Discover Recreational Shooting and Hunting
Gun owners can become comfortable and proficient with firearms by regular shooting practice at a shooting range or hunt club.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there was a 15.4% increase in background checks for gun purchases in the United States in October 2019 over October 2018. A large number of people are buying guns for the first time. Add to the cost of the firearm the expense and time involved in taking a class in gun usage and safety, and a considerable investment has been made. A new gun owner can continue to enjoy that purchase by taking part in hunting and shooting sports.
Selecting the Right Gun
The 2006 movie, Failure to Launch, has a scene in which Zooey Deschanel’s character, Kit, approaches a gun seller and explains that she wants to buy “a big gun” and a single round of ammunition. Obviously, this is not the best approach. When deciding to buy a gun, the purchaser should know how she intends to use it, where she will store it, and that she will be comfortable firing it. A 12 gauge shotgun or an assault rifle with a hefty kick is not the best choice for everyone. A person of small stature may consider selecting a youth model rifle or shotgun. A professional salesperson at a reputable sporting goods company can advise the shopper so that the gun purchased is a good fit for that individual.
Finding a Place to Shoot
It is necessary to find a safe, appropriate place to hunt or shoot. The National Shooting Sports Foundation maintains a website that allows one to search for target shooting facilities around the United States. From that website, one can reach related websites to find places to hunt. The Department of Natural Resources for each state also provides up-to-date information about hunting.
Learning About Shooting Sports
Shooting disciplines are categorized by type of firearm, target, and technique. Shotgun sports include Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays. Bench-Rest, Silhouette, and Position are rifle shooting sports. Action Shooting, Silhouette, and Precision Shooting are handgun sports. A person contemplating a first gun purchase would benefit from visiting a shooting range before deciding which type of firearm to purchase. If the purchase has already been made, a visit to the range is in order to find out about the shooting sports available for that type of gun. Gun enthusiasts at the range will be glad to help a new gun owner try out various types of shooting.
Learning to Hunt
While many gun enthusiasts are strictly competitive shooters, shooting ranges are certainly frequented by hunters. Gun owners who want to learn about hunting can meet hunters who pursue all types of games. These folks can provide a wealth of information about their sport. They may not give away the location of their best duck blind or tree stand, but they will be happy to discuss gun care and hunting technique. Who doesn’t love to tell stories about their favorite pursuit? Hunt clubs offer hunting experiences that include experienced guides and even trained hunting dogs. For women, The National Wild Turkey Federation presents several Women in the Outdoors events around the country each year. These events feature workshops in shooting and hunting, along with many other activities such as fly fishing, bass fishing, campfire cooking, archery, and self-defense.
Shooting Sports Offer Challenge, Fun, and Friendships
That first gun purchase can open the door to an exciting, new hobby. Branching out into a new area of activity also provides opportunities to meet people and make friends. Shooting and hunting sports offer a wealth of challenge, competition, and fun.