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Keeping the Bird and Barrel Separate

Back from San Antonio and the 4-H Rodeo shoot-out. What a pleasure to be surrounded by so many young people with manners and respect.

I got to look at a Dry Fire unit and watch shooters play with it. It was interesting, and I can see how when shooting trap it could help with your rhythm and hold point and focal points.

Some of the kids had a little trouble with hitting the target, which caused some to be concerned. But we quickly told them that they shouldn’t do this just before the match. Nothing takes the place of actual trigger time.

Living in Texas, the weather seldom keeps us from practicing. But in places north of us, you can often go for weeks in the winter without being able to practice. This is where we see its greatest presence and use.

We did several seminars in the two days we were there and had a lot of interest in the Knowledge Vault. We signed up many people. They were shocked as I went throught the KV and showed them the animations and clay kill shots.

For the first time, there was a Make A Break at this event, so Vicki took me over there and I shot a ShotKam shot of each of the targets. Many of the shooters came to the tent just to look at the seven birds we shot and hit. And as usual, their biggest problem was they were not moving the same speed at the end.

I’m really overwhelmed by the number of gun-up shooters with their faces jammed into the stock and the gun too close to the trap. With this posture, they can’t hit anything from the left. Oh, and the “following the bird to the ground with the barrel after you miss” move was everywhere. I can’t understand the reasoning. This just makes you look down the barrel and at the target at the same time. That’s not what it takes to hit a moving target with a shotgun.

Many were shocked when we showed them the sight pictures. And when they went to our five-stand to shoot with Vicki, they were shocked at how easy it was to hit a crosser when they did not see the target down the barrel. I guess that was the most prevalent correction we made.

It was amazing to me how quickly they picked it up and, again, how much they were all looking at the barrel. But that’s what they teach in 4-H.

We’re not against shooting with a mounted gun – especially in trap and skeet. But what we have gleaned over the years coaching sporting clays is that those who learn how to move and mount the gun develop a sense of where the gun is pointed without having to look at it.

Those who just shoot gun up always have to check to see where the gun is pointed. Most don’t understand the difference because they think you aim the gun ahead of the bird. But then, we don’t coach much trap and only a little skeet. We spend most of our time coaching sporting and game bird shooting. So we will be getting into trap and skeet more in the future.

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