Thursday, April 26, 2012
Before a German hunter can take to the fields to hunt any game he or she needs to take a lengthy, challenging hunting course that culminates in a complicated, serious test - including the demonstration of shooting skills on a special hunting oriented range.
Many hunters loathe the boar target more than anything else. Most challenging for many hunters is the “running boar”. The silhouette of a boar is dragged rapidly across the range at a distance of just under 90 yards. The target is visible only for seconds. The challenge is to hit the boar in his vitals using slugs fired from a shotgun. This simulates the situation a hunter will encounter during a drive when fleeing animals race across a small clearing or road.
Another challenge consists of shooting shotgun slugs at several boar targets stationed at about 55 yards. Shooting time is very limited.
Here are a few pictures from a shooting competition held by a hunter's association that were published by JagdErleben.
Running boar test.
Hits on the boar are recorded and shown on the screen of this target computer.
The hits are barely visible even on the original. I have enlarged the original thumbnail picture, which explains the somewhat fuzzy appearance.
Another tricky discipline is the attacking boar. A boar target is quickly drawn straight towards the hunter in a narrow shooting lane of the range.
Only seconds to fire, reload fire again. All with a bolt action rifle.
The following picture shows the hits on one of the targets. The scoring official unfortunately covers the center of the target. But you can see where the shots are supposed to hit.
This was pretty good shooting. That can not be said about the next pictures in the timed multiple boar competition. Shotguns and rifled slugs are used for here. The distance is a little over 50 yards.
An overlay is used to score the hits. Again the scorer is obscuring the center of the target. I cannot determine from the picture whether the target center is now located at the correct anatomical point and not too far back as it traditionally is shown on paper targets.
But judging by the position of the scorer's arm and the barely visible hindleg, the target center still is too far back and would result in a gut shot. The center appears to be to the lower left of his right hand, while the vital parts of the boar are located much lower, more to the left and around his elbow. Hard to see because his arm and the sleeve of his sweater is covering everything.
Nothing is perfect. Not even paper targets. And the pictures shown above. Next time I will try to arrange for pictures in the original size and not thumbnails.
Anyway, even at this reduced picture quality we can learn from the simulated hunting scenarios how and where to aim for a good clean kill. I wish we could visit practice ranges like this right here in California. If you know one, please let me know.