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Lessons Learned in Argentina (Part One)

We’re leaving La Zenaida dove lodge and going to pigeon lodge.

Lessons Learned by Each Student

Gerald: Expectation became his boundary which he overcame.

Keith: Expanded his horizons.

Richard: Shot better with his over and under.

Gregg: Proved himself on almost every hunt.

Paul: Surprised even himself with his consistency.

Dan: Surprised by his daughter Katie and how quickly she picked up wingshooting.

Tom: Continued his infatuation with his full chokes in his K-20.

Bill: Finally came around and stopped rushing at the last minute and found his smooth.

Challenges During Dove Hunting

The first two dove hunts were difficult due to the wind giving the birds an advantage to dip, dive, and weave. Those who were evaluating their results were very disappointed and eventually got in their own way.

It’s a real testimony to what expectations can do to performance. In the toilet.

Each hunt here is unique and offers its own set of challenges. We were shooting from permanent blinds, so the birds were doing their thing by rising higher and changing lines as they approached. If they saw any movement at all, they changed their line instantly in the wind.

The shooting was very challenging. Those who expected to shoot well and kill many birds did not do well. They were not learning. After a few boxes, they began to shoot not to miss. It was not pretty.

There were some gun fit issues that we addressed. But what a testimony to bringing your own gun.

We are still amazed at the number of people who do not have their guns insured with NRA or NSCA. It’s the cheapest dollars you will send. And if something happens to the gun, you get another one. It sure makes the flight easier knowing that if anything happens you and your gun are covered. Anything!

I enjoyed the challenges the birds brought. It made me think about the situation and reassess what I was going to do to hit the birds.

Those shooters who were there to learn and get better cracked the code. Those who were counting, trying to shoot more than last year did not do as well as they could have. It’s amazing to see how mental attitude can boost or submarine someone’s performance.

More Challenges

Another thing that gave many of the shooters problems is looking too close for the birds. By the time they saw them, they had very little time to get on them to produce consistent results.

Again, holding the muzzles up and looking for the birds under the muzzle and through the gun was a huge advantage. You could see the birds a lot farther out and control them better.

The wind was the defining factor as far as the difficulty of the birds. But to be able to see them clearly out in front at least gave you a better chance of engaging early and shooting them farther out in front as incomers, not as crossers just in front of the line. I put in full chokes and shot them way out in front. And I must admit, it was easier and there was a lot less lead.

On the first hunt in the afternoon, we were in a field where the predominant flight path was right to left. Man, were the birds slipping and sliding on the tailwind they had. And because of the tailwind, they took a lot of lead. Some people were really out of their comfort zones.

This continued through the next two hunts. On the morning of the second day, we went to the most challenging hunt of the visit.

There were really high birds, but no wind to speak of. I shot some long, high birds. Several of the shooters came down to watch and were amazed at how many birds I hit at 60-70 yards.

At that distance, I did not smoke them but killed them just the same. But I pulled my distance back into no more than 55 yards or so and could make them hit the ground dead. If the birds were high I would shoot farther out because they exposed their underbelly. This made a bigger target, exposing more of the body to hit.