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Take the Shot


Taking a good shot is one of the main responsibilities of the hunter — to minimize wounding and successfully retrieve and process the meat and fur from the animal.

Primary considerations for taking the right shot include:
• Distance estimation
• Shot angle of the animal (facing toward/away, broadside)
• Knowledge of game animal’s “vital zone”
• Effective range of the shooter and the sporting arm itself
• Effective shot placement — shooter’s capability and skills
• Animal’s awareness of hunter and movements
• Hunter’s self-control (emotions) and proper shooting fundamentals
• Practice – practice – practice

A lot of preparation goes into taking a proper shot. Many people think it easy to take a shot. However, given the animal’s movements, physical reactions of the hunter (e.g. surge of adrenalin, fatigue) and human emotions such as anticipation, nervousness and shot anxiety, it is not easy for most hunters to guarantee a good shot every time.

Practicing shooting skills involves frequency, testing, experimenting and gaining the necessary confidence to develop accuracy. Steps such as aiming, shot setup and follow-through or reflection are critical components in being consistent with each shot. When you get to the field, you often get only one chance, so making it count, after the animal properly presents itself, is the goal of each hunt. 

 Sonja Sommerfeld | TPWD

More Hunters Ed!


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  • Texas R3 Strategic Plan
  • By the Numbers
  • Hunting 101s
  • Get Ready
  • Get Set
  • The Thrill of Hunting Dove
  • Dove Hunting By the Numbers
  • Mentors
  • Hunting FAQ
  • Recipe: Venison
  • Recipe: Pulled Pork
  • Recipe: Jalapeno Dove Poppers

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