I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I am unconscious of anything in the background, and my rifle seems as light as a feather. I take a look down range at my target as I let out my breath and greedily take in a new one. I lift my rifle to my shoulder, certain that the butt of the stock is in the same place as last time, and place my left hand on the stock so that it is holding most of the weight of the gun. I now lower my elbow until it rests on my hip. The rifle and I are one.
I place my cheek on the cheek-piece of my rifle, and I peer through the aperture toward my target. I close my eyes and once again inhale. This time, I hold the breath until I fire the shot and open my eyes. I move the rifle until the black circle of the first bull can be seen fully through the front sight of my rifle. At this point I slowly squeeze the trigger and am careful to keep the bull inside my front sight until the shot is fired.
The propulsion of the thirty-nine grain bullet from my rifle raises the muzzle slightly. I had a good sight picture at the time of the shot, so I am satisfied for the time being. All of my attention is now on the next bull. I repeat this process nine more times and don't have one dissatisfying shot. I now place my rifle on the bench, and walk down range to look at my target. I can't believe my eyes! Every shot is touching the ten ring! l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.