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This article is written by Jess Walter, Freelance Writer.
Women are taking up hunting in record numbers. According to Fox News, the number of women who hunt in the United States increased 25 percent between 2006 and 2011. That’s a lot of women who are buying a hunting rifle for the first time.
Choosing the Perfect Rifle
Here’s what to look for. Know what you’ll be hunting and where you’ll be based. If you plan to use deer blinds, then you’ll be able to watch and understand your prey better before taking a clean shot. The size of the game also has a bearing on your gun choice as it will determine the caliber of rifle you’ll want to buy. You will also want to decide if you want a repeating rifle or a single shot.
It’s important that your gun ‘fits.’ You’ll want it to be comfortable, so hold a few to determine the best distance between your shoulder and your trigger finger, known as the length of pull. You’ll also want to determine the best weight. You may be holding that gun for a while waiting for a shot, so make sure it’s the right weight.
Beside the fit of the gun itself, check for the fit of the scope. You should be able to see the full circle of the scope. If you can’t, you don’t have the right amount of distance between the eyepiece and your eye.
Don’t Buy Before You Fire
Try a few if you can. Your local gun range may offer rentals so that you can try out a few that you think you might like. Holding it in the gun shop is great, but you won’t know until you fire it. This is also the only way to check the amount of recoil. It can be painful to fire a hunting rifle, and your aim won’t be true if you’re afraid of getting hurt.
Know whether you shoot right- or left-handed. The hand you shoot with depends on which eye is dominant. To check to see which eye is dominant:
- Extend your arm with your thumb up.
- Align your thumb with an object in the distance.
- Close one eye. See if the object is still aligned with your thumb. Open your eye again.
- Close the other eye. See if the object is aligned with your thumb.
When you closed one of your eyes, the object remained aligned with your thumb. This is your dominant eye. When you closed the other eye, the object was no longer aligned with your thumb. This is your non-dominant eye.
Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your first hunting rifle, and you’re sure to find the right one for you.
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