Many people, during a flush of pheasants or when a covey of partridges bursts over a hedgerow, forget that they can move. People come to me saying they are fine shooting birds over their heads but struggle with crossers. Apart from the obvious requirement of establishing the correct lead and line, the next most common fault to shooting these birds is footwork, or lack of it.
At Lady’s Wood, as with any other good game shooting school, we have the facilities to teach Guns the correct way to move on the peg. This is greatly aided by the lack of shooting cages. On our small and high towers we can simulate birds from all manner of different heights, speeds, angles and distances which all equate to you the gun, being better prepared for the peg.
When a bird presents itself to either your left or right you must step toward it with your leading foot and step far enough around so your shoulders and leading foot are pointing towards the place you wish to shoot it. Easier said than done.
A good way to practise this away from the shooting school is during your five-minute pre-shoot drills. You can step to alternate sides from the central position of being angled to the corner the room and step, mount and swing — with the swing following the line of where the ceiling meets the wall. Timing of the step, mount and swing is very important and will take some practice. Though the drills at home are good, there is no substitute for being guided through the process by an experienced game coach.
If you don't place your feet correctly, you will struggle to step into the swing.
Your leading foot and shoulders should point toward your target.