Many years ago, I promised Claire, I’d teach her to shoot a gun safely. I’ve either forgotten about it, been too busy, or it wasn’t the right time because of animals in the pasture, but she asked again recently and I said, “Let’s go.”Â She was a bit surprised, so we went to the back pasture in a paddock without any animals and went over the basics.
We went over the characteristics of a rifle and a shotgun and got a chance to shoot small versions of both – a .22 rifle and .410 shotgun.
I told her about how I learned to hunt. The first year I went, I was not allowed to carry a gun, but just to watch and observe. The second year, I was allowed to carry a gun and “practice” shooting, but wasn’t allowed to have any shells – just the empty gun. I still remember the first time I followed a duck on the bead of the gun right in front of another hunter’s head. It was a sobering lesson in losing track of the situation when game appears. The third year, I was allowed limited shooting with a single-shot gun.
So today was just the introduction – we set up a milk carton on a stick and she was able to hit it with the shotgun but not the rifle. We’ll take more target practice in the next few months to get competent.