HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 07 - MARKSMANSHIP
Hunters can get overly excited. Especially if it’s your first time. If your adrenaline is starting to peak, you’ll need to coach yourself to keep cool. It’s totally normal—if your heart doesn’t start to pound at the sight of a huge buck, you’re either dead or you have the steadiest nerves ever. Mastering self-control will help you make more accurate shots. But more importantly, it’s a skill that’s essential to hunter safety because excitement can cause you to rush and make careless mistakes. This is really just good, all-around life advice.
If you find yourself becoming anxious, or overly excited, just take it down a notch. Telltale signs to look for are heavy breathing and a racing heartbeat. If these symptoms hit you, recognize how you’re feeling and temporarily put a stop to the hunt until you’re back in total and complete control. A calm shooter is a safer, more accurate shooter. So don’t waste your ammo on a heavy-breathing moment.
Believe it or not, inhaling and exhaling will move the barrel of your firearm if you don’t control what your lungs are doing. So, when you’re in shooting position, take a few deep breaths, exhale a portion of the last breath, hold the remainder of the breath while you take aim, then squeeze the trigger.
CHECK THIS OUT: 8 SECONDS MAX
Never hold your breath for longer than 8 seconds. You’ll become unsteady and your aim will be off. If you run out of breath before firing, just get yourself relaxed, take aim again and follow our steps to breathe easy and make an accurate shot. Take it in—it’s all about fresh air out here in the field.