Jump to content
FRIENDLY REMINDER ABOUT HUNTING REPORTS/TOPICS... Read more... ×
Sign in to follow this  
PartridgeCartridge

Game Shooting Better III

Recommended Posts

PartridgeCartridge

OK. You’ve heard me talk about several different concepts in shooting mechanics and form. We’ve also discussed the various reasons for missing. As bird hunters, we are generally in somewhat compromised physical situations when a bird, or birds, flush. To my thinking, developing a fluid  “system” that effectively deals with the real hunting world makes sense.

So here is a guideline for that. I suspect many accomplished field and target shots incorporate many of these elements into their own style. For those of you still looking to find your own individual upland style, I don’t think you will handicap yourself by trying this. The entire sequence of events can be executed in one fluid and deceptively fast, but controlled, smooth delivery.

An Upland System:

1. Stand Up/Head Up/ Eyes First: We’ve talked about a basic fact of good gunning. You simply have to use your eyes. We shoot with our eyes and hands, not a gun. On the flush straighten up, lift your head and see the bird. Lifting movements with you head towards the bird automatically focuses your attention/eyes and sets in motion your upper frame, lead foot and gun shoulder for the subsequent move. A head motion towards the bird also sets in motion the requisite foot position change we need to make to bring our balance center towards an impending, but unknown, target line. Balance is critical in upland gunning scenarios, especially if it has already been compromised

In summary, on the flush, use your head and your eyes to see the bird, to see some detail about the bird and keep your eyes on the bird. Don't move the gun until your eyes are locked onto the bird.

2. Stepping Out: Take a small and gentle step with your leading foot towards the bird. If you are a right handed shooter, your left foot will always be your leading foot and visa versa. This small gentle stepping movement into the bird also sets in motion several critical components to effective mounting mechanics. I realize that not every flush will allow you to reposition your feet or step but I will suggest that more flushes than not will provide you with the opportunity. This small gentle step very effectively changes your shooting center as well as sets up your gun shoulder for your roll into your mount. The shoulder roll is a fundamental concept inherent to a good mount. It accomplishes so many things including bringing the gun into a parallel plane, bringing the gun up to the face, bringing the face into the gun, keeping your eyes on the target and keeps the hands moving toward the bird.

In summary; There are efficient movements into target paths that generate consistent results. These movements are dependent on balanced shooting and they set in motion the mechanics for fluidity and control in gun/muzzle management. Strive to keep a level and forward gun.

3. Smoothly Mount into the bird. A good mount is a very subtle movement. It may look slow and soft but there is tremendous speed and accuracy and pointing precision that comes from a whisper soft mount. The real secret to it is in the timing. Strive to time the gun to come to full mount at precisely the same time that your muzzle meets the bird or some space in front of the bird. After some practice this becomes very natural. It also will provide you with absolute, albeit subtle, control in your cutoff.

In summary, The mount is everything to consistent controlled precise pointing.

4. Cut the Bird Off: It is a tough concept for some to understand and feel. I am certain that all accomplished shooters use some form of it as a target management system. Good shooters always know where they want their muzzles to end up on the mount and very often it is somewhere in front of the bird. This is not to say that pass thru shooting does not have its place but what I am suggesting to those learning is that riding or tracking or catching up to the bird with the gun will just frustrate you. When you cut a bird off, everything about you and the bird, your eyes, your upper body, the gun, the angle, the speed, almost everything is working in unison and your only real challenge is to deliver the shot. When you don’t cut a bird off, you don’t control its flight path/line and you have to try to calculate ALL of those things in a split second. Missing is the typical result.

In summary, The mount matures into the cutoff which overlays the shooter harmony onto the target harmony. You become one big happy family and you reduce the human interjected error that come with thoughtful shooting.

5. Keep your Focus on the Bird on the shot: More birds are missed because of a last second barrel check than any other reason. Ever notice when you hit a bird and it all comes together naturally, that you can’t explain how or why the shot connected, that you usually see a ball of feathers in the air? Ever wonder why? Because you did everything right. Your brain and your hands are capable of amazing things if you just let them work together and don’t interfere. Learn to let go. Learn to relax and see the target/bird from the flush to the fall.

In summary, Notice the eye concept never goes away. Good shooters have good eye skills. Not necessarily good vision or acuity, but they use their eyes efficiently. The hands follow the eyes naturally.

The Jist: I’m not saying that this system is the only way or the best way. I am convinced that many don’t even have a “Way”, and, so by default, they can’t reapply the same mechanics twice. I’m not saying it is possible to execute all of these steps on every flush but more flushes that not will allow you to. I also think this system with help to reduce gross gun movement which is a shot killer. Sweeping gun movements are a hunter's biggest enemy and obstacle to precise pointing, especially in comprimised or varying positions of balance.

What I am saying is that many excellent game shooters use a combination of these techniques. I am also saying that a game plan, or a “Way” is better than none. Especially one that is repeatable. Everyone has to start some place and I don’t think this would be a bad place to develop your own game plan.

The fact that it is less than one page long, can be printed and stuck in you shooting bag, glove compartment or hunting bag or memorized easily doesn’t hurt either.

As always I would be interested in your thoughts. And as always, if you want to talk or have any questions just reach out to me.

Good hunting.

shotgun.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RookieEP

Very nice.  

Oh and no wonder you hit so many targets your chokes are wide open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim McCann

Hmmm! Not sure if I understand or agree with your #4 "cut-off" explanation. I think I know what you mean, but a new game shooter might read that and think your advocating spot shooting...and I don't think you are. Are you referring to something like an insertion point, like Dan Carlisle teaches?

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fuess

I have used this technique for many years.  If I may be so bold to add to PC's thesis, if trying this, and I highly recommend it, do not expect immediate results.  In fact, you can probaly expect, if shooting for score, worse results, than one would normally be used to shooting, causing some to give up on the "change".  

I have seen people transform from poor/average shooters, to good/great shooters, with the adoption of a "process" described above.  Just stick with it, if you are looking, and WILLING to commit to a style change.

Rome was not built in a day!

Sorry PC, just thought I would add to your wonderful outline!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PartridgeCartridge

Hmmm! Not sure if I understand or agree with your #4 "cut-off" explanation. I think I know what you mean, but a new game shooter might read that and think your advocating spot shooting...and I don't think you are. Are you referring to something like an insertion point, like Dan Carlisle teaches?

Jim

Good observation Jim. Cutting off is a modified insertion. Carlisle figured out, as have others, that the freeway style of merging, or an angulated cut off had one very big weakness.

Your insertion in the angular method had to be perfect or your feel was lost or hindered. He thoughts seem to have moved to more of a perpendicular insertion. To my thinking, "feel" is very important to shooting wild birds as they rapidly accelerate or deccelerate as in the case of cupping birds.

The term "cutting off' just makes sense to me, and seemingly, many others.

It is not spot shooting but a way to intercept a bird at various insertion points and in target speed harmony without having to play catch up. The shot is not delivered at the cut off, although it might be, and it puts you and the bird on the same agenda on both speed and tempo. It balances your movements in relation to the target nicely.

In many ways, sustained shooters use this concept but it is more of a static cutoff.

I try to emphasize it as a shooting skill because everyone that starts to feel it immediately is in more control of the bird and they shoot better.

Most importantly, as an instinctive motor skill it can be deployed without thinking, leaving you to keep your eyes focused hard on the bird.

Hope that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skybuster

Thanks, PC, for your insights.  I have found there is one very big impediment to bagging birds... being in a hurry.  Even with ruffed grouse in dense cover there is time to make the shot.  Many times I've hurried the first shot (and if there is a chance at a second it's usually too late) cussing myself for not taking a little more time on the first attempt.  Being in a hurry will mess up your gun mount.

JJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

4. Cut the Bird Off: It is a tough concept for some to understand and feel. I am certain that all accomplished shooters use some form of it as a target management system. Good shooters always know where they want their muzzles to end up on the mount and very often it is somewhere in front of the bird. This is not to say that pass thru shooting does not have its place but what I am suggesting to those learning is that riding or tracking or catching up to the bird with the gun will just frustrate you. When you cut a bird off, everything about you and the bird, your eyes, your upper body, the gun, the angle, the speed, almost everything is working in unison and your only real challenge is to deliver the shot. When you don’t cut a bird off, you don’t control its flight path/line and you have to try to calculate ALL of those things in a split second. Missing is the typical result.

In summary, The mount matures into the cutoff which overlays the shooter harmony onto the target harmony. You become one big happy family and you reduce the human interjected error that come with thoughtful shooting.

That part had me confused a little as well, PC.

First, I agree whole hearted with your other axiums,  especially the "step"  -- Jack Mitchell's old "left foot, left arm" concept works really well when upland hunting.

I've taken some instruction from Carlisle,  and a whole heckuva lot of it from Maty Fischer -- both of whom teach this insertion method. However, exactly where you insert depends on how fast a bird or target is traveling, it's  distance away, as well as the angle it presents at.

For example, if you have a medium speed crosser at 30 yards, insertion is usually on the front edge, and then pulling away to the lead your brain thinks is correct. Carlisle refers to this as "stretching" to the lead in his video.

On a very fast crosser at 40 yards plus, the insertion is a foot or two in front of the bird or target, then pulling away until the lead feels right, with your focus still on the target.

On a very slow, close quartering target or bird, both Carlisle and Fischer teach an insertion that is at  the back edge or slightly behind the bird or target.  This allows for your brain to adjust to the slow tiempo. Classic example is on a clays station that has a first target that's a 40 yard sizzling crosser, followed by a closer, slow, quartering, lazy dropping target. If the shooter inserts in front of that second target -- as needed to do when taking the first one -- they will very often miss in front of it.  Classic way a good target setter will try and catch a shooter out.

Once again, my hats off you in how you've gotten so many of the UJ memebers to understand the importance of shooting instruction and practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
frugal pointer
I now know of what you speak.  Thanks again.  FP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Any tips for shooting after just climbing 500 ft and gasping for air while standing on a 50 deg. loose scree slope?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PartridgeCartridge
Any tips for shooting after just climbing 500 ft and gasping for air while standing on a 50 deg. loose scree slope?

Yes. Because what you have just described, and something that some of us have experienced, is a comprimised situation of balance and environment.

This is precisely why learning to shoot with good  field shooting fundamentals will provide you with a fall back capabilty when you are working in a comprimised environment. You will always fall back to your level of abilties in a tight spot. Having a baseline for those tight spots will put a few more chukars in the dog's mouth day in and day out.

Chukars are demanding birds but they will never transcend to the mythical. They are killable and some of the ones you could not kill this year were still killable had you shot just a little more efficiently. Keep an open mind here Guide.

Let's be honest here. I could put a cast on your right arm and you could still put a flav or a pmd exactly where 95% of your clients could not. It's all about the groove and being in it. That comes from solid technique. You know that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fuess
Any tips for shooting after just climbing 500 ft and gasping for air while standing on a 50 deg. loose scree slope?

Stand below the birds and get a flusher and hope they fly down hill???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PartridgeCartridge

4. Cut the Bird Off: It is a tough concept for some to understand and feel. I am certain that all accomplished shooters use some form of it as a target management system. Good shooters always know where they want their muzzles to end up on the mount and very often it is somewhere in front of the bird. This is not to say that pass thru shooting does not have its place but what I am suggesting to those learning is that riding or tracking or catching up to the bird with the gun will just frustrate you. When you cut a bird off, everything about you and the bird, your eyes, your upper body, the gun, the angle, the speed, almost everything is working in unison and your only real challenge is to deliver the shot. When you don’t cut a bird off, you don’t control its flight path/line and you have to try to calculate ALL of those things in a split second. Missing is the typical result.

In summary, The mount matures into the cutoff which overlays the shooter harmony onto the target harmony. You become one big happy family and you reduce the human interjected error that come with thoughtful shooting.

That part had me confused a little as well, PC.

First, I agree whole hearted with your other axiums,  especially the "step"  -- Jack Mitchell's old "left foot, left arm" concept works really well when upland hunting.

I've taken some instruction from Carlisle,  and a whole heckuva lot of it from Maty Fischer -- both of whom teach this insertion method. However, exactly where you insert depends on how fast a bird or target is traveling, it's  distance away, as well as the angle it presents at.

For example, if you have a medium speed crosser at 30 yards, insertion is usually on the front edge, and then pulling away to the lead your brain thinks is correct. Carlisle refers to this as "stretching" to the lead in his video.

On a very fast crosser at 40 yards plus, the insertion is a foot or two in front of the bird or target, then pulling away until the lead feels right, with your focus still on the target.

On a very slow, close quartering target or bird, both Carlisle and Fischer teach an insertion that is at  the back edge or slightly behind the bird or target.  This allows for your brain to adjust to the slow tiempo. Classic example is on a clays station that has a first target that's a 40 yard sizzling crosser, followed by a closer, slow, quartering, lazy dropping target. If the shooter inserts in front of that second target -- as needed to do when taking the first one -- they will very often miss in front of it.  Classic way a good target setter will try and catch a shooter out.

Once again, my hats off you in how you've gotten so many of the UJ memebers to understand the importance of shooting instruction and practice.

Thank you Gary. I'm glad that you could reinforce the notion that all advanced shooters use some form of insertion or cutoff. I was not trying to explain different cutoff/insertion techniques, but to emphasize the need to utilize it in some form or another.

Several people have been perplexed by the concept and I probably have not explained it clearly enough. I'll work on that.

Face to face, behind the shoulder work usually bridges that gap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

PC,

Dan Carlisle's video "Complete System for Successful Shooting" is a very good tool to have your student's watch as preview and as re-enforcement to what you are trying to get them to see and understand.

You can find it here:

http://www.sunrisevideo.com/catalog.asp?c=clays1

I review this video at least 8 or 10 times a year while on a workout machine. It's great stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
get a pointer that will hold the birds until you catch your breath???

Fixt.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fuess
get a pointer that will hold the birds until you catch your breath???

Fixt.  :D

For this, I thankyou kind sir!  Please forgive me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×