Engagement and Follow-UpWhile minimizing natural body movements, break the shot with a good sight picture. Maintain a sight picture through recoil, and, if you've done everything right, you should see the bullet impact the target. If yes, that's great. Even if you have hit the target, don't forget that you can get information from the hit. If it's left or right, you get some information about the actual wind condition compared to your wind call. If it's high or low, it means your load is shooting faster or slower than you thought, or that the target is closer or further than you thought.
The author spots his own hits and misses and makes corrections, eliminating some shooter/spotter communication. His team-mate waits to tell him the next target's dope value.
Every shot throughout the day gives you feedback about wind conditions, and can help you learn how wind moves throughout the locale. If a single shoot position has 5 targets to engage, with up to one hit each and no more than 2 rounds fired at any target, it makes sense to shoot the closest ones first. With unknown wind, you are more likely to get a hit on the close targets, and the hit location on the target is a indicator of what wind was present. This information can be applied to further targets, as you step out from near to far.
When you have finished shooting at this position, it is time to reset your elevation knob by turning it back to zero. This is especially an issue with elevation knobs that turn multiple revolutions, such as the Leupold M1 and the Nightforce. It is not uncommmon for a shooter with one of these scopes to forget to dial down to zero after dialing up for a 500+ yard target, and then at the next shooting position, they are shooting 15 or 30 minutes over the target.
If you are using a scope that has a single-turn elevation knob like the S&B PMII series or the US Optics EREK, this is less of an issue. Even in this case, however, it's a good idea to dial it back because then if you are confronted with the need for a "snap" shot within the point-blank range of your cartridge (a few hundred yards on practical targets), your scope is ready to go.
Shooting / Spotter CommunicationIt's common to shoot long-range targets with a partner, either as part of a team match (such as the PRTC or ITRC), as part of training, or even hunting. While shooting with a partner, the efficiency and accuracy can be improved by divvying up the tasks. For example, while arriving at a shooting position, the "shooter" can start to get his rifle set up while he looks for targets. At the same
EfficiencyThe shooters and teams who win field-style "hike and shoot matches" usually do not run cross-country, nor do they rush. They move at a brisk pace on an efficient route to the shoot position. They approach the shoot position knowing what they are going to do. They locate and range targets deliberately, and engage each target, usually without missing. The key is that movement is not wasted. This is something that comes with practice, but key places to look for improvement: movements that do not directly support making the shot; and thought processes and adjustments which are not needed. For example, your data card should be set up so that you don't have to do any mental math while in the field.