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Shotgunner's Guide to Waterfowling

Here's how to consistently hit the most common shots in duck and goose hunting
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by Wade Bourne

In waterfowl hunting, humiliation is defined by missing three times as a greenhead helicopters into your decoys so close that you make eye contact with the bird as it frantically reverses direction and wings away unscathed. We've all been there—with a sheepish grin, some lame excuse (my glasses were fogged up), and no real clue as to why our pellets and the bird failed to converge.

Shooting ducks and geese is a fine art that is honed through experience, but never to perfection. No hunter hits them all, and no one is immune to the embarrassment of occasionally blowing an easy shot. Still, this is no excuse for not attempting to improve your shooting, and the off-season is the time to do it.

The best way to get better with a shotgun is to seek instruction from a professional shooting coach, and then to apply this expert advice on the practice range. With that in mind, we've rounded up five of the nation's foremost shooting pros and sought their wisdom on how to consistently hit some of the most commonly encountered—and missed—shots in waterfowling.

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