As you have probably heard by now, Il Ling New, Richard Mann, and I, are going to be hunting in Mozambique this coming August. Richard and I will be hunting cape buffalo and Il Ling will be after antelope, though she hasn’t decided which one yet. Getting ready for our hunting trips is certainly a big part of the fun, so I thought I might share with you a few things that I do in the off-season to get ready for that big hunt.
The place to begin is to give that hunting rifle a thorough cleaning. I mean, take it apart and scrub out every nook and cranny. Get the proper sized screwdrivers and make sure that every screw is snug, especially those on your scope and scope mount. This is also the perfect time to check for worn parts, or anything that looks like a worn part. If you’re in doubt, have your gunsmith look at it. It’s far better to replace a questionable part than to have it break when you are miles away from a gun shop.
I don’t usually clean the bore of my hunting rifle after each time that it is fired. But I do give the bore a good cleaning before the season starts. The thing to avoid is taking a shot at game with a clean, slick bore because there is no telling where that shot will go.
It is critically important to get a lot of trigger time with your hunting rifle in the off-season. If you are shooting a big-bore rifle, you’d be really smart to consider practicing with low-recoil ammunition. Low-recoil ammo will allow you to get in a lot of shooting practice without the danger of developing a bad flinch or taking an unnecessary pounding.
If you’re a handloader, you can find low-recoil practice loads in most of the handloading manuals. If you don’t handload, you can purchase good practice ammo from Superior Ammunition or from Nyati Ammunition.
Get that rifle clean and get some practice ammo on hand. Next time we’ll talk about effective practice techniques that will help guarantee a successful hunt.