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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Im new here.

I'm 15 and I'm going to be firing my first ever shotgun in a few weeks and I was wondering what I should generally know/do.
We are going spotlighting on a farm hunting rabbits and that kind of thing. I think I'll be using a 12 gauge but im not sure what kind.
I know next to nothing about shotguns, so what would your advice be? I'm a little worried I'll get hurt with recoil as I dont have the biggest shoulders so what should I think about there?

Thanks :p
 

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First get someone you know is responsible about firearms to teach you about them, or take a class. Learn the 4 safety rules to weapons handling.

Become very familiar with your weapon (unloaded of course).

After all of this, go to a range (or if you have room on that farm) then have a responsible person with you while you shoot a few rounds at targets. The more knowledgeable that person is, the more they can help you with your sight alignment / sight picture, stance, and other things.

Become safe and skilled with your weapon before you go hunting.
 

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Get shooting and then see what you think because recoil is one of the quickest problems to solve.
 

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Hi there Rane--

Glad you came to our forum! I hope you'll come back often and let us know how your new shotgunning career is going :)

It's great that you're getting a chance to hunt as a young man--those of us who grew up in hunting and fishing families know that our first trips contain priceless memories. Enjoy it! You'll always have those memories with you.

That said, I feel I must tell you that jacklighting bunnies and um, "other things," is not the greatest way to take your first shots. When you're hunting, people get fairly excited sometimes and nighttime, in particular, makes for something of an eerie atmosphere. It's best to learn in broad daylight, with clay targets and no distractions, first just standing them out there and then having someone throw them for you, first by hand and then with a hand trap.

The person that accompanies you for your shotgun training should be an adult who has experience with guns and who is patient and responsible about helping you.

Also, I really feel that everyone ought to take a gun safety course these days. Even if all the course does is reinforce stuff you've already learned, it's well worth it. But you'll probably learn some new info. I took one of these courses when I moved to Connecticut, even though I didn't have to. I asked the instructors all kinds of questions about the state gun and hunting laws and even got some tips on where to hunt from them. None of us is above basic gun safety! You can find a course by contacting the NRA or just visiting a gunshop and asking around a bit.

I have found that almost anyone can handle a 12 ga, given the correct loads and a reasonable shotgun fit. If you're a really small guy, the way the gun's stock fits you may in the end prove to be a bigger factor than the gauge. I wouldn't worry about that too much at the moment--it's something think about as you progress. Fit, by the way, can be altered to suit you better on most guns. Use "low brass" field loads for your first target shooting and hunting endeavors. You don't say what kind of shotgun you'll be using, but most 12-ga guns are heavy enough to take alot of the punch out of the kick.

Good luck Rane, and if we can help you more, don't hesitate to ask!

Best,

Jeff23
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I forgot to mention that I WILL be shooting clays to start with, and that i'll be with an adult who has taken more courses than you can shake a stick at about shotguns, hunting and gun safety.

thanks for all your advice, it looks like it will be really helpful
 

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Rane--

Glad to hear it. Regarding the recoil, make sure you mount the shotgun firmly to your shoulder and you'll probably be fine. Shotgunning is, after all, a sport. And the first experiences people have often determine whether they stay with any sport long enough to get good at it.

So take your time and enjoy it all! As I said before, your first hunt is one you'll never forget, even if there are hundreds of other ones. I for one would be interested to hear how it goes :)

Best,

Jeff23
 

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This situation sounds like an accident just waiting to happen. In the first place, "spotlighting" animals is illegal in many states. Even if it weren't illegal, it sure isn't much sport to shoot some animal who is blinded or frozen by a bright spotlight shined in his eyes.

When we combine a newbie who knows next to nothing about shotguns with the darkness and the excitement of a hunt (if you want to call that hunting), we get a very dangerous combination. Also, many "spotlighters" often drink a few beers to heighten their enjoyment of the evening. As I said, I can't think of a much worse situation. I would encourage you to forget about this spotlighting event and just take a safety class and learn about shotguns the right way.
 

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It used to be legal in Texas and Alaska where there is no closed season and no limits as well(in some units of AK anyway). Considering the areas that the hares and bunnies hang out its much safer for the hunters and the dogs to shoot them at night along the roads when they are out, avoiding the heat, the prickly stuff, and the venomous stuff. It's all about where you were brought up and how things are done.

If you are unsure of the gun, don't be bashful ask to shoot and be shown the particulars beforehand. It's foolish to nod your head and say "yeah, I've done this before" when in reality you haven't. Everybody has to start somewhere in there education of any subject or activity, and its at the bottom.
 

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Well as I understand it, in Texas it is legal to drive down the road with an open beer in your hand. You can also legally have your loaded "thurty-thurty" in the back window of your truck at the same time.

Being "legal" and being "smart" are not necessarily synonymous. :wink: :lol:
 

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Ulysses said:
Well as I understand it, in Texas it is legal to drive down the road with an open beer in your hand. You can also legally have your loaded "thurty-thurty" in the back window of your truck at the same time.

Being "legal" and being "smart" are not necessarily synonymous. :wink: :lol:
In TX it is now ILLEGAL to have any open container of alcohol in your vehicle, law passed a few years ago. As far as the gun in the back window I like mine to much to display them to a thief. I don't know if it is legal to have them in the back window or not :?: But by having a CHL, I am supposed to make a reasonable attempt to conceal my handgun...ie should not leave it laying on the dash. As well just as in any other state if some one thinks you have something worth stealing they probably will.

Proud Texan----->John
 

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You can display the firearm in your back window but it can't be loaded anymore.
 
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