Shooting at the Range

Shooting is a great way to prepare for any upcoming hunting season. Visit a shooting range to practice and improve your skills, and have fun at the same time.

Use online resources like those of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Rifle Association to find a nearby shooting range. Before you hit the range, consider the following to ensure you make the most out of your trip.

Safety First

  • Read all the rules and regulations regarding use of the facility before you go.
  • Have the proper safety gear to ensure an accident-free outing, including safety glasses and hearing protection.
  • Make sure your firearm fits properly to minimize safety issues and maximize accuracy.
  • Use the correct ammunition for your firearm.

Use Good Targets

  • Visit local sporting goods stores or online retailers to find fun targets.
  • Try plinking with a .22 LR. It’s pretty inexpensive, fun and great practice for hunting.
  • Consider shooting drills, and use self-healing targets designed for fast-action handgun training.
  • Check what the shooting range offers. Some ranges have metal silhouette targets available. You also can buy or make your own.
  • Use a rifle gong to sharpen your skills for big game. It allows for long distance shots because it will ring with each impact, letting you know you’re on target.
  • Check out the variety of targets that incorporate popular games into shooting accuracy to make the competition even more spirited. (For example, you can play the classic board game “Battleship” with a target version. Or purchase targets with billiard themes or dartboard designs.)

Shotgun Fun

  • Challenge yourself or your family to a heated clay target shootout on a trap, skeet or the hunt-like sporting clay course.
  • Play an entire shotgun-shooting game called Elimination where three shooters line up as shooter one, two and three. The first shooter calls “pull” and tries to hit the bird. If that shooter misses shooter two has a chance at the clay bird and if shooter two misses, shooter three then gets a final chance. Shooter two can shoot even if the previous shooter one blasts a bird as long as a large enough piece is still in the air as a target. Shooters are “eliminated” if the shooter after you tags a bird you missed or in the case of shooter two, a piece of the remaining bird.

At the end of your range outing, check the area for litter. Pick up used shotgun hulls and brass cases. Collect used targets and discard them in trash containers. Then start thinking about your next trip to the range. New targets and games can make each practice session a lifetime memory that also improves shooting skills.

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