“Where’s My Gun?”
Here’s a story about a wonderful lady that came to us for lessons before she made her first trip to Argentina.
It was a family trip, and it would be the first time she got to hunt. She wanted to do well. The mother and father-in-law and her husband had all been shooting forever and were very good shots. Her father-in-law had told her to use his old 28-gauge Remington 1100. Perfect gun. It did not hurt and she got really good with it.
She started her lessons three months before going with a lot of time for her to practice in between lessons and the trip. She came to the lesson with an empty cup and we filled it. Because she understood that the lesson was only a part of the process, she was very determined and a great student. She took the information home, practiced it, and she progressed well. She was ready. She had practiced with the gun, was comfortable with it, and knew that she could hit targets with it.
They all arrived in Argentina and the first morning out, everyone got out of the bus and all stood around. She thought this was weird, but it was the first morning. All of a sudden, she was presented with a new gun. Her first reaction was, “Where’s my other gun? The one I’m used to shooting.” They had not thought to bring the other gun; only the new gun. It, too, was a 28-gauge automatic, but it was different than the one she was used to.
You all know what happened next. The birds came in and the shooting began and she couldn’t hit anything. This gun felt different. But more importantly, it was not the one she had practiced with and had confidence in. Her first shooting experience in Argentina was ruined and it went on for two more days.
It was such a nice gesture for the family to give her this new gun in Argentina, but hopefully, we can all learn from their mistake. She was uncomfortable with the new gun, they all felt bad that they had put her in this position, so everyone’s trip was tainted a bit. As soon as they returned, she called and told us this sad story. She was mortified because she had worked so hard to do well and couldn’t hit anything with this new gun. And she felt bad that they felt bad. Since then, we have fitted the gun so she’ll be ready for next year.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Practice with the gun you will be using, especially if you are a new shooter. More advanced shooters can usually pick up any gun and shoot it, but the novice shooter can not adapt as well. Just be mindful of the other person and how they feel. It seems as we all get better, we can forget how the beginner feels and how insecure they can feel when something new is put into the equation.