Newbies - Rifle Aim


Clear the air

Errors beginners make:

The barrel should NEVER rest on the sandbag or anything else.

The Trigger is not a Turkey Wishbone and shouldn't be handled like one.

Rifle sights should not lead you to believe your bullet will go where you think.

Rifles are not like wildcats that you have to hold in a death grip.

A rifle that doesn't shoot under MOA (generally 1 inch group at 100 yds.) is junk. So sad some people think that.

Holding the Beast

O.K. so it's not a BEAST.

Safety First - Eye and Ear protection is mandatory except for 100% idiots, They are exempt.

Hold the butt of the rifle in the crook of your shoulder at the fleshy part.

Don't pull it in so hard you're trying to displace your shoulder blade. Just snugly.

The idea is to have the fleshy part take some of the movement of the recoil.

Now, finger off the trigger and one arm extended holding onto the forearm gently but firm.

Don't put your fingers around the barrel. It's meant to float (in most cases) and you wouldn't appreciate me holding your head down when you're trying to float!

Ready to discharge?

O.K. a recap, butt in the shoulder, arm holding the forearm of the stock ( or it's just resting on a sandbag  - Forearm not BARREL.

Lean into the sights not away. cheek just snuggled slightly on the stock.

Too close on a powerful rifle with a scope may result in a cut eyebrow and long-term black eye

Now, using a 6:00 hold on the target with the sights shown above, slowly squeeze the trigger back using the fleshy front part of your finger not the crease.

What happened?

Hopefully when it fired you were a bit surprised. That would mean you took your time and didn't rush.

Repeat the above 3 to 5 times to see where your hits cluster. That will tell you if you need to adjust your sights

What's next?

The hard part...practice.

Fine tune your breathing. As you start squeezing the trigger be on an exhale mode, slight pause, fire.

Good luck and most of all, HAVE FUN


Go with a friend or friends.

Adrenaline is going to be your biggest adversary so take care of the safety aspects first.

Safety on, No ammo in the chamber, barrel pointing in a safe direction.

You are now ready to move forward.

Finding game

This is what hunters want.

Let's look at some considerations.

What you are hunting survives because they use all their senses and are usually on guard.

Smell is their first defense. Don't go hunting smelling like you're on a big date or just finished 2 hrs. in the gym.

The game can't smell things crosswind or downwind.

Hearing is next on their defense list. The quieter you are the better your odds.

Move slow, watch where you place your feet. Better yet, find a good spot and wait patiently.

So many pictures where the hunter took a nap and a deer came out to check him out...

Setting up a spot to wait.

A friend once set himself a tree stand and quietly waited. A beautiful buck came into the clearing. My friend slowly took aim and pulled the trigger.

He got the buck but forgot to secure himself in the tree. A 16 ft. fall did a lot of damage. That's another reason not to hunt alone.

Most game is taken within 75 yards.

Make sure you're warm, comfortable and have a good view.

Focus on upwind and crosswind directions. Don't ignore downwind just don't think they'll ignore your smell.

Trees have branches, an excelent source of fore stock support as are other natural objects like rocks and logs.

Some suggestions

Don't smoke at your stand unless you don't want any game. The odour permeates the air and your clothing.

When climbing over an object (or under) do NOT do it with your rifle in hand.

Always check the chamber when retrieving your firearm. Ensure the barrel didn't get dirt or a twig inside.

When lining up your shot ask yourself what will happen if the bullet penetrates through to the other side of the target.

If you "might have hit the game" it is your duty to follow through with a thorough search. They can run quite a distance.