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Lessons From The African Shoot, Part II
So there I was in the rifle pit pulling the old elephant target up and down. This was the first stage of the African shoot, and the rules called for five shots, offhand, at the old tembo target in 90 seconds. Now 90 seconds is a lot of time for 5 shots, even with a big rifle, but the very first shooter went bambambambam………….bam. In a pants-wetting panic, he cranked off the first four shots as quickly as he could, then realized on some dim, primate level that he had tons of time left, and fired the last one.
He shot a lousy score. So did everyone else who fired quickly. Every guy who shot well shot with a steady rhythm, and used up almost all the time they had.
Gunsite has a saying: "A good fast shot is better than a slow perfect shot, because you won't have time for the perfect shot."
Carve this in your forearm. And I'd like to add a corollary principle:
"A good shot develops a sense of how much time he has--and uses that time."
If you've done enough hunting you'll be able to look at an animal and sense whether you have to shoot instantly, or take a couple of seconds to figure things out. The great custom rifle builder Jerry Fisher (who has done a ton of hunting) says it comes after you take 300 head of big game. That seems as good a number as any.