Deer Season: Practice will give you more confidence

A box of 20 rounds for most rifles costs less than the food you’ll eat on the first day of hunting. Shotgun shells don’t cost much more.

There’s no excuse for not practicing with your rifle or shotgun before the opening of deer season. Using one box of shells is the bare minimum. Practicing more than once will give you a better chance of bagging a deer than just seeing white tails running off after you miss. Just wounding a deer is even worse.

If you shoot a rifle, pick one brand of cartridge. Sight it in and don’t use anything else. Shooting expert Eric Sharp, writing for Gannett News Service, says most rifles shoot one or two brands of cartridges with more accuracy than others. The difference is small, but could mean a lot in the field.

Sharp says shotguns, especially smooth bores, can show as much as a six-inch variation in accuracy at 100 yards with different slugs. He recommends running maybe three different types through your gun at practice time to see which one works best.

Hunters don’t like to talk about flinching. But if you can admit that the recoil of a 7mm magnum or .30-06 is so unpleasant that it affects your accuracy, Sharp says you won’t lose any macho points by switching to a .243 or .247 Roberts. The increased accuracy could bring you a big buck that all your pals will envy.

Another factor to consider. The deer is by far the most dangerous mammal in the United States. By helping to reduce the population, you may be saving someone’s life. There are more than 1.5 million deer/ vehicle collisions annually, resulting in 30,000 injuries or deaths.

When you help to thin their herds, you also reduce the number of deer that will die of starvation over winter.

And you reduce the risk of Lyme disease caused by deer ticks. About 13,000 people contract Lyme each year with its very serious and long lasting effects.

For all of your hunting supplies and needs, there are some great local businesses around that provide not only awesome prices, but the expertise you are looking for as well.

Try Bob’s in Longview, located on 12th Ave #425-3870, or 4 Corners General Store in Castle Rock, located on Westside Hwy. #274-8111

Each of these establishments have knowledgeable sales staff who actually use the products themselves, and are specially trained for the industry.

And always stay safe.

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