Whether you are in the mid-summer swing of sporting clays or skeet shooting competition or preparing to get warmed up for fall bird seasons, improving your shotguns skills are crucial. Follow these tips for improving your game on the course or in the field.
Envision the target or if actually using something as a target, bring the butt of the gun smoothly to the shoulder, swing the gun from behind the target catching up to it, and the eye should automatically align down the barrel and looking at the target.
Develop a Consistent Mount – This is something you can practice at home as easily as you can when actually shooting and should not only practice in a t-shirt and shooting vest, but bulked up in some of what you will actually be wearing when hunting later in the season. A consistent gun mount is critical to shooting consistently and the only way to achieve this is to practice it over and over until it is etched into your muscle memory. Start from a low ready position with the stock in line with the forearm and the muzzle pointed to wear the shot and target are anticipated to intersect.
Create Your Own Ritual – Most baseball players do it every time they go up to bat and though some of it may seem ridiculous, all of their shifting their feet, placing the bat across the plate and tapping it and tightening of batting gloves, there is a method to the madness. And that is to create a mental system that takes them from preparing to bat to hitting the ball. Shooters should do the same. Set your feet, look back and forth, practice a swing or two, whatever makes you feel prepared and ready to bust clays before you shout the words “PULL!” Develop your ritual and do it the same way every time.
Focus – Once the mount is down, the shooter should never be looking at his barrel or the bead, eyes should be on the target, whether it is a bright orange clay soaring through the air or an incoming mallard setting its wings to land among your decoys. For clays, focus on the target, try to see its details and as it reaches the apex of its flight arc, the shotgun should swing through the target as you pull the trigger. For figuring lead and swing through more precisely, practice using Winchester AA TrAAcker shells, which utilize colored wads designed to track perfectly with the shot column in order to offer a visible means by which to tell exactly where your shot misses the target and how far it was from the target.
Follow these tips and your wingshooting skills should improve dramatically…and quickly.