By Glen Wunderlich
Lansing, Michigan - -(Ammoland.com)- Many years ago, while in the third grade, my father decided I was going to play the violin.
I never showed any interest in music, but because he had played it, so would I.
At least I went through the motions during music class and even private lessons.
I recall being in my bedroom – probably in the first week of my short musical career – and sawing on those strings as fast as I could. The sound emanating from the instrument resembled a combination of fingernails on the blackboard and that of a cat when its tail is stepped on. Even I couldn’t stand it; it was obnoxious noise, pure and simple.
Similarly, during firearms deer season, it’s inevitable that some hunter with a case of buck fever, will flail away at a running deer until the gun runs dry. My instinct is that such hunters are as skilled as this young violinist once was with the same result: nothing but noise.
A simple solution to eliminating the fruitless, knee-jerk, firepower response is to develop the single-shot mentality. My epiphany took place some 40 years ago, while afield with a single-shot pistol hunting squirrels. An unsuspecting fox squirrel scampered across the trail no more than 50 feet in front of me and all I could do was smile.
Much like the violin, good shooting techniques must be developed. Having a magazine stacked to capacity won’t do it, either. In fact, it may lead to the very nature of missing by relying on backup shots.
As I watched a video of one of the world’s top rifle shooters, Franz Albrect, he paused to explain a lesson his father had taught him when he was a youngster. His father asked Franz if he could hit a distant target, but when Franz responded by saying, “I will try,” his father stopped him. “There is no trying. Either you can or you cannot.”
There is a time and place for trying, but it’s not in hunting situations; it’s at the practice range. There a shooter is able to test different loads until he is satisfied with accuracy.
Once sighted in, it’s time for developing techniques including rapid fire. Reactive targets such as resetting spinners are perfect and are relatively inexpensive. A can of spray paint can be used to refresh the targets, as often as you wish.
However, recycling cans by placing them upside down on sticks works just as well, because they’ll move noticeably when hit and can take dozens of hits before needing replacement. Plastic water bottles filled with water or inexpensive party balloons make good practice targets, too. Just add a few friends and a stopwatch/timer and you’ll have the proper ingredients for some friendly competition.
But, when heading afield for a hunt, I still like the single-shot firearms. They are simple, accurate, and some are relatively inexpensive, yet entirely effective with one well-placed shot. And, since only one shot is at hand, you’ll be required to learn the discipline of a sportsman and the single-shot mentality.
About Glen WunderlichCharter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the third weekend of September each year.