Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Palin needs practice before future hunts

Sarah Palin and her caribou

Even though I’m a conscientious objector to “reality TV” programs, I have seen a video clip of the caribou hunt former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin took part in for her series, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

I wasn’t impressed.

But not because it took Palin six shots to down the young bull. Her first five shots were clear misses. The sixth, with a different rifle, dropped the bull in its tracks. That tells me that the scope on the first rifle almost certainly had been knocked out of alignment. Once Palin had a properly sighted-in rifle in her hands, she took care of business quite handily. Kaboom, kerplop.

What bothers me is that her dad had to work the first rifle’s bolt through all five shots. Seems to me that someone as familiar with hunting as she — or at least as familiar as her public-relations agents would have us believe she is — would have known how to cycle a bolt-action rifle. One of hunting’s principal tenets is to know how to use one’s equipment.

If Palin continues to be a public figure, and if she wants to make her future hunts more credible to a skeptical public, I’d suggest she spend some quality practice time at her local rifle range. Hunting isn’t — or at least it shouldn’t be — solely about pulling a trigger.