Ah, November. Depending where you are, it’s either deer season already, or it’s about to commence.
Have you scouted out where you’re going to hunt yet?
Are you sighted in yet? Be reminded, “It was sighted in when I put it away last season” is not enough. Consider:
Guns get bumped and dropped. That can alter point of aim/point of impact.
We traditionalists who like walnut or other wood stocks on our rifles have to remember that wood absorbs moisture. When it expands and bears on the barrel, point of aim/point of impact can be altered by that, too. The mount screws on our telescopic sights can loosen with time and use, and that changes POA/POI coordinates as well. Are we absolutely SURE that the ammo we set out for THIS season is EXACTLY the same as what we used last season, and are sighted in for? Same concerns.
Hunters’ ethics: We owe the animal a swift, clean kill. It’s what makes our harvesting the creature more humane than the miserable death a wild animal can expect from old age out there in the wilderness. If anything has happened to make the shot go somewhere other than where we aimed, the humane demise can turn into hours or even days of the animal slowly dying in agony, not to mention that all that meat for the table is lost.
Take the time to verify POA/POI coordinates, preferably off the bench at the distances from which you are most likely to take a shot in the field. Then, verify from field shooting positions (kneeling, standing, whatever) that you and your deer rifle are still in tune with one another in that respect.
I suspect there are readers of this blog who can share stories of where the whole point of aim/point of impact thing went well, and where it went wrong. Those comments are, as always, invited.
Good luck, and safe and happy hunting.