Steel Confidence

Have you ever been on a hunt and missed what you thought was an easy shot? Have you then struggled to find a proper location to check your zero? If you’ve done much hunting at all surely the answer to both questions is yes.

Having traveled all over the world to hunt and having stayed at some ritzy lodges while doing so, I’m always amazed at how they can provide five star accommodations and not even have a suitable range for sighting in a rifle or for confirming zero during the hunt. And too, sometimes your miles away form the lodge when you might begin to doubt your zero. Being able to check it at any time can be handier than a sharp knife.

Last year I hunted with For Richmond Safaris in Africa. They are an exceptional outfitter and they even had a reasonably good range. When I was leaving the proprietor asked me what I thought he could do to improve his services and I suggested he get a couple steel targets for the range. He looked a little confused and asked why. I’m sure he was thinking, this is a hunting lodge not a shooting school or training range. I explained that nothing gives a hunter confidence like ringing a steel plate; they get immediate feed back when they pull the trigger and that ringing, steel on steel inspired confidence, can carry them a long way in the field.

This year when I traveled back to hunt with Fort Richmond Safaris I took along a small steel plate - $ 55.00 - from MGM Targets as a gift to the outfitter. As it turned out, it came in handy. I missed what I thought was an easy shot but we were several miles from the range. Fortunately, we’d thrown the steel plate in the truck. We set it up at about 100 yards, I rested off the truck rack and confirmed that it was my bad shooting, not the rifle, that led to the miss.

I suggest you pick up an affordable steel target to take along with you to deer camp and even to Africa if you happen to be headed that way. You never know when you might need that little bit of confidence that some steel on steel can inspire. And, if everyone tags out you can use it to have a shooting contest to see who’s buying the beer.