There is a lot of good information out there on how to precisely sight in your hunting rifle, and much of it is completely daunting to me (I’m pretty bad at math).

But the reality is that you don’t need to be a trained military sniper or hit a dime from 500 yards to be confident on the hunt. Here are five important things to keep in mind.

Start with a bore sight

In the old days, we’d take our old rifle and scope out to the woods and shoot boxes of shells just to hit the paper plate from 100 yards. Then we would tighten up our grouping from there. Bore sights are pretty accurate for how inexpensive they are and you can save a whole lot of ammo. The idea is to get an approximate alignment and make adjustments at the range.

Practice with the same ammo

And speaking of ammo, a lot of guys will get a few boxes of cheap ammo trying to save a few bucks on those wayward shots. Those sweet Hornady deer loads you’ve been hiding in the closet are going to perform much differently than the stuff you bought on sale at K-Mart. Once you know that you can hit the paper, only practice with the ammo you plan to hunt with.

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Start up close

It just seems natural to set your target at 100 yards and try to hit it. Many folks think that you start there and move out. But it’s a lot easier (maybe not as macho though) to start at 25 yards and then go to 100. The target is easier to find, adjustments are easier to make and you won’t waste ammo. An old rule of thumb is that you should be about 2 inches high at 100 yards.

Have a stable rest 

They make a bunch of fancy rests, and although you can get a very accurate sighting, the reality is that you won’t have that luxury in the field. It’s important to remember that sighting in a rifle and testing shooting skills are two different things. Once you get dialed in (fancy rest and all), then the real test occurs. Get out into the field and practice with whatever your gonna use when you hunt. I like to practice from various positions and rests.

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Having a rifle that shoots accurately is paramount when you step into the woods for a hunt. Many times you’re only going to get one good opportunity all season. But an accurate gun isn’t going to shoot itself and that’s why it’s good to just get out there and shoot.

Range shooting is one thing but the rubber hits the road when you’re in an odd spot or position and you are presented with a shot. Even the highest trained snipers with razor sharp precision would be challenged. Most hunters know that they’re most likely to get an opportunity in an awkward situation. Practice is key.

Photo credit: Pixabay