Working on your skills?

sean english

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We're close to that time of year when members start asking questions about best ammo and chokes.
IMHO these topics are over rated. Folks instead of working on their shooting skills they zoom in on these factors which are only secondary to the success of your hunt. After all if you ain't hitting them it really doesn't matter what size lead (sorry, steel) you're throwing at them with what choke and speed or brand or price.
It's going to be an epic chukar and quail year at least in Northern California/Nevada. To take maximum advantage of my trips I've invested in a shooting lesson at a sporting clay place. We did a 3 hour lesson. Was awesome. Heading over there tomorrow again. You might want to do the same. If in sac area contact me and I can put you in touch with my couch.
 



solus

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Lol soo true. Ive only bought 1 choke that wasnt factory and it was because i needed one for steel shot and that wasnt extra full
 

Limited Out

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I agree, #1 having your shot on is first and foremost. Those different tubes and shot are just fine tuning. The more you shoot the more you will realize this.
 

cjack

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I think the same goes for a lot of equipment, it's not always what you use but how well you use it!
 

Limited Out

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Most of the upside in having a bunch of expensive tubes and ammo is physiological for me, you can't blame poor shooting on those things, when you need to really go shoot some birds or break some clays.
 

quailman

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I used to go and shoot clays a lot but I don't live near a clay range now. So my tune up for quail and chukar is to focus on foot placement, posture, shoulder placement and keeping cheek glued to stock with both eyes open while shooting doves and rabbits locally here in the desert. Oh and making sure I swing through my shot.


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Limited Out

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Lots of good ideas, tips, and thoughts on how to improve your time in the field. Always something new to learn.
 

castone001

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Great idea Sean! I best get out to the range and go thru some lead(I mean steel) and get ready.

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JustGuy

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I don't have time to "hone my skills"
Instead i bough a new shotgun to compensate for my lack of skills
I have a video of it. Please enjoy.


[video=youtube;WOoUVeyaY_8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOoUVeyaY_8[/video]

_________-
 
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bsanders8181

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Shooting clays is ok but really is nothing like shooting a dove in flight or a duck decoying. Changing chokes and shot size or varying FPS is a recipe for disaster.....Shoot the same FPS, the same brand shells and no need for changing the choke all the time..I'm sure there will be lots of comments about this post but shooting clays won't improve your shooting when it comes to actual real life hunting scenarios..
I have found the opposite for myself. Shooting clays no matter how well I shoot, or if I'm at a course or just throwing by hand greatly improves my shooting. I think shooting a shotgun isn't something you can just pick up and do well. I agree to stick with consistent speed shells when possible, but if I go practice I'm not going to find cheap shells that scoot like my duck loads.
Personally if I go shoot clays the weekend before the opener I'll hit twice as many birds. If I go two of the 4 weekends before the opener I'll hit twice as many again.
I've also found that after a slow month duck hunting I'll start to miss again, and a hundred rounds shot at clays will get me right.
Maybe they don't work for you, but from experience clays help me immensely in hunting situations.


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Limited Out

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For me this has a everything to do with muscle memory. We use two of those portable electric trap machines at a time. We try and set up different scenarios with different angles and locations of the machines. Again for me, breaking clays doesn't help my bird shooting that much. I like to shoot clays for the fun and challenge of shooting them. What works to improve my shooting is hunting Euros every 2-3 weeks year around. One thing I know for certain is some days I struggle, some days I can't miss. Shooting real birds is what works best for me.
 

Bubblehide

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Fred, a few decades back, I shot with a guy that could hit the broad side of a barn, once. I even hunted with him. I consistently told him, great shot, to birds that I shot. Despite my efforts at boosting his esteem, the only things that brought any improvement with his shotgun skills, was shooting lots and lots of clays. As minute as his improvement was, it was the only thing that helped. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I am or was the best shot, but I could knock a few birds out of the sky, and like Common Sense, off their feet:lol bashing sign:. But the same technique just doesn't work for everybody, and plenty of people improve with shooting clays. But your right, it's nothing like shooting at live birds that suddenly, with no notice, dash and dart in different directions. But the best thing they could actually do, is to find a shotgun that actually fits them, at least IMNSHO, for whatever it's worth.
 

sean english

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So shooting lots of clays makes you a better shot in the great outdoors with real life targets?
Of course it does. If you can't hit s target in a controlled environment you can't hit it in a uncontrolled one. If you can't spar with a friend you won't be able to box with a real adversary.


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sean english

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The issue with clays to me is that they are,so ways the same speed and flight path.. Anyone who hunts ducks and doves or any game bird knows they fly faster and never on the same path like a clay so although shooting may help a few overall it does nothing in the real life scenario of hunting..Throw in a good 10 mph wind and that will once z gain change everything...Plus like you said your not shooting duck loads at the range it's the slower cheaper LEAD thus hurting most even more..
Try sporting clay one time. Every station is set up differently. Lots of different scenarios.


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54hawken

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I agree that clays and live birds are different, but shooting clay in the off season teaches proper shooting form, to relax and not rush their shot. People who only shoot a hunt a few times a year tend to tense up, rush their shots, and often haven't developed the muscle memory to mount their shotgun properly consistently. I am fortunate to be able to shoot several thousand live birds a year over the dogs I train, most don't have that opportunity and shooting various clay clay targets is the best practice they can get.
 

KTKT70

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Ouch. Sounds painful. Makes me think purple arms. The kind you get south of the border.
 

Redside

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I'm not an expert shot, but a few trips to the skeet range before the season opens has always helped me shoot better. I shoot 12 ga, and I like 1 oz. loads that don't kick hard. Having the right choke (i.e. imp cyl or mod.) for doves will help you shoot better.

Finally, if you are new to this game, look at the bird, NOT at your gun barrel!
 

Bankrunner

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Shooting clays is ok but really is nothing like shooting a dove in flight or a duck decoying. Changing chokes and shot size or varying FPS is a recipe for disaster.....Shoot the same FPS, the same brand shells and no need for changing the choke all the time..I'm sure there will be lots of comments about this post but shooting clays won't improve your shooting when it comes to actual real life hunting scenarios..
Shooting clay pigeons absolutely helps improve your shooting when it comes to actual real life hunting scenarios!
One of the important things you do for a new hunter before their first dove season is get them out shooting clay pigeons.
New hunters on this forum should know shooting clays is valuable tool and will help you in the field.
Experienced hunters know that shooting a few clays before the season will help with accuracy and give them less cripples and misses on opening day.
 

Limited Out

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I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not implying that I have any more knowledge than the next person on this forum. The take away I get is that different people learn in different ways and that there is not one best way to improve your shooting. I can only speak for myself, I shot 250 clays yesterday afternoon. Does it help me be a better shot bird hunting, to a degree, but it is not the end all solution. So if you want to improve your shooting skills I say shoot some clays, if it works for you keep doing it, you will have a heck of a lot of fun no matter. For me, if I had the choice I would shoot live birds, its better. I think we all want to help each other improve, just leave a few for me.
 


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