Yeti

How Much Do You Practice?

G. McAlister

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Jan 20, 2017
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110
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Southern KY
I am prepping for a hunt this fall in Colorado and I am wondering how much range time everyone puts in before their hunt. My goal is once per week five shots at 3-400 yard targets. Unfortunately in Kentucky it is too hot right now to try and get more shots in as barrel cool down time is 8-10 minutes minimum between shots of the .300 WSM. I am shooting off of different rests and positions. It’s hard to carve out much additional range time with a toddler at home but if popular opinion leads me to believe that needs to be done, I will find a way.
 

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
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Colorado
Sounds like you have a good plan together. I try to put 50-100 rounds down range per year. I do a lot of snap cap practice in the basement though because I don’t live close to the range. That has seemed to help me on the range a lot more than range time only.
 

RyGuy

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Mar 10, 2022
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173
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
With a scoped rifle, I only shoot 1-3x per year. But I also know my limitations when hunting. I don’t shoot farther than I’m comfortable, and on the farther end of my range, conditions have to be great (good solid rest, relaxed animal, no wind, etc).
With an open sights muzzleloader on the other hand, I prefer to shoot much more. I’ve noticed a big difference in accuracy when I get lots of practice with it. And again, I get to know my limitations. On years that I shoot a lot, I can make 150-200 yard shots. On years that I shoot less, I might limit myself to 100 yards or less.
Shoot as much as you feel comfortable with, get to know your abilities and set realistic expectations for yourself. Just my .02
 

seeth07

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Oct 14, 2016
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1,585
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Markesan, WI
Midwest approach - dust off the rifle from the cabinet, hang up a paper plate at 100 yards. Shoot 3 times. Confirm all three rounds still hit the paper plate. Good to go! :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Seriously though, it depends on the rifle and how content I am with the ammo and ability of the rifle. My Browning Safari .270 I have had for over 20 years now is sighted in with the good ole round nose 150 grain Remington Core Lokts and I can shoot a 1" group at 100 yards and a 3" group at 200 yards and it miserably fails after that. So every year, I just shoot that gun once or twice to verify a good zero at 100 yards and that's it.
 

Caseknife

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Jul 1, 2012
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384
Location
NE Washington
Dry firing teaches trigger control, the more the merrier. I don't specifically practice per se, due to that I am always seemingly working up loads for various rifles throughout the year. Like Dsnow9 said, you can improve your skill set immensely by getting in the various field positions and dry firing on a distance target. When the crosshairs no longer move on the target when the trigger is released, you are getting there. Saves a lot in wear and tear on the rifle and in the cost and availability of ammo. If you are worried about firing pin damage, use snap caps.
 

Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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1,329
I check my gun and go hunting. I shot so much when I was younger that I dont feel a need to practice much. Mostly just shoot my PCP airgun these days. Much cheaper.
 

ElkHunter80

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Jul 21, 2020
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25
I try to shoot 10-20 rounds each month between May-October, assuming I can purchase the ammo I need in advance which has been tough to do.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Formerly I shot just enough at the range to get zeroed and that was it. Like others have said, dry firing is a great way to get used to your trigger and better hold technique. Spending a bunch of time at the range can induce flinch.

This year I have been at the range quite a bit due to ironing out some changes I've made to my old Springfield and different loads I'm trying before going back to Africa. In the old days I was primarily a tracker in heavy timber where a shot beyond 100 yards was rare. A whole lot of practice and superfine accuracy just wasn't necessary. Learning hunting skills was more important. Now I hunt the open plains in Montana and Africa where longer shots sometimes present themselves.
 

Andrewlonghi

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Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
162
I am prepping for a hunt this fall in Colorado and I am wondering how much range time everyone puts in before their hunt. My goal is once per week five shots at 3-400 yard targets. Unfortunately in Kentucky it is too hot right now to try and get more shots in as barrel cool down time is 8-10 minutes minimum between shots of the .300 WSM. I am shooting off of different rests and positions. It’s hard to carve out much additional range time with a toddler at home but if popular opinion leads me to believe that needs to be done, I will find a way.
Look up gun barrel cooler...its a fan that fits in the action to help cool the barrel off quicker. Me and my brother and friends shoot all year long and started using one of the fans works excellent especially with magnum calibers
 

Rzrbck918

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Aug 13, 2016
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Location
Bixby Oklahoma
Not as much as I probably should. I make sure the gun is still sighted in an put a few more down range for good measure but I don't regularly shoot for practice anymore with large bore rifles. I am comfortable enough with my guns and shooting to know when I am looking through a scope whether or not I can make the shot.

I do commend you for practicing more. If I wanted to practice I would try to simulate my own experiences shooting out west, I would run enough to get the heart rate up while carrying my gun the way I intend to carry it. Take it off and try to make a good shot from an odd range.
 

jpcoll01

Active member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
78
I take my gun on my pack one day a week when I'm hiking. I fire 1-2 rounds after hiking 2-3 miles and then hike out. Trying to keep it as close to what I will need to do in the fall as possible (although the sweat dripping in my eyes from the KY humidity hopefully won't be a problem in MT in the fall). I haven't done this yet with my bow, but need to drop a target somewhere and start doing that one day a week (will do the same, 2 arrows and make them count probably).
 

TOGIE

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Dec 13, 2017
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2,448
Location
CO
not gonna lie, all i do is check my zero come september or so.

so like, 1-4 "practice" rounds a year through my 30-06.

if it wasn't such a damn huge time intensive inconvenience to shoot a gun living on front range i might shoot more. but thus far i still don't see the need.
 

buffybr

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Oct 3, 2009
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833
Location
BozAngeles, MT
I live 30 miles from our range. I go to the range every week, all year. I mainly go to shoot Skeet, but I get to the range a couple of hours earlier to shoot pistols and rifles. My usual range session starts with shooting offhand with each of four pistols at a 9" steel plate. Two magazines through my 9 mm carry gun at 15 yards, then two cylinders each with my .44 S&W and .38 S&W and two magazines from my 1911 .45 acp all at 25 yards.

Then I move over to the rifle range and shoot 10 shots prone with both my Weatherby Vanguard .223 and .308 at the steel gongs that we have at 200, 300, and 430 yards. In the 4 weeks before a hunt I'll also bring the rifle that I'll be hunting with, .257 Ackley, 7 mm RM, or .300 Weatherby, and shoot an additional 10 shots prone with that rifle at the 200, 300, and 430 yard gongs.

Then I go over to the Skeet range and shoot 3 or 4 lines of Skeet.
 

nrpate05

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Jan 5, 2015
Messages
1,367
I usually go through about 3 boxes of ammo for each of my hunting rifles per year (right now I have 2 that I use). That usually is about once a month from April - September. I usually shoot less than 10 centerfire rounds per rifle per session but do my best to make them count and try for somewhat real world scenarios. This past weekend I dialed my rifles into to hit a 10" steel target out to 400 yards, which I do prone. I'd like to shoot further but don't have a place to practice close enough. Then I bring the target to about 200 yards and shoot a few in different field positions. Off my pack, sitting, kneeling, sometimes rested against a tree if there is one close by. I've found that shooting closer distances quickly in those positions is tougher than ringing steel at 400 yards from prone with time to get steady and dialed in. And, most of my recent shots have been between 100-200 yards and I had to make them pretty quickly. Keep that in mind..
 

longbow51

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Aug 2, 2020
Messages
1,236
You can do trigger control with snap caps.

And you're not shooting for group (once you have confirmed it does group).

All I can say is the first year before I went caribou hunting, I went out 3x a week at lunch for a month and shot 10-15 or so rounds from sticks and a Ching sling, sitting position, at the 400 yard gong. Never felt more confident.
 

Ben Long

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Aug 8, 2011
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1,277
Location
Kalispell, MT
Call me old fashioned but most of my practice is with my 22 rimfire. I have a bolt action with a trigger and scope that matches my hunting rifle. I shoot spinners at a variety of distances and positions. I focus on breathing and muscle memory. I know everyone loves shooting tiny groups off a bench at long ranges, but most of my shots in the field are still well within 200 yards. Fundamentals matter more than ballistics IMO.
 

KB_

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Jul 12, 2018
Messages
878
Location
Bozemen, Montana
not gonna lie, all i do is check my zero come september or so.

so like, 1-4 "practice" rounds a year through my 30-06.

if it wasn't such a damn huge time intensive inconvenience to shoot a gun living on front range i might shoot more. but thus far i still don't see the need.
I'm the same way.

I usually shoot my bow at least once a week the whole year, but. This year we welcomed a new baby and I've yet to get the bow out and start practicing. Frankly ill be surprised if I will be able to bow hunt this year.
 
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