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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8223731 04/02/21 10:19 PM
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I would just find a shooting range that has traps or better yet a dedicated trap & skeet club where you can get as much shooting practice you want. Trap & skeet was originally created for bird hunters to sharpen their skills.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: RGVshooter] #8227157 04/06/21 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RGVshooter
I would just find a shooting range that has traps or better yet a dedicated trap & skeet club where you can get as much shooting practice you want. Trap & skeet was originally created for bird hunters to sharpen their skills.

That is true if you are practicing the right way, and you have no other issues going on like gun fit or eye issues. If you go to a skeet range, and you are missing all the time, something is wrong, maybe it is bad habit you are doing, and practicing a bad habit over and over again, you are just making things worse...

You can't go wrong with a gun lesson, even a great shooter can benefit from it.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: Guy] #8227285 04/06/21 05:53 PM
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One of the great things about taking a lesson is they can tell you where you are missing, front, back, high, low...They can see the shot string. One of the last clay shooting lessons I took, probably over 10 years ago, I told my instructor (RIP Gaylen Capps) I want to work on long shots. So that is all we did, I took long shots. I kept missing from behind, he kept saying "missing from behind", "missing from behind", "you are missing from behind!" he was getting mad at me, and finally he said "I want you to miss in front this time!"..."Dammit, I said miss in front!!". I got mad at myself, and said "F it, I'm for sure gonna miss in front this time!", boom I busted the clay! It was really hilarious. And I kept busting them. It is really hard to miss in front, especially long shots, you are throwing up a shot string, you get in front of the clay it is really hard to miss in front. If he was not there to help me, I would have kept on missing over and over again, and that gets you no where.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8227501 04/06/21 09:43 PM
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Taught to me as a child:
At least 75% of wing shooting is the mount. The mount is an individual move that must be developed. Until it is absolutely consistent, shooting lessons are a waste of time, or will be spent working on the mount. Shotgunning is done with the eyes. A wing shooting mount is best learned in the mirror. Looking at the pupil of your dominant eye, in one motion, place the shotgun on your cheek, directly under the eye so the pupil sits smack dab in the center of the rib, while the shoulder rolls up and into the butt plate. Done correctly, the gun in the mirror and the one in your hands completely cover each other. Feedback is instant. Learn to do it correctly and practice till it is committed to muscle memory. You are learning to mount the shotgun to your eye, exactly where you are looking to effortlessly come up on the line.
Now if you move with the target and look at the sight picture you want, the gun will mount to your eye and dead on target without the need for much adjustment.
The best picture of that is to watch international skeet shooters mount their guns and shoot.
Next place a 48”x48” sheet of cardboard with a small square of duct tape in the center at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. Shoot it and make note of the size of the pattern at each distance. If you are looking at the bead, half of that pattern is behind where you are looking. Half the width of that circle in front of the bird at whatever the distance, is zero lead. That is what it takes just to put your whole pattern in play. To see, it pull up on the edge of the pattern at each distance. Learn your leads from extending that baseline. Keep both eyes open to see 3 dimensionally to judge speed and distance.
Mastering those simple things will give you a foundation to build on and put you well on the way to better wing shooting. Practice will hone the coordination and confidence to execute comfortably. How much practice it takes is in direct proportion to talent.
After you have those basics locked in, you will get your money’s worth out of a lesson if you still need one. The best shotgunners develop their own game that works for them and know it inside out, rather than mimic someone else.


Last edited by Smokey Bear; 04/06/21 09:55 PM.

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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: Smokey Bear] #8227531 04/06/21 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Smokey Bear

At least 75% of wing shooting is the mount. The mount is an individual move that must be developed. Until it is absolutely consistent, shooting lessons are a waste of time, or will be spent working on the mount.

Yeah a big part of the lesson is being shown how to mount the gun, making sure gun fits right, there are no eye issues... My instructor had several mount drills for me to practice, including the mirror drill you describe, I was doing 25 to 100 of those per day (do 100 and you will feel it). As well as other mount drills. So I would not say it is a waste of time to take a lesson if you have not mastered the mount first. You said you learned this as a child, you got your mount lesson then, your Dad probably showed you how to mount a gun. This is why more than one lesson is important. Each lesson you are given basically home work assignments to go practice on your own, then your next lesson evaluate progress and take the next step.

It sure would not hurt to watch some youtubes on how to mount your gun/drills, check eye dominance, gun fit etc...before your first lesson. There is ton of info out there on youtube you can learn from, but nothing is better than a private lesson from a pro.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8227591 04/06/21 11:27 PM
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Good book

"Principles of Quick Kill - The U.S. Army Manual of Instinct Shooting: Learn to accurately shoot targets as small as an aspirin tablet with a BB gun without using sights. Paperback – October 31, 2013"


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: Guy] #8227720 04/07/21 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear

At least 75% of wing shooting is the mount. The mount is an individual move that must be developed. Until it is absolutely consistent, shooting lessons are a waste of time, or will be spent working on the mount.

Yeah a big part of the lesson is being shown how to mount the gun, making sure gun fits right, there are no eye issues... My instructor had several mount drills for me to practice, including the mirror drill you describe, I was doing 25 to 100 of those per day (do 100 and you will feel it). As well as other mount drills. So I would not say it is a waste of time to take a lesson if you have not mastered the mount first. You said you learned this as a child, you got your mount lesson then, your Dad probably showed you how to mount a gun. This is why more than one lesson is important. Each lesson you are given basically home work assignments to go practice on your own, then your next lesson evaluate progress and take the next step.

It sure would not hurt to watch some youtubes on how to mount your gun/drills, check eye dominance, gun fit etc...before your first lesson. There is ton of info out there on youtube you can learn from, but nothing is better than a private lesson from a pro.


I’ve taught friends how to shoot and I’m no pro. I just can’t remember a time in my life I couldn’t shoot a shotgun. The best practice there is is to just get out and do a bunch of shooting. I think it’s being a little snobbish to say you need to have a shotgun “fitted” to you. I feel like I can adjust to whatever shotgun I’m shooting and still hit birds with it. A buddy of mine I bird hunt with that’s about my height has a $30k shotgun that was built for him, It was fitted and he has been trained by the best. That shotgun feels way too long for me but I’ve killed a few birds with it. He can’t shoot it worth a chit. He has a certain way he was trained to mount it that looks silly to me. Maybe I’ve always shot a gun that’s too short and just flip it up on my shoulder and kill the bird? He is a great guy but treats his dogs a lot differently than I do. I love my dogs but they aren’t my kids.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8227947 04/07/21 11:40 AM
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Lucky McDaniel took a scoped rifle tossed a silver dollar in the air, turned the rifle upside down, and pulled the trigger. The silver dollar looked like a washer when it came down. I grew up using a BB gun gun with open sights. using the old pumpkin on a post method. I thought better shotgunners were simply aiming faster. He changed my way of shooting. There is no magic in the method. You can see the BB in the air and direct the BB just like water from the nozzle of a water hose. Back to the sun and only two pumps on the gun to slow the BB down, when you first start.
I got up to a constant score of 23 on skeet before I gave it up.

I got my own BB gun and showed several friends the method. I gave my first gun to a dog trainer and bought this one. I painted a wooden dowel black and mounted it on top of the BB gun barrel, to make it look more an O/U. I plan to give it to a friend when he shows up for my 20 gauge Beretta, O/U, with 26 inch barrels, bored skeet and skeet.

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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8229079 04/08/21 02:38 AM
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Look up Gil Ash on YouTube. He has alot of great videos


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: scalebuster] #8229615 04/08/21 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by scalebuster
I think it’s being a little snobbish to say you need to have a shotgun “fitted” to you.

I'm not saying you should have a gun fitted to you. I'm saying if you are having a hard time wing shooting, seeing a pro is a good idea and will be money well spent. Period. Gun fit "might" be an issue, a pro will tell you. Most male adults that have normal body shape, gun off the rack will fit fine. I have not had any of my shotguns fitting to me, all mine fit me fine off the rack. I would say gun fit is probably the least likely issue for the OP, probably eye issue and/or bad shooting practice.

I think it is silly those of you encouraging the OP not to see a pro just because you shoot fine. Once you know how to shoot correctly and you have no other issues (eye/gun fit), you will always be a decent shot even with no practice. I have not shot clay or practice in years, and I shoot decent every hunting season.

I have had guns fitted for my kids. My son's 12g had a pro fit it, when he got older we put the original stock back on it, and it fit him fine. My daughter, I fitted her 20g shotgun.

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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8229745 04/08/21 05:51 PM
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She seemed to be looking down the barrel in the bottom photo. That is the way I shot before the lesson.. Think of the shotguns as a baseball bat.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: bill oxner] #8230208 04/09/21 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Think of the shotguns as a baseball bat.

Bill you should wait till after 3pm for your martinis. roflmao

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8230445 04/09/21 12:17 PM
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Ain't that the truth.

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8230520 04/09/21 01:17 PM
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Maybe baseball alone. Imagine you are looking the ball al the way into the catchers mitt.


" Nolan Ryan means deer, dove and quail hunting.."


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: bill oxner] #8230686 04/09/21 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner

Maybe baseball alone. Imagine you are looking the ball al the way into the catchers mitt.


" Nolan Ryan means deer, dove and quail hunting.."


"Keep your eye on the ball", that is definitely the same concept for wing shooting, it should be "keep BOTH eyes on the ball". If you take your eyes off the ball, you are sure to miss. That is because when the ball is thrown, your eyes are trying to focus on the ball, when it first comes out his hand, it is a blur. As is gets closer, your eyes lock in. Kinda like "missile lock". If you take your eye off the ball while it is coming at you, no way you will be able to get your eyes back on the ball and go through focus process again, not enough time. Same with football. Any time a receiver takes his eyes of the ball to maybe see where he wants to run or to look at a defender coming at him, normally that will result in an in completion, because there is not enough time to get his eyes back focused on the ball. And the older you get, the longer it takes for your eyes to focus, "lock in" on the target.

That is why I said in a previous post, sit still, give your eyes time to focus and "lock in" on the target, and whatever you do, do not take your eyes off the target. That is why you never look at the bead on the barrel, you are talking your eye off the target, do that and you will probably miss. You see the barrel in your peripheral vision, but you sure do not look right at it.

"Locking in" on a bird is much easier than locking in on a clay. The flapping wings of a bird help draw your eyes to it. When a clay comes out a station, it is a small orange blur at the start, but give your eyes time to focus, and everything slows down and becomes easier.

When you are young, your eye and hand coordination, and the speed at which you can "lock in" on a target is much better, and this can mask bad shooting habits. Then you get into your 40's, and really it can happen all of a sudden, your eyes slow down big time, then you cannot hit crap, and you don't know why. That is what happen to me, and might be what happened to the OP. My situation was worse, because I never learned to shoot correctly as a young man, I closed one eye, I looked at the bead, but I still shot decent because I had good eye hand coordination, and that covered up my bad shooting habits.

I think your best shooting instructors are the older dudes that understand all this better.


Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8230926 04/09/21 05:15 PM
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To add what guy said, don't just lock onto a bird, lock onto its head or bill to get supper focused. Same can be said about a clay, lock on to the very front edge of the clay.


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8231057 04/09/21 06:51 PM
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My recommendation:

1. Start by shooting more in the offseason. Try and get a group together and plan a certain day of the month, week, etc and make it regular, and keep it fun. That way everyone looks forward to that time out. There are also plenty of leagues around to join and shoot with. If possible, shoot with someone better than yourself.

2. Find a good source of info on fundamentals. the internet has a wealth of shooting videos. Watch them and they will help you through the weeds and you'll find proper techniques that will work for you. There are a lot of guys offering good info, but i always find it "holds more" if I can see it... and the internet instruction is "free".











Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: First_Chance] #8231391 04/09/21 11:27 PM
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Bast way to practice with clay, is lay the gun against a tree, cup of coffee in your hand, and say pull. roflmao

Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: texasproud11] #8231637 04/10/21 03:02 AM
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The most challenging wing shooting I have ever done to date is to shoot ruffed grouse in northern Wisconsin.

To get geared up to score some hits on these birds, we would practice shooting mini clays. Because the mini clays are so fast, when you start hitting those you are getting on the "bird" very quickly and pulling the appropriate lead. You are getting ready to kill ruffed grouse on the wing.

Short of hitting mini clays, the biggest reason I miss is that I'm shooting behind my target. When I catch myself missing behind, I try to force myself to miss ahead. I almost never do miss by leading too much. Point is, give yourself more lead on your target and you most likely will improve your outcome.

For what it's worth.


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Re: Classes for Improving Your Shooting [Re: Guy] #8232500 Yesterday at 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy
Originally Posted by RGVshooter
I would just find a shooting range that has traps or better yet a dedicated trap & skeet club where you can get as much shooting practice you want. Trap & skeet was originally created for bird hunters to sharpen their skills.

That is true if you are practicing the right way, and you have no other issues going on like gun fit or eye issues. If you go to a skeet range, and you are missing all the time, something is wrong, maybe it is bad habit you are doing, and practicing a bad habit over and over again, you are just making things worse...

You can't go wrong with a gun lesson, even a great shooter can benefit from it.



I can't speak for everyone but hanging out at my local trap & skeet club has helped me substantially. I learned from other members on how to properly follow through on shots instead of stopping the gun for example. I do consider myself an experienced upland bird hunter having hunted since i was in high school back in the mid 80's but hanging out at my local skeet club was the best thing I've done & I've learned things that I can apply in the field.

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