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Learning to Shoot in the Wind and Rain

If you want to become a good competitive shooter, just like practicing your gun mount, you got to put a number on your back and get in the game.

The first year in master class, shoot every event at every tournament you can afford timewise and moneywise to go without worrying about your scores. Just go shoot. Put the number on your back. Feel the jitters. Become accustomed with them -especially when you have practice time.

If the wind’s blowing, go shoot in the wind. Those pullers out at American Shooting Center used to hate to see Gil coming out there because he’d have them put on a garbage bag with their head and arms poking through, walking around with him to pull for him when it was raining and storming. But he knew his rain gear worked. He knew what he needed to do to my gun after it was totally drenched in a two-inch downpour.

If you’ve got a nice gun and it starts raining and you’re in the hunt, if you’ve never let it get drenched before and take it in and let help it dry out. Take it all apart.

Get a hairdryer, spray it with a lot of oil and put it back together again and have it work the next day. If you’ve never done that, that worry will come into your mind on one of the last three or four stations, or immediately when you can see the clouds looming, coming your way, and you can see the wall of water coming your way. Anything that you can do to put yourself in a situation that will allow you to have been there before.

Your trainings and/or other events will prepare you for the inevitable time when the wind changes on your flight. You’ll be able to handle it.

“I know the winds changed and all my targets are going to be 15 yards further away than everybody else’s was this morning. But I’ve shot in a tailwind. I’ve shot targets that were set to be 30 yards away and there were 50 yards away. I’ve done this before. I can do this.” And it certainly helps you to keep your focus and your peace of mind.