Know Your Accuracy Limits
Ethical hunters know their personal accuracy and limit their shots accordingly.
- An 8-inch paper plate is the standard target for establishing deer hunting accuracy. An 8-inch target is about the same size as the vital area of a deer. You need to be able to hit the paper plate consistently at the same distance and from the same shooting position you will be using when hunting. The fact that you can hit an 8-inch target at 100 yards from a bench rest does not mean you will be able do the same from a standing or kneeling position.
- Before hunting, practice until you are confident you can hit the required target at the distances and from the shooting positions you expect to use in the field. When hunting, limit your shots to your most accurate range.
- Pattern your shotgun, then practice hitting targets at distances that you expect to shoot game. This will develop proficiency with the chosen firearm, promote understanding of the firearm’s shotstring, and help to ensure a clean, quick kill.
- It is critical that you practice distance estimation to learn your personal maximum range. Subtending is an excellent technique to determine the range to a target.