Do you always feel like you don’t have enough time to get the muzzle of your gun at the proper spot to shoot the target in Skeet or Sporting Clays? If clays and doves always seem to have you catching up to them, consider where you are inserting into their flight path.
When I first started bird hunting I was taught to mount on to the bird. Basically as the bird flushed, bring the bird up while smoothly moving with him. The idea was to have the gun come up to my shoulder pointed directly at the bird but with the gun “swinging” in the direction of the bird’s flight. This prevents a lot of unnecessary movement. Over the last 18 months, I have been working on one major change that applies to my wing-shooting and clay-shooting. As I mount the gun, I try to insert at the lead point, instead of on the clay or bird. This leads to much less adjustment.
Another adjustment that I have been working on only applies to the clay sports. Knowing where the clay will come from allows me to set my feet, and position my gun muzzle at a point along the clay’s flight path. Obviously, you can’t do this with doves or pheasant, they just don’t call out the direction their going to flush prior to taking flight..
The changes have improved my scores and have given me the feel that I have plenty of time to make the shot. I don’t feel as though I must hurry the trigger pull. If I miss, it’s because I mis-read the lead, came out of the gun, jerked the triggger, etc.
If you read this article on pre-shot routines, you’ll see how the aim spot is set. I have tended to favor a halfway point. I point the muzzle where I will break the clay, swing back towards the launch point and stop halfway between the launch and kill spots. Then dismount the gun and move my eyes to where I will first see the clay.
I’ve never been able to explain what I do very well, but in this video, Gil Ash lays it out in football terms. He’s advocating a 70% position of the aim spot and I might give it a try this weekend on the skeet field.