News at Uhlenhorst...
Isabel - The 9 year old Huntress;
Teaching a young hunter is one of the biggest rewards that my job has to offer. Knowing that I’m the person laying the foundation to their hunting future and the way they will do things!
Last month I hunted with the Kincaid family from the Washington State. After patiently watching her brother take his first trophy animal Isabel (9 years old) was determent to do the same.
Her dad Sean explained that hunting takes practise and when they go back home he will help her practise so that she can also hunt when they return in a few years. She was not happy with the verdict to say the least. There was absolutely nothing we could do or say to make it better. That was until I came up with a solution, help her to achieve her goal!
I told her that if she is willing to listen to me and not get agitated then I will help her. It was as if I turned on a light switch. Her sad face lid up immediately. She agreed to my terms without any hesitation.
We headed to the shooting range and I explained everything step by step. After a while I set her up on the sticks at about 60 yards from the target and had her pull off a few dry shots just to get the feeling. After that, I chambered a round and explained to her to hold the rifle firm in her shoulder, line the crosshairs up with the red dot and squeeze the trigger. She did exactly that and after a few rounds she was able to get a very nice grouping.
That afternoon we set out on a hunt just for Isabel. Knowing that we would have to get to 100 yards or less and have enough time to get her comfortable our best chance was to sit at a waterhole. We placed our chairs under a tree about 40 yards from the water and the waiting started. After about two hours we spotted a group of ±20 springbuck making their way to the water. Of course there was only one male in the group and he was all the way in the back. The females walked right up to our left shoulder and stopped at 40yards to look right at us. The male continued to move around the water and stopped at 75yards, perfectly broadside. I looked at Isabel and asked if she liked the looks of him. She nodded right away with a big smile on her face. I slowly set up the shooting sticks and carefully moved her into position as the females were still looking our way. She got steady on the sticks, I moved the safety forward and BOOM. The Springbuck male drooped in his tracks. The females ran off as we looked at the springbuck Isabel just shot. The moment I took the gun from her, it was like a bomb went off inside of her. She jumped up and down and gave me a hug with the words that I can remember so well “thank you so much”
Isabel got her trophy and now she was happy to sit back and observe the rest of the hunt. The hunting world have surely gained a female hunter. Isabel will be back!
Note: My 10 tips for starting a new hunter out right;
1.) WILLINGNESS: The decision to shoot must be theirs. Never force a person to shoot, it will have the opposite effect.
2.) FIREARM KNOWLEDGE: Make sure they know how the rifle works, including basic gun safety.
3.) RIFLE SIZE: Make sure to use a calibre that is both light enough not to hurt/scare them, but big enough to do the job. We used a Sako .223 with extra padding on the back. It has very little recoil. The rifle must also be proportionally right for them.
4.) SCOPE MAGNIFICATION: Always keep the scope at a low power, 3x - 6x for beginners. A lot of people make the mistake of turning the scope up for a child when they say they cannot see. There is a reason why they cannot see. They are not lined up right, they are not in a comfortable position or in most cases this is just the excuse they use when they are not comfortable with the shot. By turning up the scope you put more pressure on them. I personally would recommend starting your kids out with an open sight on a target. That way you will teach them accuracy at its best!
5.) CONFIDENCE: Dry shots is a must! I will get the shooter comfortable and the chances of them jerking the trigger is much lower.
If you notice them jerking their shot, go back to firing dry shots.
7.) ACCURACY: Make sure to get them shooting a good grouping before heading out to hunt an animal.
8.) THE FIRST SHOT WILL STICK: Their first shot at an animal is very important. It must be a comfortable distance and they must be comfortable as well. They will remember that shot for a long time.
9.) APPRECIATION: Make sure that they respect the animal hunted and understand that hunting is a privilege we have in life!
10.) JOY: All of these tips is important, but I believe there is no use of hunting an animal if you don’t plan on having a good time. Enjoy the outdoors, Enjoy the people you share it with, Enjoy yourself!
2017 SHOW SCHEDULE - America;
Show season is right around the corner! We hope to see all our friends, clients and interested buyers at one of the shows. Hoekus SR and Connie will be joining us for the SCI show in Las Vegas as well as the Hunt Expo in Salt Lake City. They are very excited to see everyone they miss so much, so please take the time to pop in for a visit.