Want to bag more birds? Take the time to square up before you take your shot.
Simultaneously, wingshooting is among the most heart-pounding and frustrating type of hunting you can undertake. The cardiac palpitating aspect is fairly self-explanatory, given there's no other game that flushes as quick and close as chukars, pheasants, quail and what have you. Frustration, that’s equally as obvious, since you have precious few seconds to make certain everything is perfect so you come home with something in the bag. At times, the task is humbling.
Generally speaking, dads and uncles through the years passed down the same sage, yet vague wisdom of “lead ‘em more.” Typically as a rooster was still hightailing to the horizon. Certainly, a lead is key, but it plays second fiddle to a more imperative fundamental — body position. Without it, leading a bird isn’t even an option (sorry dad).
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Despite the urgency of making the shot, the key to proper body position is taking your time. Sounds counterintuitive, but it works. Taking a breath’s worth of time to pick your bird, square up to the direction it's flying and get ahead of it does wonders. Plus, you’re not cheating yourself, because that's what you're doing without getting in the right position.
Say you’re a right-hander, and a bird flushes and breaks left. Without taking a step to open your body in that direction, you’ve cut your swing around 50-percent, at least. Furthermore, you’re more likely to rush the shot as you feel your range run out. Neither is optimal.
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Part of the rush of bird hunting is its fast action, but that’s not worth squat when you come home empty-handed. You'll still get the rush of flushing birds, but by taking your time to get into position you'll also have something to show for it.
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