Group shooting a high-end tactical rifle on Nick's recent visit to Austria

To reliably shoot running game


QI’ve had to shoot at a running game on many occasions, but a fewmonths ago I missed a trophy deer and the bullet sent dust spurtingbehind him. How do I go about hitting game on the run?

LanceArmitage

 

AWell, I’ve been fairlysuccessful shooting at running game, which I put down to getting alot of practice on running rabbits in my youth. On a driven hunt inSweden I once knocked off five moose and in Austria, I top-scored byknocking off five or six wild boars. There are basically threetechniques for shooting at running game. There’s the “swingthrough” where you swing your rifle up from behind the animal, andfollow through, along past his chest, and when the reticle in yourscope looks to be the right distance in front of his chest, pull thetrigger. With the “sustained lead” method you get the reticle infront by what you reckon to be the right amount of lead, keep therifle swinging and keep pressure on the trigger until the riflefires. “Point Shooting” is entirely different and most usefulwhen the game is not in sight long. You shoot with your rifle heldstill, simply aim the reticle on at a spot ahead of the target whereyou think he will be when the bullet gets there. Target the animal’schest if he’s close, and hold out in front if he is farther away.In all honesty, the only way to become a deadly running game is withlots of practice until it becomes second nature, and you don’t haveto think about how much lead you should use. I prefer to use thesustained lead, come up from behind, swing through faster than thegame is running, and shoot as soon as the lead looks right. For shotsat 100 metres I try to hold one metre ahead, but extend the amount oflead as the distance lengthens. But a lot depends on how fast thegame is running. Angling shots require less lead, and on animalsrunning away, no lead is necessary. I’ve read a lot of theories onhow to hit running game, but am convinced that only field practice ona variety of game can make perfect.


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