Tell the truth, you know that at the end of last hunting season you cleaned up your favorite bird gun, stored it away and haven’t touched it since. Don’t be embarrassed because you are not alone, as a matter of fact you are in the great majority of hunters. Year in and year out all too many hunters never practice near enough to keep their shooting skills sharp, as a matter most never practice.

Every year you get a big push of hunters shooting rifles before deer season, sighting in their guns and praying that nothing has happened to their scopes over the off season. The deer hunters usually are the only ones who even shoot their weapons before the season starts.
Duck, dove, and goose hunters almost never break out their shotguns and head for the range in the off season. That being said it’s easy to understand why so many hunters get the “red face” on the opening day as they miss bird after bird.

The off season for many bird hunters is spent working dogs and doing various chores on their respective leases, few ever bother to work on their shooting skills.

A trip to the shooting range every now and again will make a huge difference in how well you shoot simply because of repetition. A round skeet, trap or especially sporting clays will help knock the off season rust from your form and help you get back into the groove. Most shooting ranges offer some instruction and various courses for all types of shooting sports, a shotgun shooters course can help you identify flaws in your form and make you a much more consistent shooter.

With all that pre-season shooting talk being said let’s focus on the upcoming hunting season because it’s almost here. The central and north zone dove seasons open up on the 1st of September while hunters south of IH-10 will have to wait until September 23rd.

Waterfowl hunters will get their fix starting on the 10th as early Teal season gets underway. The prospects for local hunters appear to be good, several big flights of teal have already entered our area and the next full moon should bring plenty more.

The local marshes are starting to show some grass, hopefully this trend will continue and the weatherman will bring us some cool weather in September.

Next month’s season openers are much anticipated by many Texas hunters, the opening days are almost sacred to them if you can comprehend that.

Make the most of the time in the field by practicing before you head out and by being safe every time you pick up your firearm, the combination of these two will ensure you an enjoyable time.