For new or rusty hunters, target practice is key. I grew up shooting at empty beer cans and cactus in the Arizona desert with my family. Besides great memories and being comfortable around firearms, shooting my Grandfather’s .30-30 back then wasn’t much practice for hunting big game. With a goal in mind to have a successful deer and elk hunting season this year, I had to go back to the basics. When it all comes down to that one moment out in the woods, everything I’ve learned in target practice is what’s going to help me get the kill.
Aiming for targets with friends and my hunting mentor has been one way to practice my shot. However, I was starting to feel like I had a lot of learning to do. Lacking confidence and starting to worry, I knew it was time to pull out the big guns (no pun intended). This past week, I was fortunate enough to get a private rifle instruction with the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience. An experience it was. Before I arrived to my lesson, I answered many questions about my shooting skills and what I’d like to work on. When I got there, everything was planned and ready to go. My lesson was geared towards hunting.
Shepard Humphries, the lead instructor and company principal, taught me all I wanted to know. He gave me drills meant to mimic hunting situations, helped me with my positioning and accuracy. That lesson was the most informative thing I could have done to better myself as a hunter and the most fun I’ve ever had shooting. They are now offering 90 minutes of hunting rifle training. One of their instructors will teach you how to sight in your scope, lessen your buck fever, and anything else you might need. I highly recommend it for new hunters like me. You can visit their website for scheduling. And if you’re a seasoned hunter, the Jackson Hole Shooting Sports Foundation puts on a lot target practice events, which helps fund shooting sports and education in Jackson Hole.
Not only did I leave my private instruction a better hunter, I left there hungry. A two or four hour target practice and thoughts of wild game is serious cause for hunger. I usually plan ahead for things like this. Whether you have tenderloins marinating or beans on the stove, it’s nice to come home to a hot meal after a long day of hunting or practicing. This time, I had a rustic bolognese simmering in a dutch oven waiting for me. It’s one of my favorite recipes of mine because there are no rules. Sometimes I use wine, sometimes I use beer. I substitute the vegetables for anything I may have in my fridge. Also, it works well with any wild game. I’m still using buffalo until I get my (fingers crossed) deer.