Making The Shot::Preparing Yourself For The Perfect Opportunity
Each hunter has their own very personal style of hunting. That is part of what makes hunting as much fun as it is. Develop your own technique and put it to work in the field & your reward is a freezer full of tasty meat.
Unfortunately today alot of hunters don’t put as much work into the shot prep as they should. It’s one thing to shoot at target, or make 300 yd shots at the range. It’s something entirely different to fire a weapon at a living, breathing animal who’s intention is to survive whatever you want to dish out.
Prepping for the shot begins well in advance of getting your rifle or bow out of the case and setting it up at the range, or target area. Mental prep is extremely important.
Preparing your mind to accept conditions in your hunting area, and events that could provide for less than ideal situations should start long before you buy a new rifle or bow. Like any fine tuned athlete, the hunter should diligently prepare themselves to make THE shot. The one that counts. The shot that will provide a quick, ethical, recoverable kill.
Hog hunting today has turned into a type of novelty item. It has turned into an off season substitute for getting in the field to hunt deer.
The diligent hunter should visualize their shot, and their game regularly before setting out to hunt it down. Visualize your stand in the rain, in the snow, in the dark, in the day light, in the heat and in the cold. Visualize yourself performing your duty, or task and completing the mission you have set yourself on from the time you first filled your feeder or set your timers.
Hunters that fail to do these things regularly don’t make very good shots. Alot of the time these are the same hunters that spend alot of time at the range a week or two before a good hunt. Mental preparedness is 99% of the prep good hunters should put into their bags before they ever pack to go on a hunt.
Teach yourself to stay calm before and during the shot. Tell yourself out loud….”You can get excited after the shot…..not before”. Tell yourself to calm down, keep your wits about you, don’t jerk the trigger, don’t pop your head up after the shot to see if you hit your target.
Teach yourself to tune into nature. Listen to the sounds the woods make. Anticipate the weather, the change in the sounds, the changes in the wildlife and their needs.
Teach yourself how to remain calm under pressure and how to “not” react when 25 hogs rush your feeder.
Pick one animal. Make your shot count. Get that one done and move to the next. Develop a system to make it mechanical without “thinking too much” about what your follow up shot will do. Make your mind like a machine that goes through a process to get your desired end result.
Focusing on your “mechanics”, and keeping yourself calm under pressure will put MUCH more meat in your coolers than you ever imagined.
I just finished up a hunt with friends using AR-15’s. It was almost embarrassing. It sounded like a war zone. Just because you have a 30 round clip doesn’t mean you should use all of them on a small group of 5 hogs. All the while NOT taking any of them because you were not mentally prepared.
They each went through more than 50 rounds in two nights and only put 7 hogs in their coolers. One young man used my son’s .243 and also put 4 hogs in his coolers….with 4 shots.
Working diligently on your mental game and focusing on your objective when taking your shots will greatly increase your productivity when in the field.