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Coaching Hour – When MeeMaw Hits the Ones You Aren’t – Sept 2014

Coaching Hour – September 2014 – EXCERPT

In this excerpt from the September 2014 Coaching Hour, an OSP member discusses a problem he was having while hunting doves. In the course of the hour, Gil troubleshoots the specific shot. You’ll find that whether you shoot birds with paint or feathers, a lot of the same concepts apply with the OSP method.


Gil: Tell me about the shot you’re having trouble with in the dove field. You said it was a quick, incoming, window shot. How high was it?


Gerald: Well, there were telephone lines there, and we don’t have the telephone lines. The highest that you have in Texas; but probably the standard telephone utility pole is probably 15 yards and the transmission lines above that were probably 25 yards in that area, which gives you an idea of what range they were above me; but then this little ravine seemed like all the doves came down through.

They were planting some sunflowers on each side. Just kind of popped out of the trees, and there were a lot of hunters close and crammed in together. Of course, everybody is hollering behind you. Down this ravine they were coming so fast, and I couldn’t decide whether to shoot them in the mouth or to try to get in front of them or shoot them out there in front of me or once they got on top of my head.

And, of course, everybody around me were dropping these birds with taped-up kind of pump guns and double barrel Stevens, and I’m going: I feel like an idiot, you know.


Gil: We’ve all been there. Okay? Everybody on this phone line has been there. Okay. But, now, more specifically I need to know a couple of things. How high were the birds, 20 yards or 50 yards?


Gerald: Well, they were 20 to 25-yards high.


Gil: Okay. And as they were going fast, they were incoming straight at you, right?


Gerald: Yeah, coming straight at me, right.


Gil: And they would pop into a little opening and you’d have to shoot them really fast?


Gerald: Yeah, pretty much it.


Gil: Okay. All right. One rule of thumb. And everybody on the line that’s a clay shooter will appreciate this, and Craig Hill told me this. One time he was at Rend Lake, and he missed winning by three birds, and he dropped four birds on one station, and it was a gravity rabbit that they called a squirrel that they just dropped out of a little tube, and it dropped right down in front of them, and after he’d missed all four shots and got the other one, he was waiting on somebody to finish on his squad on another station, and he looked back over there and he said: Gil, meemaw and papaw went into that stand and they ran it.

And he said: Before I could go to another stand, I went back over there and I begged that puller, Can I just shoot one of those birds one more time? And he said: Sure, get in there. And Craig said: I shot one bird. And he said: Gil, I shot right at it. I was ahead of those birds every time. And I said: What lesson did you learn? And he said: If meemaw and papaw run it, it doesn’t take any lead.

How does that relate to your situation? You got guys out there that aren’t experienced shooters. I’m going to say that you were probably way ahead of those birds. Because of all the long birds that you shot in Argentina, all those long crossers, okay, I’m going to say that you were probably ahead of those birds or moving the gun so fast that your momentum carried you ahead of those birds. Does that make sense?


Gerald: It does. Of course, when you start missing you start trying everything else, and I wanted to get these birds. I mean, I killed these things in Argentina, and then it just seemed like they were on me so fast, and then I was trying to be sure I was out in front of them because they seemed to be so fast. I didn’t have the time in Argentina to stabilize the picture.


Gil: It happens to us all. I know it’s happened to me and I know it’s happened to everybody on the show tonight. You find you’re in a dove field and you find yourself faced with a shot where you have very little time, and that excites fear which makes you start moving before you really see the bird, and more often than not that’s going to make you blow right by those incoming birds.

So are you going to have a chance to go back out and shoot birds in that field?


Gerald: Yes sir, I am.


Gil: I want an email or a phone call report when you get through. I want to know.


Gerald: I will.


Gil: I just think you were in front of them.


Gerald: Yeah. I think I’m going to get to shoot that same field next week, and I’m not going to get so tore up. The gentleman talking about their tournament shooting, you know, I’m a little bit self-conscious when I start missing. I get worse and worse, and I’m just going to go and just shoot them. If they fall, they fall. If they don’t.


Gil: Yeah. You can’t. Consciously trying to control it never works. It just ensures that you’re going to fail.


Gerald: Yeah, I know.


Gil: One of the reasons I wanted you on tonight was to hear some of the comments of the guys here because you’re somewhat of a perfectionist. You’re a physician. So you’re just going to have to realize that when you’re shooting a shotgun, it’s kind of like a food fight. You’re going to get hit. So what you got to do is just throw more than anybody else. Okay?


Gerald: And that’s probably it. And some of the other things you mentioned in email I’m sure I did all those right in my head, and you look over the gun and, you know, you got too fast and just all the same. I think probably you’re right. I was just overdoing it, because in Argentina I just inking those long birds coming in and I could look out there, you got your line and you can be so smooth and, bang. Just suddenly I see these things dropping in on me like rocks.

: I expect a phone call when you get out of the field.

: Okay. I’ll sure call. I appreciate you having me on tonight. Thank you.

: All right. You bet. And you’re welcome to come listen any night you want to come listen. Okay?


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