Give it your best shot

Fundamentals and Common Sense are Key to Safe and Enjoyable Shooting and Hunting. Whether you're a beginner or planning to try big game hunting, a few basic rules will assure you safety and a rewarding experience:

Learn the Fundamentals

Understand that handgun hunting requires the same skills that other hunters need. Learn the quarry, its habits and habitats, by doing - spend a few days in the fields or woods with a veteran hunter and you'll pickup what you need to know or contact your local gun store or shooting club for more information.

Select Your Firearm

Choosing the right firearm is a key ingredient in a successful hunt. The handgun of choice should be one capable of accomplishing the task at hand but also one with which you are comfortable and can develop reasonable marksmanship skills.

Choose the Right Ammo

Selecting the right ammunition for the hunt is essential. Be sure and pick the right load for the game you are hunting, taking penetration and expansion into account. With the many bullet designs available there is a factory load for every quarry. Consult the ammunition guides and other hunters for help in making your choice.

Your choice of ammo can also have a big effect on your marksmanship. Rounds that are not easy to shoot due to excessive noise and recoil probably mean you won't practice as much as you should. Whether shooting .22 LongRifle or .44 Magnum® you may also want to try several loads in your gun to see which offer the best accuracy.

Develop Marksmanship

You have to be good enough to hit your target. Shot placement is important and knowing one's capabilities is essential. A two-inch target at 25 yards is a good way to start. When it comes to practice make sure you do it in the same manner you expect to shoot in the field. Many people spend all their practice time on the bench learning to shoot great groups at considerable distances.

Unfortunately there are not many benches to shoot from in the field. Practice getting into various shooting positions quickly and quietly and shoot from them. If you practice and are confident in your ability with the handgun of choice, know your distance limitations and stay within them, you will be a successful hunter.

Know and obey your state's hunting laws or those of the state in which you intend to hunt.

Handgun hunting is a challenge worth pursuing. Cover the basics and you'll find the sense of accomplishment in your improved skills is well worth it. Good hunting!