Regardless if you find yourself staring at a Boone & Crockett buck or a home invader, you’ll likely only have seconds to make a shot. Big bucks and bad guys seldom hang around for a bench rest opportunity. Will you be ready? Contemplating a quick shot begins months, if not years, before. You certainly shouldn’t undertake a snapshot if you’ve never thought about it, practiced it and set up for it unless your life is in danger. In a hunting scenario, you might be successful, but you also might wound or miss. Do you want that hanging over your conscience?
Some of you were born with instinctive shooting abilities. Some are not so lucky. Nevertheless, you can prepare for the quick shot even if you don’t have “The Rifleman’s” knack for bullseyes. During a hunt a split-second chance can occur as a game runs past you, bounds into an opening or simply steps through a shooting lane. The target may be a moving object, screened by brush or simply there for a moment. You need to prepare and practice for each opportunity.
Although shorter, more compact rifles offer a snappier response when seconds count, your hunting stomping grounds may not be in brush country. Don’t trade in your bolt action for a lever gun yet. Instead, ensure your rifle is ready for any task and start with a smooth-working action and a caliber to handle the short and long shot, depending on the species you hunt the most.