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Sporting Clays for Waterfowlers

Bag more birds this fall by breaking more clays over the summer
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[3] The Overhead Shot

If ducks or geese are unwilling to commit to the decoys, your best course of action is to take them on the pass once the birds are in range. A good time to do this is when they are flying over the blind. This can be a challenging shot for many waterfowlers because it requires the shooter to block out the bird with the end of the gun barrel. Timing is also a factor. The closer an incoming bird gets to the shooter, the faster it appears to be flying.

"Don't wait too long," says Bill McGuire, a former sporting clays national champion and perennial All-America shooter. "You should take this shot just as quickly as you can—but stay in control. A lot of hunters want to let that bird get directly overhead. If you do that, however, you've created a 90-degree angle, and that requires more lead."

Some sporting clays courses have towers that can launch high targets over your position. Others have stations that throw rising targets over your head. Either presentation will provide the type of practice you need to perfect this shot.

"Try to get on the target a little early," McGuire advises. "Insert the gun in front of the leading edge, and as the barrel merges with the target, pull ahead slightly to get the right lead. Then pull the trigger."

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