© 2011 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
So You Want to Start Shooting and Hunting...$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Image Credit: Grant MacDonald
I’ve had a couple of requests from folks that are asking me to please contemplate ideas for the aspiring or beginning hunter.
Come to think of it, that is a great topic, and one that I will gladly write about. I think it is of the utmost importance for the future of hunting and wildlife in general, that we do everything to encourage and facilitate new hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen into our ranks. Every new kid that picks up a fishing rod, every new wife that takes up a firearm, is yet another person that will appreciate the great outdoors, and will be a bastion against the forces of emotionalism and timidity that are swamping this nation.
The question posed to me by the indefatigable Mr Borepatch was, “What would you recommend to someone who's never been hunting?” And Steveo UK also added, “How about something for beginners.” I would like to look at it a little more broadly, and take up your specific questions in the next part.
When I am introducing folks, and especially children to shooting, I have a method that I like to use. It’s relatively inexpensive, fun for the whole family, and really sets the stage for everything else that follows. If you follow along too, you will not only start off on the right foot, but you will likely bring several other folks along with you too. This is assuming that you have never shot before, and that it is a new found interest, or you are bring someone up into the tradition and sport.
Now that I have your attention, let’s dive right into it. Go to Walmart and get two Red Ryder BB guns, and a couple of pints of BBs. They are cheap, and they are about the best introduction to shooting you will find. The Red Ryder is virtually non-threatening, and there is always the "You'll shoot your eye out kid!" from A Christmas Story to have fun with. Even mom's that are dead set against guns and things of that nature can usually be convinced to allow their precious princes and princesses to have a little fun with the BB guns.
So now, not only are we going to learn safe gun handling habits and the basics of shooting, we are going to create a safe and instructive atmosphere for others to learn in too.
I know most of you are familiar with the rules of safe gun handling but it never hurts to go over them again. It's of utmost importance that you also make a big deal out of the following rules. It is the basis of safe gun handling and is as important as the shooting itself!
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Do not allow the muzzle to point anywhere but down at the floor, or down range.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Do not allow your finger to touch the trigger or be inside the guard unless you are actually shooting.
- Now your target and be sure of it. Identify and be sure of your target and anything behind it.
- Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. Do not load until you are ready to shoot.
- Last, assume every gun you handle is loaded. Assume every gun is loaded; do not ever take anyone’s word for it.
Have a bag full of rinsed out soda pop cans at your disposal, plenty of BBs and enough safety glasses for the whole group. Get your safety glasses at a big box store, they are much cheaper, and are the same Z-87 rating that shooting glasses are. You rinse out the cans so no bugs come out of them as you pull them out. If you won the BB gun battle, don't lose it on the bug front.
Safety first, so go through the rules, but don't make it dry and don't lecture. Have a little fun with it, but make sure the kids and adults know you mean business. I have a one warning rule, and that’s for the group as a whole. The first infraction gets a warning for the whole group, with any other infractions being immediate removal from the shooting area for the individual, and having to sit out the whole shooting match.
Image Credit: V Distortion
As far as the shooting goes, you can make up the game's rules to suit your proclivities. Get a couple of boxes and lay a 2X4 over it and line the cans up. You can tie some twine to the tabs and string them up from a low hanging branch or clothesline. Anything that appeals to you and that keeps everyone’s attention and focus is good.
Start out each person individually so you can observe the level of responsibility and attention span of each one. If you are comfortable with what you see, allow a couple of them to shoot at the same time.
Father and daughter, Mom and Dad, Mom and son teams are always a lot of fun, and I make sure that the kids win often! Nothing primes the desire to shoot like being a winner.
So now we have convinced Mom or your neighbors that at least BB guns aren’t inherently evil. Maybe you’ve made a few converts along the way, and naturally they want to expand their repertoire. In the next installment we will take the next step.
Learn to Shoot, Break the Flinch
Boar Hunting Calibers: Part I
Wild Ed's Texas has this! Shoot Where You Look!
Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.
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