If you have a big game hunt planned for fall, now is the time to get serious about preparation.  A favorite expression states, “The will to PREPARE to succeed is more important than the will to succeed.”  Luckily, checking out a couple of videos from The Hunting Page should help get your blood pumping.  Whether you are traveling to Canada, Africa, New Zealand, or just across the state line, now is the time to seriously prepare.

Bow or Gun

With bow or gun, practice realistically.

Whether you will shoot a vertical bow, a crossbow, or a rifle, you must get to know the nuances of your piece.  Practice as realistically as possible and it’s best to shoot beyond your normal range.  At the moment, I’m prepping for a crossbow Cape buffalo hunt with my new CAMX bow.  Most buffs are shot with archery gear between 20 and 30 yards, so I’m practicing at 50.  I won’t take a shot at that distance, but if I can put an arrow in the bull at half-a-hundred, closer seem easier.  The same goes for rifles and muzzleloaders.

Prepare for a Rest

It’s OK to begin practicing from a bench or measured archery range.  However, once you are sure that your scope or bow sight is dialed in, use the types of rest you will deploy in the field.  A backpack makes a great rifle rest, so practice shooting from one in the prone position.  Archers often must shoot downward at steep angles, so practice making that shot at an unknown distance.

Ryan McSparran cites these three additional principles to keep in mind as that hunt approaches.  Although he speaks to rifle hunting, these tips work for any hunter:

Shooting is a topic that we like to talk about on a regular basis. Whether it’s about our Alberta whitetail hunts, or a combo hunt in British Columbia, we frequently receive questions from hunters about preferred rifles. But far more important than the caliber you bring, is the fact that you’ve practiced and are comfortable placing an ethical shot with your rifle.

When it comes to preparing for your upcoming big game hunt, here are a few recommendations and things to consider:

1. A Rifle That Makes Sense