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I am an upland hunter....


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1 hour ago, walt lister said:

Many years ago I realized that I was missing too many first shots and hitting with the second shot. Why?? Rushing !!  Made up my mind to take an extra half second or so to get on the bird and after making myself do that my first shot hits did improve. Since I hunt mostly open desert it doesn't have the dense woods like back east so the small hesitation to be sure I'm on target isn't a problem. 

 

This is me exactly.  Two years ago Sophie slammed a Rooster in some thick stuff.  I went in for the flush and up he came.  Could have almost killed him with a baseball bat he was that close.  I pulled up and Bang Bang and missed both.  I realized he was so close, that my first shot was at about 15 feet and my second shot at 30 feet.  If I would have had a third shot I could have killed him, or at least launched another round him within 25 yards as he was still that close.  I was just so hopped up that she had pinned a runner that I didn't hold up my end of the bargain.   

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Can’t be you.  It must be gun fit, LOP, drop at comb, drop at heel, pitch, barrel orientation, single trigger, double trigger or your mount. No one on UJ is a poor shot, it’s always the gun.

And I suck at shooting! 

Well, well, well.  Seems like I'm the only straight shooter in the bunch.  Can't remember when I last missed a shot.  Also, found my wallet in the fridge again.

2 hours ago, Treerooster said:

What you need then is excuses that pertain more to grouse hunting.

 

If NH is anything like Wis you can't use the sun. It really doesn't shine and the best you get is a fuzzy ball of light when the clouds thin a bit. But that only lasts for a few minutes. So that's out.

 

But there are plenty more.

 

You are supposed to keep your feet at 10 & 2 o'clock when shooting or some such nonsense. Tell that to a guy that only hunts grouse and he won't even understand. On my last shot the left foot was at 7:23 and the right wasn't even on the clock. It was pointed straight up.

 

Keep you feet firmly planted flat on the ground. Yeah ok. I've been walking for 45 minutes and my feet have come down flat on the ground exactly 11 times. I'm always stepping on a branch (or log), or rock, or stub, or in a hole, or sinking in muck or who knows what.

 

You shouldn't notice the bead on your gun. Uh huh...sure. How about when I pull my gun up and there is a stick or weed laying across the barrel. We won't even mention clumps of snow on the barrel.

 

Remember to follow through and don't stop you gun swing. Well the sapling I was pushing with the barrel just wouldn't bend anymore.

 

 

Those should hold ya for a day or 2.

I’m crying , this was me all season , I know it’s bad when I pull a neck muscle because im stretching so far in one direction to get around a conifer 

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I am certainly no expert and don't want to sound like I think I am.  As I write this, I am certain that it will probably cause me to slide into the worst slump of the year. Let me offer some observations and what has worked for me. 

 

I am late 50's -  been grouse and wc hunting for over 45 years.  It's a way different game than birds on the plains.  I have hunted many other upland species on the plains, which I absolutely  love, but often, having more time to think isn't always beneficial for me.   If I think, I miss.   I feel like I have always been a decent shot, though, I believe I have improved my shooting the past decade.

 

I am a streaky shooter and suffer through plenty of bad stretches.  Which almost always have to do with looking back at the gun barrel. Got rid of the beads on my guns years ago.  I don't want anything to draw my eye's attention to the gun - focus on the bird.  I am never afraid to miss.  As someone mentioned earlier, I also shoot better when hunting alone.  Not having to worry about another hunter is 1 less thing for my brain to process.  I hunt behind flushing dogs, which I realize is quite a bit different than  hunting behind pointers.  If I get a "glimpse" of the bird and I know it's a safe shot, in range,  I am taking the shot .  Did I mention, that I am not afraid to miss.

 

Often, I am amazed at birds  that I get.  I have no clue how it happened, it just does.  Or birds that come down and you know that you never had time to get the gun all the way to your shoulder.  I am a right handed shooter.  I think about 1 thing - get my left index finger (which I always keep pointed down the forearm of my gun) through the bird.

 

I am not a big clays shooter, though I try to get 6 - 10 rounds of skeet (low gun) in every year in the late summer - I usually try to see how fast I can break the clays.  I also spend lots of short sessions, during the season, in the basement with a laser pointer in my barrel.  I spend time with my gun, at port arms, and pick out items on the walls and ceilings and trigger the laser to see if I am on target.  I try to understand where my muzzle is pointed at all times when the gun is at port arms. 

 

Then I spend time going through several mounting drills.  Trying to mount without moving the muzzle (requires the left hand to push the gun toward the target), mounting while moving the gun following where the wall and ceiling come together. . .  there are several articles out there on the subject.  You can't practice mounting the gun too much.   I then take several practice shots at projected targets on the wall.  I purchased the basic unit from the Robert Louis Company (I have no connection to this company).  All I do are single targets (as fast as possible) left to right and then right to left.  swing as you mount and get your finger through the target.  These are the things that have helped me improve my shooting.  Now I can't wait to get out there any probably miss the next 10 birds that I shoot at.

 

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Grasshopper,

 

Get a Thomson Contender 410 pistol and go grouse hunting with it.

 

Get a traditional bow, either a recurve, a longbow or one of those  new fangled reflex deflex hybrid ones, and shoot judo points when you go grouse hunting.

 

Do either......for a season....or a few times interspersed....think of "the bird".....not hitting it...just visualize the bird...and go for it....

 

When you pick up your shotgun after this exercise..... you will be better at hitting....

 

OOOOOooohhhmmmmmm.....

 

Your Guru,

Spill

Best of luck..... 

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This hits close to home. Put up a dozen birds this weekend and bagged 0. And I can't blame all of it on the dogs, the trees, or anything else...

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RuffChaser
On 10/18/2020 at 9:46 AM, ScenicRoute said:

And I suck at shooting! 

 

Just remember it's not about the killing. Also, you can consider yourself a "dogman" because the dog work is more important than your shooting. These are things I tell myself on the bad days.

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finsfurfeathers
2 hours ago, RuffChaser said:

 

Just remember it's not about the killing. Also, you can consider yourself a "dogman" because the dog work is more important than your shooting. These are things I tell myself on the bad days.

That all fine and dandy until the dog looks back at you with a look that says WTF!

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Thank you for starting this honest thread.  I get so frustrated with my shooting and I’m sure my dogs do too. Some days I am a decent shot, some days I am terrible.  I’m happy I’m not the only one. 
Honestly I’m just happy to get out and follow the dogs. 

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Grouse hunting is tough. The little buggers are hard to hit and they always seem to rocket into the air when I am stepping over a log, bending under a branch, or getting swatted in the face by thorn brush. I have found myself holding back on the shot lately if I don’t get a decent look at the bird. They rarely fly very far and I just try to go find them again and hope for a better opportunity. I realize this approach won’t work for many traveling hunters since their time and opportunities are limited, but I hunt my home covers and every bird I don’t shoot at or wound is one I can chase again tomorrow. I get a horrible feeling when I shoot at a bird and can’t find it, especially when the shot feels good. I’ve shot a few birds twice, a week apart. When I clean them they have infected wounds and are wasted. Anyway, my hit to shot ratio has increased since deciding to be a little more conservative with my trigger discipline. There seems to be a few more birds around this year so I know I will find another one. 

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Dave Erickson

I used to golf a bit back in my 20's. I had a hand-me-down set of clubs, never took a lesson, never went to a driving range, and I'd golf maybe once every week or two for a couple months a summer. I never got any better. I had a few stretches where I'd golf a couple times a week and I'd just start to feel like I could consistently make a few shots, but then I'd stop for a week and I'd be right back to sucking. 💡

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On 10/19/2020 at 4:23 PM, vabirddog said:

Just drive closer. 

Always/mostly come to a complete stop before pulling the trigger.

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2 hours ago, Dave Erickson said:

I used to golf a bit back in my 20's. I had a hand-me-down set of clubs, never took a lesson, never went to a driving range, and I'd golf maybe once every week or two for a couple months a summer. I never got any better. I had a few stretches where I'd golf a couple times a week and I'd just start to feel like I could consistently make a few shots, but then I'd stop for a week and I'd be right back to sucking. 💡

Sounds like my experience with the game.

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Finally found a couple of grouse thismorning. Spent 5 hours walking (no dog) yesterday and 4 hours thismorning when I spied two grouse near a gravel trail a hundred yards away. Made my way close and they moved into the waist high grasses. I could see the grass moving as they were walking away from me  I made a quick move to get closer and they flushed I let off two shots at 15-20 yards and watched as they flew away downhill.  I moved toward where one of em landed and managed to flush him again I was behind a couple small trees took two more shots and missed again.  These shots should have been layups. So frustrating after all that work. But at least I got to see some wild grouse fly. I’m new to this game and have a hard time finding birds and don’t have easy access to a place to practice  shooting so it’ll likely take quite a bit of frustration before I can put one of these beauties in the oven.  
cheers!

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Brad Eden
10 hours ago, Chipnice said:

Finally found a couple of grouse thismorning. Spent 5 hours walking (no dog) yesterday and 4 hours thismorning when I spied two grouse near a gravel trail a hundred yards away. Made my way close and they moved into the waist high grasses. I could see the grass moving as they were walking away from me  I made a quick move to get closer and they flushed I let off two shots at 15-20 yards and watched as they flew away downhill.  I moved toward where one of em landed and managed to flush him again I was behind a couple small trees took two more shots and missed again.  These shots should have been layups. So frustrating after all that work. But at least I got to see some wild grouse fly. I’m new to this game and have a hard time finding birds and don’t have easy access to a place to practice  shooting so it’ll likely take quite a bit of frustration before I can put one of these beauties in the oven.  
cheers!


Keep at it. Like you I hunted many years without a dog. It can actually be highly effective once you learn the game. Great learning experience on the bird behavior without dealing with a dog. 

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