Wing Shooting Articles
Waterfowl hunters are often prone to running streaks of missed or fringe hit birds. In almost every case the problem can be traced back to some element of a broken down self reliance system, or basically a general lack of one’s own ability to hit that drake mallard floating over the decoy spread with it’s feet down. There are steps that you can take to overcome some of the creeping mental crud factors as I like to call them, and one big element is taking up your shooting position with care each day in the field or blind.
The FABARM Lion Paradox with the rifled lower barrel is the hottest new product idea on the birdgun market today. Could this be your secret weapon against game birds next season? You owe it to your dog to check it out. After all, more short retrieves and fewer birds that have to be fetched with a spoon are benefits not to be lightly dismissed.
Many years ago, I spent many happy hours hunting ducks and geese on the Solway Firth in Scotland. During a lull in the activity (somewhere in between fumbling with the top of a Thermos flask with frozen fingers and nudging the dog to make sure it hadn’t succumbed to the freezing temperatures), I would absentmindedly watch the huge flocks of Barnacle and Pink-foot geese flying in to the feeding grounds in the early morning. I have often seen the lead gander, buffeted mercilessly by a strong offshore headwind, drop back and change places with the next in command as he tires. So what have Scottish geese and French guys on bikes got to do with shooting? Something known as shot-string effect.
Short range targets -- and pen raised quail, grouse, woodcock and skeet stations #1 low house, #7 high house and #8 high and low houses come immediately to mind -- present a different kind of challenge. They come closest to typifying the kind of hunting we get today with more preserve shooting and with better trained, closer working dogs. We are all seeing -- and taking -- more close range shots.
The first broad exposure most American bird hunters had to good quality wood on a production shotgun came when the Parker Reproduction was introduced in 1984. We also got our first real look at California Claro Walnut. The wood on most of these Parker Reproductions was highly finished "3 Star" (a mid-range grade generally defined as one side, Very Good, one side Good) California Claro walnut. It was beautifully fitted and finished with meticulous Japanese craftsmanship and Italian leather-cased for perfection.
OK, listen up. Firearm safety doesn’t end with proper firearm handling and care. It also includes hearing protection. This means wearing earplugs or earmuffs whenever you shoot a rifle, shotgun or pistol. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 10 million Americans have already suffered irreversible damage from noise, and 30 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day. An extreme noise, like the firing of a shotgun experienced at close range, can permanently damage your hearing in an instant. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noise-induced hearing loss can result from one-time exposure to a loud sound like gunfire, and it can also be caused by repeated exposure to harmful sounds over an extended period of time. Just ask any hunter over 50 who has not worn hearing protection!
Sporting Clays is a challenging clay target game designed to simulate field shooting. On a Sporting Clays course, shooters are presented with a wide variety of targets that duplicate the flight path of game birds, such as flushing, crossing, incoming and other angling shots.
Without a doubt, the twentieth century ushered in the "Golden Age" of shotgun development. Small gauge shotshells -- and the small-framed guns to use them -- came of age- Charles Parker invented the 28 gauge. The legendary Moder 1912 Winchester was offered first in 20 gauge. Double gun makers from England and Europe competed with American makers to offer the greatest selection of side-by-side shotguns in history. In Europe, live pigeon shooters pioneered the use of ultra high performance 12 gauge ammunition and heavy guns to handle it. The legends of Parker, Ithaca, LC. Smith, Fox, Lefever, Iver Johnson, Remington, Baker, Stevens and many others were born and live on in gun cabinets of fortunate hunters and -- routinely perform their assigned tasks magnificently every fall.
Squads of five shooters fire from each of eight shooting stations arranged around a semi-circle. There is no guesswork as to which house the target will come from and what path it will take. The high house target starts from a point 10-feet above the ground and the low house target from a point up to 3-feet above the ground.
Most waterfowl hunters look with great anticipation at the projected fall flight of ducks, crossing their fingers every year that this may be the one in which we achieve the North American Waterfowl Management Plan’s goal of 100 million birds.