Get out for shooting practice whenever you can

If the wind ever dies down and we get a break between snowstorms, get out and practice with your guns and bows. We may be a long way from hunting season, but the more practice you can get, the better.

The spring bear and turkey seasons are coming soon, so take every opportunity to get outside and practice with the bow or pattern your shotgun now. And while you’re at it, get some practice with your other guns and bows, too.

If your summers are anything like mine, they get filled up fast with family vacations, kids’ activities and other obligations. You won’t get as much time over the summer to practice as you think now that you might. If you have a spare moment before the craziness of the summer kicks off, seize it. Especially if you get a rare break in the weather.

If you’re an archer, you might be able to practice inside, where the wind and snow are never an issue. There are several indoor archery ranges around the state, though you might need to be a member to use them. Practicing with your rifle might be a bit harder to do indoors. There aren’t many indoor rifle ranges around.

Even if it’s windy or cold, though, you can still get some practice. After all, when you go hunting, you can’t control the weather. You might as well get some experience shooting in the wind. And if you have to bundle up, wear the gloves and coat you’ll wear when you go hunting, so you know they won’t cause you any problems on a real hunt.

As for practice shooting birds, join a trap or skeet league if you have a shotgun club in your area. Most of those leagues are going to be starting soon, and shooting in a trap league is both fun and good practice. Granted, it’s also quite frustrating. As my friend Chris Madson says, it’s not that clay pigeons are hard to hit, it’s just that they’re so easy to miss.

Get some practice whenever you can. You’ll be glad you did when fall comes around again.

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