Dan Schindler: The Flushing Shot
Dan Schindler believes that good wingshooting results not so much in what shooters add, but what they take away. In other words, he feels that micromanaging the shot with calculators, angles, and leads complicates the shooting process and makes it more difficult. Instead, Schindler believes shooters should simplify things. They should let instinct take over and learn to trust their natural abilities to point and pull the trigger at just the right time.
Like Bilinski, Schindler is a proponent of the Churchill shooting method, which is one of a number of techniques he teaches at his Paragon School of Sporting in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Schindler offers instruction in wingshooting and sporting clays, as well as instructor certification. He believes that for flushing shots inside 35 yards, the Churchill method is best for getting on target and downing birds cleanly. He offers the following analogy: "If somebody calls your name as they toss you an apple, you don't have to think about what to do to catch it. You stretch out your hands, and the apple is there."
The Churchill method involves the same principle. "You rely on your instinct," Schindler explains. "You learn to trust your internal computer, which calculates lead without having to think about it. There's very little science involved. Instead, when a duck flushes, you start moving both hands in unison toward the target as you mount the gun. The gun finds the lead naturally. You pull the trigger, and the bird is cleanly harvested. There's no calculating involved. It's all very automatic and natural."
Schindler says that many of his pupils have trouble letting go of their notions about needing to figure leads and angles. "They don't believe that Churchill works, but it does, and when they realize it does, you can see the light bulb come on, and then you can watch their confidence grow."
He offers one caveat to this advice, however. "Beyond 30 to 35 yards, the Churchill method becomes less effective. But inside 35 yards, Churchill shines as shooters can feel connected to the bird. It's deadly."
Using the Churchill method, a waterfowler should practice shooting clay targets that simulate flushing birds. This repetition builds assurance in the system. Or better yet, a shooter should seek instruction from a qualified shooting coach to help him master this shot.