SAAM Safari Shooting School Preps Hunters With Real Life Simulations


Published: March - 2010

Editor Barbara Crown recently had the opportunity to attend the brand new SAAM Safari school. SAAM, short for Sportsman's All-Weather All-Terrain Marksmanship, is a shooting school operated by the FTW Ranch in southwest Texas. They have several programs: SAAM Precision, to improve your rifle shooting out to 500 yards; SAAM Pistol, for handgun shooters; and SAAM Safari, a new program specifically for hunters going on safari. Crown attended a condensed check-out version of the four-day class with a group of African PHs invited to critique the school's set up, instruction and curriculum.

The program was designed and is taught by two former special operations soldiers, who are also life-long hunters. Part of their careers involved overseeing sniper courses for the US military. Shooting is their thing. Shooting under all imagined conditions, under stress and in imminent danger is their specialty. And with the SAAM Safari course they have translated those skills to real-life safari simulations.

Those simulations include moving targets that charge shooters. There are exercises that begin shooting at stationary targets but require follow-up shots at targets running away from or charging from different directions. A leopard and lion blind set-up, with a hanging bait and all, gives you the feel for shooting from a blind. Their "safari walk" requires a shooter to walk down a path where he is suddenly charged by elephants or Cape buffalo. All the targets feature life-size photos of the animals. Crocodile and hippo targets in a pond give you the needed experience of shooting these species in the kill zone under conditions as close to real life as possible. Other shooting areas challenge hunters to shoot various animals of varying sizes and at different distances on a hillside. The student must choose a shooting position and create his own rest. Another drill has you shooting at a target from the sticks, picking up the sticks, running after a moving target, setting down the sticks, adjusting them and taking a follow up shot. Anyone who feels uneasy using shooting sticks won't be by the end of the class.

Crown........(continued)

 
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