Submitted by Vernon J. Ferguson, Jr.
Photo Courtesy of George Barnett
At the end of the year, don't throw away your deer calendar. You know, the ones with the beautiful whitetail photos for each month of the year.
Deer calendars are perfect for teaching youth or beginners shot placement and various hunting situations. They also provide a great way to teach them about safety and introduce them to using firearms on the shooting range.
Before doing any shooting, flip through the calendar and ask the student where he or she would shoot the deer. Many times, they will pick the wrong spot or shoot in a no-shot situation. This is a perfect time to point out problems they might face in real hunting scenarios, and a great opportunity to praise them when they get it right.
After reviewing the calendar, you can hang it about 50 yards downrange and see if the student can hit the vital area with a small-caliber rifle or a pellet gun. It's a good idea to set up on sandbags no differently than with a high-powered rifle.
A scoped .22 is the perfect gun for this shooting. The holes are small, and there's no need to worry about a child developing a fear of recoil.
After the student has taken several shots, look over the calendar and remind them the entire square is about the size of a deer's vitals, not just the small photograph they've been shooting.
Getting a beginner accustomed to seeing a deer image in their sights will prepare them for the real deal much more effectively than looking at a round, bullseye target. Beginners need this before transitioning to the firearm they will be hunting with.
Remember, it's all about fun, safety and hunting education. Using a deer calendar for target practice is a fun opportunity to introduce them to shooting and teach them some valuable hunting lessons.