28 Jun FLINCH !!!
Now is the time to fix your “Flinch”! Most marksmen suffer from this chronic shooting glitch. Accuracy is lost because of the Flinch. Humans have a basic fear of loud noises and anticipated recoil. Past experiences make them hesitant and skittish when they jerk the trigger.
Flinching shows up when you switch or change weapons. After not bow hunting for a season, I went back to the compound bow. For years I had shot instinctively. My bare bow had no sights, scopes, range finders, or other gear on it. Simply a bow, arrow, 3 fingers in a shooting glove, and lots of practice. In trying to extend my range, I installed a sight, fancy biscuit rest, and started using a release.
I have shot thousands of arrows and harvested many critters within 20 yards with a bare bow. My buddies encouraged me to change. As I began to practice, things did change. First my anchor point moved. This changed my sight picture and range adjustments. I only needed one finger to pull the trigger on a release. As I began practicing, flinching surfaced. Not only was I jerking the trigger, my arm would quiver and move as I shot! I have never had a flinching habit with firearms or shooting in the past. Never say never!
The same problem surface when I went to a Crossbow. When I pulled the trigger, the sounds, feel, vibrations, and movements were foreign. I flinched because I was uncertain and unfamiliar with what would happen on the shot. The cure, Practice, Practice, Practice! It took me a few weeks, hundreds of shots, and experience to beat the bad flinching habit. Hopefully you can work these problems out at the range and not in the field.
The Cure is a steady dose of trigger pulling, expended ammunition, and experience. The more you shoot, the better you will become. As kids, we all had an Aunt, Uncle, or Grandpa that was a sharpshooter. They would take you out and show you how to hit a can at 100 yards consistently.
During the Civil War, a brigade of Sharpshooters was formed. They were called the Berdan Sharpshooters and wore the first near camo uniforms of green. Each marksman had to put 10 rounds in a 9-inch target at 200 yards. This was stand up, iron site, Sharps rifle shooting. The winners had a few basic skills in common.
Breathing When we breath our chest expands and contracts. As our chest moves, so does your shoulder and head. That means your rifle sights are rising up and down. Moving a half inch at the end of your barrel translates to several inches at 200 yards. The key is to take a full breath and let half out. Now hold, center your sight picture and shoot.
Trigger pull Next consider how you pull the trigger. You do not want to jerk, flick, or choke the trigger. The fatty part of your finger should cover the entire trigger shoe. As you feel the whole trigger, gently squeeze equally. When your breath is addressed, now squeeze until the rifle surprises you as it goes off. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!
Mount the rifle / weapon correctly Your rifle, bow, or gun needs to fit you properly. The stock should rest snuggly to your shoulder so that when the recoil happens, your full shoulder supports it. Your foregrip must control the front half of your weapon to prevent the weapon from jumping up as you recoil. If you don’t, the ring of the scope will catch your eyebrow. This can be bloody and painful.
Many marksmen practice using lead sleds, rifle rests and all types of supports, seats, cushions, sandbags and … When you are hunting, all this gear stays home. Learn to shoot like a Berdan’s Marksman. Practice standing up. If you need a crutch, try a bipod expandable shooting stick. It will adjust to most needs and is compact and light to carry.
Cut your own shooting sticks and leave them at your stands. I always carry a air of pruners to cut pathways and clear my trail. I once used them to gut a deer when leaving my knife home, but that is another story. Simply make the stick whatever length you need for your stand position. If seated, a short stick will work. Make sure that the Y rest is wide enough for your gun.
Now remember the other shooting steps and practice until shooting becomes routine. Muscle and mind memory will take over. I call this becoming the Terminator. The goal is to clear your mind of all thoughts, focus on the shooting tips, and calmly finish what you start. Your goal is one shot one kill. Make this moment completely unemotional. Once the critter is down you can pee your pants with excitement. Just focus and whatever you do;
Don’t think “I got you now”! “This will be a chip shot”! I guarantee that you will screw up the shot.
For more Montana Grant, sight him in at www.montanagrantfishing.com.