Marksmanship part 1 the one behind the trigger

This is a continuation of teach them young teach them correctly. The process of taking a novice shooter to the level of a marksman is a long and arduous process. There are many that will disagree with my suggestions for various reasons running from that will never work to all that I write on this matter is pure B.S., to those who disagree, I say open your Mind and your Eyes and give what I suggest a try.

The majority of my marksmanship skills have come from years of hunting. The majority of my bad habits came from my time in the U.S. Army. Being right-handed and right eye dominate the Army only taught me to shoot right-handed, never with my left and to use only my right eye never my left. At that time in the Army they would break any bad habits the country boys brought with them. The first thing my drill sergeant said when weapons were issued was “that ain’t your hunting rifle”. It took years to drop the bad habits and retrain myself to be a true marksman.

Being a hunter and with knowledge of the outdoors and reading sign in the woods has taught proper placement of a portable tree stand to ensure success. The problem is that animals do not always place themselves in front of me and my rifle. If the animal cooperated and placed itself anywhere from my fight front quadrant to my extreme left it would provide meat for me and my family. However if the animal failed to cooperate and was any where beyond my right front quadrant to my extreme right side it was safe. I was hunting the same way I had been retrained to shoot right-handed only and had been doing it for years. I thought I had only two choices, 1 wait for the animal to move to a spot where I could shoot or 2 move around in the tree stand and that choice could have two possible outcomes 1 scare the animal away or 2 risk falling to certain injury, neither was acceptable. I had another choice and that was the course I took, I retrained my self to shoot equally well with either hand.

Not only had I lost the skill to shoot with either hand I had also developed the habit of squinting the non-dominate eye, I only realized that fact when I first tried to shoot left-handed, I could not see the sight, my eye was closed. I had not realized that I was missing half of the world all those years, sitting there with one eye closed behind the rifle.

Now I shoot with both eyes open and with either hand again, but I do at times catch myself squinting, but at least I recognize it and correct it now.

Whether or not you are a hunter these skills are important. If you already possess and use the skills and are passing them down, good on you. If you do not remember and pass this along, if you have two hands use them equally well and if you have two eyes keep them both open there is a world on both sides and it is not always friendly.