How to trap shoot for the beginner

shutterstock_287946488Trap shooting can be a great way to practice your aim and form for when you go bird hunting – but it can also be an incredibly enjoyable sport in itself. If you’ve never gone trap shooting before, then be sure to use the following beginner safety and shooting tips:

Safety Tips

Safety should always be your first priority when it comes to trap shooting or any activity involving a gun. The following are some essential safety tips that everyone – not just beginners – need to keep in mind and follow:

  • Assume the gun is always loaded – Even if you are 100 percent sure the gun isn’t loaded, treat it like it is. A huge number of accidents occur because a gun that was thought to be unloaded wasn’t and went off by accident.
  • Don’t point the gun at anything you aren’t prepared to shoot – If you’re not planning on shooting it, don’t aim your gun at it. This ensures that if the gun goes off by accident that you don’t damage any property or hurt anyone.
  • If your gun fails to fire, handle with care – Don’t try to fire again and gently lower your gun so that it’s not aimed at anything – it could accidentally go off after the fact.

Shooting Tips

Trap shooting isn’t like any other type of shooting – you can’t just aim and fire. Use the following tips to shoot properly in order to hit your clay targets:

  • Identify your dominant eye – The first thing you should do is figure out which one of your eyes is the dominant one. You can do this by pointing at an object with both eyes open. Close one eye. If the object moves from where you’re pointing, then your dominant eye is probably the one that’s closed.
  • Keep both eyes open – You have to keep both eyes open when shooting since you are tracking a moving target.
  • Keep a proper stance – Stand in a boxer position. Your lead leg should be slightly bent, while your rear leg should be kept straight. Lean forward just slightly into your gun so that you can control the recoil as well as rotate at the waist with ease while tracking.
  • Holding your gun – The butt of the gun’s stock should be held firmly against the pocket of your shoulder, right between your arm and your collarbone. Your shooting elbow should be raised up so that your arm is parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your cheek to the stock – This should allow you to see the bead at the front of the barrel. If you any length of the gun’s barrel, your heat is probably too high on the stock. Remember to keep your cheek to the stock even after you fire – a common beginner mistake is to look up right away, ruining your follow through.

If you plan on going trap shooting for the first time, then be sure to follow these safety and shooting tips to ensure a successful trap shooting session.

12 Golden Rules of Gun Safety

shutterstock_429925315Every gun owner must prioritize safety over all else. A simple accident can result in a serious injury or even death, after all. This means that if you decide to purchase a gun for the first time, you must familiarize yourself with the 12 golden rules of gun safety beforehand. Do not attempt to use your gun before you learn these rules.

  1. Handle your gun like it’s loaded, even if it isn’t – Gun mishaps often occur because the person handling the gun thought that it wasn’t loaded – and it turned out to be loaded. It doesn’t matter if you clearly remember unloading the gun before using it, handle it as if it’s still loaded.
  2. Point your gun in a safe direction at all times – If you keep the previous rule in mind and assume that the gun is always loaded, then you should make sure that the gun is pointed in a safe direction at all times in case it accidentally goes off.
  3. Don’t point your gun at anything that you aren’t going to shoot – Keeping the previous two rules in mind, you should never point your gun at anything that you aren’t planning on shooting.
  4. Keep your finger away from the trigger until your ready to shoot – An itchy trigger finger can cause an accidental injury or death. Even if you’re aiming at game, keep your finger away from the trigger until the last possible moment. Someone may obscure your line of sight as you track your target – and you won’t want to accidentally shoot them.
  5. Know what your target is and what’s behind it – Never fire on a target you can’t identify – it may not be what you think it is. Make sure you know what’s behind it too as your bullet could go through the intended target and hit whatever is behind it.
  6. Keep your gun unloaded and in a gun case until you’re ready to use it – This will help reduce the likelihood of your gun going off by accident.
  7. Learn the characteristics of your gun – You should know the mechanical and handling characteristics of your gun before using it. It’s just like driving a car for the first time – you need to know how it works to use it safely.
  8. Always use the right ammunition – Different guns use different ammunition. Using the wrong ammunition could cause a misfire and could injury you and/or damage your gun.
  9. Make sure the barrel is clear of obstructions – Before loading your gun and firing, check the barrel to make sure it’s clear.
  10. Don’t rely on the safety – Don’t ignore the previous safety tips because you think the safety will keep the gun from firing.
  11. Hold your position if the gun fails to fire – Wait a few minutes after your gun fails to fire to unload the gun.
  12. Be aware of your surroundings – You could trip and fall, causing you to accidentally fire the gun.

Be sure to learn these 12 golden rules of gun safety before you ever go out to use your gun.

5 of the Best Hunting Equipment Purchases

shutterstock_62449945It’s time to get up, get out and get some skins on the wall. Whether you’re going on an intense wild board hunt in Texas to try to help get the population back under control or simply looking for a casual escape from the grind of everyday life, your equipment can be the difference between a successful, enjoyable trip and a fruitless, boring weekend.

Fortunately, there are some outstanding products available to help ensure you have the edge over your quarry. Arm yourself with these five products and you’ll be sure to have one of your best seasons ever:

Scent Lok Savanna Vigilante Jacket Realtree Xtra

This jacket from one of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry is light-weight and designed for freedom of movement. The scent control system masks your presence from the animals in the area, while simultaneously giving you the ability to move quietly and efficiently to get into position.

Additional features:

  • Carbon Alloy technology to absorb a larger spectrum of odors
  • Zip chest and side pockets for tool storage
  • Realtree Xtra camo design
  • Raglan sleeves and two-way stretch fabric to provide maximum versatility

Scent Lok Savanna Vigilante Pants Realtree Xtra

These pants, like the jacket above, provide top-tier versatility and performance at a fraction of the costs of other hunting pants.

Additional features:

  • 6-pocket design for even more storage
  • Waist adjusters for a snug, comfortable fit
  • Draw cord leg bottoms to lock in scent

Sightmark Wolfhound 3×24 HS-223 Prismatic Weapon Sight

Like the Scent Lok Savanna products above, this sight is designed for unmatched versatility and mobility. The design was inspired by the United States military so you know it is built for speed and effectiveness. Everything component, from the optical system to the CR2032 battery, is built to make sure you hit your target exactly for a quick, humane kill every time.

Additional features:

  • High-grade aluminum on an AR platform for accuracy
  • 3 times magnification
  • 10.48 field of view
  • Fogproof
  • Submersible to 10 feet with IP68 waterproof rating
  • Red/green retical illumination

Firefield NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Mini Varmint Hunter

When you need vision in near-total darkness, you will need to put the Sightmark Wolfhound down and grab this NVRS Starlight night vision scope. It is “ruggetized” for extreme field conditions and does not require any artificial light source.

Additional features:

  • Self-contained for up to 50 hours of consecutive operation
  • Temperature range from -22 F to 104 F
  • Includes carrying case, remote and warranty

Feather River Tru-Weight 100 Pound Sports Scale

After going out armed with the products above, you will definitely need a reliable scale. This extreme duty scale will deliver an accurate weight measurement every time, from 20 to 100 pounds in 16 ounce increments.

Additional features:

  • Hand-calibrated for accuracy
  • Stainless steel components for durability
  • Tattle-tale indicator
  • Easy portability at 14.5 inches in length

These five items will make this hunting season one for the ages. If you need any additional supplies, visit Explore Products for great prices on all your hunting equipment needs.

10 Clay Shooting Tips

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  1. Always practice safety first – You’re not going to be able to improve if you end up injuring yourself – and you certainly don’t want to injure anyone else. Always wear appropriate hearing and eye protection. Never point your gun at anything you aren’t planning on shooting and always treat your gun as if it’s loaded.
  2. Identify your dominant eye – A common mistake beginner clay shooters make is assuming that their dominant eye is on the same side as their dominant hand. This isn’t always true. Point to an object at the end of a room and close one eye. If you can still see the object your pointing at with your open eye, then that’s your dominant eye. If the object has moved, then your closed eye is the dominant eye.
  3. Focus on the target – It’s not as simple as it sounds. You need to practice sustaining focus on a moving object in order to get good at it. Don’t make the mistake of trying to aim as this can result in shooting behind the target.
  4. Use the right form – You should keep your head on the stock and your weight forward. This will make it easier to perform a fluent and unchecked swing. Avoid sticking your behind out or bending forward – your back should be straight and your weight should be on the ball of your front foot.
  5. Keep your shoulder level when swinging – Beginners will often drop their shoulder because their stance is poor in relation to their target. You need to keep your shoulder level – it’s your upper body that should move. Think of yourself as a tank turret as you swing.
  6. Don’t check your swing – When you move your barrel in line with your target, don’t stop until after you pull the trigger. If you take your head off the stock too early, it will cause your gun to rise and stop. You’ll end up shooting over and behind the target.
  7. Shoot lower targets first – If you are shooting multiple targets, go for the lowest one first. When your gun recoils, you’ll instinctively move upwards. This means that you won’t have to adjust as much in order to shoot the second target.
  8. Call for the bird with confidence – If you shout “pull!” in a hesitant manner, you’ll shoot in a hesitant manner as well, which will most likely result in a miss. Call out for the bird with confidence in order to shoot with confidence.
  9. Use good timing – Wait at least three beats after you call for the bird before firing. You don’t want to rush your shot.
  10. Analyze your misses – Always be sure to think about how you missed and reconsider your stance to see what you’re doing wrong.

If you want to improve your clay shooting ability, then be sure to follow these ten tips. Stay tuned to Explore Products for more helpful tips and the latest hunting gear.

 

Tips for Buying a Skeet-Shooting Gun

shutterstock_85483960The game of skeet shooting

Skeet shooting is a game that was developed in the early 1920s as a way to mimic the sport of bird hunting. The object of the game is to hit a disc made from clay – called a “clay pigeon” – as it is launched through the air by trap house. Because skeet shooting is quite different than hunting game on the ground, it’s important that you purchase a gun that is suitable for shooting targets in mid-flight.

Choosing the right gun

Choosing a gun that is suitable for skeet shooting determines heavily on a number of factors. The following are the factors you must consider:

  • The size of the gun – If you are only interested in skeet shooting, then a smaller gun is adequate. But if you are planning on going hunting with it as well, you’ll need a gun with a larger gauge. The bigger the game that you’re hunting is, the bigger gauge you need. In professional skeet shooting competitions, the minimum required gauge is .410, while the largest it can be is 12.
  • The recoil of the gun – The bigger a gun is, the more recoil it will have – which can be a problem depending on your size. Depending on your size and strength, too much recoil will affect your aim.
  • The comfort of the gun – A gun that is too short or too long will be difficult to hold and aim properly. You should make sure that you are able to fit the gun comfortably between your arm and your shoulder. This is the area that will help to cushion the recoil of the gun. If it doesn’t fit comfortably and it forces you to reach, then the gun needs to be shorter.
  • The weather conditions – The weather conditions in the area in which you plan to skeet shoot have a big impact on your gun. You’ll need to buy a gun that’s approved for such conditions. Going skeet shooting in light rain without proper weatherproofing will result in difficulties handling the gun – not to mention that the metal will begin corroding over time.

The cost of the gun

There are a lot of things that will factor in to how much your skeet shooting gun will set you back. The following are a few of the things that will affect the price of a gun:

  • Lightweight, single-barrel shotguns will be cheaper than double-barrel shotguns.
  • The longer the barrel is on a double-barreled shotgun, the more expensive it will be.
  • Double triggers and/or auto-loading features will add to the price of a gun.

If you are planning on going skeet shooting, then you’ll need to own a gun that is appropriate for the challenge. While these factors should all be taken into account before making your purchase, the most important consideration you need to make is whether you plan on using the gun for hunting reasons as well.

 

5 Gun Safety Tips That You Should Follow

shutterstock_291182876As a gun owner, gun safety should be your number one priority. If you don’t take the proper safety precautions when storing or using your gun, then you may be putting yourself and your family at risk. Accidents happen all the time because the proper safety precautions were not taken. The following are five gun safety tips that you should be sure to follow:

  1. Always assume that the gun is loaded – The first thing you should always do when you pick up a gun is to assume that it is loaded and do a safety check.  Even if you always take great care to unload your gun before putting it away, you should still assume that it’s loaded. There may be a time where you just forget – or someone else may have used your gun and forgot to unload it before putting it back.
  2. Never point your gun at anything unless you’re going to shoot it – You should never point the gun at someone or something unless you are prepared to shoot it.  When holding your gun, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  3. Before aiming, know your target – and what’s behind it – Because you should never point your gun at anything you aren’t prepared to shoot, you should make sure you know what you’re pointing your gun at. For example, if you notice movement in the bushes while you’re out hunting, don’t assume it’s game. Identify your target before you aim. You should also make sure you know what’s behind it – a bullet can go through the target and hit anything behind it.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger – Even as you’re aiming, keep your finger off the trigger until your sight is on the identified target. If you have your finger on the trigger, you could accidentally fire as you’re aiming and hit something – or someone – near the target.
  5. Keep your gun secure when not in use – This is especially important if you have children. Keep your gun secured in a safe – don’t just lay it on the top shelf of your closet and assume that nobody else will be able to find or reach it. Invest in a locked gun case or gun safe.

If you’re a gun owner, then make sure that you’re a responsible gun owner by following these five gun safety tips from Explore Products.

3 Quick Ways to Stay in Shape for Bow Hunting

shutterstock_212141395While hunting with a rifle certainly takes skill, many hunters prefer to use a bow and arrow to hunt as it provides even more of a challenge. Not only does it take a certain level of expertise just to handle a bow and arrow – much less hit your target – but it requires strength to do so as well. If you don’t have the necessary arm, back or core strength, you’re going to find it extremely difficult to handle a bow, especially after drawing and firing multiple times. The following are three exercises that you can do to help build up your strength and keep you in the proper shape to go bow hunting:

  1. Planks – Planks are a form of exercise that can be done practically anywhere as long as you have space on the ground. Basically, you just set yourself up into a push up position – but instead of doing an actual push up, you just hold your position. The longer you hold your plank, the more it will work out your arms, legs and your core. In fact, because it’s such an easy position to get into and hold (the challenge comes in how long you can hold it for) and because of how it builds up strength in so many places, planks are actually one of the most effective forms of quick exercise you can do.
  2. Running – Okay, so running doesn’t really do much for your arm strength, something you probably think that you need to focus on in order to become a better bow hunter. But running is important in that it helps build up leg strength and endurance. Leg strength is not something you want to overlook as a bow hunter. Proper positioning requires leg strength, not to mention that you’ll be doing a lot of hiking with your bow and arrows – equipment that isn’t exactly light. By running regularly, you’ll build up endurance, so that a day’s worth of hiking around with your bow won’t tire you out to the point where it affects how you handle your bow when an opportunity presents itself. You’re going to have a lot of difficulty hitting your mark if you’re too tired to hold your bow up properly.
  3. Swimming – Going for a quick swim is a great way to build strength and has the added benefit of not putting nearly as much stress on your body as other forms of exercising, such as weightlifting or even running. This means that it becomes much easier to recover after going for a swim. Additionally, swimming works out almost every part of the body, from the legs and arms to the core – and basically all of the muscle groups used to handle a bow and arrow. Like running, swimming can also help to build up your endurance.

If you plan on going bow hunting, then you’ll want to make sure that you have the strength to properly handle a bow and arrow by regularly performing these three exercises.

 

Easy to follow Trap Shooting Tips

shutterstock_89870119Trapshooting is an activity in which a single machine, known as a “house,” launches a clay target into the sky to be shot down by the shooter. The target is made out of clay and is known as a “clay pigeon.” Clay pigeons are typically 4.5 inches large. Even though trap shooting was first developed as a way to practice for bird hunting, it has grown into a competition in itself.  For those active in the competition aspect of trap or skeet shooting it is absolutely vital to make sure your aim is sharp.  If you are a novice shooter use the following steps to improve your aim:

  • Stand by the designated shooting line and mount your gun, be sure to bring the butt of the gun to the shoulder of your dominant side.
  • Once you’ve mounted your gun, look straight down the barrel. You should focus on the beat that’s at the far end of the gun.
  • When you are ready for the target, call out “pull.” This signifies to the range keeper  to launch the clay pigeon from the house. If you are a beginner, then you’ll want to have the house manually controlled so that you can prepare yourself for each target.
  • Once the clay pigeon has been launched, follow it with the muzzle of your gun. The key here is to try to match the motion of your gun with the motion of your target. Stopping to aim will not work with a flying target.
  • Once you’ve managed to match the motion of your target as it is traveling through the air, pull your gun’s muzzle slightly ahead of the path that your target is on. Keep moving your muzzle as you do this so that it is on the same trajectory as the target, just slightly ahead of it.
  • Gently squeeze the trigger. If the target explodes, then you were aiming dead on. If a piece of the back breaks off, then you need to lead more. If a piece of the front breaks off, you’re leading too much.

For more tips, stay tuned to Explore Products or visit our site to view our selection trap shooting supplies. 

Trap Shooting and Skeet Shooting Tips

shutterstock_19321180Learning to become consistent and accurate with a firearm takes years of work, but skeet shooting is an excellent way to hone your craft faster. If you would like to improve your skeet shooting proficiency, take a few moments to review some helpful tips and techniques to get you started in the right direction.

Safety Always First

Remain mindful to take all necessary precautions when preparing to fire your weapon. Always wear eye protection and ensure all guns are unloaded until it’s time to begin shooting. Ensure the muzzle is facing down until you are ready to fire as well. Never check the sights of your weapon or aim it down range unless you intend to shoot a target. Although it may seem redundant to review, it’s essential for any shooter to commit safety practices to memory.

Use Your Dominant Eye

Although you may be right handed, this does not always indicate that your right eye is dominant. To be sure, use an object across the room as a point of reference. From a standing position point at the object and close your right eye. If the object continues to remain at the tip of your finger, you are right eye dominant. Knowing which eye to use when aiming will greatly improve accuracy.

Practice Good Stance and Form

Always keep the front leg bent a little bit and lean forward before firing. Your back leg should remain straight while your waist bends down a small amount. Ensure you are gripping the gun properly, keeping the butt snug between your cheek and collarbone. The position of your shooting arm is important as well. Ensure your elbow on that arm is parallel to the ground.

Select the Right Firearm for You

Different guns work for different people. For beginners, start with a gun that has less weight and reduced recoil loads to make skeet shooting easier. Use a short range target to gauge your accuracy with one gun or another. Try out different firearms until you find the best option for you and stick with it. For a tailor fit, consider taking your gun to a firearms expert for customization. Adjustments can be made to the stock, butt and sights to accommodate your unique needs.

Maintain Your Firearm

Take the time to clean your firearm before and after skeet shooting. This will improve the lifespan of your gun and reduce the chance of jamming or misfires. It’s also very important to always carry you gun in a gun case. Aluminum gun cases are especially rugged and work well to keep your firearm safe from oil, water, dust or other contaminants.

By bearing these tips in mind you will drastically improve your skeet shooting abilities over time. Remember to exercise patience. Advanced skeet shooting athletes have many years of experience, but with enough hard work and dedication, you too can become an expert shooter.

Stay tuned to Explore Products for more hunting tips and advice.

Predator Hunting Rules in Colorado | eHow

shutterstock_38375104If you are planning on going predator hunting in Colorado, then there are a few things that you will need to be aware of. First of all, predator hunting requires experience – you’ll need to have advanced calling, stalking and tracking abilities. Secondly, you’ll need to be familiar with Colorado’s regulations in regards to predator hunting. You can hunt coyotes, mountain lions and bears during their respective hunting seasons and within certain boundaries – which are distinguished on Division of Wildlife maps – but there are a lot of strict rules in regards to how you can hunt them. The following are Colorado’s regulations concerning the hunting of bears, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats:

Hunting Bears

The following are the rules you need to abide by when hunting bears:

  • Bear hunting is only in season during the fall.
  • You are not allowed to attract bears using bait.
  • You must have a bear license along with two habitat stamps – which are bought along with the license – to be able to legally hunt bears. You will need to apply for the license.
  • If you’ve had a successful hunt, you’ll be asked to submit information about the hunt and the bear you killed to the nearest regional wildlife office.
  • You must attach a tag to each bear as soon as it has expired.

Hunting Mountain Lions

The following are the rules in regards to hunting mountain lions:

  • In order to be eligible for a mountain lion hunting license, you must have a certificate that can only be acquired by taking a mountain lion education course.
  • You have to apply for a specific unit in which you plan on hunting mountain lions. There are a limited number of licenses available, which means that the units will close once their quotas have been reached.
  • As with bear hunting, you must carry a license with two habitat stamps while hunting and you must tag a mountain lion as soon as it has expired.
  • Once you’ve recovered a mountain lion, you must transport it to a wildlife office for inspection. The wildlife office will ask permission to take one of the mountain lion’s teeth in order to determine what its age and health were.

Hunting Coyotes and Bobcats

If you plan on hunting either coyotes or bobcats, you will want to keep the following in mind:

  • The coyote and bobcat hunting is allowed all year round.
  • There is no limit to the number of bobcats or coyotes that you are allowed to hunt. However, a limit may be applied if the number of kills is high.
  • You will need to apply for a special license in order to be able to trap.

Keep in mind that predator hunting is not for beginners – only experienced hunters should attempt to hunt bears, mountain lions, coyotes or bobcats. These can be dangerous animals, after all. Colorado’s list of regulations concerning predator hunting is meant to control the amount of hunting of these animals as well as to help reduce the risk of danger.

Stay tuned to Explore Products for more hunting tips and info on hunting gear.