Field preparations for new rifle owners

Today I will be addressing another facet of the upcoming whitetail deer season, and the first time gun owner and hunter. I am going to address the first thing you should do when you bring your new rifle home for your first day at the range. So here we go.

When you bring the gun home, make sure to always point it straight down, that is, anywhere there are no people, and make sure the rifle is unloaded. Next, read everything that the manufacturer has sent in the box. If it is a used gun, go online and get all the information from the manufacturer’s website.

Even if it’s a new rifle, clean it thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. New guns today are packaged in products to prevent rust and are stored until they reach the new owner. Therefore, the best approach is to clean the gun thoroughly and lightly oil it in the proper places according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Then you should be good to go.

At this point, it’s time to plan your first trip to the shooting range and figure out what you need to take with you. I recommend that you have a shooting plan and write it down on a pad or save it on your cell phone, or whatever. But have a specific plan. That might sound a bit ridiculous because you’re going to go to the shooting range to fire your gun, but think about it: what are you trying to accomplish?

If you’re just going to go out and burn some ammo and test your weapon, that’s fine, but do it properly. By that, I mean learning and practicing holding your rifle in the proper position tight against your cheek, tight against your shoulder, so you’re in a comfortable, repeatable position. Eyes properly aligned with the sights and learn to pull the trigger, don’t pull it.

Now here is another area where the list can be of advantage and that is what you should take with you. There’s not much more frustrating than arriving at the shooting range and finding an essential piece of your shooting equipment on your counter at home. So, let’s take a look at some of the important items you’ll need to have with you on the shooting range.

You need your rifle, and you need a case to protect it while it’s in transit. You’ll soon discover that a range bag is also a must for carrying the shooting accessories I’m about to get into.

Ammo is just as important as your rifle. So do not lower the hunting ammunition.

Start with reputable ammo made in the old USA. I highly recommend not going with foreign ammunition for hunting. Choose a load designed for whitetail deer and shoot only that brand, bullet style and weight until everything works well and your rifle is aimed and can hit what you are shooting at. Don’t jump from brand to brand or from one bullet weight and type to another, because each different one can shoot in a different place under the same circumstances.

You need hearing protection. The foam earplugs you can get are not adequate, you really need the muff type hearing protection and the electronic type is really good these days.

You need eye protection, so shooting glasses or industrial safety glasses will work. Your regular sunglasses or glasses won’t work, but you can get your prescription glasses with safety glass lenses.