Do the soft shoe shuf­fle…

Sporting Gun - - SHOOTING ANSWERS -

QI can’t con­nect with driven birds once they’ve passed over­head. Can you give me some tips on how to shoot them be­hind?

John says: Some peo­ple would say that any bird that makes it over the Gun line has beaten you and should be left to fly an­other day.

I can see the sport­ing rea­sons be­hind this, but what it doesn’t take into ac­count are those birds that have been pricked, and which might es­cape the pick­ers-up and their dogs if not found quickly. As such you need to know how to take a sec­ond shot when the sit­u­a­tion presents it­self.

Oddly enough, it isn’t as dif­fi­cult as you think – in fact it’s a pretty straightfor­ward shot ap­proached the right way.

The key is be­ing able to dis­mount the gun and, with the muz­zles track­ing the bird, turn smoothly in the direction of its line of flight by mov­ing your feet. Done cor­rectly the gun will come to bear un­der the line of the bird (ie in front) en­sur­ing that you stay ahead of the tar­get as you bring the stock to your shoul­der again.

How­ever, the bar­rels now need to be mov­ing in a down­ward direction to keep in front of the bird’s beak so, when you com­plete the turn, have the weight on your back foot. Trans­fer­ring your weight to the lead­ing leg as you mount the gun moves the muz­zles in the right direction and en­sures you stay ahead, re­duc­ing the chances of miss­ing be­hind.

As ever with shoot­ing, tim­ing is ev­ery­thing. Don’t dwell on pulling the trig­ger when the stock has been re-mounted be­cause the longer you leave this bird, the harder it be­comes as the dis­tance in­creases.

The turn, weight shift and re-mount can be per­fected with a bit of dry mount­ing prac­tice at home.

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