If any of you have read much of what I have written in the hunting magazines I routinely write for, you know I am a believer in hunters shooting silhouette – realistic – targets. Why? Um, well, it makes perfect sense. Police do it, the military does it and bow hunters even do it. Why should rifle hunters not do it?
The premise is that it teaches your eye when to tell your finger to pull the trigger by creating a mental image of the sights in the right spot. An image you can access when under the stress of the moment. That’s a gunwriter way of saying, “Train like you will hunt.”
A recent article in a popular hunting magazine deals with the science behind buck fever. The author offers mental exercises as a solution but fails to address the best way to eliminate the problem; build confidence in your shooting ability. The buck fever – anxiety – comes from not having the confidence you need to complete the task. If you know you have the necessary skill to make the shot, buck fever is nothing more than controlled excitement.
Good friend and experienced hunter John Barsness – who is also a great outdoor writer – once told me a reader complained to him that he did not seem to miss animals very often in the articles he writes. John’s response was, “Well, I don’t shoot at animals unless I’m confident I can hit them.” This may seem a bit arrogant but this confidence comes from practice – not mental visualization – and John is a very practiced and good rifle shot.
HERE is another great target source from reader Papa Whiskey.