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Something I periodically hear from the great and wise people who inhabit the cities of the Pacific North-Wet, where I ply my trade, is that shooting sports are an extension of a terrible evil, and that they make the awful power to wipe away human life trivial in the eyes of the ignorant and foolish who regularly shoot paper targets.

City folk say the darnedest things.

Anyhow, I took up the sport of shooting bowling pins (which city folk remind me, with wagging fingers, don't shoot back) and it actually taught me a habit which helped me when the chips were down and I needed to kill.

First, the lesson:

In bowling pins, you shoot the pins and you keep shooting until all your pins are off the table and on the ground. With a perfectly square hit they fly right off (assuming you aren't shooting too light a load) but if you hit the side they lie down and you need to shoot them again. So the basic lesson is to keep your eye on the business and keep shooting until you see the desired result.

The application:

I had a possum coming in the night and eating eggs I didn't want it to eat. A startled possum doesn't run in a straight line - it runs zigzag and over the broken ground of an overgrown chicken run its running is even less predictable. A flashlight at night startles them. Didn't matter. I knew to keep my head down, my eye on the scope and my muzzle at the varmint while I worked the bolt and shot again.

Of course, the down side is that after I'd emptied the magazine into it, there wasn't a fur worth keeping. But at least the chickens like the taste of possum.
 
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