Hunters angry at ‘amateur’ Palin’s caribou shoot

Sarah Palin in Kuwait with a gun simulator

Sarah Palin’s clumsy rifle handling and failure to shoot straight on TV mocked by ‘true hunters’

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 11:53 ON Tue 7 Dec 2010

Sarah Palin shot a caribou in the latest episode of her TV series - a move doubtless calculated to wind up as many limp-wristed liberal urbanites as possible. But she probably didn't expect the extraordinary criticism she has attracted from the hunting fraternity, many of whom think Palin has exposed herself as at best an amateur - and at worst a danger to other hunters.

A New York blogger showed the video, in which Palin misses a caribou four times before her father hands her another rifle and she finally hits the target, to some hunter friends - and they were distinctly unimpressed.

Among the hunters' criticisms are:

• Palin's father chooses a "varmint rifle" for the expedition, even though they are going caribou hunting. Why did Palin not question this choice?

• Palin fails to 'sight-in' her rifle before setting off on their hunting trip - a basic error which might help explain her four misses

• Palin doesn't carry her own rifle or load her own rounds - a point picked up by a commenter on her Facebook page, who feels this shows she isn't a "true hunter".

• Palin is clumsy with her rifle and doesn't look like she regularly handles one. A Facebook commenter points this out, mocking her for asking her dad, "does the rifle kick?"

"What kind of a question is that?" says the commenter. "Doesn't matter if it kicks or not you shoot it the same. That was a girly question, momma griz."

• When Palin is handed the second weapon, with which she finally bags her caribou, she immediately puts her finger on the trigger. As all hunters know, this is dangerous: one should only finger the trigger when one is ready to shoot.

Of course, Palin has her defenders, many of whom blame the production crew for editing the film to make her look amateurish.

What nobody is questioning, however, was whether the 'shoot' was a set- up. Why does a caribou fail to run away despite hearing four very loud gunshots and clearly seeing three hunters and a film crew? · 

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