People who are avid hunters understand the difference in rifle styles and calibers and their functions as a weapon when hunting different types of game. It’s important to remember not only what caliber will be the most efficient toward making a clean kill without destroying more meat than required depending on the size and strength of the prey, but also what conditions the hunt will be conducted in.
A .22 Long Rifle, for example, is illegal for hunting large game in most states although it can in practicality make a clean headshot in the hands of a proficient shooter. A heavier rifle provides a more efficient opportunity at making a respectful and humane kill with penetration through the chest cavity.
Read on to learn how you can get the most out of your hunting rifle.
Landscapes and Rifle Calibers
In North America, the reality is that a .30-30 caliber is enough to hunt any animal. Certainly in the Southeast where the bulk of the hunting is conducted in a wooded environment, such a weapon is highly efficient and light enough to hike with — whether climbing into a deer stand or getting into a hunting blind.
In the mid-west or Rocky Mountains, the game tends to be larger and the distances are longer, so the extra power of a .308 or even a .30-06 may be more appropriate. Of course, other calibers such as the .300, .301, .375, or others according to preference can add a wide variety of balancing comfort with power.
In the open plains where people hunt nuisance coyotes which aren’t going to be harvested, a .50 caliber rifle can be a lot of fun to shoot and provide for a clean kill at a heavily exaggerated distance.
Scopes and Optics
Choosing the right scopes and optics is just as important as a rifle’s caliber when planning a hunting trip.
Traditional iron sights, when properly adjusted, are proven to be an effective and reliable aiming system without the worry of batteries or detailed maintenance. A red dot sight is often a personal preference — especially for people who trained with it during military service. Magnification scopes, typically adjustable from 3-9 levels or occasionally at 4-12 or 2-7 levels, are the ultimate for sighting game at a distance and providing a highly accurate shot.
Practical Hunting Techniques
Regardless of the weapon you choose, proper hunting techniques are always going to be just as important as the gun itself.
Proper shoes and clothing are important to wear for safety and camouflage according to what terrain you prefer and whether you hunt from a stand, blind, or natural cover. Remaining quiet and scent free allows for a closer shot.
Most importantly, although the goal is to conduct a harvest, be sure to have fun and enjoy the opportunity to be in nature and observe plant life, animals you may not be hunting on a given day, the weather, and how they interact with each other. Such observations will provide experience and help prepare for your next trip.
~ Ready to Fire News