For the third year in succession, it was a case of women to the fore on the shooting range. Celebrating Women’s Month, 21 women ranging from novices to professionals attended a weekend of shooting, drills and fun from 5 to 6 August at Marksman’s Nest shooting range near Malmesbury.
Chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee said, “We were also honoured with a delegation from the NATSHOOT office this year. These ladies are part of a super team that manages the NATSHOOT database.”
All the action
After registration and all the formalities, the group spent a total of seven hours on the shooting range. Starting with fundamentals, they then progressed to micro-precision shooting skills and shotgun developmental shooting among many other modalities.
That night, the whole team embarked on a night shooting session, followed by a night walk. “Night shooting is very technical and not a common skill among law enforcement and private citizens. But we believe that, as a firearm owner, it’s a critical skill to possess. And I must say, the ladies in attendance did extremely well. We commend them for that.”
After so much action, the group settled in for some sustenance and a lovely night around the fire. All in all, the weekend was a roaring success.
“Women generally are more coachable than men. When they’re told how to hold the gun, they hold it that way. When shown to look at the front they do exactly that,” Geoffrey said.
“The number of women hunters, target shooters and gun owners has increased dramatically over the last number of years! And it’s particularly heartening to see so many women taking self-defence handgun training to heart.
“The weekend was proof that you can achieve anything with some commitment and pushing your limits. Well done to all 21 attendees. We’re chuffed that it was a case of women to the fore on the shooting range during Women’s Month.”
Apart from being at one with nature, it’s also a case of skill and precision in hunting. Many of our members are first and foremost hunters. And they all share one fundamental skill: good aim.
Chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee emphasised that to become a better hunter means improving your shot accuracy. “And the only way to do this is practice, more practice, time and patience. Some of our members are good shots naturally, but others must work at getting good aim. There’s no better place than the shooting range to practice your aim regularly. Start with static targets and then move on to moving targets.”
Don’t underestimate the importance of holding your gun properly. Fact is, you might be caught off-guard by how powerfully the firearm recoils after being fired. Proper gun holding entails resting the rifle stock firmly on your shoulders. Reason being, this controls the force of the bullet being fired somewhat. And as for the trigger, squeeze it tightly while using the force on your wrist and fingers too.
Importantly, to be a good hunter, you also need to have a steady hand and sharp eye. “But most crucially, it’s also a matter of minutes of angles equal to 1/60th degrees, known as MOA. Just remember, one minute equals 1/60th degrees in an angle.
You may think that 1/60th of a degree seems too small. “However, with bullets going so fast and furiously, calculating minutes can make a huge difference. The simple explanation is: MOA helps you measure the bullet drop,” Geoffrey said.
The simple math formula to calculate for bullet drop is: Target distance (metres) / (divide by) 100 = mm per 1 MOA at that distance.
The equipment imperative
You’ll thank your stars when you invest in the right rifle and scope. And that doesn’t necessarily mean expensive equipment. Our rangers will gladly advise on the best out there.
Before buying, read the reviews and check for weight, grip and overall feel. In terms of the scope, do get one that’s versatile in providing a good view from various ranges.
Geoffrey said, “Practice controlling your breathing. Hold your breath while aiming and while taking a shot. When aiming down, take slow and deep breaths so that your heart rate doesn’t get too affected. It’s especially important to control your breathing before pulling the trigger. That has a lot to do with shooting accuracy.”
Study and practice the above and soon you’ll have skill and precision in hunting.