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How is it possible to miss close shots at ducks???

by: Joe Rankin

I had a lesson scheduled today with one of my students who signed up for the 10 lesson package, (making great progress, BTW). He called last night and asked if a friend who is an avid duck hunter could tag along. Of course, I said sure…and suggested he bring his shotgun and shoot a few targets. The friend showed up & was very frustrated at missing so many close, easy shots at ducks. He said, “when a duck is showing you his feet, there’s no reason to miss!”. We’ll, he’s mostly correct. Of course, we all miss when the excitement overcomes our emotions & we just begin shooting holes in the air. The student & I let him shoot targets at several different stations & he was amazed at how well he did...after a bit of work. When he first began shooting, it was clear that he had no clue as to what I call “gun management”. The gun started pointed at the ground & was waving all over the sky as the target was launched. That was corrected fairly easily. His next problem was what I refer to as the “mad slash”…the swing that is the same on every target or game bird, regardless of speed, distance or angle. After a little work on those problems, he was beginning to break targets. Then, we worked a bit on how to actually “SEE” what you’re attempting to shoot & he made a rather drastic improvement!

The moral of the story is that shooting clay targets or game is really not all that difficult…we just need to be shown how to do it properly.

I’ll bet he’s a happy camper & looking forward to his next trip to the sporting course or duck blind!



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