Socrates pretty much sums it up with “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.”
Most nights, I fall asleep imagining how my upcoming fall hunts are going to transpire. Some nights, I imagine bugling bulls rutted out charging and screaming in to my fervent cow calls and other nights I imagine lying prone on a heavy blanket of snow taking rest on a swollen necked mule deer buck.
Practicing proper prone positioning.
These are the moments that I live for, that I love, from hunting success, to haunting memories of a close call or should have been. Good or bad, these moments are what drive me to become a better outdoorsman each passing year.
In preparation for an action packed fall hunting season and opportunity for all of these dreams to come true, not only for myself but for the companies that I serve; the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Team Elk television show, Swarovski Optik, Cabela’s, Under Armour and Realtree. Having taken a long hard look at my current skill level, I have settled upon a few specific skills that could use some sharpening.
First on the list: Marksmanship. Being proficient at making terminal hits at various yardages is the key to my fall hunting dreams coming true.
To begin my journey towards precision marksmanship, I picked up the book “Hunters Guide to Long Range Shooting” by Wayne VanZwoll and when I finish that book, I will read “Dead On” by Tony M. Noblitt and Warren Gabrilska.
After having read a good bit of my long range hunting book, my enthusiasm could not be contained any longer. I wanted to learn more information and get behind the gun more quickly, which lead me to contact my cousin Tim Titus and his son Ben. They are predator and varmint hunting experts that specialize in “putting more fur in the truck and executing more first round hits” and have a great outfitting business, (www.no-off-season.com).
Fortunately for me, Tim and Ben had a three day opening in their schedule that would allow me to make the short drive to Eastern Oregon to get some hands on training with the expert shooters of the Titus family.
Tim took my desire to become a more proficient marksman to heart and was in full on classroom mode upon my arrival with a pre-determined curriculum that included discussions in relation to:
• Bullet Drop
• Ballistic Coefficient
• Wind Doping
• Sighting In
• Equipment & Gear
• Shooting Form
• Trigger Control
• Mental Tips
• Minutes of Angle
• Tips on Angled Shooting
• Basic Reloading
• 100 & 200 Yard Range Work/Benchrest Technique
• 400 Yard Gongs/Prone Technique
• 650 Yard Varmint Hunting
Chronographing to determine the actual muzzle velocity of the rifle for my drop chart.