People have been hunting since the beginning of time, and the advent of guns has only made things faster and easier.
One of the best inventions in recent memory is that of the air rifle, which distinguishes itself from a regular firearm.
If you have the right gun, you may be ready and eager to get out into the wilderness and take it on!
While that’s understandable, there are definitely some tips that newbies and seasoned hunters need to keep in mind prior to going in for the kill. Read on for 5 great tips for hunting with an air rifle.
Choose the right rifle
Keep in mind the size of your pellets and the type of gun you have before you hit the fields. You wouldn’t want to choose the wrong size and have a disaster on your hands!
Protip: usually .22 caliber pellets are a good choice. However, there are some types of game you can’t hunt with pellets of that size. Deer, for instance.
Before you do anything else, figure out the type of game you want to hunt and pick a gun and pellets that are appropriate.
If you’re buying your gun online, that information should be handy for you on the page. If buying in person, feel free to ask the important questions regarding the gun you’d like.
Learn to aim
How do you expect to shoot anything if you can’t figure out how to aim your gun?
Before you trek into the fields or woods, make sure you have a decent idea of how to aim your gun.
If you miss your shot, the time you spend reloading will give your game a chance to run away – and that’s if you haven’t managed to scare them off first.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start practicing the shots that will guarantee you a clean kill.
Remember that air rifles aren’t as powerful as a regular gun, but you can still get yourself a clean kill as long as you make a headshot.
If you don’t know the hunting laws in your area, it’s a good idea to hang back until you do.
Just because you aren’t hunting with a regular firearm doesn’t mean you’re immune to the laws that other hunters are. An air rifle doesn’t exclude you.
You’re still going after game. You’re still actively shooting them. You’re hunting, and you need to abide by the laws.
Luckily, hunting laws for your area are easy to look up online. Otherwise, there are several resources you can ask. Your local police station should be able to tell you when the season starts.
Also, your local hunting club is a great resource and can definitely provide you with the information you’re looking for.
Learn how to move
If you don’t know how to navigate your way smoothly through the outdoors, you’re going to have a hard time shooting your game, air rifle or regular.
One wrong move and you’ll be scaring off all the local wildlife once they catch wind of your scent, or once you step on a twig or rustle some leaves.
Animals aren’t stupid, and they aren’t just going to lie in wait for you to find and shoot them. It’s important that you know how to move in the wilderness.
A good start is remembering to move slowly. Hunting sometimes involves a lot of sitting, which can feel strange if you’re used to thinking of it as an active sport.
Rabbits and squirrels, in particular, are very quick movers, and nearly impossible to track down once they’ve scurried off.
When you’ve got the animal in your sights, make sure to take careful aim and shoot quickly before the animal has the chance to run away. It can all happen in the blink of an eye, so this time, move fast!
Think this just has to do with physical movement? Think again. You need to be able to breathe correctly to hunt effectively.
Not only will breathing exercises clear your mind and wipe away the stress that hunting adrenaline sometimes builds, but if you think clearer, you can move clearer.
This has the added benefit of making you quieter, so your presence is less obvious to nearby animals.
Try timing your breaths to the pulls of your trigger. Inhale slow, and exhale the second you pull.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that moving in the day and moving at night are very different things. They each offer their own set of challenges.
While it’s a good idea to move and breathe slowly regardless of the time of day, there are some extra precautions you need to take when hunting at night.
You’ll have to figure out how to move with your scope-mounted lamps, for starters, and you’ll need to be able to move according to the nocturnal game.
It may seem like it goes without saying, but it’s important not to take camouflage for granted.
Animals have some sensory advantages above humans, but that means it’s important to take all the precautions we can against them.
Camouflage should cover all exposed skin. Make sure you don’t leave your face and hands out of the equation. In full camouflage, you should be nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding brush.
Not only will camouflage make you invisible to prying eyes, but it means that you’ll be able to stalk game more closely for that lethal headshot.
Think you’re ready to handle the wilderness with your air rifle?
Got your gun, got your aim ready, got your camouflage? You’re almost ready to go! The next time you’re ready to head out into the woods, make sure you review these simple tips.
Keep them in mind and you’ll have more game ready for dinner than you can carry.