Western Hunting Journal, Sneak Peak WHJ_Short - Page 19

Shooting live ammunition is the best way to become a better shooter. Making The ‘Book’ When the day comes and you harvest an animal that is beyond the ordinary, the thought creeps into your head that it might possibly qualify for the Boone & Crockett Club’s record book. First things first. Know the minimum requirement for each specie. Then teach yourself how to score an animal’s horns. Once you think you’ve met the minimum requirement, you’ll have to have your trophy officially scored among other things. All of the needed information is available on B&C’s website. What follows is a list (sans walrus) of minimum scores for all North American Big Game animals. BOONE & CROCKETT CLUB Minimum Entry Scores SPECIES BY CATEGORY 5 Tips For Becoming A Better Shooter A ny advice on becom- ing a better shooter begins with one ba- sic premise: Practice. While that goes without saying, too many hunters step into the woods without the correct shoot- ing skills. What follows is a list of five ways to improve your shoot- ing, all of which are founded on the P-Word. Think Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. MJ has six NBA Championship rings, and Iverson (“Practice? We’re talking about practice?”) has none. Just saying. Dry Fire While at home prac- tice firing your rifle with an empty chamber. This is probably the best advice you can take prior to going afield. Dry firing creates routine, and a good routine creates good shooting habits. Press the Trigger We’re all taught to squeeze the trigger, but too often that results in a quick jerk-like motion. Practice press- ing on the trigger, which results in a slow, deliberate motion that results in a seamless trigger pull. AWARDS ALL-TIME BLACK BEAR 20 21 GRIZZLY BEAR 23 24 ALASKA BROWN BEAR 26 28 POLAR BEAR 27 27 JAGUAR 14 8/16 14 8/16 COUGAR 14 8/16 15 AMERICAN ELK (typical) 360 375 AMERICAN ELK (non-typical) 385 385 ROOSEVELT’S ELK 275 290 TULE ELK 270 285 MULE DEER (typical) 180 190 MULE DEER (non-typical) 215 230 COLUMBIA BLACKTAIL DEER (typical) 125 135 COLUMBIA BLACKTAIL DEER (non-typical) 155 155 SITKA BLACKTAIL (typical) 100 108 SITKA BLACKTAIL (non-typical) 118 118 WHITETAIL DEER (typical) 160 170 WHITETAIL DEER (non-typical) 185 195 COUES’ WHITETAIL DEER (typical) 100 110 COUES’ WHITETAIL DEER (non-typical) 105 120 When you’re at the range, practice shooting from the prone, sitting, and standing position (if allowed). When at home, while dry firing, practice from realistic shooting positions that you’re likely to en- counter while in the field. CANADA MOOSE 185 195 ALASKA-YUKON MOOSE 210 224 SHIRAS’ MOOSE 140 155 MOUNTAIN CARIBOU 360 390 WOODLAND CARIBOU 265 295 BARREN GROUND CARIBOU 375 400 CENTRAL CANADA BARREN GROUND CARIBOU 345 360 QUEBEC-LABRADO CARIBOU 365 375 Shoot And then shoot some PRONGHORN Breath The correct breathing pattern is also important. Prior to pressing the trigger, inhale then slowly exhale. When your lungs are empty, press the trig- ger. Practice taking the shot when your lungs are empty. Correct Position more. Becoming comfortable with your rifle and optics means actually going to the range and shooting live ammunition. This is as close to live hunting as you’ll get, so make t