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PartridgeCartridge

Game shooting Better II

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PartridgeCartridge
But... I'd just about bet that striving for proper form (or getting as close as possible to it) when the situation makes it most difficult is when the additional effort will pay the greatest dividends.  Uneven terrain. Shooting from a sitting position with legs extended forward as in layout blind shooting. Those are the sorts of situations where attaining ideal form can seem almost impossible... but whatever form improvement you can make in that kind of situation is crucial IMO.  

That is an excellent point. Any person with formal training in anything will tell you that when you are comprimised in a situation, you will never rise to your highest potential. You will always fall back to your highest level of training.

I have hunted wild chukar in three states. The hunting is physically and mentally demanding no doubt. But the mechanics of hitting these birds trancends them as a species.

There are many types of hunting that require unorthodox shooting positions and balance. If you have ever gunned broadbill or eider in a layout boat on the cusp of a Noreaster in the open ocean you will learn comprimised shooting positions.

But even they too, are hittable and killable. Its all a matter of slowing everthing down, falling back on the best form you can muster in that situation and shooting them the way you have shot thosands of targets before.

I think your assessment Joe is very accurate.

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Ben

PC,  I shoot left handed. I have some problems with eye dominence. I use both eyes open, my left eye allways picks up the trgets from the left, but the right eye will pick up the targets on my right side if I don't squint. As an example on low house 7, if I don't squint my right eye it will pick up the target befor my left will. ( While my left eye is stronger,and dominent, it seams that it is not that much stronger than my right.  In my work it is nessissary to use both eyes and hands equally, I wonder if over the years I haven't strengthend my right eye).  I do where glasses.  The right lense is twice as thick as the left one.  

For a while I shot with the right eye closed and I saw the same sight pictures that I was with 2 eyes, so I went back to 2 eyes.  

When the weather warms up I think I will take you up on your offer of some leasons.  I suspect it is a motor skill problem, but I am no expert.

Ben

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PartridgeCartridge
PC,  I shoot left handed. I have some problems with eye dominence. I use both eyes open, my left eye allways picks up the trgets from the left, but the right eye will pick up the targets on my right side if I don't squint.   I do where glasses.  The right lense is twice as thick as the left one.  

Ben,

Eye dominance issues are frustrating but fixable problems. Gunfit is one way to solve cross dominance issues. There are several other ways too. Sometimes a simple shortening of your LOP can solve this issue as too long of a LOP can throw your shoulder back slightly and force you to cock your head. Too short of a LOP has just the opposite effect.

Again, I can't tell without seeing you shoot.

The problem I see with cross dominance is that it also often makes shooters cock their heads slightly. To make matters worse, this head cocking tends to get conditioned into thier gun handling and reinforced with practice. This is bad. A level set of eyes will almost always shoot better as your hands and eyes and frame work in context to the horizontal. We are simply wired this way and conditioned this way.

Even a slight cocking or tilting of you head can push eye work between both eyes and lead to inconsistent target views depending on which eye automatically and subconsciously takes over.

You seem to understand cutting off, which is good. I suspect you are also sustaining your birds on the skeet field which is also good.

The eye snafu is just a glitch to be worked out and i'm sure we can do that together. Sorry I can't help you more now.

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LostintheOzone

Excellent post PC. I'm sure you have helped many people learn the basic skills of field shooting. Thanks for sharing this as it will be very useful to many new shooters who come here for information.

This is generally my method of "target management" and it has served me well in the field. Before I became a serious bird hunter I was a skeet shooter. Early on I recieved instruction from a gent who had won several low gun championships on a military squad. The early instruction worked very well as I was able shoot high scores consistantly. My target shooting skills are rusty at best now but I can still drop a bird or two when I can find them.

Another good read which will support your technique is "The Orvis Wing-Shooting Handbook" by Bruce Bowlen.

Thanks for an excellent post.

Jim

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john mcg

A few years ago, I discovered that I had a very dominant left eye and I shoot from the right. Been struggling with managing this to a point of distraction.

Just realized yesterday that sometime in the last month or so that this has changed. I was practicing my mount and swing or i should say swing and mount yesterday and realized that something was different.

i tested my eyes and lo and behold I now have binocular vision.

I see a double picture regardless of shoulder and the instinctive finger point yields the same. Either one eye or the other is favored or both the same.

I've decided to ignore the whole darn thing and just attempt to keep my eye on the bird and ignore the rest.

Darn eyes, anyways.

Good stuff, PC.

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bigjohnsd
Pc, a couple of questions.  I have been useing this form of shooting for about 2 years now.  I have come a long way and shoot much better. A few 25s at skeetand my best year on grouse yet.

  I am left handed.  The amount that I insert in(cut off) the target varies whether it is high house or low house( also right or left flying game birds).   I have worked on foot posission, body posission, and tried to move faster on the right to left targets.  No matter what I have tried so far, I must lead (insert or cut off) the targets much farther when shooting the right to left targets.  I understand that lead (sight picture) is a matter of perseption in the minds eye.  Both directions when I am at the propper lead, the target seams to stop in mid air. This is when I pull the trigger.  

   When moving left to right it feels natural to insert on the frount lip of the bird and pull away.  But when moving right to left i must insert ahead of the target at the propper lead.  It doesn't feel natural to insert on the frount lip and pull away. I almost allways shoot beind when trying this.  

  I hope I am describing this propperly.  I would like to be able to see the same sight picture both directions, or feel comfortable doing the same things.  Am I doing someting wrong or is this a perseption (brain) or coordination, or eye dominence thing?  I do ok like this, am just wondering if there is a better way.

Ben

PC - I wonder if the difference in "cutoff"  or "apparent cutoff" may be due to a gun fit issue, not enough cast on to get the left eye centered over the rib?

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ScottGrush
I got problems.  Oo.gif

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fuess
........ PC, I can see that you have never done any chukar hunting...

Maybe, maybe not, obviously I have no idea.  

But... I'd just about bet that striving for proper form (or getting as close as possible to it) when the situation makes it most difficult is when the additional effort will pay the greatest dividends.  Uneven terrain. Shooting from a sitting position with legs extended forward as in layout blind shooting. Those are the sorts of situations where attaining ideal form can seem almost impossible... but whatever form improvement you can make in that kind of situation is crucial IMO.  

I used the term "strive for" earlier.... but that is maybe something of a misnomer.  When this stuff gets imbedded properly in one's brain, you are not really "striving" for anything.... except seeing the bird and shooting it.  The rest of it sortof gets to be almost patterned in the brain and just "happens".  And it "happens" amazingly fast... even though you are not really rushing (maybe even BECAUSE you are not really rushing).

PC -- I had only very brief exposure to this stuff, or something pretty similar, about 20 years ago (the payoff has been amazing, though I obviously could use alot of refreshing on it).  Anyway, don't hesitate for an instant to call BS on anything I'm adding here that detracts from the path you are describing for folks.

Good job.

EXACTLY!!!!!  Willing to bet Tiger could take 20 years off from golf and come back and still break par.  Why, becausebasic fundamentals, once drilled into a person, never leave.  Within a few swings, then the tempo and timing return, and off and running.

 

Likewise, a good shooter cancome back and in a few rounds, be back to reasonable form, assuming those fundamentals werethere to start.

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Chukarman
........ PC, I can see that you have never done any chukar hunting...

Maybe, maybe not, obviously I have no idea.  

But... I'd just about bet that striving for proper form (or getting as close as possible to it) when the situation makes it most difficult is when the additional effort will pay the greatest dividends.  Uneven terrain. Shooting from a sitting position with legs extended forward as in layout blind shooting. Those are the sorts of situations where attaining ideal form can seem almost impossible... but whatever form improvement you can make in that kind of situation is crucial IMO.  

I used the term "strive for" earlier.... but that is maybe something of a misnomer.  When this stuff gets imbedded properly in one's brain, you are not really "striving" for anything.... except seeing the bird and shooting it.  The rest of it sortof gets to be almost patterned in the brain and just "happens".  And it "happens" amazingly fast... even though you are not really rushing (maybe even BECAUSE you are not really rushing).

PC -- I had only very brief exposure to this stuff, or something pretty similar, about 20 years ago (the payoff has been amazing, though I obviously could use alot of refreshing on it).  Anyway, don't hesitate for an instant to call BS on anything I'm adding here that detracts from the path you are describing for folks.

Good job.

Thanks for the comments.

I am right handed and left eyed. I changed shoulders years ago.

I started in to master lightweight game guns nearly 20 years ago, by selling my competition guns (M3200 and Mirage) and quit shooting (Int'l Skeet and clays) competitively. This was to force myself to shoot my light SxS guns exclusively.

I looked at many styles of shooting and continued with the coach that I had been working with for some time. Although I employ an amalgam of different ideas and techniques, I would say that the 'move-mount-shot' methods helped me the most over the years as a I tried to develop better 'instinctive' shooting with the light guns (all my bird guns are sub 6 lb.). I used to shoot hundreds of targets a week, but have reached the point that I don't shoot many targets anymore. This season I was shooting better than 50% (better some days) on game birds. This is pretty good shooting for me. I think the key for me has been to stick with my one gun and shoot it exclusively for nearly 20 years now.

The comment about chukar shooting in the mountains was only half in jest. I have shot them while sitting on my butt sliding down hill, shot them almost directly below me, and (one of my favorites) standing on a steep hill side with flushed birds coming high and fast down slope - shoot one in front, turn and shoot one below going away. The shot at chukars that most people take a while to learn is the shot going away and downward at an angle to the shooter. Can't really practice that shot on a skeet field, tho' it can be simulated on some clay courses.

PCs 'target management' methods are, as far as I can read, VERY similar to the way that I have taught myself to shoot. What I learned from Int'l Skeet and from Bidwell's methods is that it takes less than one second to mount and fire once a bird has been visually acquired. This is not a hurried process - just a smooth mount. Mounting and inserting the muzzles on the front of, or ahead of, the target saves time and swing effort. Mounting before accurate visual acquisition happens is a waste of time and energy. Except on shots beyond 30 yards, I am not aware of any perceived lead. Most of my birds are shot over pointing dogs, and at 25 yards or less.

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Ben

PC, thank you, you have given my some things to think about.  I am going to have the guys I shoot with watch and see of I am cocking my head.

Bigjohn,  I have wondered the same thing,  if a little cast on would help with the sight picture.

much apperciated

Ben

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Hunshatt
I got problems.  Oo.gif

a new revalation for you??? we've know it for awhile.......

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ErikW
I have to say, this sounds a lot like "spot shooting" which is probably not all bad for grouse hunting in thick MI or MN aspens, but is contrary to methods I have always used, heard or been taught about shooting in the open ... targets or IA or SD live birds.  Sorry, but I am not so sure this is best system for open field live or clay bird shooting.  I am reasonably sucessful shotgunner and am trying this approach on clays and fail to see any advantage.

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PartridgeCartridge

Erik,

What I am suggesting here has nothing to do with "spot shooting". It is more of a subconscious target management concept that puts you in control of a target or bird's flight path. Its application is even more important for longer targets that require forward allowance and precise pointing. I hope that explains it better.

Oh, and welcome to UJ.

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ErikW
What prompted me post was fact that I just took another whipping trying yet again to use your suggested method of target aquisition with my regular Wed. afternoon group  of 6.   Sorry, but it does not work for me.  That said, I do appreciate your writing and have benefited by it.

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PartridgeCartridge

I just took another whipping trying yet again to use your suggested method of target aquisition

That is why personal instruction is so valuable to any shooter. I can only do so much with written words.

But I am confident that if you get quality instruction several times, you will be taught some form of insertion/cutting off.

You can't "feel" a target unless you are in control of it. Cutting off allows you to be in harmony with the line, speed, and angle. When you are in control, you can even adjust leads on the fly (pull through/pull away). You can also narrow over or under inserted leads if you are very careful. But you can only do that with "feel" and you can only have "feel" with target control. Insertion techniques like cutting off are a very productive way to establish that type of control.

Good luck with your shooting.

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