1. Most of us go to the range a month before deer season, fire a few shots off the bench to confirm our rifle’s zero and call it good. But you need more training than that for consistent one-shot kills.
Best way to practice is with a scoped rimfire rifle that approximates the heft and feel of your deer rifle. Grab a brick of .22 LR ammo if you can find it, and set targets 50 yards away in a safe area. Once or twice a month, fire dozens of rounds from the sitting, standing, kneeling and prone positions. With the .22 there’s no recoil, so practice as much as you want. It’s fun, and you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll shoot your .270 or .30-06 come fall.
2. Straight from the U.S. Army Special Forces sniper-training manual: Just before the shot, take a couple of deep breaths to oxygenate your blood, exhale normally, then, on a half-breath, break your shot — that’s when your body is calmest. After firing, pause and hold for a second and follow-through by continuing to look through your scope.
HANBACK INSERT: After pressing the trigger, pause and hold your rifle steady and your eye in the scope to FOLLOW-THROUGH the shot. This is important for rock-solid accuracy and one-shot kills, but dropping the fore-end of the rifle too quickly after the shot is one of the biggest mistake hunters make. Think about it and work on it.
3. A popular saying with old-time gun writers like Keith and O’Connor was, “Accuracy follows consistency.” Be consistent in everything, from how you shoulder and cheek your rifle, to how you sight through the scope, to how you breathe as you trip the trigger. Do it the same every time you line up to shoot a buck.