The RetrieverTraining.Net Forums The Retriever Academy
Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy
Hawkeye Media Gunners Up Tritronics Outdoor Media
Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 64

Thread: How to be a better shooter?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    855

    Default How to be a better shooter?

    Okay, this is alittle embarassing, But...I am not new to shooting or to guns, I have shot skeet, trap and even sporting clays for fun. Albeit, I have never been a really good shooter, I have averaged 12-15 out of 20 shooting trap. This year for the first time, I have been taking my dogs out pheasant hunting by myself. The dogs are doing GREAT, they have had flushes each and every time we have been out, however, I have yet to bring any birds of of the field with me! When I shoot trap, I always know when and where the clay is going to go, but in the field of course, I never feel prepared for the flush...even though I can tell when my dogs are getting birdy, it seems like I am never ready and when I am, the bird is gone! Now, my dogs don't mind and we have been having a grand time, except for not being able to put any on the table. We are lucky to be hunting an area were there are VERY few other hunters. Also, these are not "wild" birds as in NY we really only have "put and take" pheasant hunting. I am hunting with my father's old 1940's Ithaca 16ga pump shotgun, I am shooting 6's and 4's in no particular order....The other thing is I have been taking all 3 dogs afield with me because I feel bad about leaving one or more of them home! This has hurt me on a couple of occasions as I am watching one dog while the other flushes the bird...BUT...does anyone have any advise on how I can improve my shooting?

  2. #2
    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Falcon, CO
    Posts
    9,088

    Default

    For shooting I'd recommend slowing down and stop over thinking the shot. I'm an average shot and I've found out when I rush cause "OMG the bird is gonna get away" I usually miss! Not to worry, you'll get use to "the look" if all else fails!
    "You can't eat a pig whole, but you can eat a whole pig." - Joe S.

    Proudly Owned By:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    MHR HR Flash Of Mischief SH CD CGC - Flash (10/15/98 - 10/8/12)
    Lightning Fast Quack Attacker*** - Bullet
    Gotta Heart Of A Warrior - Ranger (12/26/07 - 8/10/2010)
    SML's Gettin' Sexy With It*** - Tango
    FOM's Raising a Ruckus in the Rockies - Riot

  3. #3
    Senior Member jeff t.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,729

    Default

    When I decided to become a better shooter, my goal was a bit different than yours. I wanted to become a reliable flyer shooter so that I could become a more valued member of my training group.

    Steps I took that helped me the most:

    1. Working with competent gunfitter to modifiy the gun so it fit me. Helped me get a reliable move and mount so I'm usually shooting where I'm looking. I believe this helped more than any other factor.

    2. Lessons by a certified instructor identified and correct flaws in my mechanics.

    3. Consistent practice at the trap and skeet fields. The summer I started working to get better, I was on the clay fields 3 or 4 days per week (ammo was less expensive then). It helps that the range is less than 2 miles from my office.
    Last edited by jeff t.; 11-12-2012 at 11:45 AM.
    Jeff Telander
    Durham, NC

    FC AFC CT Broad Reach Devil Made Me Doit CD "Sinner"

    Forever in my heart
    OTCh Broad Reach Diesel TD MH UDX2***
    CH Broad Reach Gripper UD MH
    OTCh R Labs Darth Wader TD JH
    OTCh Teracroft Topaz TD JH

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    san Antonio
    Posts
    119

    Default

    First thing is to only hunt with one dog, take all 3, but swap out during the day. Second, take 2 or 3 lessons from an instructor in your area. Not just one lesson. You have made a great step in the right direction by admitting you need help with your shooting. That is the most difficult thing for american hunters to do, is admit to themselves they don't know how to shoot. Don't blow it all in thinking you know enough with 1 lesson. If yuo are really trying to get better, you will enjoy the coaching, and hitting more targets. there is a list of shooting instructors for your area on the NSCA website.
    Good Luck, JB

  5. #5
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7,183

    Default

    Most all of us shoot to fast, especially of farm raised birds.

    Also,, 4 and 6 size shot are a bit on the large size for pen raised.
    drop down to 7 1/2,s and pay attention to how the gun is choked.

    Open chokes for close shooting will help you also..

    I assume you are shooting lead shot.. If not,, and you are shooting steel,, then your shot size is prolly fine.

    When a Pheasant flushes,, it sounds as though it is really haulin tail,, and gettin away fast.. In most cases this is not true. Next time you miss. Look at where the bird was when you shot.. I bet you will be surprised at how close he really was..

    I like most of my shots to be at about 35 yrds.. ..

    Now,, with all that said....

    I was aked(AXED) to shoot pigeons this last saturday training..

    I was asked to throw and shoot both..

    It was windy,, snowing and I had on thousands of layers of clothes..

    I embarrassed my self..

    I had to break a wing...

    I went home feelin a bit looserish!

    Plus i was a shiverin looser...

    bad drive home..

    I really suck...

    I need more practice..

    At the range.

    If I had to hunt for my food... I would have to be a vegetarian annd club carrots...

    Gooser
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 11-12-2012 at 11:46 AM.
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
    Brynmoors Prairie Sage JH ​(Sage) Just a dang fool huntin Dawg
    HRCH Calypso Seven Bales High SH (Bailey)
    HR Calypso Zoomin Loosies Mad Hader (Maddi) We loved you baby. R.I.P.
    FlatLanders Broken Pistol Ricochet SH (Flinch)


    My Christian Name is Michael Baker..
    I have gone by "Gooser" since I was a "gossling"

  6. #6
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lennie View Post
    Okay, this is alittle embarassing, But...I am not new to shooting or to guns, I have shot skeet, trap and even sporting clays for fun. Albeit, I have never been a really good shooter, I have averaged 12-15 out of 20 shooting trap. This year for the first time, I have been taking my dogs out pheasant hunting by myself. The dogs are doing GREAT, they have had flushes each and every time we have been out, however, I have yet to bring any birds of of the field with me! When I shoot trap, I always know when and where the clay is going to go, but in the field of course, I never feel prepared for the flush...even though I can tell when my dogs are getting birdy, it seems like I am never ready and when I am, the bird is gone! Now, my dogs don't mind and we have been having a grand time, except for not being able to put any on the table. We are lucky to be hunting an area were there are VERY few other hunters. Also, these are not "wild" birds as in NY we really only have "put and take" pheasant hunting. I am hunting with my father's old 1940's Ithaca 16ga pump shotgun, I am shooting 6's and 4's in no particular order....The other thing is I have been taking all 3 dogs afield with me because I feel bad about leaving one or more of them home! This has hurt me on a couple of occasions as I am watching one dog while the other flushes the bird...BUT...does anyone have any advise on how I can improve my shooting?
    On the contrary, if you shoot trap at a range, you don't know the angle the bird leaves the house in 16 yd. targets or handicap targets. Skeet and sporting clays both have a known angle. I suspect that you are not shooting at a trap range because a round of trap consists of 25 targets. I didn't shoot well either for years. However, I started shooting competition about 5 or 6 years ago and the people I shoot with average 96-99. They have helped me immensely. BTW, trap at a range very much simulates upland hunting---birds are rising birds, they are going away as they rise, the angle is unpredictable, and clay targets travel fast. Since I have improved my shooting, my amount of missed birds has decreased greatly.

    What you need to address is: one eyed vs. two eyed shooting, POI of your gun, consistent gun mount, patterning your loads, and not looking at the bead/barrel of your gun (most important). When I start missing I find it is because I start looking at the barrel. Reasons for stopping your swing: looking at the barrel, aiming (looking at the barrel again), and not keeping your cheek on the gun (keep wood to wood).

    The best thing you can do is hook up with some real target shooters and start shooting. I shoot about 5000 targets a year myself. I could shoot more. I also get asked to shoot at hunt tests and training sessions. I would rather not but I don't like the shooting that I see.


    PS We tend to look at the body of a bird because the wings are flapping and we shoot for the body. No good. Start thinking head shots. I like what I see when I hit them in the head. They go down real dead.
    Last edited by gdgnyc; 11-12-2012 at 11:51 AM. Reason: PS
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    182

    Default

    When I was learning to shoot, not the first few times but after I got the hang of it, when I put the gun to my shoulder and then called for the clay my dad said "a pheasant ain't gonna wait for you to shoulder your gun". I assume you shoulder your gun before calling for a clay on the trap range as most people do. I would practice holding the gun like you are walking for pheasants and then call for the bird, shoulder the gun and shoot. It made me a lot better shot.
    Daren Galloway

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    san Antonio
    Posts
    119

    Default

    All of what gngnyc pointed out are good points, and all of those will be addressed by a certified instructor. I would also suggest, that it is better to take "lessons" from one instructor, rather than from a group of shooters. Unless the whole group are instructors. It makes things a little easier, or flow smoother! Good luck, JB

  9. #9
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    6,613

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post

    PS We tend to look at the body of a bird because the wings are flapping and we shoot for the body. No good. Start thinking head shots. I like what I see when I hit them in the head. They go down real dead.
    excellent point and one of my weaknesses which I remind myself of constantly, also dominant eye although 2 of the best wing shooters I hunt with are left eye dominant but shoot right handed

  10. #10
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    excellent point and one of my weaknesses which I remind myself of constantly, also dominant eye although 2 of the best wing shooters I hunt with are left eye dominant but shoot right handed
    EdA

    All the books, magazines, and "experts" will tell you to shoot with both eyes open. A lot of outstanding shooters shoot with one eye open. My shooting partners are all one eyed shooters. I shut my left eye when I found out that eye dominance can switch. An alternative is to put tape/shooting dot on the left lens of your glasses and continue to shoot from the right shoulder. And don't forget the significance aging has on vision.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •