Essential Rifle Skills To Become A Better Hunter

Roughly 101 million people in the US self-identify as hunters and  62% of those hunt with rifles, Pew Research Center reports. Improving your rifle accuracy can be certainly achieved by upgrading your scope, using a match-grade barrel, or replacing your stock. However, there are also a number of other ways you can see real improvement and  strengthen your own skills as a hunter.

Long-range shooting

Long-range shooting — which includes distances beyond roughly 400 yards — is  a challenge that requires both skill and the right gear to master. In addition to a powerful rifle and caliber, successfully  shooting over a distance must involve a precise and high-quality long-range rifle scope. For example, the Swaro Z3 4-12X50 is great value for money and performs accurately in high-intensity situations. It has a 4W reticle that can be easily adjusted for wind drift and a ballistic turret that helps you take the guess-work out of extreme long-range shots. Alternatively, NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 offers a high-power and illuminated reticle that offers high-performance in distances over 2000 yards. With a 30mm tubе and structural integrity at least double that of regular sсореѕ, it’s a reliable and durаble option.

Shooting from different positions

Practicing shooting from different positions will leave you prepared for physically uncomfortable shot opportunities. In particular, crossed-legged and crossed-ankle seated positions become more challenging as you age and decrease in flexibility. Simply sitting in a crossed-leg position with your rifle on the sofa can help train your muscles to prevent cramp; leaning over with your elbows on your knees can similarly train you for crossed-ankle positions. Kneeling while shooting is also challenging and often causes your rifle to swing from side to side. You can prevent this by keeping your front foot parallel to your other leg — which in turn should be roughly at a 45-degree angle to the target. Roughly one third of your body weight should be supported by your front shin. Half your weight should be supported by your tailbone and heel and the rest by your rear knee.

Check your zero

Checking your zero beforehand to make sure it suits your current needs can make a huge  improvement to your accuracy. In particular, for static distances, you’ll usually want to set your zero at the usual distance you shoot at. For dynamic distances, on the other hand, a 50-yard zero can allow you to make accurate shots from roughly 25-60 yards away — even smaller targets. You may even find you don’t need to dial over .1 mil below your zero, which is extremely helpful if you have a zero stop. Also, be careful not to set your zero too far downrange. A 200-yard zero is ideal for most cartridges — at 100 yards, the bullet will strike roughly 3 inches high.
It takes time, dedication, and consistent practice to improve your skills as a hunter. Working on these specific skills will result in greater precision and performance in no time.