Yes, I Hunt – Read With Me

UPDATE – Oct. 13, 2018
I cannot suggest this book as I’m listed as “endorsing” it prior to ever reading the book or any part of it. There are actions that specifically violate the safety rules, which I teach in my hunter ed and firearms courses. Additionally, unethical means of take listed in the stories and in the tips. I will not further review the book.

I read a book last week at hunting camp. Yes, I read a lot of books and have an ever growing list of books to read. Friends suggest them all the time. I buy them and read them in no particular order. However, I purchased ‘Yes, I Hunt’ as soon as it became available on Amazon. I met the author, Dawn V. Obrecht, MD at a Babes with Bullets camp in Steamboat Springs many years ago.

Dawn was curious about hunting, polite and asked a lot of questions. I learned that she’s a former emergency room doctor who consults in addiction medicine. She was also, at the time, a vegetarian that met a man who piqued her curiosity about hunting. Now she’s written a book about her journey into hunting and the adventures she’s had along the way.

MAC Q&A Day (2)

I’ve heard from Dawn off and on since the women’s shooting camp. A time or two she told me she was writing a book. More recently she asked if I had a recipe or two that I might share with her to put in the book. I happily obliged as I’m so proud of her.

Now, I have her book in hand and plan to give it a read. If you’d also like to read, you can click the image above or click and order the book here – Yes, I Hunt. I’m not endorsed by Dawn or her publisher, but the link is my Amazon affiliate. I think it’ll be interesting to get into the mind of a former vegan, hunter, and the journey she’s taken. I look forward to your thoughts, discussion and reaction.



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Hunter Ed Classes and Taking Someone Hunting

Taking a hunter education course, and taking someone hunting is becoming easier with the means of technology. We’ll be hosting two hunter education classes in Pagosa Springs this fall. CLICK HERE for information and registration links. If those don’t work for you, expand the search and find another class in the state. New Mexico is also offering means to get the task done. Check it out below.


Take someone hunting this fall

Make Memories This Hunting Season

nmdgf-logo-color_originalDo you know a New Mexico youth that would love to go hunting but needs to complete the required hunter education course first?

With many upland and small game seasons now open, there’s no better time to take one of our online hunter education courses. The department now has three new options for completing the course and we’ve included a 30 percent off coupon below for our most popular course,

To redeem, use coupon code: Z18yksn4sgosbn18 

State law requires anyone 17 years of age and under to pass a state-certified hunter education course before they may legally hunt. Online course options are only available for New Mexico residents 11 years of age or older. Youth 10 years of age or under may take a traditional hunter education course. Learn more online at

Please see the New Mexico Hunting Rules and Information Books to identify units or areas where over the counter licenses are available and no special draw or permit is required.

Complete the course, get certified and go hunt!

Stay safe,

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish – Hunter Education

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Who Contributes BILLIONS to Fuel the Nation’s Economy? — Sportsmen

We’re not just getting outside and becoming healthier, we’re making a huge difference in other aspects too! If you’re not getting out there, stop procrastinating and DO IT!

Here I am with my friend and fellow sportswoman, Donna Boddington, at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s meet up during the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade show. We are proud supporters of the United State’s economy.

As sportswomen, we are proud supporters of the Nation’s economy. Donna Boddington and Mia Anstine at the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation gathering.

Sportsmen and Women Contribute Over $93 Billion to Fuel the Nation’s Economy

Congressional-Sportsmens-Foundation-Logo(Washington, DC) – With countless places to roam and enjoy the great outdoors, Americans are taking advantage of these opportunities, and as they go, spending significant dollars. New economic reports by Southwick Associates reveals more than 53 million Americans consider themselves sportsmen and women, spending more than $93.5 billion in 2016 on gear, licenses, travel, clothing, gas and more.

In a series of reports released today by the American Sportfishing Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), expenditures made for hunting, target shooting and sportfishing gear and services in 2016 supported 1.6 million jobs and provided $72 billion in salaries and wages. These monies also generated nearly $20 billion in local, state and federal taxes, much of which benefits vital conservation and educational programs that improve our outdoor areas for all who enjoy them and make hunting and shooting safer activities.

“Hunting, angling, and the shooting sports continue to be a critical and significant contributor to the nation’s economy, and to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources through the American System of Conservation Funding,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “CSF looks forward to continuing to work with our partners and policy-makers to enhance our outdoor sporting traditions through federal and state policies.”

“If hunting, fishing and target shooting were a corporation, it would rank #25 on the Fortune 500, ahead of Microsoft,” says Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates. “While time spent outside may come across as something to do after the real work day is done, in reality hunting, fishing and target shooting is a critical industry, generating jobs and income for thousands of communities across the country.”

Key highlights of the reports include:

  • Each year, 35.8 million people 16 years and older take to America’s waters to fish.
  • More than 28 million people over 16 years old took to our nation’s public and private lands and waters and gun ranges to hunt and target shoot in 2016.
  • The number of people who participate in sportfishing, hunting and target shooting represents 16.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
  • When factoring in multiplier effects, spending by sportsmen created economic activity in excess of $220 billion.
  • Hunting, fishing and shooting adds $119 billion of overall value to our nation’s gross domestic product and generates $17.6 billion in federal taxes and $12.2 billion in state and local taxes.

The 2018 edition of the America’s Sporting Heritage: Fueling the American Economy report is sponsored by American Outdoor Brands Corporation; Pure Fishing, Inc.; and Safari Club International.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Since 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the interests of America’s hunters and anglers.

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State Parks, Hunting and Shooting Planning at Colorado Commission Meeting

Colorado is a fantastic place to enjoy the outdoors, be it hunting, fishing, shooting, or enjoy one of the state parks. There are some big items on the table before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commision. Learn more about the upcoming meeting.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to meet September 6 – 7 in Glenwood Springs

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will discuss allowing leashed dogs on select trails at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, prohibiting fishing at the ponds within the dog off-leash area at Chatfield State Park, restricting watercraft to vessels propelled by hand on the Chatfield State Park ponds (excluding the main reservoir), removing the boating seasonal closure at Jackson Lake State Park, and defining and allowing incidental commercial use at state parks without a cooperative or special use agreement.

The Commission will also consider proposed regulations concerning the fee structure for the recently created Cameo Shooting and Education Complex, proper display of OHV permits, Colorado Springs Urban Deer Management, Northwest Region Fires Update, and the 2020 – 2024 Big Game Season Structure at its September meeting in Glenwood Springs.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and adjourn at 5 p.m. on September 6 at Colorado Mountain College’s Morgridge Commons Meeting & Conference Center, 815 Cooper Avenue, in Glenwood Springs.

The September 6 meeting will include a Commission Forum: Envisioning Colorado’s Future State Parks that will be broadcast on Facebook Live from 2 – 5 p.m.

The meeting will reconvene at the same location at 8 a.m. on September 7 and will adjourn at 1 p.m.

Additional agenda items include:

  • Proposed fishing regulations for 2019
  • Continued discussion on application fees, preference points fees, and implementation of the Future Generations Act
  • Harvest limit proposals for the November 2018-March 2019 mountain lion season
  • GOCO Update
  • Financial Update
  • IPAWS Update
  • Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program – Recommended Projects
  • Executive Session

A complete agenda for this meeting can be found on the CPW website.

The commission meets regularly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation. Anyone can listen to commission meetings through the CPW website. This opportunity keeps constituents informed about the development of regulations and how the commission works with Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff to manage the parks, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs administered by the agency. Find out more about the commission on the CPW website.

The next commission meeting will take place November 15 and 16 in Burlington.

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Quick and Easy Rifle Scope Sight-In

Sighting in your rifle scope really should be quick and easy. Aside from a windy day, or a loose or defective scope, the only thing that would cause a poor shot grouping this the shooter. Let’s eliminate some of those factors and get sighted in.

After your rifle scope has been properly mounted and bore sighted, you have to fire some rounds down range and zero the scope on a target. Don’t rely on a bore-sight.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

The other day a friend came over to sight in his new rifle and scope. I happened to have been busy with work, and since sighting in really takes no time at all, I figured I’d not pack up work but let him get things dialed in.

After a few hours and numerous boxes of ammunition, the shots still were not in a tight group on the target.


Let me share a quick way to get your crosshairs on target that requires minimal shots fired.

As I mentioned, you need to have a rifle with the scope properly mounted. If you don’t know how to do this, take it to the shop and leave it to the pros. After that, you’re ready to head to the range.

I mentioned wind and faulty equipment. If it’s a gusty, windy day, skip the sighting in until the winds are calm. You’ve already had a pro mount the scope, and we’ll take it from the factory that the scope is in good working order. Next, we need to eliminate another factor and that’s the shooter. Mount the gun into a shooting rest that is sitting solidly on a stable shooting bench. This will eliminate most the the errors caused by the shooter.

Bring the ammunition that you intend to hunt or compete with. One box of ammunition should suffice.

Mount paper sight in targets down range. I suggest zeroing your hunting rifle at 200 yards. This distance can be adjusted according to your preference.  The Shoot and See type of targets with the grid and bullseye work well. Bring your binoculars and/or spotting scope so that you can see from the shooting bench where the shots are hitting on the target. A friend isn’t required for this project but does come in handy.

*Always follow safety rules when handling firearms.

Place your rifle securely in the shooting rest and load one cartridge into the chamber. Place the crosshairs directly on the center of the bullseye and fire one shot. Use the binocular or spotting scope to check the location of impact on the target. If the impact is 3 inches high and 5 inches right, make note of it. Then repeat the shot, for accuracy purposes, to find a shot grouping. Again, place the rifle securely in the rest, put your crosshairs on the bullseye and fire one round.

If the second shot is in the same area of the target as the first, you’re ready for scope adjustment. If not, continue the process of securing the rifle in the rest, aiming at the bullseye, and shooting. Make sure you have a good shot group before you begin adjusting the scope.

Do not compensate by moving your crosshairs on the target. This is called chasing your shot and will not help you to get a good shot group. If you cannot determine a shot group, clear your gun and head back to the shop to double-check your scope.

Once you have a shot grouping, remove the adjustment covers on the scope. With the rifle still secured in the shooting rest, look through the scope and place the crosshairs on the holes you’ve shot in the target

This is where a friend comes in handy. As you peer through the scope, at the holes in the target, have your friend move the windage and elevations of adjustments, down and left, until your crosshairs come back to the bullseye. Do not move the rifle during this process.

Now your scope’s crosshairs are on the bullseye. Make sure your range is still safe and fire two more shots, to double-check the accuracy. You should be dialed in and good to go for the hunt. If all goes well, you’re looking at four shots fired. You may need to fire additional rounds for fine-tuning, and you’ll definitely want to practice shooting positions after the scope has been zeroed from the steady shooting rest.

Remember, you always need to double-check the accuracy of your rifle after you’ve traveled with it, even if you’ve had it securely stowed in a hard case.

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Biggest Month in Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program History

I enjoy volunteering time to teach gun and hunting safety. I’ve written and spoken about the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program many times. That’s why I’m excited to share this great news with you!

July 2018 Marks Biggest Month in Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program History

MAC WordPress Feature (7)FAIRFAX, Va. – The NRA Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program reached another milestone in its 30th anniversary year, as the program fulfilled more requests for Eddie Eagle program materials in the month of July 2018 than any other month in program history.

The NRA provided more than 250,000 Eddie Eagle student workbooks throughout July primarily to law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, many of whom will use the materials to teach firearm accident prevention during community events, such as the National Night Out ™ this summer.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

In the program’s three decades of outreach, more than 30 million children across the United States have learned NRA’s simple, effective firearm accident prevention principles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional firearm fatalities among children of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program’s targeted age group have declined almost 80 percent since the program’s debut.

Created in 1988 by NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer, the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program is a gun accident prevention program developed by a task force made up of educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts. The program was founded with one mission: to teach children four simple, easy to remember steps so they know what to do if they ever come across a gun — STOP! Don’t Touch. Run Away. Tell a Grownup.

Impacting approximately a million children a year, the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program has been utilized by more than 28,000 schools, law enforcement agencies, and civic groups. The governors of 26 states have signed resolutions recommending that the program be used in their school systems and the legislatures of 25 states passed resolutions recommending the use of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program.

Funds raised through Friends of NRA and distributed through The NRA Foundation enable schools and police departments to teach the program at minimal or no cost. The NRA encourages citizens nationwide to participate in heightening gun accident prevention awareness within their local communities. School administrators and faculty, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and others interested in more information about the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program should contact the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program by email at or call (800) 231-0752. Parents can visit to begin learning today!

About the National Rifle Association

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Nearly six million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit

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Reducing Recoil with Muzzle Brakes

As we get closer to hunting season this week’s tip to get your shots on target in about muzzle brakes. When we plan to hunt with a rifle we need to do our best to make sure we have good shot groupings.

I’ve shared ways to attain a tighter shot grouping and a few ways to reduce shooting flinch. After that, I received a message from a friend telling me that adding a muzzle brake to the rifle is a way to reduce flinch. While the brake reduces recoil, it doesn’t necessarily reduce shooting flinch.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

I have a muzzle brake on the end of the barrel of my 6.5-300 Weatherby, my daught3er has one on her .270 WSM, and H has one on his .338-378 Weatherby. Are you noticing a pattern with these three guns? They are ones that shoot very hot rounds. That means the cartridge is loaded with a lot of gunpowder and when it’s ignited, it produces a mass of gasses that go “bang” and push the bullet out of the barrel.  Many of the rifles that shoot “hot” loads will have muzzle brakes on the end because without one the recoil would be tremendous.

Muzzle brakes are ported devices that attach to the end of the barrel and are designed to reduce recoil. They are not suppressors. The brake has ports that angle so as to push the gasses, which push the bullet out of the barrel, back. The shooter and bystanders will feel the effects/wind from the shot.

( + ) Reduced Recoil

The redirecting of the gasses causes the felt effect of recoil to be spread out instead of pushing the rifle directly back into the shoulder. Most muzzle brakes reduce recoil by about 50%.

This is something that indeed may reduce shooting flinch for someone, but let’s talk about some of the other plusses and minuses before we come to a verdict.

MAC WordPress Feature (6)

( – ) Noise

You and any bystanders need to wear your eyes and ears when you’re shooting a rifle with a muzzle brake on the end of the barrel. Instead of being blown downrange the sound is being blown back to you. Along with this, dust and debris may be propelled in your direction Be safe and wear your proper protective equipment.

( +/- ) Accurate

The muzzle brake won’t decrease the velocity or accuracy of the projectile. However, you’ll need a gunsmith to install it and then you’ll need to sight it in. If you remove it you’ll need to sight in your rifle again.

( – ) Adds Barrel Length

The brake adds to the length of the barrel. I personally have no issue with the added length, however, some people do. If overall length is an issue, you may order your rifle with a shorter barrel prior to adding the brake.

( – ) Debris

A ported device that adds length to the barrel makes me think about knocking tree branches as I’m hiking, which leads me to the issue of debris. With a muzzle brake, you need to be aware that the ports will increase your chances of collecting debris in the barrel. The ports can snag pine needles and other items as your hiking. The good news is it’s easy to remedy this issue. Either rubberband a plastic bag over the brake, or cut the fingertip off of a latex glove and roll it over the brake at the barrel’s end. These are easy to remove and in a pinch, you can even shoot through them.

A muzzle brake is something you can look at to reduce recoil. It makes those larger calibers and hotter loads more “shootable.” However, due to that increased noise and the blow-back of air, it can actually increase shooting flinch. Overcome that with practice at the range.

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Hogs and Does Hunting by Ladies Adventure Camp Experience

The Ladies Adventure Camp Experience (LACE) has a Hogs and Does Hunting Adventure on their calendar. This is a great opportunity if you’re interested in learning to hunt or if you’re an experienced hunter who would like to attend a women’s only hunting event.

Hogs and Does Hunting Adventure

Hog-Hunt-2017This women’s only event will be a high-fence hunt for whitetail deer and hogs near Abilene, Texas at the Hawks Double Mountain Ranch.

Ten ladies will partake in the women’s only hogs and does hunting event. Arrival will begin the afternoon of November 9th, hunting days will be Saturday, November 10th, and Sunday, November 11th and hunters will depart November 12th.


Once you sign up you’ll receive information regarding obtaining a hunting license. If you’re under the age of 47 you’ll need a hunter education card. If you’re over 47-years-old a hunter education card is not required. However, it would be great to see all women take the course because it’s important to have a basic understanding of safety, hunting techniques, outdoor skills, game management and conservation.

Since the hunt will take place on a high fence ranch the cost of a hunting license is $45 (instead of $350). FYI – hogs and whitetail doe populations are immense at the ranch where the event is held; it’s smart game management to thin the herd. Meat processing is offered on-site for an additional cost. If you would like to donate your meat, we’ll collaborate with Hunters for the Hungry to make sure none goes to waste.

The cost for the Hogs and Does Hunting Adventure will be a modest $500 for the four days and includes housing, meals, non-alcoholic beverages, etc.. There will be a $100 per hog and $150 per whitetail trophy fee. This is a 75% discount based on comparable hunts.


Ladies Adventure Camp Experience

Deb Ferns created the Ladies Adventure Camp Experience(LACE) for women who want to learn how to hunt. Women are paired with other women who already have extensive experience in various hunting fields. The LACE events are geared toward the novice who wants to “try before they buy” so even guns and ammo are provided! Visit and jump on board for this hunting adventure; fun guaranteed! For more information contact

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Elk and Deer Hunting Changes – Public Comment Needed New Mexico

We’re gearing up for the elk and deer hunting seasons to fill the freezer with organic meat, and there are public meetings about the hunts scheduled in New Mexico. In Colorado, there is a decline in elk herd population throughout the southern half of the state. In the New Mexico public meetings, they’ll include a proposal for increased elk hunting in areas.

You need to attend their public meetings to get the low-down on where and why. If you cannot attend a meeting there is a link at the bottom of the article which tells where you can learn more about the proposals. There are also links to the email addresses you’ll need to contact with your feedback.


Deer, elk and elk private lands use system changes topic of public meetings

SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comments on proposed revisions to the deer, elk, and elk private lands use system rules.

The department is proposing changes in deer, elk and the elk private lands use system (E-PLUS) across the state, including; splitting the deer archery season into 2 distinct seasons (September and January), adjusting licenses, adding new hunts, increasing elk harvest in some areas and establishing criteria to better administer the E-PLUS program.

To gather public comments, four public meetings will be conducted:

  • Roswell: 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 25 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 1912 W. Second Street.
  • Las Cruces: 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 26 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 2715 Northrise Drive.
  • Santa Fe: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Santa Fe Community College (Jemez Room 1), 6401 Richards Ave.
  • Albuquerque: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 3841 Midway Place, NE.

The proposals can be viewed on the department website, Comments on the proposed changes can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Big Game Rule Development, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; by email,;; or in person at one of the meetings listed above.

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Hunting Prep – Reduce Shooting Flinch

If you’ve been to the range to prep for hunting season and have noticed that your shot groups aren’t consistent, it may be due to the developed bad habit of Shooting Flinch.

While sighting in with a friend I noticed that she’d developed a flinch. She was anticipating the recoil while shooting her rifle, which significantly reduced her accuracy on target.

If you’re having a similar problem, there are a couple of techniques you can try to help reduce flinch. We need to get a tight shot group on the target.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip and more
in my segment at Armed Lutheran Radio.

Shooters feel the recoil as it punches the butt of the rifle into the shoulder. It’s most recognizable when we shoot from a bench or prone shooting position. If it isn’t addressed, it can lead to bad habits which carry on into the field and can ruin a hunt.

In addition to the flinch, some habits a shooter can develop are closing their eyes, pulling or jerking the trigger, or sitting back or pulling away just as they pull the trigger. These bad habits will cause their shots to rarely hit the zone where they are aiming.



Start by shooting from a bench or lead sled to make sure the optics are zeroed. After that, you need to transition to a shooter held rifle position.

One thing you can do is to add a shoulder pad, puffy jacket or vest. Another thing a shooter can do is purchase a butt pad for their rifle. It will absorb a great amount of the recoil between the gun stock and the shooter’s shoulder. Something you’ll need to consider is that this will change the length of pull for the shooter, so test out the trigger finger’s reach before you go to live fire. This should be done before the hunt anyhow as we may be wearing different gear depending on the weather conditions.

With the added padding between the rifle and shoulder, the anticipation of recoil induced pain may be reduced.

With the expectation of recoil out of the way, you may notice other issues. Such as the bad habit of closing the eyes or the reflex of sitting back from the gun as the trigger’s pulled.

You can work on relaxing during the shot as well as some of the following:

  • Breathing techniques – Take a deep breath, slowly exhale then hold it for a pause as you pull the trigger.
  • Shoot at larger targets – Instead of aiming for a point on a bulls-eye shoot large paper animal-shaped targets. Aim for the kill-zone instead of a dot.
  • Trigger control – Worked on slowly taking up the slack on the trigger to prevent pulling or jerking her shots. Learn to pull the trigger slow and steady. As you pull the trigger look to see the point where the bullet hits the target. You should be surprised at the shot as it breaks.
  • Shoot from various positions – Shoot from the shooting bench and transition to sitting, kneeling, standing and from shooting sticks. This will provide a new focus that is not that of the anticipation of the shot.
  • Create shooting scenarios – Have a partner talk you through the following, “The elk just walked out. He’s broad-side. He’s clear. Take the shot when you’re ready.” Then add a reload into the scenario. Remind your partner, “You’re going to shoot once. Quickly throw the bolt and reload. The elk didn’t fall down. Quickly re-acquire your target and shoot again.” Rehearsing this scenario not only helps for real-life hunting situations, but it takes the shooter’s mind off the recoil.

With some practice the added confidence of shots that are grouped better we can reduce shooting flinch. Another thing to note is to shoot a very minimal number of rounds so the shooter doesn’t become tired or sore. If you’re preparing with your hunting rifle, six rounds may be plenty. Don’t let the shooter leave the range with a sore shoulder. You’ll be happy to work on better groupings instead of evading the dreaded bad habits.

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