Shooting Safety – Don’t be afraid to say “No”
When you graduate from the range and go on a hunt, you may take your first expedition with a friend, family member or guide. These mentors are always helpful in sharing the hunting passion/tradition.
Before you head out on a hunt with a mentor, know your limitations, and don’t be
afraid to say “No” to shots beyond them.
- Know how far you can shoot – I’ve mentioned before, “practice, practice,
practice.” When you rehearse at the range, you’re in a controlled environment. Theoretically, you’ll be able to make accurate shots at longer ranges. This is important because you’ll also learn what shots you’re not capable of making when you’re under pressure. If a shot is beyond your limitations, don’t be afraid to say “No” and pass it up.
- Know how far you can push yourself – In some parts of the country, hiking is required to get close to the animals. Extreme elevations can be challenging. Get in shape. Know when the ascent is becoming too much. If you’re getting dizzy, seeing stars, or unable to stand up, don’t be afraid to say “No”. Stop, rest, and drink water. You’ll be better off because of it if you top the crest and a 300-class bull is standing there.
- Know what animals are legal – Never rely on another individual to know what the laws are. It‘s up to you to know the laws and follow them. In the same sense, you should also have in mind what caliber, or size animal, you are morally/ethically capable of taking. Be realistic about what size animals are in the area, and if something doesn’t fit the criteria, don’t be afraid to say “No”.
Your hunts will be more rewarding if you heed these simple things before you go on
your first hunt.