After the last day of deer season the majority of hunters clean their rifle and put it in the safe until next season. While there’s plenty of outdoor activity to keep you busy during spring, (fishing, chasing turkeys, hog hunting, etc.) It’s also a great time to sharpen up on your marks man skills. I hear people all the time talking about killing a deer at 300+ yards. While this can be achieved, it’s not an easy task. What I like to do in the spring is put myself in a hunting scenario. What do I mean by “Hunting Scenario”? If you mainly hunt from a box blind, put a blind chair with a rest the same height as your window on your range. If you spot and stalk, think about the different positions you usually shoot from and simulate them. If you have a range buddy, have him put up your targets and you put up his. Why do this you ask? Because you are trying to simulate a hunting situation and you never know where that big buck is going to show his face. There are a few different types of targets I use for this. Because a deer has about a 9” kill zone, a round steel target of the same size is a great choice. Also, Birchwood Casey makes a deer paper target that shows the vitals and is great for practicing.
Now that your targets are set and you’ve assumed your shooting position, it’s time to burn some gun powder. Do you think previous bucks that were harvested walked up to the feeder and patiently waited until the hunter decided to make the shot? Heck NO! Once the deer steps out, you have about 10 seconds to range him and get in position to make a clean kill. Because this is the typical situation with mature trophy bucks, I like to set a 10 second timer. Once time starts, range your target, make the needed adjustments depending on range, and squeeze that trigger. I’ve found it very effective to practice these range drills about twice a month (I wish I had time for more) during the off season. Have some fun with it too. Maybe you and a few hunting buddies bet a steak dinner on who shoots the best. Get that rifle out of the safe, and go send some lead down range!