Q: Hey Ron, I recently started getting interested in hunting and am a huge fan of your channel very quickly and have a question that might be daft but can you zero your rifle while hunting, or is it done before you go?
A: Hi Mark,
Not a daft question at all, given the casual and redundant way we toss around this term. The answer is “Both.” One zero the rifle well before the hunt but then double-checks the zero in camp just before the actual hunting begins. This is generally done only after long, hard travel, especially via commercial air, against the chance that harsh baggage handling has bent or jarred something. One also discovers that changes in elevation and weather (humidity, temp.) can change the point of impact slightly. So, the “at camp” zero is just a check. Most critical is initial zeroing (sighting in) at home or a range. Over the years I have found that my range zero at home remains good for many years after and in many locations, but now and then there is a significant change that, had I not double-checked in camp, might have cost me my game.
One more reason “in-camp” checking is important is that it gives your guide a chance to assess your gun handling and shooting skills. If they detect you can’t hit the broad side of a barn at 100 yards, they’ll strive to get you to 50 yards!
Can you zero your rifle while hunting? — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Ron Spomer for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com