Shooting / Hunting Tips
Shotgunning Tips by Brad Dysinger
Shoot with Your Whole Body
You want to learn to shoot with your whole body when possible, not just by swinging your arms. In fact most times, my gun isn't to my shoulder as I start my body swinging. I am swinging my gun and body together in the direction of my target's flight even as I bring the gun up. To follow through with the shot is critically important, just like in golf or bowling. If you don't follow through, you will find you have a tendency to quit swinging early and "short-shoot" your target. When you get to the point that you gun feels like an extension of your eye and had, this problem likely will become less of a nuisance. But early on, stopping or slowing the swing is the No. 1 flow of most shooters.
When I am shooting at my best I the field, I seem to fire almost the instant my shotgun hits my shoulder. I have shot enough I don't need to make sure my head is down, my safety off, or my gun mounted just right -- I can tell by feeling. It just feels right to me -- instinct. In instinct shooting what I am really doing is a "spot shot." That is, I look at a spot (the bird), raise, and fire at that spot in motion, not taking a calculated lead into account. A hunter can go a long way to improve his kill rate if he will take time to learn the feel of his gun. he should be able to mount and fire quickly.
Practice mounting and dry firing your gun three or four times a week. Mount it at least 25 times each practice session. Using a gun I am certain is empty, I pick out a spot on the wall, such as a picture and from a low gun position, I point and dry fire. This is cheap practice that you can do all year, and it gets you just as familiar with your gun as the real thing.
I use this form of spot shooting most often on flushing gamebirds like quail and grouse. These birds generally are fairly close and not all that fast. I mentally see which way the bird is headed as I start the quick process of shooting at it--swinging my body as I mount the gun. As a rule, shoot at a spot one bird body to the side in the direction the bird is flying. You can also look at the bird's head, but it is easier for me to shoot an imaginary body to the side in the direction the bird is flying. You can also look at the bird's head, but it is easier for me to shoot an imaginary body to the side. By firing as soon as my gun hits my shoulder, I still should have body movement in the direction of the bird's flight. You can't always do this, but it is how I do it and with practice so can you.
Brad Dysinger has been hunting since the age of 7 in 1961. He has a colorful shooting career in Trapshooting... Click here for more information.
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