In a previous hunting blog, I wrote about a couple of hunting schools that offer some unique hunting education opportunities. This time I want to look at a few shooting schools. These schools don't teach hunting, per se, but obviously marksmanship is a fundamental element of successful hunting and something that we could all use at least a little refresher on at times.
No matter your level of shooting or hunting experience, a little bit of professional shooting instruction can make you a better shot. Photo courtesy of the Gunsite Academy
Although not a hunting course, the Sportsman's All-Weather All-Terrain Marksmanship (SAAM) program in Texas is all about hunter training. They offer a few different courses, ranging from a two-day Hunter Prep course, to a four-day Precision Course, to a two-day or four-day Dangerous Game or Safari Course, along with custom courses. Their curriculum is heavy on ethics, and although they don't tell students what their individual shooting limits are or should be, they do help students to determine where their "100 percent" shooting limits end and even help to expand it. An interesting bonus is that since they operate on the FTW hunting ranch, students have the option of combining some hunting with the instruction, with various native and exotic species being available. The school operates year-round and sees students attending from across the globe. Groups sizes are kept to a maximum of five students to one instructor and one assistant instructor.
The Safari Shooting School in Texas is run by Monty Kalogeras. Kalogeras has over 30 years of hunting and guiding experience in North America and Africa. Whether planning a first trip or a seasoned hunter with many safaris under their belt, this course provides students with practical, hands-on exercises in real field shooting situations to ensure that they are completely prepared for "the shot" when it presents itself. Real-world shooting scenarios, including a charging buffalo, accurately simulate and prepare students for most situations they're likely to encounter in the field, with each course designed to place emphasis on preparation for hunting a particular terrain or species. The objective is not only to improve shooting skills, but to build confidence in a student's abilities and equipment, and to teach them how to stay calm under stressful field situations. This two-day course is offered year-round and is taught one-on-one.
The Gunsite Academy in Arizona was founded by author, columnist, professor and combat veteran Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper in 1976 and is still going strong today. They operate year-round and offer numerous shotgun, rifle and handgun courses, with the average course length being five days. Of particular interest to hunters are the 170 Rifle, 270 Rifle and Hunter Prep courses, along with the Wingshooting course, although they will custom tailor just about any type of hunting or shooting course for groups or by way of private tutorial. Class sizes generally range from one to 12 students. Please note that they offer courses only to U.S. citizens.
Before plunking down big bucks on your next big hunting adventure, consider a little shooting instruction as an investment toward a successful hunt.