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field notes: shotgunning tips

Emily Degan

With mid-season approaching many duck hunters have, at this point, likely experienced both exciting and slower days in the field. Make the most of all of your hunts by bagging the ducks that do fly over with our top five shooting tips:

These are a few of our favorite things. 

These are a few of our favorite things. 

  1. Let the shotgun do the work – Your cheek should weld to the stock of your gun so that you’re able to comfortably look down the barrel and move together as one unit. Don’t lower your head to meet the gun; doing so impacts both your perception and range of motion.
  2. Rotate from your hips – Move your feet as little as possible for smooth set-up and shooting.
  3. Focus on the front of the target – This builds in a little cushion for error as you calculate lead.
  4. Swing through – Follow through is as essential in shooting as it is in golf; keep swinging your shotgun even after you pull the trigger to ensure the pattern lands where you intend. Use the English method of estimating lead by saying to yourself, “butt, belly, beak, boom!” as you swing through the bird. 
  5. Practice patience – Don’t rush to shoot just as soon as a bird comes in. Make all of your shots worthwhile by giving yourself an extra second or two to properly mount your gun and aim before pulling the trigger.

Happy hunting!

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