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shooting tips


Shotguns for Women

Years ago a gun maker took a sporting clays over/under, painted it teal blue, shortened the stock, and called it a women's gun. A friend of mine bought one, but she might have been the only person who did. Fortunately, the firearms industry is starting to take the needs of female shooters seriously. Here are a few things that female duck hunters should look for in a shotgun.

16 Shotgunning Safety Lessons for Every Duck Hunter

Adhering to these precautions won't fill a bag limit, but it will make you and your hunting companions safer in the blind this season

Secrets of Successful Shooters

Great waterfowl shots are made, not born. It often takes thousands of rounds fired at clay targets and game birds to master the art of wingshooting. While there is no substitute for experience, good advice can save you from common mistakes that separate average shooters from experts. Recently I interviewed five of the nation's most accomplished shotgunners for their advice on how waterfowlers can improve their shooting skills. Here's what they had to say.

Shotgunning: Fighting Recoil

Recoil is a mathematical function of three factors: gun weight, payload weight (shot, wad, and powder), and payload velocity. Gun makers can't change the laws of physics to make guns recoil less, but they can soften the blow by reducing felt recoil (aka kick). Bear in mind, however, that everyone feels recoil differently. A recoil reducer that works for one shooter may not help another. Following is a look at the best technology and techniques available for taming excessive recoil.

Overcome Last Season's Embarrassing Misses

Waterfowlers come up with a myriad of excuses why they miss birds. Shells are frequently blamed for these failures, and shotguns take some of the heat, but the fact remains that most misses are caused by the shooter, not the equipment. The good news is, with a little off-season practice at the trap, skeet, or sporting clays range, you can see your percentages improve quickly. Here are some of the most common mistakes hunters make and the remedy for each.

Shotgunning: Practice Like You Play

Recently, a well-known basketball coach told a rookie player to practice only the shots he would take during games. The coach's point was that not all practice is equal. The same advice holds true for waterfowlers wanting to sharpen their shotgunning skills in the off-season. The closer you mimic actual hunting conditions, the more you'll get from your time on the skeet range or sporting clays course. Here's how.

5 Shooting Tips for Spring Snows

The Light Goose Conservation Order provides hunters with the opportunity to decoy hundreds, if not thousands, of snow geese into close range. The sights and sounds of so many geese in close proximity, however, can overwhelm even the most experienced shooters. The following five tips offer useful advice on how to stay calm in the storm and shoot straight on spring snows.

Field Notes: Duck Gun: Wood Duck Shot

Phil Bourjaily demonstrates techniques for hitting fast-flying wood ducks.

Field Notes: Duck Gun: Shotgun Bead

Phil Bourjaily explains the different kinds of shotgun beads and how to use them.

Field Notes: Duck Gun: Shot Size

Phil Bourjaily demystifies shot size selection.

Field Notes: Duck Gun: Checking Shotgun Fit

Phil Bourjaily shows us a simple technique to determine if your shotgun fits correctly.

DU TV Duck Gun: Gun repairs in the field

Phil Bourjaily, shotgun columnist for DU magazine, explains a few essential tools you should have with you to make minor gun repairs in the field.

Shotgunning: Shot Size Selection

A range of shot sizes will work for any bird. In fact, on the sides of ammo boxes there are little charts that offer different size recommendations. The following advice will help you narrow down those choices to pick the best size for your specific hunting needs.

Shotgunning: Five Shooting Tips for Waterfowlers

We all have days in the field that we wish we could do over. Like many shotgunners, I had honed my skills by standing up and shooting at going-away targets thrown from a trap at my feet. This was great practice for upland hunting, but it didn't help me learn the techniques I eventually had to master to consistently shoot ducks and geese. Following are five essential wingshooting skills that all waterfowlers should master.

Shotgunning: Taking Two

When the subject of shooting doubles arises, I'm always reminded of a friend who shot a Canada goose out of a flock passing over a Saskatchewan wheat field. He was swinging on another bird when the first one fell on his head, knocking him flat. Here's a quick course on the art and science of taking doubles on waterfowl. (By Phil Bourjaily)

DU TV Duck Gun Tip: Why We Miss

Phil Bourjaily, shotgun columnist for DU magazine, counts down the top five reasons duck hunters miss.

Sporting Clays for Waterfowlers

Bag more birds this fall by breaking more clays over the summer. By Curtis Niedermier. Illustrations By Mike Sudal.

Shotgunning: Snow Goose Guns

Choosing the right shotgun can increase your harvest during the conservation order. By Phil Bourjaily.

NSSF Shooting Tips: Don't look down the barrel

Having problems hitting decoying birds? Here's a few tips that might help you improve your shooting. Gil Ash of OSP Shooting Schools demonstrates why shotgunners shouldn't look down the barrel, nor at the bead.

NSSF Shooting Tips: Sporting clays, springing teal

Gil Ash, OSP Shooting School demonstrates how to hit the springing teal target on a sporting clays range.

NSSF Shooting Tips: Lead versus Gun Speed

Waterfowlers face varying shot angles and speeds, but by controlling your gun speed you can improve your shooting no matter the shot. Learn how to control your firearm's speed.

Q&A with Corey Cogdell

Corey Cogdell, U.S. Olympic Bronze Medal Winner in Trapshooting, takes some time to talk with Ducks Unlimited.

Shooting: Three Pointers from a Pro

The reality of waterfowl hunting is that everyone misses. Being able to overcome a miss involves confidence and a fundamental understanding of each shot.

Aaron Fraser Pass Remembered

Aaron Fraser Pass, who lost his battle with cancer in early April, left a rich legacy of fine writing and useful advice on topics pertaining to sporting arms and ammunition.

Changing Game

The baseline formula for good shooting on moving targets is well established.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Waterfowl hunters encounter a variety of shots that qualify as either "incomers" or "outgoers."

Tips to Break Bad Shooting Habits

Aaron Fraser Pass shares advice to break out of bad habits that affect many waterfowlers.

DU-TV Tip: Shoot Decoying Birds

DU-TV's Wade Bourne identifies the best tactics for shooting decoying ducks from several angles, and how to practice these shots at the range.

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