I’m not talking about hunting or shooting high power rifles, for most of us that’s simply unfeasible because of the usual rules of suburbia and the dreaded HOA bylaws some of us agreed to. What I am talking about is the tamer, “gentlemanly” or at least quiet sports of archery, air rifle or even air-soft marksmanship. Keeping a bow or a pellet gun and a target in the spare bedroom or out in the garage handy makes it easier. Set up your situation so that you can step out or even better – grab your child from in front of the video game or your sweetie, and take them outside with you. After your domestic shooting range is set up, you can be outside and shooting within just a few minutes. This will allow you to kill two or more birds with one stone (not literally) – you can practice one of your favorite sports, perfect your skills, and spend some quality time with one of your favorite family members. Why wait until your next trip to the gun range to teach firearms handling to your family? You don’t own a gun or bow suitable for short range, quiet fun? If you call your local gun or archery shop, they can probably get you some backyard-suitable equipment for a c-note or less. You don’t have enough room? All one needs for a backyard range is five to ten yards with a safe area behind and to the sides.
Be sure to follow all safety guidelines, especially the 3 Always of Firearm Safety, the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety, and local your ordinances. Be courteous of your neighbors, and don’t shoot the little birdies. Remember some of these most important rules of backyard marksmanship are : 1) keep the firearm (gun or bow) pointed in a safe direction, 2) stay unloaded until pointing at the target, and 3) keep your finger(s) off the trigger (or string) until your sights are lined up and you’re ready to shoot, 4) be sure of your target and what is beyond, and last but not least be sure to use all safety equipment, especially eye protection. For more safety information contact a local gun shop, firearms or hunter safety instructor or go to the education sections of the National Rifle Association or the National Shooting Sports Foundation.