Practice the Right Way

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:56pm
Bill Miller

While most of us complain about the “off season” from hunting, this is the time to get a lot of work done.

No, no, no … I’m not necessarily talking about yard work (although I’m reminded often that needs doing, too). I mean planning, preparation, and practice for the hunting season ahead. There are trail cameras to be positioned and checked. There are tree stands requiring repair and replacing. There are dogs to be conditioned and trained.

There is also shooting practice. When the moment of truth arrives this fall, the more you’ve practiced, the better you’ll perform.

However, just any old practice won’t suffice. Hunters must practice with purpose.

That means simulating actual hunting conditions and situations as closely as possible. Use the gear for practice that you’ll be using in the field come hunting season.

Let’s focus on rifle shooting for a second.

The most important thing in making a tough rifle shot is a familiar feel of the gun and the trigger. You need to practice in a way that gives you the same feel you’ll experience in the field. So, for starters, once the rifle is sighted in, forget the benchrest ever existed. There are no shooting benches on the mountaintop.

Practice in situations and positions to replicate what you’ll ultimately experience in the field. Shoot from all positions – prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Make up some more if you think you might have to shoot from some other position! Improvise rests. Shoot from your pack, shooting sticks, a bipod, a tripod, rocks, your buddy’s backside (yes, your guide may tell you to use him as a rest in a pinch!), the crown of your hat … anything to prepare for what you may encounter.

And wear the gear you’ll wear when you’re hunting; for sure, the Huntworth Men’s Tri-Laminate Shooters Glove. They are designed to provide the kind of enhanced trigger feel you need to make every shot count.

The shell is a triple layer fabric combining stretch polyester bonded to a soft fleece with a waterproof breathable membrane. They have a second-skin kind of fit essential to finesse shooting, and the pre-curved fingers provide ultimate comfort. The palms feature a silicon print for enhanced grip, and there’s a soft, stretch band cuff for warmth and security.

This off season, practice with your gloves on; practice with purpose.

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Bill Miller is a lifelong hunter, angler, and outdoorsman. That’s kept him in the woods for something north of 40 years already. He’s built a 30-plus-year career focused on communicating the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the outdoor experience. His adventures have led him to five continents, and camps from high above the Arctic Circle to southern South America and Africa. He has authored hundreds of articles, hosted hunting and shooting sports programs on many major cable television networks, and written or contributed to dozens of books about the outdoors. Yet despite all the distant adventures, much of his favorite outdoor pursuits are close to his home in the Upper Midwest. Besides blogging at, you can also find Bill’s work at, NBC Sports from the Lodge, on Outfitters Rating TV on the Sportsman Channel, and in numerous hunting publications. Bill’s most recent book collaboration is called Reflections Under the Big Pine details of which can be found at