Skill #4: Shooting a Gun
I never thought I would ever say this. I shot a gun.
As much as I am an adrenaline junkie when it comes to driving fast cars and flying in planes, I can’t say I’ve ever been drawn to guns. I think the appeal of it comes from people’s minds (i.e. the understanding of the power that you hold in your hands) whilst I’m more drawn to things that put my body at risk that I can’t really control. A gun you can somewhat control. An L39 you cannot – unless you take the yoke of course 😉
Dobbs and I were visiting a friend of mine called Mason in his hometown Wanganui, which is South West of New Zealand’s North Island. He took us away to this hut on a hill in a forest that his parents built, about a 40 min drive out of town. I’ll write fully about this in another post (and might have already written depending on you read this!)
One thing that they do in the forest is go on drives and shoot possums and other animals. We did this on our first night there but didn’t partake. I fully maintain that if you can eat an animal, you should be able to slaughter and prepare it yourself, but yet I am not ready to do this… Perhaps it’s time I stop consuming the little meat that I do eat. [Edit: I did exactly this, which I wrote about here].
Mason was very willing to teach Dobbs and I to shoot a rifle.
After a good night’s sleep, the following morning we set up the quadbike to balance the rifles on, and shot at a water bottle target about 40m away. Very far 😉 We first each shot a 22 magnum rifle, and I am very stoked to say that my first hit got the target. The aiming part itself wasn’t hard, but psychologically it was a big deal that I was shooting a real gun, and I was also afraid of how loud it would be.
The next one we shot was Mason’s .223 which was heavier and had a bit of a kickback to it. Mason said that this time we should try to stand up and shoot it (as opposed to crouching on one knee and balancing it on the quad). I initially figured it couldn’t be much harder. I was quite mistaken – to hold a rifle upright and steady was tough! I was very convinced I wouldn’t hit the target this time. Nonetheless, I held it, Mason kindly switched off the safety for me, I took two deep breaths, and on my last exhale pulled the trigger. It was then Dobbs’ turn.
After these entertaining attempts, we decided to check the target anyways.
It just happened to turn out that there were two new holes next to each other, in the middle of the bottle (!!!) It was incredible. We had both hit our target. Below is a video of my attempt – you can even see at the end how we laugh in our disbelief that it reached anywhere close to the target!
Thank you so much Mason for your patience, teaching us gun safety, and for an incredible trip overall.