8. On long passing shots, lead more than you think you need to
On long passing shots, the main reason for missing is shooting behind the bird. Force yourself to hold more lead than you think you need, and again, keep the barrel moving.
Practice long crossing shots on a skeet range. Stand 10 yards behind station No. 4 – the one in the middle – and fire repetitive shots at targets crossing at 90 degrees. This allows you to experiment and learn how much lead is needed at this distance and target speed. And it builds confidence in your ability to make this difficult shot.
9. When waterfowl are coming head on, blot them out and fire
When a bird is coming head-on and level, wait until it's in good killing range, then mount the shotgun so the barrel is below the target, and swing up and through the bird. When the front of the barrel blots out the target, pull the trigger. If a bird is coming head-on and descending (dropping into decoys), hold slightly beneath the bird so your shot column intercepts its glide path.
10. Attend a shooting school
This is perhaps the best single tip for becoming a better shot. Several shooting schools are available around the country. At a shooting school, a certified shotgun instructor will provide one-on-one tutoring. These instructors are trained to analyze shooting form, spot problems and correct them. Attending such a school is not cheap, but shooters can expect immediate results from their investment.
Here's the bottom line on becoming a good shot on ducks and geese: how well you shoot depends on how much effort you put into it. Sure, talent plays a role, but dedication and effort can largely make up for a lack of natural aptitude. Dedicate yourself to improving, then put the 10 tips above into practice. Your shooting average will go up, and the birds will come down.