To-do list for hunters: National Shooting Sports month is here

For the outdoors person, August is a welcome month. Soon, autumn will be upon us and we have a lot of stuff to do to be ready for it. The National Shooting Sports Foundation Has designated August as National Shooting Sports month and have given us some tips on how to celebrate the month.

Visit a gun range

I follow this faithfully. For target practice, of course but also for getting the rifles shot in for the upcoming big-game season. August is the perfect month for it because the ranges are not yet crowded.

You can take your time shooting and adjusting and whatever else is needed. No one will be breathing down your neck, waiting for their turn, like they will over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when the ranges are over-run with potential shooters.

Crowds at ranges often cause shooters to accept something short of preciseness at the range because “close to the bulls eye is good enough” when others are breathing down your neck to get their turn.

Not to mention the various opinions you will get from onlookers as to what is good enough when you know how just a tiny bit “off” can mean a miss or bad hit in the woods.

Introduce them

Take someone new to the range, especially if you have children, grandchildren or friends who are not only new to shooting but are going to be new to shooting come fall.

They need to know how to aim, how to shoot in their own rifle and to be steady when shooting.

Something near you

Retailers and ranges are offering all sorts of specials during this special month.

The website LetsGo Shooting.org will show you what are the closest events and deals near you.

Take them with you

Invite someone to go along who has never shot a gun, like a wife or girlfriend or young child, then help them be initiated into the shooting experience by letting them shoot an appropriate firearm for their strength and size.

Gone are the days of taking “the little woman” to the range, handing her a 12-gauge shotgun with magnum 6’s in it, and then laughing uproariously when she hits the ground. That is the best and fastest to add a dedicated anti-gun, anti-hunting individual to your own household.

Safety first

Responsible gun owners safely handle their firearms and securely store them when not in use when transporting them in vehicles and at home.

August is the perfect time to spread the word to your friends, family and community that the shooting sports are some of the safest recreational activities around, and that they can be enjoyed by everyone.

Share time

#LetsGoShooting and #PlusOneMovement are the themes of National Shooting Sports Month.

Share the hashtags and your experiences on your favorite social media networks and remind others to give target shooting a try. Stay connected by following LetsGoShooting and #PlusOneMovement on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter

Win something

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win one of our super Gearbox Giveaways at LetsGoShooting.org.

These special prize packages were generously donated by our National Shooting Sports Month sponsors.

No time to rest

For me, August is a busy month in other ways. I complete a number of chores in that month that many hunters don’t even think of until sometime in November.

Anything that oozes a scent must be completed before it is imperative to be scentless in the woods. Things like conditioning boots and other leather accessories. Have you ever realized just how heavy the scent is in gun oil?

Many of us spray our clothes relentlessly with scent-killers, then pick up a gun we just cleaned and oiled the night before deer season and wonder why a deer snorts and bounds away when you took such pains to kill your scent. Maybe it was the conditioner you used on your boots a day or two before the season opener.

Have you considered the scent of your bologna and garlic sandwich in your backpack? Or the smell of gasoline you picked up on your boot soles when you stopped for gas on the way to the hunting grounds? Or the scent your hunting jacket picked up when you laid your hunting coat on the back seat where your family dog usually rides? Or the lingering aroma of the shampoo you used in the shower last night? Or the reeking of the tick repellent you forgot to spray on your outer clothes until last night?

Not many of us consider the human scent that is absorbed on our bow from the hours of practicing in the back yard. When you consider that you are sharing the woods with scores of other hunters who have also brought all sorts of fragrances from home and car with them into the woods. It’s a wonder we ever see anything at all.

Come September we will be busy scouting, in the woods looking for food sources. Are there abundant acorns and beechnuts this year? What about wild grapes and apples? Buck rubs and toward October, good scrapes will be showing up. Lots to look for and figure into our hunting plan.


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