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10 Tips to Better Bird Hunting and Wing Shooting
Article gives some basic advice on wing shooting.
The fist tip is to use a suitable gun for wing shooting. While the 12 gauge is overkill for many smaller game birds, its wide selection of ammunition makes it practical for every bird that is commonly hunted. The 16 and 20 gauge are both good for wing shooting for most birds, while the 10 is for bigger birds only. The 28 gauge and .410 have limited applications for most people in most wing shooting scenarios. More important for wing shooting is the fit of the gun than the gauge. A gun that comes to shoulder like an extension of your body is the goal. Get a professional to help fit the gun.
Use the proper choke. Few hunters take the time to pattern their gun, but they should. You need to know which choke tube to use and when.
Practice shooting clay pigeons. While few grouse, pheasants, and other birds fly the steady path of the clay pigeon the practice is invaluable. Hold the gun in a hunting position and get practice mounting the gun to your shoulder quickly as well.
Remember to keep swinging when shooting at birds. Many hunters do a good job up to the point that they shoot then they freeze and shoot behind the bird. I have this problem myself at times.
Keep your off hand forward on the gun. Growing up shooting in rifle competitions, I used my odd hand close to the trigger resting my arm against my body. Many hunters used to a rifle do the same thing, but this greatly restricts your all important swing with a shotgun.
Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move. If your shirt or coats binds when quickly raising your arms as required by wing shooting you need to try different clothes. A cotton sweat shirt under a sleeveless shooting vest is ideal. Yes, the briars will shred your sweatshirt and arms.
Another dressing tips that is good for all bird hunting and wing shooting is to wear drab colored clothing. Camouflage usually isn't necessary, but won't hurt either. Avoid being obvious to the birds.
Stop taking bad shots. Hunters often get excited and shoot at birds that are in too much brush or too far away. Pass up the bad shots and take the good when wing shooting. Letting the bird land and trying again is an option for many game birds.
Shoot at the bird, not at a spot. Many hunters who are wing shooting try to predict where the bird is going and shoot to that spot. The aim needs to be on the moving bird with a moving shotgun.
Hunt doves if you can. Dove hunting often allows a hunter to shoot through cases of ammunition and get a lot of valuable practice at a quick moving bird.
Wing shooting is big fun no matter what bird you pursue. Where I live, I am pretty much limited to ruffed grouse. There are few things more frustrating than working all day, flushing one grouse, and missing! But it happens. Hopefully I follow my own advice and get some more practice this summer to be ready.