Sporting Gun - - Instruction Duck Tactics -

The fifth clay, a float­ing crosser com­ing from left-to-right, was in­tended to look like a duck scout­ing or skirt­ing the edge of a pond. Gra­ham’s ad­vice: “This isn’t a quick tar­get and us­ing a gen­tle pull-away on this clay should work well. Most de­coyed duck at dusk are shot at fairly close range.”

“Rou­tine is one of the vi­tal as­pects of be­com­ing a good Shot”

So, did Gra­ham’s range of clays and ad­vice work? Jeremy and Gi­a­como, ac­com­pa­nied by game­keeper Bill Smith, headed for their pond with the sun not quite start­ing to sink. Jeremy had some ex­cel­lent rub­ber de­coy ducks that were hol­low with an open, weighted ring in their bases. When dropped on the pond they filled with air to form a full- bod­ied de­coy that floated mer­rily on the wa­ter. They folded flat when not in use. With the de­coys de­ployed, it was time to set up in the hides and wait to see what dusk brought. Flights of cor­morants and some geese passed in the dis­tance and three mal­lard that had risen when they ar­rived wheeled high over­head. Dusk came and the birds were late ar­riv­ing. Fi­nally they came, flick­er­ing in the half light. Gi­a­como scored a teal and mal­lard, Jeremy a teal, some sin­gle mal­lard and the fi­nale of two shots fol­lowed by two thumps in the dark­ness — a fine left and right at mal­lard. For novices, their first out­ing to a flight­pond can be daunt­ing. The dark­ness and un­fa­mil­iar­ity is un­set­tling. It is im­por­tant to know ex­actly where other Guns and their hides are for safety rea­sons. Also, dress ac­cord­ing to the weather and, as Gra­ham ad­vises, if pos­si­ble prac­tise at a clay ground and don’t rush your shots.

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