Teach The Lady To Shoot


.410 gauge. That pea shooter is a heart breaker for the experts. I've seen the great Alex Kerr have bad days with that little gun, and for my money he is the best shooter in the world today.

Men, you may stop reading at this point. I have something to say to the girls. Ladies, put on your loosest girdle, your old skirt, and your shooting coat. Go out to the gun club and pick out a good shooter. Ask him to coach you, after telling him how you

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admire his shooting ability. No man lives and breathes, between the ages of 6 and 106, who will not be delighted at such a rqenest. Your husband, brother, or close friend will not do ordinarily. It is the same as one of them teaching you to drive an automobile.

Ladies, you will be on the spot in one respect: that is, regarding safety. Learn the len commandments of gun safety, and observe them religiously. The men will watch you particularly close in the phase of safety; violate just one of these rules and you will immediately become as welcome as a skunk at a picnic.

Start your program by observing other shooters. "Form" is as important in shooting as in golf or any other sport. Form is simply the easiest method of doing a thing, and there are many short-cuts in shooting a gun. Your foot position is important. Your feet should be about 12 inches apart; your weight slightly more on the left foot. Your position should be one in which you would take to shoot the target at about the point in its line of flight that you intend to break it. Deviation from this position is only for picking up the target, following its line of flight until you have the correct lead ahead of your target. Your feet should not be moved; the body should swivel, using the left foot for a pivot. Your gun muzzle should be moved

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(JniMflÊ and, v9mjAl SpAtëan smoollily, and steadily, not by jerks. After you sboot, you should follow through with your swing the same as you do with a golf club or a tennis racquet.

If you can. it is best to wait until there is a lull in the shooting, or until a range is vacant, and start out on station seven. Shoot, only the low house targets until you have mastered that station, and you have learned to stand correctly without giving much thought to your position. Clay target shooting requires a lot of concentration, so practice at each station until you have solved the problems encountered there before you move to the next.

After a few weeks' practice at the gun club, or with the hand trap, you will begin to form a team with your gun. You will hardly realize you are holding a gun when you shoot, for your attention is concentrated on youT target. Here are a few don'ts while you are learning:

1. Don't violate any safety precaution. Keep the action open at all times when you are not actually on the shooting station and ready to fire your gun.

2. Don't talk while another shooter is firing.

3. Don't get in with the expert squads until you are ready. You will only slow them up, and break the rhythm of their shooting. Shoot with the beginner squads until you get some experience.

4. Don't adopt unorthodox shooting positions, squatting, feel loo wide apart, leaning towards the target excessively. You may notice some good shooters doing this, but they are shooting well against a handicap.

When you have learned to handle your gun well, you are then ready to take part in the second oldest sport in the history of mankind—hunting. Hunting, in this modern era. is about as easy as baking a cake. I have hunted ducks, geese, pheasant, quail, doves, deer, and bear. Willi the exception of quail hunting and pheasant hunting, where a lot of walking over rough terrain is involved, all of it is simple. You can drive your car out to a dove field, get out and walk a few hundred feel, get in a blind, and shoot all afternoon. The same applies to goose hunting if you hunt them in the wheat fields as we do around Lake jYIaltamuskeet, N. C. If you shoot ducks over pot holes, or around the edge of lakes, there is little physical effort involved there either. Of course, going along in a boat is certainly no slrain. Crow shooting is a lot of fun, and you help the farmers out in ridding the country of this pest.

Hunting clothing should be warm and of durable material. Don't make the mistake of leaving a warm house at 3 A.M. on a freezing-cold morning, clad in gabardine riding breeches. You won't look glamorous, anyway, if you are purple with cold.

Give the shooting and hunting sport a trial. You will like it. You will be initiated into a new world. Never again will you have to sit, forgotten and forlorn, and listen to hunters speak happily in a lingo as strange as Swahili to you. When one says, "That old honker came quartering in on me, 1 took him with a pass-shot," you will soar out to a marsh and mentally thrill to the sight of that majestic gray goose winging over a blind. You get the memory of thai indescribably wild and untamed sound the wild goose makes. "A flight of squealers buzzed my decoys and I had a malfunction." Again you are in perfect tune; you are on his frequency as you sympathize with the unfortunate man who sat for hours in a cold duck blind, only to have his gun fail to fire when a flight of ducks finally come in close.

There are few sights in the world more thrilling than the sight of watching a pair of well-trained bird dogs making game and freezing at point over a covey of quail. You'll never forget the thrill of walking slowly up, and having a dozen or more quail explode noisily into flight and rocket away like bullets.

Of course, I know from experience that being a wife and mother is a demanding job, and I do not recommend that you go overboard on any hobby or sport. However, I do know that there is no better enjoyment to be found in any hobby than you will find with a gun—not just in the matter of killing game for, actually, the true sportsman kills comparatively little. The enjoyment is in all that goes with shooting and hunting; the clean outdoors, the knowledge you gain of wildlife and of nature, and the understanding and companionship that only shooters and hunters enjoy.

SEE "MAGIC MARKSMAN" The story of Doc Carver, in next month's GUNS

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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