How and When to Take Doubles

Shooting doubles can surely be rewarding, but it can also be a great challenge for hunters. The real risks of taking this challenge is chasing away the rest of the birds and going home with empty hands.

So, when taking doubles on waterfowl, hunters should be aware of two major facts:

How to take a double?

Taking a double can be a shot in the unknown. However, there is a technique that hunters should try and the best start is to aim for the first shot from a good position that allows the hunter to make the next shot. Hunters should start lower, taking the first shot at the bottom of the flock and then head up if they have a chance to take a second shot. This move from a lower position to higher position should come naturally because it’s quite easier to move the gun up on the next shot towards a bird that is visible instead of lowering the gun which can block the sight when taking the second shot. Hunters can face another situation as well: taking the first shot at a bird in the back, making the rest of the birds come closer to the hunter’s visible area and then heading for a second shot. Also, when decoys are intertwined with crossing ducks, taking a shot at the back can allow the hunter to take a second shot immediately at one of the leading birds because moving a gun in the same direction should be easy to handle. Using clay targets also helps in improving your double technique – if you are already good in shooting single clay targets, next time try taking a double: right after you break one clay bird, try to focus on the biggest piece of broken clay and make that piece your second target. This technique is fun to practice and will surely improve your shooting focus with time.

When to take a double?

Taking a double should not be practiced by hunters at all costs. Sometimes, they take two birds down, but they end up going home empty because both birds have fallen down into the water. Therefore, taking a double should not be just about hunting down two birds, it’s really more than that, it’s an adventure that should be enjoyed to the fullest. Experienced hunters play slowly and cautiously – they move from one shot to the next with actual proof of their hunting success, they see the first bird falling down in front of them and then move to the next. Location is also a major factor that decides whether hunters should take the second shot. Most hunters prefer to take a double on harvested grainfields, especially when they are covered with snow because it’s easy to find the birds that they have taken down. However, this is not the case when hunters go to marshes where the vegetation is lush and fallen birds can’t be found quickly and can be taken away by the river in just seconds. In such situations, retrievers come in handy because they are fast in picking up the dead birds for you. If you are hunting together with a partner, make arrangements beforehand so you know where to aim and whether to take a double.


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