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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Sporting Clays for Waterfowlers

Bag more birds this fall by breaking more clays over the summer
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[5] The Springing Teal

Wild ducks rarely spring straight up into the air like the targets presented on this popular sporting clays station. Even teal, after which this station is named, launch into the sky at more acute angles. Nevertheless, this fast-moving target provides good practice for the type of flushing shots encountered when jump-shooting, or when you startle incoming birds and cause them to flare skyward.

Few sporting clays targets are as baffling or intimidating as the springing teal. Shooters often have a difficult time deciding whether to take the bird on the rise or on the fall. According to McGuire, many shooters opt to break this clay bird when it's at its peak because that's when the target is slowest. However, that's also when the target is changing direction and requires very precise timing. He recommends breaking it on the way up whenever possible. Also, instead of intersecting the target from the side, he suggests a more straight-on approach.

"Most people set up with the gun to the right or left of the target line, so they can see the target," McGuire says. "With that method, they have to intersect its line, which requires precise timing. The more you can move in line with the target, the better your chance of hitting it."

McGuire recommends starting with your gun pointed a little more than a third of the way up from the trap. When you see the clay target, begin mounting the gun in its path. "You need to complete your mount at the point where you want to break the target," McGuire says. "When you get to where you want to pull the trigger, you should be in sync with the bird."

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