February 17th, 2021

FREE Fun & Games Printable Color Targets

shooting paper printable billiard cue ball stripes solids target

Good news folks — most states have lifted restrictions on shooting ranges. Subject to “social distancing” and safety requirements (masks etc.) many public ranges and private shooting facilities are now open for business. If the weather permits, we encourage readers to head to local ranges which are permitted to operate. Use the opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air, and dust off those skills. To help you have fun on your range trips, here are 12 FREE printable targets.

NSSF Free Fun targetsFREE FUN Targets from NSSF
The Billiards Table Target above offers 15 brightly-colored numbered balls with the cue ball at the bottom. Aim for the numbers, shooting 1-15 in sequence, or alternate between stripes and solids. You can also draw an “X” on the white cue ball (or attach a paster), and use that to set your zero. This target is fun for shooting outdoors with rifles at 50 or 100 yards or indoors with pistols. This billiards target is part of a set of 12 Fun Targets from the NSSF. These were issued a couple seasons back for National Shooting Sports Month, held in August of each year.

FREE NSSF Fun Targets — Dartboard, Golf, Billiards, Bowling, Baseball and More…

HERE are a dozen FREE Targets. Along with Bullseye targets, there are some very cool specialty targets here, including a Golf Course Target, Baseball Diamond Target, Billiards Target, Light Bulb Target, Bowling Pin Target, and even a Windmill Target. Enjoy the myriad possibilities with these 12 fun targets.


» CLICK HERE to Get All 12 NSSF Targets in .ZIP Archive

August National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration NSSF

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February 12th, 2021

Gun Safety Extra Important Now with Many Schools Still Closed

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

In school districts in many states, public schools remain closed due to concerns over COVID-19. That means kids are home, and in the Northern States with snow on the ground, those kids are stuck inside all day long. With more gun owners at home with their kids for extended periods, firearms safety is more important than ever. Given that fact, the NSSF reminds gun owners to keep their guns locked up so they cannot be accessed by children.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and its partners urge gun owners to keep firearm safety a top priority and are making safety resources widely available as gun and ammunition sales increase, especially among first-time firearm purchasers.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

“During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, the firearm industry reminds gun owners that protecting yourself and your family includes making sure your firearms are stored securely when not in use”, said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “The last thing any firearm owner wants is to have their gun fall into the wrong hands, particularly those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”

For anyone considering buying a gun, Project ChildSafe’s Road To Responsible Firearm OwnershipMany Paths to Firearm Safety video series helps gun owners determine the best safe storage device for their home/lifestyle. You also view the Safe Storage Options chart.

NSSF gun storage safe safety locks NSSF

NSSF encourages gun owners and non-gun owners to use the firearm safety resources available on its Project ChildSafe website. These include the McGruff Gun Safety videos for young children and this educational video explaining how to discuss gun safety with children:

“More parents are assuming the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good to time have a talk with your kids about gun safety, even if you don’t own a gun”, Bartozzi said. “If you do own a firearm, be sure your family understands the safety rules regarding firearms in your home, and always store guns responsibly when not in use.”

For more information on firearm safety, visit ProjectChildSafe.org.

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January 19th, 2021

New Federal Banking Rule Should Protect Firearms Businesses

NSSF Office Controller of Currency

NSSF APPLAUDS OCC FINALIZATION OF FAIR ACCESS BANKING RULE
The NSSF, the firearm industry’s trade association, applauded the finalization of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) rule to end discrimination by financial service providers against the firearm industry and others. NSSF worked closely with the OCC and members of the U.S. Congress to ensure banking and credit decisions are based on credit worthiness and financial risk assessment for all legal businesses.

“NSSF has championed fair access to financial services for the firearm and ammunition industry and is pleased to witness the end of unfair and politically-motivated discriminatory practices by banking institutions that have a legal duty to service all legal businesses,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This rule will ensure large financial institutions that are supported by taxpayer-funded resources…must provide fair and equal access to services based on their objective financial creditworthiness [not] ‘woke’ political considerations.”

The finalized rule ensures fair access to banking services provided by large national banks, federal savings associations and, federal branches and agencies of foreign bank organizations. It codifies more than a decade of OCC guidance stating that banks should provide access to services, capital, and credit based on the risk assessment of individual customers, rather than broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers.

The finalized rule evens the playing field. It stops corporate banks from picking winners and losers based on executives’ personal politics. It protects banks from outside pressure from special interest groups seeking to use the banks as a political weapon. The rule enforces protections passed by Congress and signed into law with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

NSSF knows this finalized rule was only possible through the leadership and diligent efforts of many. NSSF is especially grateful to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.).

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December 24th, 2020

The Attack on Traditional Ammunition — What You Need to Know

hunting fishing wildlife ammo ammunition NSSF

Spending by hunters on their activities helps the economy and funding from hunters helps preserve wildlife. According to the NSSF, sportsmen contribute more than $2.9 billion every year for conservation. And over the last century sportsmen have paid many billions for on-the-ground projects in every state, protecting the natural environment and our fish and wildlife.

hunting fishing wildlife ammo ammunition NSSFhunting fishing wildlife ammo ammunition NSSF

Unfortunately, hunters and hunting are under attack from misguided environmentalists who are seeking to ban hunting in many areas, as well as restrict or even eliminate traditional lead-based ammunition.

The NSSF video above and Infographic below address the issue of traditional ammunition, explaining why the attacks on lead ammo are misguided. Lead pollution is a real issue, but the amount of lead left in the wilderness from hunter’s bullets is miniscule compared to most important causes of lead pollution such as industrial waste and improper disposal of lead-compound batteries. What is REALLY going on, particularly in blue states like California, is that the leftists are attempting to use “green” strategies to advance their anti-gun agenda. This really isn’t about “getting the lead out” — it is about getting rid of guns.

hunting fishing wildlife ammo ammunition NSSF

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December 23rd, 2020

SHOT Show On Demand — Online Seminars and Training

Shot show 2021 on demand virtual seminar online education

There will be no actual SHOT Show in Las Vegas next month — the huge trade show was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will offer an online learning experience, which it calls SHOT Show On Demand. Registration has just opened for SHOT Show’s “On Demand” offerings: SHOT University, Retailer Seminars, and Import/Export Webinar Series. These commence with Import/Export sessions on January 11, and conclude with a final Retailer Seminar on January 29, 2021.

Highlights of the 24 On-demand sessions for retailers and range owners will include:

Insurance for Shooting Sports Industry Ranges, Retailers, and Distributers

Firearms Ownership & Expansion in a growing American Demographic

The All-New Form 4473: You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Setting Your Range up for Success with First Time Shooters

Social Media Masterclass as a Team

2021 Annual ATF & NICS Townhall

The full lineup of available 2021 SHOT Show online education sessions can be viewed at https://shotshow.org/shot-show-on-demand-education. The Import/Export series (four live sessions) takes place Jan. 11-14. SHOT University (six live and two prerecorded sessions) takes place Jan. 18-20, while the 12 all-live Retailer Seminars take place Jan. 21-29. Registration for SHOT University, which includes all eight sessions, is just $265 for NSSF members. Retailer Seminars are available for $25 each to NSSF members, $50 each to non-members.

Here are the SHOT University offerings scheduled for January 18-20, 2021:

Shot show 2021 on demand virtual seminar online education

Session Recordings for Later Viewing:
For those who can’t attend the sessions at their scheduled times, recordings of all educational sessions will also be provided, which can be accessed at any time with your paid registration.

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December 19th, 2020

Firearms Safety Info from NSSF — Resources for Gun Owners

NSSF childsafe safe storage

The NSSF, as part of its ChildSafe Program, has just released a 26-page PDF document covering all aspects of firearms safety and safe storage. We recommend that new gun owners review this Safety Brochure. In addition, NSSF and Project ChildSafe offer a variety of other educational materials and resources:

1. Safety infographic for First-time Gun Buyers
2. Tips for Firearms Safety in the Home
3. A brochure and two videos highlighting Firearms Safety in Vehicles
4. An infographic detailing Safe Storage Options
5. A guide for parents to help Understand Youth Mental Health
6. A resource for military families for Veteran Suicide Prevention

Message from the NSSF:
“With the holiday season upon us, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reminds Americans to practice responsible safety measures at home, including safe and responsible firearm handling and storage. “It’s important to remember that the holidays can be a challenging time of year for many, and that may be especially true this year — particularly for those who are unable to see loved ones due to the pandemic, or who may be feeling isolated or alone for other reasons,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “We want to ensure families are practicing safe firearm storage habits to reduce the chance of a firearm accident this holiday season.”

NSSF childsafe safe storage

NSSF childsafe safe storage

SAFETY QUIZ — NSSF has created Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz. This walks gun owners through questions related to safe handling and storage of firearms. Click Link below to take the Quiz.

Take Gun Storage and Safety Quiz »

NSSF childsafe safe storage

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December 8th, 2020

Smith & Wesson Will Donate $500,000 to NSSF

Smith Wesson Brands NSSF national shooting sports foundation $500,000 donation

Now this is definitely “putting your money where your mouth is”. Kudos to Smith & Wesson for helping fund the NSSF at a time when our gun rights are being seriously challenged at Federal, State, and local levels.

Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. announced today that it will donate $500,000 to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to help fund the Foundation’s continued efforts to advocate gun rights and support the firearms industry. SW declared that “The work that the NSSF performs on behalf of the firearms industry is unparalleled and [it] been instrumental to ensuring the success of the industry for almost 60 years.” This $500K donation adds to another half-million dollars S&W has given to the NSSF over the past 11 months.

“When the NSSF decided to cancel the 2021 SHOT Show, we felt it was important to show them that we stand behind them during these challenging times. Smith & Wesson fully supports the NSSF and the work that they continue to do on behalf of our industry”, said Mark Smith, S&W President and CEO. “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is a strong advocate for the Second Amendment and helps promote hunting and the shooting sports. Smith & Wesson is proud to have donated over $1 million in 2020 to support [NSSF] efforts.”

Smith Wesson Brands NSSF national shooting sports foundation $500,000 donation

About Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.
Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Select: SWBI) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing, delivering a broad portfolio of quality handgun, long gun, and suppressor products to the global consumer and professional markets under the iconic Smith & Wesson®, M&P, Thompson/Center Arms, and Gemtech brands. The company also provides manufacturing services including forging, machining, and precision plastic injection molding services.

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November 28th, 2020

Firearm Storage Safety QUIZ — How Safe are YOUR Guns?

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Do you have a friend or family member who is a first-time gun owner? Then show them this article. It provides important guidelines for new gun owners. There’s an Infographic printed below. And, there’s a helpful Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz. This walks gun owners through questions related to safe handling and storage of firearms. Here is Part One of the Quiz. If you click on this part, you can complete the entire Quiz and see how you score.

Take Gun Storage and Safety Quiz »

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Firearms Safe Storage Video

NSSF Infographic for New Gun Owners
Below is the latest NSSF Infographic for new gun owners. This provides questions to ask before buying a gun, plus information on safe gun storage at home. This Infographic is part of a large collection of NSSF Resources for New Gun Owners.

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner coronovirus covid-19

Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for the Interactive Version of the NSSF Infographic. On that Interactive PDF, click on the smaller buttons to get additional information, or to watch related videos.

Other Gun Safety Resources

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Firearms Safe Storage/Transport in Vehicles | Ten Tips for Firearms Safety in Your Home

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November 18th, 2020

Understanding Milliradians (Mils) and Mil-Dot Scopes

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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November 5th, 2020

Record Gun Sales in October 2020 — Resources for Gun Owners

NICS background checks October NSSF First time gun buyers

There has been a huge surge in firearm sales this year. October 2020 set a new, all-time record for the month. The October 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,769,553 is a 60.1% increase over the October 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,105,335.

Even more telling, the 2020 year-to-date total of 17.2 million background checks shatters the previous annual record of 15.7 million background checks — and we still have two months in 2020! Notably, a high percentage of the purchasers are first-time gun owners. In fact the NSSF believes that nearly 5 million Americans have joined the ranks of gun owners for the first time this year.

First time gun buyers

Firearm sales are up 95% in 2020. And, according to the NSSF, there were nearly 5 million first-time-ever gun buyers in the USA this year. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. And women accounted for 40.2% of all first-time gun purchases. The NSSF estimates there are approximately 100 million gun owners in America.

Resources for New Gun Owners

With firearm sales continuing to surge across the country, NSSF President/CEO Joe Bartozzi welcomes first-time gun buyers in a new video with tips on how to safely enjoy the shooting sports. Here is the video for new gun owners.

“As a first-time gun owner, you’re going to want to spend time practicing with your new firearm … improving your gun-handling and marksmanship skills … and to educate [yourself] about personal and home protection, and to learn about keeping our guns securely stored…” says Bertozzi.

Firearm safety is every gun owner’s primary responsibility, emphasizes Bartozzi, a lifelong target shooter and hunter. As gun owners, “you and I are responsible for safely handling, transporting, and storing our firearms[.]” Newcomers are encouraged to watch NSSF’s Range Safety and Etiquette videos. You will find these on the NSSF YouTube Channel. Here is a basic safety video:

Where to Shoot Online Resource and Mobile Apps

If you are looking for a good indoor or outdoor shooting range near you, visit Wheretoshoot.org. On that website you can search by city, state, or zip code to find a range near you.

find range where to shoot NSSF

To complement Wheretoshoot.org, the NSSF also offers Where To Shoot Mobile Apps. These iOS and Android Apps quickly locate shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive range directory. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.

CLICK HERE for FREE Apple iPhone and iPad App | CLICK HERE for FREE Android App

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

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November 3rd, 2020

SIG Sauer Gives NSSF $500,000 After SHOT Show Cancellation

Sig Sauer NSSF $500,000 donation

Because of the cancellation of SHOT Show 2020, a big revenue-generator, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) faces funding challenges in the months ahead. Thankfully, some companies are stepping forward to help. On October 30, 2020, the day SHOT Show was cancelled, SIG SAUER, Inc. announced it would donate $500,000. The half-million dollar donation will support the important work the NSSF does on behalf of the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSSF defended the gun/shooting industry. That helped ensure that both manufacturers and gun retailers were declared essential to personal safety and America’s defense. According, firearms makers were able to keep factories running, and retailers remained open in most states.

Sig Sauer NSSF $500,000 donation

Tom Taylor, SIG’s Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP (Commercial Sales) declared:

“In the absence of SHOT Show, SIG is pleased to announce a $500,000 donation to support the NSSF’s ongoing work in education, safety initiatives, compliance and security resources, import/export guidance, consumer activation initiatives, government relations, and operational needs for 2021. It’s disappointing that we will not be able to gather as an industry in 2021 at SHOT Show. However, given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases… we fully support the difficult decision of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to cancel SHOT Show.”

We thank SIG Sauer for its generous donation to NSSF, and organization that provides vital services and leadership for the firearms industry and shooting sports.

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October 22nd, 2020

Gun Sales Up 95% in 2020 — Nearly 5 Million First-Time Buyers

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

2020 has been the year of the gun. Firearm sales are up 95% in 2020. And, according to the NSSF, there were nearly 5 million first-time-ever gun buyers in the USA this year. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. Women accounted for 40.2% of all first-time gun purchases. Notably, firearm purchases among African American men and women increased 58% over last year, the largest such increase of any demographic group.

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Gun Sales Up 95%, While Ammo Sales Are up 139% in 2020
Sales of guns and ammo have skyrocketed in 2020. Retailers noted that they are seeing a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019. Several factors are contributing to the huge surge in firearm purchases. There were fears over the COVID-19 Pandemic and lock-downs. Then riots and social unrest followed. And many Americans believe they must “buy now” before Democrat-party politicians enact severe gun restrictions and national licensing schemes.

NSSF reports that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020.

Retailers reported a huge increase of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40% of sales were to this group. (In the past just 24% of gun sales were to first-time gun buyers.) Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2:1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers, and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

Semi-Auto Handguns Are the Top Choice of First-Time Buyers
2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40% of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting, and hunting. Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course.

Record Numbers of Gun Sales by Month
For most of 2020, the month-by-month levels of firearm sales have set new records, based on FBI NICS checks. For example, in July 2020, firearms sales were up 122.5% over July 2019, based on NSSF-Adjusted* background check numbers. And, previously, in March 2020, gun purchases were up 80.4% compared to the year before (based on Adjusted NICS checks).

NICS background checks NSSF adjusted 2020March 2020

Many New Gun Buyers Are Women and Minorities
NSSF surveys revealed a 58% increase in firearm purchasing among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40% of first-time gun purchasers. Gun sales have set records in 2020 — retailers reported a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammo sales over the same period in 2019.

2020 gun buyers NICS survey 5 million new womens African American

Several factors are contributing to the sustained surge in firearm purchases. Sales spiked in March, with a record-setting 2.3 million NICS background checks conducted for a firearm sale, the same month the coronavirus pandemic struck. There were also major concerns after protests lead to large scale rioting and social unrest. Additionally, Americans are concerned that, if Joe Biden is elected, and the Democrats capture the U.S. Senate, there will be draconian gun control measures enacted, including outright bans on semi-automatic rifles.

* The adjusted NICS data sets were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks and permit rechecks used by states for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. NSSF started subtracting permit rechecks in February 2016.

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October 15th, 2020

The USA Has More Guns Than People — 393 Million Firearms

United States gun ownership

Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris want to take a wide variety of guns away from Americans. (See DNC Platform.) That may prove difficult because Americans own over 393 millions guns according to a recent story. With 393,300,000 firearms in the hands of Americans, that means that there are more guns than people in the USA.

Biden Buy-Back? What could it really cost?
If the Democrats want to confiscate even 10% of firearms with a $500 average buy-back per gun, that could cost nearly $20 BILLION dollars.

Here’s the math for 10% of total guns: 39,300,000 x $500 buyback = $19,650,000,000.00

Where do these numbers come from? This 393 million number comes from the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. While the USA has roughly 4% of the world’s population, we have nearly 40% of civilian-owned guns on the planet, “ranking the U.S. number one in firearms per capita” (source: WAMU.org. According to the NSSF and Gallup polls there are about 105 to 110 million gun owners in America.

United States gun ownership
Chart by Ali Zifan, Creative Commons License.

Referring to that same SAS survey, Forbes Magazine noted: “The United States has more guns than people and the research estimates that it had a grand total of 393,300,000 civilian-owned firearms in 2017 — 120.5 for every 100 residents. So how does that compare to other countries? India has a population of 1.35 billion and it comes a very distant second in the gun-ownership league with an estimated 71.1 million weapons. China, the world’s most populous country, comes third with 49.7 million. Pakistan is in fourth place with 43.9 million civilian-owned guns while Russia rounds off the top-five with 17.6 million.”

america usa gun population total SAS

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September 26th, 2020

Twenty Tips for Hunters on National Hunting and Fishing Day

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies. For navigation and safety, consider getting Garmin inReach Explorer+. This high-tech handheld unit features interactive SOS, connecting you to the GEOS 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring center. They also allow you to send and receive text messages, no matter where you are, via advanced inReach satellite technology. Yes you can communicate even if you are miles from the nearest cell tower.

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. Have a Plan — know where you plan to go and when. Try to be where you want in the early morning and early evening hours when deer are likely most active.

12. Take Your Time — If you spot a deer and get too excited and don’t take your time you may spook him. Go slow and glass. If possible, wait for the animals to bed down and relax. Then work out the best way to approach your prey. Remember, “You get so few opportunities, don’t screw it up!”

13. Glass More, Walk Less — Let your eyes do the walking — get good binoculars and use them. With their heightened senses of smell and hearing, deer/elk are able to spot you way better than you can spot them. If you are walking around a lot, chances are you are getting spotted by your prey.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers everywhere are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: ASHA.org). If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get the Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG. This is a plastic ring with earbuds, you can keep around your neck.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. Pace Yourself When Packing Out — If you DO succeed, and bring down a big buck, will you be able to dress the animal and carry out the meat? Always be prepared to hike out with extra weight. If you are successful, make sure not to waste the meat you worked so hard for. Choose a pack that can help you carry a heavy load. Remember, this is not an insignificant challenge — you may be carrying 60 to 100 extra pounds in addition to your other gear. Again, take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t hurt yourself.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.

Prepare For Your Hunt — Get Fit and Practice Positions

As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.

Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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September 22nd, 2020

Hunting Safety Checklist — Be Safe on Your Annual Hunt

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Next Saturday, September 26, 2020, is National Hunting & Fishing Day. The annual celebration takes place on the the 4th Saturday of September every year. National, regional, state and local organizations will run thousands of “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more.

colorado elk hunting winter hunter

Hunting Safety Checklist
A good hunt begins with preparation. And during the hunt, safety is a key priority. To help hunters, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist, produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign, helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.


Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist »


hunting safety day checklist

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

Father/son hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com. Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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September 18th, 2020

Congressional Report Card Issued by NSSF

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released its 2020 Congressional Report Card. This report card grades all 431 U.S. Representatives and 100 U.S. Senators on key legislation of critical importance to the firearm industry, as well as the Second Amendment rights of America’s hunters and target shooters. See Complete Congressional Report Card HERE.

In the Report Card, the NSSF awarded 17 U.S. Senators and 97 U.S. Representatives the highest “A+” rating. This includes U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was also among the lawmakers awarded the highest rating.

Shown below is the U.S. Senate Report card. The Report card for the House of Representatives is four pages long, too lengthy to display here. CLICK HERE for House Report.

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights


CLICK HERE for U.S. House of Representatives Report Card »

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights

This nonpartisan scorecard reflects the voting record of each legislator. These grades indicate their public voting record as well as the weight and importance of these lawmakers sponsoring and co-sponsoring key legislation, their work on committees, letters signed to support issues and leadership to stand for our industry. “This scorecard is of vital importance to voters as we head into November elections. This tells voters exactly where their lawmakers stand on issues they care about like recreational shooting and hunting and the right to keep and bear arms” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF VP and General Counsel.

The NSSF notes that grades are meant to analyze the level of support of each lawmaker during the 116th Congress and do not constitute an endorsement or opposition to a candidate’s election. The entire report, including the list of key legislation that comprised the scores, is available HERE.

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September 2nd, 2020

Gun Makers Support NSSF and NRA-ILA Election Programs

2020 Election November Trump biden second amendment gun rights

Election Day is just 61 days away. On November 3, 2020, Americans will head to the polls. For gun owners, this may be the most significant Presidential election in a generation. The Democratic Party, as stated in the DNC platform, intends to severely restrict gun rights, and ban whole classes of firearms.

Nearly 5 million Americans are first-time gun buyers. We hope they, along with ALL gun owners, will vote on November 3rd, and remember which candidates support the Second Amendment. As the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) states: “Current events across the United States demonstrate why the Founding Fathers 230 years ago had the foresight to recognize why the right to keep and bear arms would still be vital today.”

Smith & Wesson Contributes $500,000 to 2020 Gunvote Effort

#GUNVOTE is a vital NSSF campaign to encourage America’s gun owners to register to vote and vote for candidates who support the Second Amendment and gun rights. Go to Action.gunvote.org to learn how to register to vote in your state, and find your polling place.

Firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson has contributed $500,000 to the NSSF’s #GUNVOTE® voter registration and education campaign. This is the largest donation the campaign has received to date.

2020 Election November Trump biden second amendment gun rights

“This election cycle marks a crossroads in the future of the firearms industry and of our very freedom to bear arms,” said Mark Smith, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson. “We must ensure the Second Amendment is protected at every level. It is critical that hunters, recreational target shooters, and all those seeking to exercise their constitutional right to protect themselves and their families be educated and vote in November. [Voters’] choices at the polls will impact the future of all Americans’ free exercise of their constitutional rights.”

Six Companies Will Match NRA-ILA Donations Dollar-for-Dollar

The NRA-ILA has joined forces with with six companies that have pledged to match $1 million in donations made to NRA-ILA through November 15, 2020. The six participating companies are: SIG SAUER, Kel-Tec, Credova, Rock Island Auction Company, Taurus, and Davidson’s Gallery of Guns. If you make a donation to the NRA-ILA, your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by these six companies. If you give $50, they give $50. If you give $100, they give $100. The maximum matching is $1,000,000.

2020 Election November Trump biden second amendment gun rights

“These patriotic businesses are pledging vital resources to support and defend the Second Amendment because they understand that our right to own a gun in defense of ourselves and our families is on the ballot in November. By working together with such partners, our membership intends to defeat those … trying to strip our rights away”, said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA.

2020 Election November Trump biden second amendment gun rights

Through this Partners for Patriotism campaign, anyone who makes a donation to NRA-ILA between now and 11/15/2020 will have their donation matched. Folks can make donations of any size — whatever they can spare. Whatever individuals donate will automatically be doubled by the six participating companies.

With the Presidential election looming, the stakes have never been higher. Joe Biden and his VP candidate Kamala Harris have pledged to enact new laws that could result in rifle confiscation, criminalization of private sales, and banning of online guns and ammo purchases. In addition, Biden and Harris have called for new gun taxes, while Harris has advocated banning guns by Executive Action — rule by fiat, bypassing the legislative process.

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August 27th, 2020

More Women Than Ever Are Buying Guns for Self-Defense

Girl and gun nssf firearms female ladies survey civil disorder riots
Range photo from Athena Gun Club in Houston, TX. Athena has 26-lane indoor shooting range.

A Girl & A Gun (AG&AG) is a club by women shooters for women shooters. With a network of instructors and affiliated ranges, AG&AG operates training clinics and competition events thorughout the country. AG&AG recently sponsored a nationwide survey of 6000 club members. This survey revealed interesting trends in gun purchases by females. By way of background, a previous survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimated that about 40% of 2020 gun sales are to first-time buyers, and that roughly 40% of those first-time gun buyers were women.

Girl and gun nssf firearms female ladies survey civil disorder riots

AG&AG did a follow-up survey of club members who were first-time gun buyers. This showed that the leading motivator in gun acquisition were concerns over riots and civil unrest. This was followed by worries over the upcoming election and possible future gun bans.

Girl and gun nssf firearms female ladies survey civil disorder riots

» READ MORE HERE — AG&AG Survey Results

There were some very interesting comments by AG&AG members, who expressed their personal reasons for buying guns and seeking firearms training:

Kathryn in Texas: “I’m a trauma surgeon and have treated a fair share of gunshot victims in Chicago and Houston. I have been pretty ‘anti-gun’ as a result up until COVID. At that point, I figured I might as well get comfortable with at least handling firearms in case I had to use one.”

Theresa in Nevada: “I’ve never felt the need to own a gun or want a one. However, with the extreme levels of crime, every individual should learn to protect themselves. With our political leaders allowing the police to be torn apart, this made me feel the need to step up and take measures for my protection.”

Jan in Michigan: “As a history teacher with 35 years of teaching experience I know that the first thing revolutionaries and tyrants do upon seizing power is to take away the public’s guns. As a child my family lived in inner city Detroit in the heart of the 1967 riots….More recently, the rioters came down my street after their burning and looting rampage downtown in my city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I decided that I have to defend myself and not allow myself to be a sitting duck. “

Anonymous in Connecticut: “I [was] interested in joining A Girl & A Gun Club for a while and in the wake of the protests and defunding of police I thought this was extremely important. Being from the Northeast it is difficult to find others with the same ideals so I thought this would be the best place to start.”

Girl and gun nssf firearms female ladies survey civil disorder riots

About A Girl & A Gun
AG&AG is now moving into its 10th year of educating women on the safe use and storage of firearms, and promoting women’s interest and participation in training and competitive and recreational shooting sports. The club’s mission is especially relevant today and the organization is stronger than ever.

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August 4th, 2020

Accuracy vs. Precision — Litz Explains the Difference

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

The NSSF has posted a video featuring Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Bryan also serves as Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets and ABM Ammo. In this short video, Bryan explains the importance of ballistics for precision shooting at long range. Bryan covers key elements — drop, wind drift, angle correction and more. And Bryan also explains the key difference between Accuracy and Precision.

The principles Bryan discusses are covered (in greater detail) in the Putting Rounds on Target instructional DVD set. This 3-Disc collection boasts a total run-time of 3 hours and 37 minutes. The three DVDs, with many graphics and video segments, deliver as much information as a weekend shooting seminar… at a fraction of the cost. The 3-DVD set sells for $44.95.

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

Disc 1

• Accuracy & Precision
• Tall Target Test
• Chronographs & Statistics
• Ballistic Coefficient
• Trajectory Terms
• Run Time: 1 hour, 4 min

Disc 2

• Primary Elevation (Wind)
• Secondary Effects
• Using Ballistics Solvers
• Short & LR Equipment
• Run Time: 1 hour, 11 min

Disc 3

• On The Range: .308 Win
• On The Range: .284 Win
• On The Range: .338 LM
• Extended Range Shooting
• One Mile Shooting
• Run Time: 1 hour, 22 min

DVD Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Shooting F-Class .284 Win .338 LM

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August 3rd, 2020

Free Target & Gear Giveaways for Nat’l Shooting Sports Month

NSSM August Shooting sports month NSSF gear giveaway contest packages SIG Glock RCBS Mossberg

August is National Shooting Sports Month. The goal this month is to celebrate the fun and challenge of shooting, AND, most importantly, to introduce new shooters to the sport. The NSSF encourages all experienced firearm owners to invite a new shooter to the range this month. At the range, act as a mentor for the new person, teaching him or her about safety and the various shooting disciplines he/she can try.

NSSM August Shooting sports month NSSF gear giveaway contest packages SIG Glock RCBS Mossberg

To encourage new shooters, the NSSF has created a special target. With this fun target, you shot five bulleyes, with three different scoring challenges. Download printable PDF targets with the links below.

DOWNLOAD 8.5″x11″ TARGET HERE | DOWNLOAD 11″x17″ TARGET HERE

NSSM August Shooting sports month NSSF gear free target contest

Win Valuable Prizes with +ONE Gear Giveaway Contest

To promote National Shooting Sports Month, the NSSF is running a +ONE Gear Giveaway contest. You can enter to win one of an impressive collection of +ONE GEARBOX prize packages. These prize collections include rifles, pistols, shotguns, RCBS presses, carry cases, tools, hearing protection, support bags, steel targets, ultrasonic machines, clothing, and more. Guns come from SIG Sauer, Mossberg, Glock, and Primary Arms. Check out the Gear Giveaways below. IMPORTANT: You have to enter separately for each prize package. CLICK HERE to ENTER Gear Drawings.

NSSF 2020 Gear Giveaway — Six +ONE GEARBOX Prize Packages

NSSM August Shooting sports month NSSF gear giveaway contest packages SIG Glock RCBS Mossberg

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