I also hunt 2-3 weeks in the Rockies.I cannot walk more than 200 yds, as I have to replaced hips and many other health problems. There fore i pratice and use my bench at home a lot prior to hunting. When hunting I use my Stoeny Point Bi=pod as a rest an have the gun weighing about 10 lbs with the extrawt on the butt in. That way the wt is against my shoulder and not on my off arm. 2 yrs ago in Wy and in MT i kiled a Lope and Deer at 345+ yds using the Bi-pods and one shot was all needed , using a 25-06 and a 30-06. I can drp down to one knee and when I do I wrap the sling around my off arm to hold teh bbl steady, you will be suprised how steady you can be with your elbow on your upward knee and the sling around your off arm. i never come down on the sight, always across, as can follow the animal if movig betterthat way and can keep my eye on the scope and not above or below it if looking up or down on the game. Aways follow the game in the diection its moving. If not a makeable shot don;t fire, as a wounded animal animal is not my cup of tea. Never lost one in all my 60 yrs of hunting. The best pratice you can use is a 22 or a BB gun try all positions then when you think you got a tuch for how to stope teh game, switch to the hutgig gun you gonna use with cheapo ammo. Once satisfied, then try 3 rounds of your hunting ammo. Always buy the best Ammo for hunting you can find, as that is the cheapest part of your hunt and the most impotant. U ise Re, Scricco's and winchester Ballastic tips for actual huntting, as I want that bonded bullet to go thru the animal, not hang up midway. My last Animal killed was shot thru both shouldes and got the lungs on the way. If in doubt on your shot, try breaking down the front end then follow up with a lung shot.First Elk i ever killed was a Neck shot(265 yds) with a 30-06 extended range l78 grs. as that was alll i could see was his rack 6 x 6 and his neck above the 40 Cows he had. Good Hunting, Shoot-um-straight and often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crais wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i knew that the special ones that could afford to hunt africa were a bunch of bungling idiots !but i still take offense to this guides stereotyping americans . as if we are all silver spoon spoiled brats that let the butler sight in our guns . did you stand up for us mr. Petzal???????

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I guess you're right Clay, I should have said as long as I pull a trigger everyday I'm good. Some people just don't have what it takes no matter how hard they practice. Thank God every day for what he has given you, because if your posts are honest you're one of the lucky ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cody wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I read the comment by Zermoid about dropping or raising your sights to your target. I had a friend with this same philosophy. He managed to cripple three bucks in one season, fortunately I was able to dispatch the third before it too hobbled off to die in the woods. Once I convinced him that if the target is stationary your sights should be too, he actually made a good clean shot and filled his tag. I don't know how much actual hunting experience you have, but my experience with that "method" of sighting has been nothing but tragic. Good shooting is all about the basics, form, breathing, focus and followthrough. Unnecessary movement means errant shots.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphAs long as you pull a trigger every day you'll be good?Are you feeling ok Doc?If you shoot a million times and still cannot hit the barn from inside the building, you’re still a lousy shot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DavidS wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i agree for the most part. whenever i see other people shooting, unless they are shooting shotguns, they are, for the most part, shooting from a bench. i for one do that on occasion, when working up loads to find what works best (accuracy). but for my actual practicing, i shoot from a sitting position, or with a mono stick. i want to work the muscles that will help me bag game. so i shoot the vast majority of my rounds as i would when i am hunting. benches are great, for testing, or competition. other than that, get off the bench!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Ripper III; if you want to learn how to shoot well from field positions, take a Long Range Rifle class. Those M-1 boys will teach you things about holding a rifle, posture, sights, wind doping, etc. that you couldn't hope to learn in a lifetime on your own. And most of them can take one look at your technique and tell you exactly what you are doing wrong. These guys score at 800 or 1000 yards from prone with .30-06s, .308s, and .223s, using iron sights. I took a class thirty years or so ago, and it was one of the few good things I ever did for my shooting since I was dumb enough to give up the BB gun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I remember a friend wanted to go deer hunting with us in New Mexico. So I grabbed my Ol’03-A3 30-06 and dialed it in at 200 yards. Opening day, 7 inches of snow on the ground in the shadows and he found a nice grassy bare spot on the backside of the ridge from camp and the sun was out. Yep you guised it by golly, he fail asleep and woke up with a nice 4x4 mule deer so close and unaware he had to look down the side of the barrel!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Bronzeback and Gary Mc said it all... shoot a lot no matter if it's an air rifle or .22 or .338... as long as you pull a trigger every day you'll be good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

RipperIII,Sounds like your on the right track to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from james ti wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

i was just watching a hunting show-sort of- while reading this and the guy took 4 shots at a mountain goat and missed every time. talk about shooting out of your comfort zone! don't practice once a year at 100 yards and take a shot at 400 when it's crunch time!i've seen too many shows where they are shooting into thick brush or with animals in front or behind the intended target. in my circles those are the people who have a hard time finding people to hunt with. good thing these guys get paid to hunt 25 times a year. where can us regular guys get all those tags?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sbrown wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

They either can't shoot or they can't hunt. There are guys that can shoot, but they're dropping deer at 200+ yards from an elevated box. Then you have the guys that couldn't hit a parked Buick from across the street, but it's ok, because they put arrows through 250 pound deer at 8 paces.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from micko77 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

On a slightly different note: I shot PPC back in the '80's with a Model 19, then a 686 Smith and Wesson. Cast my own bullets from wheelweights, reloaded them on my Dillon 450 (which I still use regularly), and put 4-500 rounds on paper weekly. At competions I would stand alongside fellas with $1500 and up in their pistols, belts, magazines, knee pads, etc., and see them score in the Marksman class. I'm not going to tell you that I shot in the Match class, but that you can't buy your game, you have to pay your dues by putting holes in targets. Same holds true for hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from micko77 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Squirrel hunting has probably taught me more than anything else, once my 10/22 was sighted in. Getting close enough for a shot, putting the crosshairs where they belong, using whatever available rest or best available position, then pressing the trigger. This holds as true for ground squirrels as well as tree squirrels. As I live in Illinois, I don't have to worry about using the latest super rifle for deer hunting, as we aren't trusted with them here; however, I have found that a 158 gr. .357 Mag through the neck, just about any 20 or 12 gauge slug through the chest, or a 100 gr. broadhead from a 45-lb pull bow will put them down; but then, I try to put 2-3,00 arrows downrange each year, as well as several hundred heavy hunting loads in various revolvers, and who knows how many bricks of .22s. I take my kids shooting as often as I can, and don't make a big deal about any competition--your biggest challenge is in your own head. Yes, I have lost a deer due to poor ammo selection once, but that was once. Find a place, any safe place to shoot, and shoot paper, steel, Tums,animal crackers with a pellet gun in the basement, whatever you can. Works for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Most of what I read on this blog on how or why Americans shoot so poorly is lame. IT isn’t culture. The problem isn’t access. European sportsmen have these issues, yet by a rule they can shoot much better than their USA counterparts. Many European countries insist a sportsman display a basic marksmanship in order to hold a hunting license.Americans have considerable knowledge on ballistics and hardware, but obviously can’t put it to use. 90% comes from being lazy and arrogant. I find it in shooting, I find it in hunting.Good marksmanship and filed marksmanship isn’t all that difficult to acquire as the military has shown. Yet I’ve seen too many sportsmen believe marksmanship can be bought through a new gun, or hardware.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

While I like Jim Zumbo personally, there is often stupid s--t on his (and every other) TV show. I enjoy a hunting show as much as the next guy, but most of them are so full of crap that they make the Weather Channel appealing!I see a lot of high spine shots and way back arrow hits. Are these guys all aiming for the spine to get the one-shot-drop for Thompson-Center PR? Seems like every idiot on the hunting shows is using a TC Encore. I have never seen one at hunting camp or kow anyone who owns one.What kind of meat are those bowmen getting during early archery season when they leave a deer or elk laying out there overnight in warm weather?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BarkeyVA wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

This discussion reminds me of an old, old joke about an guy in his 90's who was a crack shot with his old mauser action rifle with a bull barrel. A observer asked the old man how he was able to hit the bulls eye every time shooting standing. The old guy replied,"I practice a lot. Besides, by the time I get this heavy old gun up to my shoulder, I'm too tired to move!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JLB wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

From some page of Lucan, read years ago and then forgotten, there came to my lips the word amphisbæna, which suggested (though by no means fully captured) what my eyes would later see…My feet were just touching the next to the last rung when I heard something coming up the ramp—something heavy and slow and plural. Curiosity got the better of fear, and I did not close my eyes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fh wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

How do you get to Carnige Hall? Practise, Practise, Practise.Best practise I've ever found was shootinga .22 rim fire at Silouett targets. Lots of shooting on the cheep and all off hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave's post this time around is certainly true of me -- I don't get the chance to practice off hand that much. Plus I love the challenge of seeing how tight of a group I can get at the bench with an old fat hunting rifle!Nevertheless, the venison was good last year and so far I have always hit at least the pie plate if not the center of it when I do shoot off hand.As for the guy that shot a Kudo through the hind quarters on the hunting show (per Clay Cooper's post above), he should not have been slapped on the back -- just slapped!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Visitor wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Most ranges around here typically require one to load one round at a time and shoot off the bench, usually on a bag/rest or carpet padded 4x4s ... elbows at best. Only one public range that I know of is more than 100 yards (it's only 200 yards). If you don't have access to private land then you have to join a club where shooting without the bench with multi rounds chambered is sometimes allowed.Just try to sight in a bow with broadheads. Archery ranges do not allow broadheads, except for the few broadhead-specific 20-yard only ranges, or leagues, where distances may not be known. Can get into trouble sighting in a bow or shooting an air rifle on public land or within city limits. Basement works for limited air rifle/handgun practice.Regarding sighting in on public land ... while grouse hunting on opening day I heard some shots that did not sound like shotguns blasts. Came out of the woods and here was a family sighting in their deer rifles on a tree. I was hunting a hundred yards or so behind the tree. So, yes, there has to be some guidelines because there are people out there with no common sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Lots of great comments here and I can add little to them. Since I learned to shoot in the 30's and 40's, I have watched the terrible changes in our landscape and doubt that America will ever again produce many really good shooters. I will say, however, that even when I was a kid, (long ago) there were not really that many good shots around. I think that many Americans, have always thought that simply by being born American automatically made them deadly shots, so I am not sure that the days of every American being a good shot ever really existed. Tom

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I propose that most of the clients the African PH's run across are wealthy or semi-wealthy dudes that spend more time in the bar at the Safari Club than on the range. I see these dudes with fancy rifles in pristine condition and wonder how they keep them in such fine shape elk hunting.Most of the guys I hunt with are vets that grew up shooting in an environment that made good shooting a must. Some of them shoot magnums and some of us don't.All are excellent shots at long range and know their limitations. Proof = game on the meat pole.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Mc wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

If you live in the city and want to become a better shot, buy a quality air rifle, silent pellet trap and practice in your back yard. Best part is that ammo is cheap and you must learn to follow through the shot with your scope to group. My choice is the RWS 460 Magnum in .22, but there are many other nice air rifles which will fit into anyone's budget.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TommyNash wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dan in the Burgh...I believe you are looking for Carlos Hathcock.Never want to go to africa. I'm guessing most of the yanks that hunt there are the rich doctor/lawyer/jock-sniffer types. I know a few boys from south Georgia that would make that PH proud.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from berkmach wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

We could solve this problem as a group in short order. Everyone picks a 257 Roberts, 6.5 Swede, 243, 7x57 for just about all their hunting. If you hunt elk or bigger stuff go to a 270. If you need a real cannon go with a 30-06. Africa or big bears in Alaska? You can have a 375. Practice,practice,practice. Hunt. By that I mean get within range of your game. Forget shooting game at over 300 yards. The new crop of marksmen under this regimen will go out and wow the world. America rules again. Be patriot and do your part.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Gentlemen,I'm anew hunter. I've been practicing a bit lately, primarily from a bench so that I can test various ammo to see which my gun prefers, interestingly enough at 100 yds. my Tikka T3 .270 shoots most of the premium ammo very well, 130gr, 140gr and 150gr.In just about every case, I get two rounds touching with a third round off as much as an inch to two inches, probably me pulling or jerking. I have begun to practice off hand standing and kneeling at 100yds,...I can hit the black but the dispersion is wide! @ 50yds I can keep all three rounds in the kill zone while kneeling, and typically 1-2 rounds while standing. My question is what is the best method to use when trying to develop off-hand accuracy? I'm not at all satisfied with my groups especially @ 100yds

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Practice and MAKE yourself practice. Regardless of weather or not you have a range two minutes or two hours, most guys I see coming to my club are doing so JUST before their big trip. I shoot all year long in my garage and in my basement with a BB gun and 22 Savage - you have to shoot these guns the same as my 300 Wby or whatever gun you like to use. Practice! Dave has been preaching that all along ever since I started reading his articles way back when and its right on the mark. Looking back at my last elk hunt, I ran a short wind sprint to get into position and there was no time for fancy sticks like you see on the ranch hunts on TV. I dropped to a sitting position with a range of 361yds and shot my elk. Did the same thing on an two goats in Wyoming, one sitting, one kneeling. I have never felt more satisfied than those kills because I followed my practice plan and was able to close the deal when I had to.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from devil_dog wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I blame the baby-boomers. Besides their horrific contribution of self-serving political whores that taints our government and leads to most of our recent spirited discussion, they've dropped the ball on educating their offspring on the finer points of hunting and shooting. Their fathers and uncles taught them about hunting and shooting, but then we had the 60's and everyone became self-serving. Now my generation, raised by the baby boomers to believe we're all special and that nothing is our fault, flounders away thinking that there's always an easier way to do things besides simply working harder at being better. I can't really be angry at my peers because their family never taught them any better. And only now am I developing the capabilities and resources to help alleviate this travesty of American shooting. Also, as a young American shooter, always in need of improvement and practice, anyone in the Camp Lejeune area of NC have ground hogs or coyotes that need to be shot on their farms? Just throwing that out there...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from suburbanbushwacker wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

GentsNow try living in england!Restrictions on the availiblity of arms isn't the problem, its a symptom. The real issue is the loss of availibility of LAND.Without land there is no practise without the practise they'll be no more hunters.America (still)has public land HANG ON TO IT!!!RegardsSBW

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bronzeback wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Couple of thoughts.....ONE. I'm a big black and white thinker.....not a whole lot of grey. There are two ways to do somthing - all the way or not at all. Sounds like the PH's mentioned think the same - hunters are at one end or the other of the shooting spectrum. TWO. Actually doing somthing is the best way to learn anything - "Experiential Learning". There are a lot of hunters who remove their rifles from their cases the night before "whatever" season starts, assuming zero, or shooting a few rounds to make sure that they are close. There is an excellent chance that they may only shoot a few rounds, if any, a year! Instead, I have talked a lot of people into using their big-game gun to shoot woodchucks all summer. Varmint hunting is an excellent way to practice under real field experiences (ranging, shooting offhand, shooting off a rest, trigger pull, stalking, actually killing something, etc.) THREE. I fish a lot of local bass tounaments and have said for years that just because one has a 60K boat and all the best equipment doesn't necessarily mean that he can fish. Same deal with Africa/Alaska/Wherever, just because you can afford to go doesn't mean that you know how to hunt/shoot. Just my .02.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I read once that western US guides said that as a general rule, the best shots they encountered were eastern groundhog hunters. Apparently we need to do more of that and I'm willing to make the sacrafice and volunteer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

eyeballIt could be that as Americans, we are used to solving our problems with technology?That my friend needs to be put in every Sportsmen Rag!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Southern Illinois wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I preached the use of open sights for years, mostly to deaf ears (no pun intended!)... Most people will benefit from the use of plain sights having never to shoot farther than a hundred yards or so. We see a much better picture of the game field when using them. Besides, cutting cattail heads with a .22 is the best practice in the world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It could be that as Americans, we are used to solving our problems with technology. Look at your golfer; if he can't drive the ball, he's in the pro shop looking at a new driver. Or your tennis player; his service stinks because he hasn't got that latest oversize racquet. Your average bass boat has better electronic technology than an Apollo spacecraft.When it comes to shooting, many of us concentrate so much on getting the gun right, the scope right, and the load right that when we make that neat 1" triangle 2" over the point of aim at 100 yards, we imagine the job is done. Actually, that is where the job starts.When I was a ten year old kid shooting bottle caps, wasps, and cattails with a lever-cocking Daisy BB gun, I was a far better shot than I am now just because I shot the gun a hundred times a day. And if I missed, it never occurred to me that the gun was at fault. Today I'm a human Lead Sled.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I used to live in the city and I never got to shoot. Finally we decided to quit renting and buy land and that is why I get to shoot these days, because I built my own range (to State Police specs). My dad never took me hunting or shooting, we only had 2 antique shotguns and I only ever saw him shoot one once. I learned to shoot in the USAF, (although I had an air rifle @ 12 and have been an archer since 14). I suggest that the media and video games have ruined Americans for marksmenship. All these movie badmen holding their pistols sideways, all the tv swat teams blasting dozens of rounds at their fantasy enemies as well as all those overgrown adolescents holding plastic gunstocks to aim at tv monitors. Most americans have had little exposure to reality when it comes to media representation of gun safety, handling, marksmanship and the damage a round can do.I do what I can to remedy this, I teach on my little range. I teach kids to shoot (start with single shot iron sighted .22s) and recently I assisted a girlfriend in getting over her fear of being on the buttstock end of a 12 gauge. (she should still be afraid of the muzzle end). I would have joined my local rod and gun club but the membership is CLOSED I am told. You guys can fault me for my liberal principles, but I do this to save our arms, by changing peoples attitudes. I am a Gun Nut too,if a liberal one. Just say I swore to protect the whole constitution and ALL the Amendments, not just #2. After all, If we loose trial by jury of peers, Habeas Corpus, freedom to assemble and of religion (all of them , not just the Eurocentric Monotheistic ones) then the guns in your lockers will do no good at all, because our nation will already be lost to Dictatorship.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dan in the BurghYou have a valid point Sir!I know David is going to love this one!!!When I was 13 I entered a turkey shoot with a short barreled open sights Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Serial # 12xxx with open sights. 100 yards shooting standing at clays. The fella that gave me the most completion was using a 243 with scope. During the run off, after my fourth shot considered all misses, his fifth shot he finally broke a clay. While this 30 year old guy was dancing around beating this 13 year old, one of the guys with a spotting scope noticed I was shooting the centers out all four!Speer 140 grain SPBT, 44 grains IMR4350 with CCI200 primer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Beekeeper and Ryan's comments are right on the mark. I would like to see responsible writing in the gun and sporting magazines, rather than the hyped-up swill being offered. The great writers of the recent past (Clyde Ormond, Ted Trueblood, Francis Sell, etc.) would not be able to sell any of their work in today's magazines. It would be too ordinary.I try to keep in the groove shooting 4" and 6" iron swingers offhand and from position with my little peep-sighted Martini.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan in the Burgh wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I definitely agree with the sentiment that their is not enough shooting out in the woods and too much reliance on big expensive gear (especially scopes).The Marine Corps sniper with the most confirmed kills in Vietnam- over 100 (his name eludes me)- used a Remington 700 in 30.06 with a little 4x Enfield scope. How many hunters in America would even head into the deer woods with a fixed-power 4x scope today??The best thing to do is take our kids out into the woods with 22s and teach them to shoot with open sights. 22LR rounds are still dirt cheap and a hell of a lot of fun to shoot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Fewer places to shoot means more than just lousy shooters. Just read the comments from people who love guns and shooting on this topic.It's bad enough to have to go to the range to shoot, but there are fewer and fewer ranges left and I can't tell you the last time I heard of a new range opening near me.Is this what will kill gun ownership for many in America?Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Suburbia. Thats the problem as I see it. The woods are disappearing. Encroachment. Many fathers would love to take their sons out to leisurely shoot the proper way, off hand. But today for many its the range or nothing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ken wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I guess I can relate to both the old ways and to today's ways people take hunting. I was taught to shoot with open sights with a .22 LR. Started deer hunting with a 30-30 model 94 my first two years of hunting. Then moved up to 30-06 with scope. As a kid I never taught to shoot from sand bags. It was always laying down, sitting, using your knees as a rest for your elbows, and to stand and shoot with no rest.Today, as a grown up, I did buy a 7mm WSM. I still don't shoot from sand bags, and I like the modern ammo. One bad thing is, is that I don't get out to shoot as much as I like anymore because of time, money, and no place to go with out traveling some distance to shoot. Then nearest range from me was closed down because of some envirmentalists said it was causing to much lead polution.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dr. RalphYou’re so right about saying you think it's our culture it isn’t funny. I grew up with a Father who enjoyed hunting and competition shooting which exposed me to both worlds. I remember one day Dad was practicing with the Davis Monthan AFB AAA Skeet Team. One of the member’s sons hit one of the clay’s just before his dad squeezed off with a 45 cal 230 grain cast from the low house with a wrist rocket. We all got a chuckle out of it besides; they all knew we were taking shots too! Dad’s favorite skeet and trap gun was a Winchester Model 12 with a full choke.Getting back to David’s Blog here, there is deference for those who grew up with BB guns in the back yard to shooting rodents with pellet guns and 22's at dumps to those like myself shooting deer rifles for yodel dogs and jack rabbits while other used 22’s. I wished I had all the cash back equivalent worth in today’s cost of all those 30-06 130grain loads I burned up every weekend! It wasn’t anything to shoot 200 rounds every weekend.If you want to shoot with sticks and such, that’s your choice of marksmanship. There are those may require it do to health reasons or the ability to hold it up such a youngster. If you really want to be a good shot, get you a Military 1 ¼ inch leather sling and learn the use of the ling the way NRA High Power Shooters do it. When you’re shooting off a stick or any other way remember this. If you must force to aim right, you will shoot left, force up and left will cause you to shoot low and right and so forth. Close your eyes, swing left then right then back to position and open your eyes and If you’re off. Move your body to naturally be at that point of aim.As on fellow shooter put it,Keep the barrel hot and the “X” Ring full of holes!targets………………..UP!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Sad Ryan, but probably more true than not when professional jounalists (isn't that what Al Gore called himself when he went to Nam) venture out of the concrete jungle looking for a story... not exactly what real hunters face is it?Hey Dave, how about a link to that "other blog" F&S has. You know, the only real fishing site.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Its my soapbox day. This is my last post, for awhile, but to touch on the comment by Field Dress about the lack of stories in the field......The fact is, there are no more stories in the field. I'd love to see a writer talk about a day of hunting (such as the article a while back on deer dogging in Georgia), but most "hunters" can't relate these days. A modern hunting story would go like this....."First, I dressed in my $3567 worth of fine scent locked camoflage and drove my 60,000 dollar truck to our private hunting camp I pay $4000 a year for. Then I put a n orange vest over my camo. I stopped and admired how cool I looked in the mirror.......We then got in the golf cart and utilized out heated seats and rode down the cart path to the wooden air conditioned/heated shooting house. We waited for thirty minutes until the feeders turned on. Then when the pet deer walked out, we sat there talking about which one had the best antlers. We knew several of them by name. I then used my 12x scope and shooting bipod to shoot the 12 point trophy in the a** with my .338 Weatherby Mag. since I can't shoot worth a damn. Then I high fived my buddy over the animal, never stopping to pay respect for it giving its life. I then posed for a picture and had the creature mounted and processed for me. We made it back to the cabin by 9:00 for latte. I then waited for the writer from field and stream to stop by and write an article on my hunting prowess and our deer camp and how we "manage" our bucks. What a hunt!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JackRabbit wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

The sad fact is that shooting spaces are far harder to find now a days. Between travel time, work, and higher ranges and gas costs, I can't shoot as much as I'd like. You always need a few shots off the bench to confirm your rifle is doing what it's supposed to be doing before you go the unsupported shots. But that can eat up valuable time, especially if you're handloading and need to shoot off the bench to find what load your rifle likes best.I've found that 'snapping in' at home with snap caps is a good solution to limited range time. I find a nice picture of a deer/elk/bear/other in Field & Stream and tack it up on a far wall. In go the dummy rounds, breathe, relax, aim, sight picture, slow steady squeeze...click. Personally, I think it helps avoid flinching too because you don't eat recoil with each shot. Come game day, you're not anticipating any recoil because your body isn't used to the gun kicking when you squeeze the trigger. Worked well for me while I was stuck at Fort Knox and getting ready for a trip to Africa. Surely luck was involved, but I still came home with one spent casing for each head of game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Field Dress wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It's a different generation of hunter. Too many fathers are working more than spending time with their children. I hear more about the cost and type of gun than stories in the field. I'm with dickgun's post on the asphalt generation...not enough time in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dartwick wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Ryan made a lot of good points.Although unsure what the PH meant by "looking around scopes when trying to aim"?Is he talking about someone who cant get his scope on the target?If he is thats just someone who doesnt hunt much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

God help us if we start a debate on calibers and bullets...........Shoot what you want and what you shoot good. Hell, you can kill an animal with a swiftly thrown rock if you want or a blowgun for all I care or a .500 T-Rex magnum if its what you like. This is America after all. Just don't buy into the fact that a .300 weatherby shoots 0.1 inches flatter than a .257 Roberts at 300 yards and tell me its "a more accurate round" and expect me not to smile.The problem with kids getting their hunting info from TV and magazines instead of grandpa and dad is that the shows and mags are sponsored by Federal, Sako, Remington, Weatherby etc. and they all showcase the latest super duper item such as magical scent locker supreme camo for $4000 dollars and super excellent magi-bullet with 7 chambered varied expansion and outer space metal poly bonding technology. Yet, some geezer somewhere in a red plaid shirt, overalls stained with tobacco juice and chicken blood and a 60 year old rusted .35 whelen w iron sights, smoking a cigarette is coming from downwind, hiding behind a tree and filling his freezer with venison using "gasp" round nose core lokt without pretty plastic tips.This makes Dave's job difficult. But, really, I can't pity Dave for his job......Mine sucks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I think it's our culture. These days there are so few places to shoot that children learn at the range on sandbags. Throw them out in the woods and they can't hit the broad side of a barn with a Gatling gun... Fortunately I learned in the woods with iron sights off hand. Sparrows were my main quarry at the farm with a single shot Savage .22/.410. The deer don't stand a chance now, even if they're moving at a steady clip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Why Americans Can't Shoot?What Mr. David Petzal found out is to be a factual statement!And you range monkeys got the audacity to give me a rash of crap! My 9 year old Grandson Alex and I are avid watchers of The Outdoor Channel and VS and boy does he know how to pick out the pinheads especially last week when Ol’Jim Zumbo was spotting for a hunter shooting an African Kudo. Shot it right thru the hind quarters, good shot says Jim!Saturday night I watched a Gentleman who used a Military 1 ¼ perfectly in prone position to take a Cow Elk at 300 yards. Now that’s my friends is good shooting by GOD!So what’s the best rifle to use? Three questions you should find out is, what’s the maximum distance you can hit a pie plate and 2nd question what is the largest cartridge you can do so with and 3rd what cartridge is suited best for the environment that isn’t overkill?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Dave, you Carmichael, Boddington, et al are to blame for this...You tout sub minute groups as selling points of rifles. Never mind the fact that few if any folks out there can shoot such groups in field conditions off hand. You promise laser like trajectories from the likes of "Laz" and your other friends.Now let us throw in the precision accuracy of all the new and improved, new and improved bullets out there...The new generation belives what they read and digest from their Ipods. If that is all they see and hear then it must be what they need!Shooting from the bench "IS" practice... why would they want to ruin such wonderful grouping by shooting off hand... after all it takes time and effort to shoot from all those old, archaic positions...And by the way, if they are buying the best, why not hire the best PH. It is after all, the duty of the PH to make sure they don't miss... isn't it...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Livereatin' wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Shooting a LOT is still the key. And get away from the bench once you have the right load. In Africa, I too, asked my PH who shot the best. He said the Americans generally shot better than others. I killed everything up to Kudu, Gemsbuck, Zebra and Hartebeest with my .308 Win. Nothing needed to be tracked and none were lost. Let all the air out of any animal on earth and they die. The only reason for the big kickers is if they might eat or stomp you. Then you better have hundreds of rounds of fast and stressful shooting of that MAGnum under your belt before you go dancing with M'bogo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Scott, I have tried Zermoid's method with guns, bows, etc. It seemed to work fine as long as I remembered to squeeze the trigger. The problem is that with that method, I had the tendency to punch the trigger in anticipation of the moment when the sights crossed the plane of the target spot. What works better for me is the "aim small, miss small" method. I begin squeezing the trigger slowly as soon as I get the sights on a small piece of the target, and follow through regardless of whether they are exactly on the spot or just hovering around it. The more you do this, the more your muscles develop to holding that position and the less movement you get (smaller and more accurate groups). If I can't get the shot off in 8-10 seconds, I stop squeezing, let down, and start over.The other thing that has been good for my accuracy has been to use a relatively heavy rifle. It just doesn't move as easily.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Jay, as for your gun counter comment, its far worse. I just recently had to talk a guy out of buying his kid a semi-auto .223 for deer. The guy at the counter tried to tell him it was a good deer round and that he needed a repeater "in case the deer was running". I showed him to the .243s Another time, the guy working the counter at XXXX Sporting Goods told someone that they needed a 7mm Mag or a .300 Win Mag to hunt in North Florida. Our deer here average about the size of a large dog and 40 yards of clearing is considered a pasture. Yes, you may get an open shot on a powerline and we do have the occasional big buck, but to see the guy tell someone that a .270 "wouldn't put em down fast enough" was ridiculous. I personally shoot a 7mm-08, which is perfect for moderate velocity close shot bullet integrity etc., but to see people who need guidance or who are just getting in to shooting being told that a .270 is too small for whitetail is absurd. Jack O'Conner should rise from his grave and beat that guy's a**

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I found Zermoid's comments about his method very interesting (e.g. "slowly drop down the sights and fire when you reach the spot you want to hit" Never tried that but it seems to make some sense. Anyone else have experience with this method or another that works for them off-hand?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CC-80 wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Guilty as charged. But until recently, I made it to the range so infrequently that when I did go, I wanted to make sure I was printing decent groups--so I used a bench rest. It was only when I got to go often enough that I got bored with the bench rest that I started practicing offhand, etc...Now keeping that in mind, think about all the people you know that hunt, and think about the one time in any given year they'll actually go to a range (...in October, causing a mile-long line). They're not going to be concerned with getting a respectable group off their knee. From a bench, they're going to lob some lead downrange until their shoulder hurts (10 rounds or so) and if they hit within 4 inches of the X, "that thing is DIALED in", and they're good to go. Of course if it doesn't go that well, their rifle/scope/rings/mounts/ammo is obviously defective and off to Cabela's they go to give someone a piece of their mind. I'm really not making this stuff up, I just saw it again this weekend.Dave, these State of the Hunting Community posts are a bit depressing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jay wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Caveat: I suppose a .240 or .257 weatherby magnum would not be overgun for deer, I still wouldn't shoot them as a .25-06 or .270 can shoot almost as flat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jay wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

I think Ryan is going down the right track with the caliber of rifles being used. Most (all) can't shoot a magnum rifle as well as a non magnum. Any gun producing more than about 18 ft lb is uncomfortable to shoot. That puts the .30-06 about the most tolerable caliber most can consistently shoot. I have a couple magnums and I shoot them only when I need too. I'll stick to my .30-06 or lesser for everything. I was talking to the guy behind the gun counter at bass pro a few weeks ago. He said 90% of the centerfire rifles they are selling are magnums, mostly the WSM (a fad in my humble opinion). This is in St. Louis, MO. besides an occasional black bear near Arkansas, the whitetail deer is the primary game for these rifles. I can't believe hunters would use a magnum rifle for deer...amazing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

As a long time PH in Alaska I would have to agree with both of the African PH's comments. I also know that, many, if not the majority of clients come from the asphalt generation and are two to four generations removed from the land. Also, for many, a two week hunting trip may consitute the major part of their time spent with their guns. Obviously, the reason the PHs get the 'big bucks' is not because of their hunting ability, but rather the need to, every now and then, save the clients back end!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ryan wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Well, as a younger shooter, I find it more and more difficult to practice. The two ranges I used to go to were closed because subdivisions were constructed nearby. Now I have to drive 2 hours to go shoot and when I get there I have to contend with most if not all the benches being occupied by hobby target shooters with their AR-15's and M1's. When I was a kid, my dad and I used to just drive out in the woods and set up a target on a tree. Also, I feel that too many young hunters are being given scoped rifles in the .270 to .30-06 and up caliber as their first gun. This makes them recoil shy and scope dependent. I was lucky to have started on a .22LR with iron sights, but I see 15 year old kids with 7mm Magnums at the range with 12X scopes on them and I hunt in the southeast. Where did all the iron sighted Winchester 94's go?Lastly, lets face it. A good number of hutners that go to Africa are the newly rich and newly hunting and they have more money than sense and haven't even shot a squirrel let alone a cape buffalo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

The vast majority of American hunters/shooters couldn't hit the broad side of a barn @ 100 yards offhand, yet we set our guns up (even slug guns and muzzleloaders) with scopes the size of the hubble telescope (just in case) we need to shoot @ a deer on Mars.Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Only time I use a "rest" is to check the zero of a gun. (For "rest" read tree, spare tire on the hood, rolled up rifle case, etc.) The actual practice is at best with elbows on a table, most is standing.I was also taught to aim above my target and slowly drop down firing as the sights hit the spot you want to hit, works for target or game as no man can hold perfectly still and on target standing. Conversely aiming below and raising up seems to work almost as well, depending on situation of the shot, mostly hunting with open sights as you don't block out your target this way.BTW this is how the US Army taught my Dad to shoot, back in WWII, dunno if they have changed the way of aiming since but it still works for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Does hauling back on a trigger with conviction qualify as "yanking"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jack wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Not guilty on the cycling charge. I have cycled too often - deserving a "quiet dammit" on more than one occasion. But - I'm guilty on the scope charge - double checking what's beyond the target (as if my eyes were better than the scope). I call it caution - others might consider it needless hesitation.The second PH deserves a medal for diplomacy. I imagine that blunt criticism of Americans with the disposable income to throw at a safari is not a sustainable business practice. Some day I hope to afford the pleasure of being subjected to such a withering blast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jes wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Amen, in a way...at least the younger generation is that way...I guess that they "just don't have time", to shoot and practice...or don't want to! Amounts to the same thing. My generation grew up with the woods and hunting, we learned to shoot two ways: on our feet and with open sights, and add to that: accurately! But hunting accuracy is not bench rest, like the man says...and it's not just relying on your gun to close the distance, but it's how to close in and shoot quick enough to get the jump, that counts for more than the bench rest ability!Give them some MOVING target practice, and I'll guarantee you they'll be the best, along with the rest!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment