SHOOTING YOUR RIFLE at moving game is never an ideal scenario, but at some point, there’s a good chance you’ll have to. “It’s not a favorable situation,“ says Paul Thompson, a hunting and fishing guide and two-time Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge champion. “But there are times you’ll have to make that shot, such as following up on a wounded animal.“ Thompson finished second in this skill event at the 2007 TOC finals. Here are indoor and outdoor exercises you can do to make the shot more accurately.
1. INDOORS “The key to hitting a moving target is getting your gun up and your eyes on your sights,” says Thompson. Practice this by starting with your eyes closed and your unloaded rifle down. Swing your rifle up and open your eyes to see if you are on your sights or crosshairs correctly (A). Repeat this until you start developing a muscle memory. Once you’re tired of mounting, practice your swing. Aim at a corner in a room where the wall meets the ceiling. Then swing your rifle along the ceiling and wall lines.
2. OUTDOORS “You have to practice with your own rifle. Find a range with moving targets,” says Thompson. When you’re aiming, move your rifle at the same speed as the target, starting the trigger squeeze as soon as you get on the target. “When you get to the leading edge of the target, your gun should be going off.” Keep the gun moving with the proper follow-through after the shot.