I generally like to use the summer months to sight in my guns and get all my hunting gear in order so everything is set for the day season opens.
One of the most important things I do is spend a significant amount of time at the rifle range to ensure that I have an overall understanding of my gun and ammo combinations. If you find yourself getting ready for an upcoming hunt and realize you didn’t do the proper preparation, I’ve come up with a few tips and considerations that you can still utilize to help you find success.
First, remember to think about temperature. One day I sighted in my guns at my parents house and it was close to 100-degrees. Not only does this make for a hot day, but your barrels get very hot and your gun may shoot different when you head up to the mountains in 20-degree weather. I’m not saying not to shoot on hot days. I try to shoot whenever I have time, but make sure to consider this and try it in a variety of conditions. This will also help you understand your own gun and how it may react to the elements.
Next, I am a firm believer in taking all human error out of sighting in your gun. I use a lead sled to ensure that it’s properly sighted in. Not only does this take the error out of it, but if you’re sighting in a gun with heavy recoil it allows you to shoot and shoot without getting all beat up. Once I have my guns sighted in, I will also switch and shoot off my butt in the grass on shooting sticks, or prone on bipods as well just to mix it up.
When I head to the range I also bring a variety of ammunition. I hunt deer, moose and elk this fall elk so I like to have specialized ammunition to get the best results. For deer hunting I shoot Winchester Deer Season XP. For elk I’ll be shooting a Winchester Ballistic Silvertip in a 180 grain bullet. And for moose I’ll be using Winchester Power Max Bonded in a 180 grain bullet. I really like to shoot each one and know exactly where they hit at various ranges. There may not be much difference at all, but I believe in being confident and knowing exactly where everything hits. Another great way to test out the difference is to log onto Winchester.com and checkout the ballistic calculator application. You can test each load with different winds, temperatures, and it’s a great way to learn more about your bullet regardless of where you’re at or what you’re doing.