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Sample Videos

123. Don’t Squeeze (01:19)

Do not squeeze the trigger like rifles, but quickly hammer the trigger.

121. Correct Grip (00:57)

How to correctly place the forearm on the muzzle.

122. Drop (01:18)

The height of the comb (stock), when mounted to the face.

119. Cast Off (01:18)

To mount correctly the stock of the gun is bent a little (cast off).

124. Dangers (01:01)

Get in sync with your target.

120. “Conscious vs. Subconscious” (01:23)

The difference between the conscious and subconscious mind.

Sample Articles

A morning on the prairie

I can remember hunting geese with David Jones, my next-door neighbor at the time, years ago. I hadn’t considered just how many years ago it was until I was invited on a goose hunt by Larry Gore of Katy Prairie Outfitters. I mentioned to Larry that back when I hunted geese, we put out rag spreads, first with diapers, and then with plastic rags. Veteran goose hunters know what I’m talking about; it was a lot of work. Sin...read more

Duckin and Dovin at the 74 Ranch

Best I remember, it was a cold, dreary day a few Januarys ago at the 74 Ranch in South Texas. Winter dove season had begun, and my son Brian was coming down to hunt with me for a few days. I had been checking the lakes for ducks and driving all over the ranch looking for a concentration of doves, but no luck. Dean Olson, one of our students, had called and asked if he could come down and get a lesson while I was at the...read more

Finally, Dove season

Finally, It’s A Happening Thing! September is the transition month.  Dove season kicks off in the north and central zone on the first.  Early Teal season begins on the 18th and south zone dove season begins on the 24th, finally.  The first cool front usually pushes through around mid month and begins to break the summer heat, finally!If you are fortunate enough to have a place to hunt doves in the north or central zone...read more

Gun Fit

Since shotguns are pointed, not aimed, it is important that they “fit” the shooter. There are probably as many opinions on this subject as there are fishing guides in the Rockport area. So what the hell, here’s my $0.02 worth or as Ed Hefty would say, “$10.00 worth of free advice”.I do about 100-150 gun fits a year. I have a “try-gun”, but rarely use it unless the customer is having a custom stock made. Sometimes if th...read more

Preshot routine for wing shooting

Vicki and Gil,I read with interest your columns every month.  Question:  So you recommend a pre-shot routine in any form when you are wing shooting.  I know I miss a lot of first shots on ducks, doves, quail, and pheasants that I should not miss because I get in too big of a rush.  How do you recommend that I deal with this problem?John Dear John-Perhaps we should talk about the pre-shot routine in sports and its impor...read more

The pitfalls of unsolicited help

It seems that we are getting more and more questions and comments about how other shooters are “helping” people without being asked, especially the Level I and Level II instructors. For example, a man called us and said he was an 80-85% shooter until one day an instructor told him he was left eye dominant and to improve he would have to switch shoulders or put a dot over one eye.Let’s think about this. He is shooting 8...read more

How to stay focused for 10 shots

At every clinic the same question arises about how to not only get focused at the first stand, but how to stay focused for 10 shots.We have found that the best way to solve this problem is for you to practice getting focused and staying focused. How? In your practice routine, you must start making sure you go to the range with a specific thing to practice, like left to right crossers. Make yourself stay in a stand unti...read more

Left eyed and right handed

I am left eyed and right handed. It does not bother me and I am usually able to score right up there with the right eyed and right handed folks. I wore a patch over my entire left eye to shoot–but you can’t walk around and the targets look like they are smalelr, farther away, and going really fast. The best solution is not worry so much about it if you are shooting well. Eye dominance means that one eye focuses first a...read more

Second bird on a pair

Should I dismount for the second bird of a pair? Doctor Stewart — Lafayette, La. If on the second bird you have time to bring the gun away from your face, our suggestion would be yes. Remember, the first thing you need to do is to see and focus on the bird. If the gun stays into your face and you move to the second target then your eyes will go to the barrel of the gun. The reason for this is your eyes naturally go to ...read more

Why do the women shooters always score 10-20 fewer birds ...

(Phyllis Lundquist, Seattle, WA) A great question, since this is not a game of strength. It’s not like golf where the ladies need to be yards ahead of the guys to get their ball down the fairway. Shooting is more a game of finesse – not of strength. Gil and I have been trying to figure this out for years. Here are a few thoughts we have had.The biggest difference between men and women, and therefore in their scores, is...read more

Eye Dominance

When you write about your technique of automatic vision compensation when you concentrate just on the target and how the mind-body computer will compensate with proper gun alignment, how does eye dominance play in this scenario. The testing of my vision indicates to me that my left eye is mainly dominant, but occasionally it isn’t. I shoot right handed. I think this is the reason that sometimes easy targets are missed....read more

Conscious awareness of the gun

After teaching 1500 people each year for the past 8 years, we find that the one main problem that all shotgunners face regardless of ability level is conscious awareness of the gun or looking at the gun.This problem manifests itself in many different ways and causes a multitude of problems. The one main problem is checking the size of the lead. We see this at all levels – beginners, intermediate and advanced.The beginn...read more

When to take a shooting lesson when your scores plateau

What to look for:1. Common sense reasons why you are having trouble or are not performing up to your potential. 2. If you are having trouble with say dropping shots, it is not enough to have someone just show you “how they do it.”3. It is more important for you to understand why you are not hitting the target.We see shooters that think they are having trouble with a certain type of target and they think that it is the ...read more

Viewing change in your shooting

When you teach and coach the number of people we do, you begin to see some obvious performance trends, and attitudes in shooters of different abilities. One such trend is how people view change. Several times over the past months, we have seen this phrase used in advertisements and flyers soliciting students for shooting instruction–“He will work with what you are doing and not change you and make you better.”Now let’s...read more

It’s OK to be Early

We don’t know about you but when we get a chance to shoot a major tournament the information sheet that you get from registration is sometimes hard to interpret.  We get to shoot so few tournaments because of our work schedule it is probably more confusing for us than those of you who are on the tournament trail on a regular basis.  We sure the more tournaments you shoot the clearer they become.  Still it’s important t...read more

Why do I shoot sporting clays

There are many reasons that people shoot sporting clays. It is fun and relaxing. We feel that there is some psychological benefit to breaking things and making noise on a clays range. We are also convinced that you just meet a finer class of people around a shotgun.Did you ever stop and think why people compete in recreational sports? We feel that people enjoy the risk of winning or losing, but there is no chance of a ...read more

Follow through excess creates risk

Follow through is the momentum the gun has as the trigger is pulled–nothing more. Any conscious, excessive, follow through after the shot is taken is wasted and creates risk. We see people on a weekly basis that have been brain washed into thinking that they must continuously keep the gun moving after the shot.In our experience, this creates risk in several ways.1. Conscious follow through is a forced push or pull with...read more

Hard targets to practice or not to practice

We recently attended a tournament of 400 plus shooters. The targets were a little more difficult than usual. Our observation was that they were a little longer than the norm, which required a smoother, more precise move coupled with a precise break point to be successful. The poor fools who mounted the gun and chased the lead were eaten alive.We overheard two shooters talking about the targets. They both thought they w...read more

2 eyes or 1

Is it better to shoot with 2 eyes open? The answer is definitely YES. The targets will look larger, closer, and moving more slowly. Is it going to look completely different when you shoot? YES. Remember that your eyes are used to working together, so that you can walk or drive a car. If you will think of shooting your shotgun like driving your care and merge into the lead with the gun, you won’t have to be so concerned...read more

Bird barrel relationship vs. gun speed

As you become a more advanced shooter, does bird barrel relationship or gun speed become more important?Gun speed is infinitely more important than sight picture. Before you think you are getting closer to proving that we are both crazy, let me explain.If the gun is not ahead of the bird when the shot is taken, regardless of gun speed, you have no hope to hit the target. If the gun is ahead of the target even if it is ...read more

Changing leads vs. chokes

I’ve heard people talk about changing their leads instead of changing their chokes. Which has the most effect on the size of the shot cloud? Mark Faggard, Beaumont, TexasThis answer is probably going to ignite quite a few already too short fuses, but you asked for it!I defy anyone to show me how changing shot sizes can change the size of the shot cloud greater or more precisely than changing choke! In my experience, it...read more

Expectations on tournament day

A student of ours came to a great revelation the other day. After several months of shooting and taking lessons his scores, which had gone way up, began to go up and down. The ups were good, but the downs were becoming too much the norm. The downs were really showing up on tournament day. All I want is a trophy and out of E class, but really I just want the trophy, he would say. We would try to explain to him not to le...read more

Gun mount

Would you rather have students in a clinic that were new shooters or someone who had been shooting for awhile with bad habits? George Fournoy, Houston, TexasMost people would think that getting a new student with no bad habits would be the easier way to teach, but give us someone with a good gun mount and we can get them farther along in a shorter time. We can always refine a gun mount that may not be the best, but if ...read more

How your eyes work

One of the most surprising things students learn in our clinics is how their eyes work. The eyes feed the information of how to hit the target to the brain. If they receive incorrect information, then the shot becomes, more often then you want it to be, a miss.How to prevent this? Lets go over how your eyes work. The eyes focus back from the object you are looking at to your body more efficiently than if they have to g...read more

Improving success on live birds

Successful clays shooters sometimes find that their skills on the sporting clays course or skeet range don’t translate to dead birds when they’re hunting. If that’s happening to you, chances are, it’s a matter of where you are focusing.When shooting at a live bird, look at its head, specifically at its eyes. Your eyes will naturally want to go to the fastest moving part of the bird, its wings. Then your eyes naturally ...read more

Shooting Glasses Do Help

Perhaps the most important aspect of shooting a shotgun is focusing on the target.  If you have read this column in the last few years then you know how much we talk about eyes, vision, and focus and the important role they play in proficiency with a shotgun.  We have talked about gun fit, chokes, shot shell ballistics, the mechanics of mounting the gun correctly and consistently and all of those things are important, ...read more

Simple mechanics

The level of commitment MUST be greater than the expectation. We teach mechanical excellence and mental focus and trust. One must have mechanical excellence before true mental focus and trust can occur. Ideally, you can develop mental focus and trust while you develop mechanical excellence, however, mechanical excellence must be developed and constantly practiced in order for one to ever come close to their potential. ...read more

03 September Coaching Hour - What If

Introduction  Three shooters take a starring role in this Coaching Hour: Brian Brewton, Dick Baker and Tom Kirchmer. Brian talks about the evolution of his practice game, and how he has overcome his demon of rushing himself while shooting. Dick talks about his renewed commitment to practice frequently for shorter periods of time, and Tom courageously shares his rebound from a performance where he “stun...read more