A successful shot!
Hunters and Shooters Society of Australia (HSSA) is a Hunter Leap provider which provides several short courses to our members and NSW R Licence holders. One of the courses HSSA provide is Making a successful Shot. Todays blog will be a very short overview of some of the information provided in this course.
Making a successful shot while hunting starts with practice. A hunter needs to maintain consistency in their technique to maintain accuracy. The hunter should maintain consistency in how they shoulder the rifle, where they position their head on the stock, where they hold the fore end of the rifle, how they breath, pull the trigger and manage recoil. Going to the range and practicing is the best way to do this.
Another factor to accuracy is understanding the trajectory of your bullet. As the bullet comes out of your rifles muzzle it will slowly loose speed which will result in your bullet falling. To assist in making a successful shot you need to know the Point Blank Range (PBR) of your rifle and bullet. PBR is described as a distance and it is the distance at which you can shoot at the center of a big game animals’ vital zone and still make a successful shot. Ie the bullet will not be higher or lower than the point of aim by more than a couple of inches. By knowing your PBR you illimate the need to holdover.
Once you have consistency and the subsequent accuracy required to take an ethical shot at game the next thing you need to know is where to aim on your game.
When shooting game, you need to aim for the vital sones of the animal. For an ethical kill there are only two acceptable vital zones. One being the brain and the other being the heart and surrounding vital organs.
When targeting these vital zones, you need to consider several things including the angle of your shot and the path that your bullet will take. If hunting for meat or fur you want to take a shot that will reduce the damage to the meat and or fur.
Consideration also needs to be given to the type of animal you are shooting. Some animals have tough skin and strong bones protecting their vital zones such as water buffalo, others like wild pigs will often have a thick hard coating of mud on them which will be quite difficult for some bullets to get through.
The final consideration of a successful shot is your bullet type and construction along with caliber.
Although we all hear the story of the hunter who took down a raging water buffalo with a well placed 22 quite shot having the buff fall at his feet. This is not ethical nor practical and some may even question the facts. You need to pick a caliber suitable for the game you are chasing. NSW DPI Hunting have a chart listing suitable calibers for each game animal and I find it to be a very good resource.
The next thing you need to consider is your bullet construction. You will need a bullet that can penetrate the animal to cause sufficient damage to kill the animal which will normally require a hard external coating, yet you will also want the bullet to expand upon impact which requires a softer core. There are many different bullet types available for such shooting from hollow point and polymer tip to soft nosed lead bullets. The best choice of bullet for you will be a personal preference and will take some experimenting on the range and in the field.
I hope this article helps you make a successful shot and become an ethical hunter.