Whether you have spent most of your time shooting at the range or you are just getting into recreational target practice, taking your firearms to shoot your own targets or clay pigeons outside of the range can be a fun experience. When you approach it safely, this can be a fun way to practice your aim or have fun firing one of your new guns. Whether you are focused on recreation with your Ruger 357 revolver or practicing your accuracy with your competition pistol, there are some important things to know when you are preparing to shoot outside of a range. Here are four tips to keep in mind.
Be Prepared with All the Supplies You Need
You do not want to get to your shooting location, set up your targets, load your 50 Beowulf, and then realize you forgot to bring hearing protection. Times like these make you wish you prepared your supplies better. Before you start packing to leave, write down a list of everything you need. Any supplies you might need should go on this list. Bring everything, including your guns, ammo, targets, hearing protection, garbage bags, a first aid kit, sunglasses, and holsters. Then, check the list before packing, after packing, and right before leaving. This step can help ensure you have all the gear you need to have a fun shooting experience.
Be Careful and Thorough while Checking Your Surroundings
One of the four main gun safety rules is knowing what is behind your target. Any time you are shooting your firearm, especially on public land, it is essential to make sure there is no property or person behind your targets that could potentially be harmed. Do a thorough sweep of the surrounding area where you will be shooting to ensure it is safe and secure. Double-check that you are not within 150 yards of any building, campsite, or recreational area and will not be firing over a road or body of water.
Check Local Restrictions and Laws Wherever You Are Shooting
While much of the land operated by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service is open for recreational shooting, there could still be some local restrictions in place that you should be aware of. If you plan to go shooting with your over under shotgun, contact your local ranger to get more information on regional restrictions. Certain areas may even have limitations on what types of targets you can use. An example would be an exploding target in a forest with a high chance of wildfires.
Make Sure to Remove Debris, Casings, and Trash From Your Shooting Area
When shooting at a range, you do not have to worry much about the target debris. However, be prepared to leave no trace on public land. That means you should carry out all the litter, shell casings, and targets you bring in. You want the land to be as spotless as before you started shooting. Make sure all your guns are safe and secure, and then spend a few minutes cleaning up. This practice helps ensure that nature is never disturbed and that you can keep coming back to the same area.
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