74 Ranch Course - Unparalleled in Diversity

Author: Gil Ash
Posted on March 11, 2013

Second advanced school is behind us and man what a great two weeks…..many things came to the top during our stay at the ranch….one of the biggest things is the realization that the course at the 74 ranch is unparalleled in its diversity…..

The corrections we see are not new but we are learning some new things….. the animations area a big deal when it comes to helping shooters visualize what we are wanting them to do…..the stabilizing of the shot is huge…..talked to Shane yesterday and he said it was going to be about 1000 more practice targets and he will have the stabile picture in his game….he has already won one tournament and M2 in the most recent tournament and with all the other things going on in his life that is an accomplishment….

Am convinced even more today that the stabilization of the shot is the trip from 85 to 95…..the world is trying to fix it at the end and that leads to so many things that don’t create consistency……

move mount shoot tends to make shooters speed up at the end of the shot….at poi the gun seems to accelerate …….on close birds that’s ok but on longer targets that creates a lot of risk….
Not doing away with MMS but we are finding that when shooters begin t stabilize the shot that they begin to see the target coming on more shots than they used to….
Many of the shooters were afraid we were teaching something entirely different….we are not supposed to ride the bird……shoot when the gun touches my face….etc…
We are not abandoning that teaching but we definitely want to encourage you to finish the shot with more consistency with regard to gun speed….

All shooting methods are based on focus on the target….and they all differ on what happens at poi….this is the only system that is based on gun speed and bird speed being equal….and a realistic view of subconscious lead…..when it is stable shoot….
Shooters world wide are trying to fix it at the end with respect to lead and line…..the beautiful part of this system is that if it is stable it is right…..

One of the most important things is AWAY in the beginning of the shot….we find that those who have the most difficulty on longer targets are the ones that cant play well in front of the bird…..over and over the past two weeks shooters had to be reminded to play farther in front because the target must come to the lead as the pic is stabilized for the lead to be correct….this is huge……

The inability to play away at the beginning of the shot leads to great risk on all shots especially on long shots….fear pulls the gun to the target…..found my self saying over and over …”the target will find the muzzle without a doubt and your job is to make it hunt for it!”…..get the gun way out in front of the bird…if the first move is not away then the rest of the move is catching up….soft mount to the shoulder and muzzle close to break point and as the gun and target merge together the face comes to the stock, eyes to front as picture is stabilized……dead target…

We are not throwing away looking at the front but we cant stress enough the focus shift at the end of the shot…..just before the trigger is pulled….you will find what ever lead you perceive will be much less if your focus goes to the front of the target at the break point….

When practicing stabilizing the picture its ok for you to let the break point slide because you are programing a new circuit….best target to begin on is a quartering incomer that turns into a crosser about 30 to 50 feet in the air with lots of belly and a gentle roll…..easy to see…..easy to merg with…..start on the cross-eyed target….right to left if right handed and left to right if left handed…it seems to be much easier to look across the muzzle when you are learning this we think because as you mount the gun you face is already turned slightly toward the gun allowing for your eyes to focus farther away from the gun on the cross eyed shot….on the opposite shot where the eyes are looking away from the barrel…animation with VO showing how the target comes to the lead as the pic is stabilized.

Still amazed at the number of shooters that are looking down the gun or worried about the lead…..Heard from Jennifer in Montana……she and Doug are still doing single targets working on their corrections and stabilization……she is getting better…..still having trouble on some of the incomers from right to left but they are getting better….told her that would probably be the last one she would conquer….

Also when shooting a cross eyed target with a lot of lead see the target over the top lever of the gun …..this will put the muzzles way in front of the target which will allow you to see more dots as the target merges to the gun….

when shooting blind side birds move your front hand back to the receiver…..this will give you more swing allowing for you to open your stance on those birds to pick them up sooner…..this eliminates fear and moving early prior to focus….opening up allows for you to point your nose closer to the trap enabling you to start the muzzle moving sooner….

Also on all tower shots…..feet together and hands to gether…..this allows for you to keep the gun on line for a longer time….also point your finger on the front hand….had a shooter who did not do that and was amazed at how many shots he missed under and the farther the shot the mor under he was……

The other thing I witnessed is what the desire to break the target does to the learning process….it was damn near impossible to get shooters to quit trying to break the target so they could learn a new move….this desire to break the target always included the gun…..if we could just get them to insert farther out in front of the target, keep their eyes on the target and see it come to a stable picture without trying to hit the target it worked but when they missed a few they instantly went back to getting the gun closer……and closer to the target…..finally just got them to not load the gun….miracle…..

Also this is not riding the target…..riding the target means you are constantly guessing the lead and consciously looking for something that looks right with a sliding focus ratio of 50/50 to 60/40 and typically an erratic gun speed….…….we are stabilizing the picture and giving the subconscious a specific time to adjust the lead and when the target comes to the lead something magical happens …..it stabilizes and the target breaks…..

Another huge by product to this system that we saw over and over in the last two weeks was that the corrections are much more obvious….there is so little happening in picture….we had shooters who were pulling away and even in some cases swinging through and once we got them to start in front and stay in front they were amazed at how things slowed down…..

And yes the inevitable question comes what about just starting with a mounted gun….well you can but there will come times when a mounted gun will keep you from being able to pick up the target early in its flight path…..ie blind side birds….quartering from left to right for right handers and opposite for lefties…. We still hold to the phrase you will never shoot better than the quality of your basic move and mount……if you choose to mount the gun to eliminate risk or to save time do it but don’t not learn to mount the gun and expect to shoot well…..

Nuisance decisions…….the topic of last Feb coaching hour…….man did Vicki and I encounter that when we were leaving for the first school…..did it ever surprise us…..we were less prepared for this school than any before due to some things out of our control…..we had not even packed our clothes and only the night before we at least looked at a forecast……..needless to say we were forced to make a lot of nuisance decisions that Wednesday morning and it wore us out…..what a revelation …… my head hurt…..what a testimony for getting things ready the night before….routine….routine….routine…..guns bullets monitor coats…. Long pants boots…sox…..hats….pro ears….I am here to tell you that you want to make as few decisions as possible on game day…..to reiterate……you cannot make a lot of decisions in a short period of time without paying a biological price….just dawned on me this is why coaches send the plays into their quarterbacks…..this is why athletes practice so that it becomes routine so they wont have to think on game day….could it be the reason that teams or people choke?….possible….who knows….interesting thought though

Talked to a vision therapist on the way down to the ranch on new research being done on Visual Pathway or Visual System…..the retina does begin the processing but there are many pathways that come together to give us the image of the target and that come into play in anticipating ahead of where that target is…… so much new information……does not negate any of our conclusions with respect to how we use the information but so much is being learned about the Visual System…

Science has proven that the visual pathway processes the lead and line data of moving objects….in fact the visual processing system of the brain actually anticipates where the object is going to be even though the Retina sees the target where it is……when we first were aware of this we felt that the visual processing system could actually project ahead a few dots but now we are even more sure that with experience the visual processing system can project ahead many more dots than we once thought…when you have a lot of experience shooting targets at distance your visual system can project ahead many many dots…..but REMEMBER it is the visual system that does the projection and the visual system continues to feed information to the SUBCONSCIOUS BRAIN…….

The journey continues……am still amazed at the number of people who are still trying to use the conscious brain to get the lead right…..I asked Scott if I could break a 20 yard crosser does the computer have the ability to figure the lead on a 40 yard crosser and he without hesitation said yes…..We added that the technique for a 40 yard target is much more precise than a 20 yard target…..he did not understand entirely but he will once we shoot together….it is a combination of the visual input from the center vision and the periphery that inputs to the brain that allows it to anticipate farther and farther out in front…..if you want to get good you gotta practice long targets and short targets as well……

When practicing you are really practicing your reaction to the target first….like when you eat you eat with your eyes first…..this is why it is so important to take every shot like it was your last or your whole future depended upon it….just because it is in practice don’t mean it don’t matter…..they all matter and your reaction when you see them is the beginning…..what will it be…..

I found this in an article about cameras vs. the human eye:

“Each eye is more capable of perceiving detail below our line of sight than above, and peripheral vision is much more sensitive in directions away from the nose than towards it.”

Craig Martin?

Back to Blog