By Chris Jennings
The reality of waterfowl hunting is that everyone misses. Being able to overcome a miss involves confidence and a fundamental understanding of each shot. There are a variety of shooting techniques to study, but remaining true to shotgunning basics is a time-tested approach for improving your skills.
"The fundamentals of shooting are very basic," explains Terry Hetrick, a National Skeet Shooting Association certified instructor and personal shooting instructor at the Tennessee Sporting Clays Complex. "It's like most things, practice is the best way to improve. Even when dealing with advanced shooters who are having problems with targets, I start with simple steps."
After 40 years in competitive shooting and winning numerous state and national titles, Hetrick continues to stress shotgunning basics to his students.
"My first lesson to everyone is to not shoot like I play golf. I am invited to play golf twice a year, and I get my clubs out of the basement without touching them and go play. That's no way to approach anything," he says. "There are facilities much like [the Tennessee Sporting Clays Complex] all over the country, and I recommend coming out to the range, if for nothing else than to make sure your equipment is working properly. This will get you tuned up for the hunting season, and you can do it year-round."