As we all know it can be tempting, when faced with gale-force winds, torrential rain and mud underfoot, to pack away your gun over the winter.
All that hard work through the summer and autumn months on working on your shooting could come severely undone though and it’s worth coming up with a few ways to make sure your gun doesn’t feel like a dead weight when you come to pick up it come spring.
1. Don’t completely rule out a winter shoot
As the unseasonal weather this winter has shown there are plenty of opportunities to get and about in decent conditions. The best to stay in form in the winter is to keep shooting. Checking localised weather forecasts online is a good way of guaranteeing you’re not caught in the rain or snow if picking an unfamiliar shoot.
2. Keep fit
It’s easy to consider shooting a sport that doesn’t really rely on personal fitness but if you stop and think about it, carrying an 8lb gun on a shoot when you might lift it 100 times or more is pretty strenuous.
One easy tip is to simply pick up and mount your gun 50 times a week which will work all the muscle groups you’ll need in the coming season.
3. Practice perfecting your gun mount
Find a line in your house where the wall and ceiling meet and mark it with a target. Stand back as far as possible and place your feet as if you were shooting from a mark.
Mount your gun and move from left to right in slow motion, pulling the unloaded trigger as you pass the target before following through to the right. Practice an equal amount to the left and then the right. Slowing things down will strengthen your muscles and improve your aim.
4. Keep your eye on the prize
It’s important to keep focused during the winter—quite literally when it comes to your hand eye co-ordination. Stand in front of mirror and set yourself up directly facing it. If you’re right handed, focus on your right eye and with the gun tucked up under your arm, push forward with the front hand and mount smoothly in one movement.
When you have completed the mount, if you shoot with both eyes open close, the left eye and your right eye should be looking back along the rib at you, sitting just above it.
If you shoot with one eye closed, it will already be looking back at you, if you have done it correctly. If left handed, reverse this process.
5. Consider specialist shooting insurance
If you're considering shooting insurance, winter could be a good time to organise it ahead of the New Year.
Here at Ripe Shooting, we arrange specialist shooting insurance for all types of shooting activities including Driven Shooting, Rough Shooting, Stalking, Wildfowling, Pest Control, Target Shooting, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Black Powder Shooting, Archery and Crossbow Shooting.