If you’re like me, then you have fond memories of growing up hunting and the kind of camaraderie it brings. Every few weekends, I’d head out with my dad and a couple of his friends for a hunting trip.
Then, when we came back on Sunday afternoon, we had a lot of mosquito bites and hopefully a turkey and whitetail or two.
I learned how to shoot early, but not everyone is an old hand at hunting; if you’re starting out or looking to buy a new hunting rifle, there are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind first.
Choosing the Right Hunting Rifle for You
The key to choosing the right hunting rifle for you.
Whether you’re trying to bag a javelina, pronghorn sheep, elk, or whitetail – or something else entirely – is one of the first questions. What game is there around where you’ll be hunting, and what rifle is best suited to nab that game?
For one thing, you want a rifle that will take down the prey with one shot. It’s more humane that way, and it’s a lot cleaner kill.
There are some tips for how to pick a hunting rifle that’s right for your terrain, game, and skill level. Here are some starter tips…
It's no secret that I'm a fan of modern cartridges. That said, there is no denying that grandpa's old hunting rifle will work today. Sure, designs have improved. However, good enough is still good enough.
— Uncle Zo (@UncleZoGunTales) October 4, 2021
Starter Tips for Choosing a Hunting Rifle
First of all, if you’re buying a hunting rifle, you should do research online and take out a book or two about hunting to learn the basics.
Read magazines like Field & Stream; they’re jam-packed with useful info that will boost your hunting career and get you on the track to finding the ideal rifle for yourself.
In addition, you want to look into and compare hunting rifles with other options, such as bow hunting. Even if you’re not interested in a bow, understanding why some go for it and how it changes hunting versus using a firearm will be very educational for you.
Secondly, you want to make sure that you’re well trained. I highly recommend an NRA hunting rifle course.
They know how to train you to shoot; you can start off with the First Steps Rifle Orientation course, which will get you trained up on the basics of hunting. When you learn more about how to shoot, you’ll also get a much better understanding of which rifle would be best suited for you.
https://t.co/nzM2zeSgy9 Rhett akins- granddaddy's gun
— Charlie Woods (@ConvictCharlie) November 26, 2015
In terms of the next steps, once you do select a rifle, you’ll want to get everything else to go along with it. This includes a sight, proper ammo, a carry case, protection for your eyes and ears, and a kit to keep it clean.
Consider going out with other hunters and seeing what they use and how it works for them.
If you’re a new shooter, you’ll tend to be best suited for a small-bore rimfire weapon and something that uses bolt action. It won’t hurt you too much in the wallet either, and a .223, .243 Winchester, or 6.5 Creedmore are some very good options.
If you’re getting up to a .270 Winchester, the recoil is going to probably tire you out unless you’re an experienced shooter.