Florida’s turkey hunting season starts earlier than other states’, and whether you’re an experienced hunter or this is your first season, there’s always a thrill in bagging an Osceola gobbler. As experienced Floridian hunters can attest, wild turkeys are unpredictable and can be found anywhere from cattle pastures to swamps. Being prepared to shoot at any moment, even if it means using your weaker, or non-dominant, hand, can give you a better chance at getting a bird this season.
Why Off-Hand Shooting Is Important
In the military, soldiers are often trained to shoot with both hands in preparation for dangerous firefights where injuries are common and the enemy can come from any direction. Although the conditions in Floridian hunting grounds are slightly different, knowing how to shoot with your weak hand gives you a chance to get your turkey no matter where it pops up.
When you can shoot with your non-dominant hand, you don't need to turn your whole body and make as much movement as you do when you have to prepare yourself to use your dominant hand. Instead, you can move your rifle from one shoulder to the other, pivot slightly, and shoot without startling the bird. This also lets you shoot faster, so you’re less likely to miss the opportunity.
How to Improve Shooting With Your Non-Dominant Hand
Just as with any skill, from calling to tracking, the key to developing your weak-hand shooting abilities is practice. Target shooting with your non-dominant hand before your Floridian turkey hunting trip helps build strength and muscle memory, ultimately leading to more precision. Some other ways to become a better weak-hand shot include:
- Using a red dot sight so you can keep both eyes open while shooting.
- Maintaining a proper stance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the rifle at a natural position.
- Practicing your grip. The butt of the rifle should be firmly against your shoulder. Keep your non-dominant shoulder under the rifle and your dominant arm bent so that the elbow is almost horizontal.
- Breathing. Take one breath while you get the rifle into position and another while you get the target into your sights. As you release the second breath, relax and fire.
- Following through. The point of impact is going to be different than what you’re used to when shooting with your dominant hand, so take that into account. Maintain your position when the rifle recoils and keep your eyes on where the bullet hit.
Find everything you need for your Florida turkey hunt at Florida Cracker Trading Company and enjoy some true Southern hospitality at the same time. This Floridian brand carries a wide array of hunting gear as well as hats, shirts, and foods that capture the essence of the simple Southern country lifestyle. Visit their stores in Brooksville, Jacksonville Beach, or Keystone Heights today to browse their huge selection or buy their products online. Call (352) 754-8787 to speak to a staff member.