Every once in a while, we run into days in the fields where we wish we could redo them. Sometimes those days are more frequent than we would like to admit. Here are five essential skills in wingshooting that us waterfowlers should master to successfully shoot ducks and geese.
Short leads are used in upland hunting where waterfowl hunting requires longer ones. When you start the gun ahead of the birds, it allows your swing to be much more controlled. This action will also make it seem like the bird is flying slower. You want to focus on the bird’s bill and match its speed with your gun.
Learn to Shoot Sitting Down
When you’re hunting for waterfowl, you can find yourself in all kinds of positions. Some like to hunt in layout blinds or some hunt standing with their feet stuck in the mud. This requires you to learn to shoot with very limited amount of footwork. When you set out your blinds and decoys you should consider your range of motion. When you learn to shoot from a sitting position, you can try to move your whole body simply by pushing with your feet and swinging those knees instead of just twisting your upper body. This increases the range of motion that your body is going to learn and adapt to.
Us waterfowlers usually have to wait for the bird to come into range before shooting. This takes some experience, patience, and resolve. You don’t just want to base the range and distance of the bird by their size. You can set your decoys to mark the range. This will help you determine if the birds are indeed close enough. It also helps you to look for distinguishing features like the color and shape of the bird’s feathers.
When you want to hit descending birds, you’ll want to keep the muzzle below the bird so you can keep an eye on the target; while overhead and flushing shots are exceptions. You’ll cover the waterfowl with the barrel when the ducks jump up from the water in front of your position or when they fly directly over you.
Keep an Eye on the Little Things
We all seem to forget the minor details that can affect our shooting. You need to learn to overcome cold fingers, bulky clothes that can snag the gun, and heavy recoil. The minor details add to the challenge, but they make the challenge worth it.