Gun Digest

Video: Timing Your Shots For Wingshooting Success

Don't rush! Taking your time to set up your shot when on the hunt will lead to more birds in the bag.

As the old saying goes, “Time is of the essence.” Nowhere is this truer than tramping grassland for birds.

Even when you have a dog working, you have precious few seconds to make the shot happen once that chukar or pheasant hits the blue. Such a narrow window, the first instinct is to get your shotgun to your shoulder and your finger on the trigger. Understandable as this urge is, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Preposterous as it might sound, taking a few extra moments before you take your shot can make your success rate skyrocket beyond expectations.

There are a couple things at play here. Initially, by taking your time you’re giving yourself a better opportunity to evaluate the direction of the bird’s flight. Often times, a bird might start off in one direction, then veer another, leaving your muzzle trailing him and you scrambling for the shot. Furthermore, putting some distance between you and the bird gives your shotgun the opportunity to do the work. Think of it this way, something pheasant sized, do you have a better chance hitting it with a golf ball or beach ball? Let your pattern optimize. Finally, taking your time you’ll inevitably relax. This can’t be stressed enough, the more comfortable you are when you shoulder your gun, the more naturally you’ll track the bird and, come the end of the day, the more you’ll find in your bag.

Slowing down your shot and milking time for all it’s worth is tough, especially with the fast action of wing shooting. But disciple yourself to do so and you’ll put a load more meat on the table.

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