Kirby, Dick and others. I am gonna share a couple stories from my past. First since I am new to the forum I will explain a little about myself. Born and Raised in eastern oregon. Grew up with a ranching family. Started shooting centerfire ate age 5. My first deer/Elk season was at 11. (I will get back to this.) After highschool I started guiding at a ranch in NE oregon. (70,000 deeded acres with about 200,000 more in alotments) The terrain is very rolling open crp feilds and bluffs moving into the fully timbered high country. I started as an apprentice learning more about range management and herd management than I did about guiding hunting (kinda funny how learning one kinda gives you the other). After 3 years I became a full share guide. Went on to be the head guide.
Ok so with that out of the way. My first story comes from an observation (or observations) built over a few years of hunters. There seems to be a trend forming that I directly corrilate with the "hunting" magazines and TV shows that people watch and read. It seems that people seem to think that in order to kill a deer size animal or bigger (Dick metcalf comes to mind)(Even though I admire him and would love to share a camp with him) that you have to be shooting a "Magnum" caliber. I would see client after client show up with huge belted magnum rifles.
My first question to these clients was always can I see your rig? I would then question them as to how long they had had the weapon. I would also ask them how many rounds they had shot out of it. The normal answer (I mean I would say at least 85% of the time would be) its a new gun but its the best one they had, they guy at the shop told me so. Oh BTW Im shooting XX win mag caliber. Well I sighted it in.... but its a tack driver and can shoot at least 300 yards!!" My thoughts were (Yeah but have you)
Well I would always take them to our range the night before there hunt started. We would get them set up and have them shoot at 100yds. (Sometimes I would video it, not the target but them shooting. The flinches were amazing.) I would always here this: "Thats way more than 100yds. I would hand them my Leica and prove it.... Before the Leica it was ok lets pace it off) Flat open country makes judging distance tough. We would always "get them on paper" and more times than I can count I had clients ask if I would shoot it just to make sure... Which I wouldnt do. But what I would do is ask if I could shoot a few with my rifle. I would pull out my 22-250 (nothing special just a rem 700 that I had sighted dead on at 600 for this demo i put on for them) I had a steel gong 32" diameter set up at 600 yds. If you didnt know it was there you would miss it. I would show them where it was and fire 3 rounds fairly rapid fire. "Dong, Dong, Dong" I would then get into a conversation with these clients. That conversation or the meat of it was as follows.
me: So do you think you could do that with your XXmag?
Them: well, no.
Me: Why do you think that is?
Them: Well you shoot that all the time you know exactly where to aim.. Its not a fair game.
Me: I would then ask them if they would endulge me and take a couple shots with my rifle.
Them: (If they would play along) Well, where do I aim? How much do I have to hold over it?
Me: Just put the x right in the middle..
Them: No way that little thing can get out there that far..
Me: I just showed it can! Plus I promise it can I have taken animals from this far.
Them: (If they would play along) Dong!! (Supremely dumb look on there face and I am sure They were wanting a high five)
Me: Do you know why you could do that?
Them? Well you must have your gun sighted perfectly (or something similar)
Me: Do you mind if I shoot your rifle? (I would then pray like hell and get everything right and shoot there rifle, most times Dong! (In the case of the 338-378 it went through my gong))
The look on these people faces was amazing. I would then give them a quick lesson on trigger control breathing and NOT being scared of there
In all the return clients I ever had I never had a deer hunter show up with a kicking mule there second year. (They would always tell me that since they got a rifle with less recoil they enjoy practicing more) So these guys would practice learn there firearms begin to learn wind and enjoy shooting again..
Im sorry this got so long winded I will cut this short and post again with another situation I have learned that I think will help people.. However I am not in anyway saying big cal rifles are bad nor am I saying that they people on TV or video could ever learn anything.. what I am implying is that I think we need to shift peoples perception a little bit."