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Brewster11
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:16 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 708
Location: Western WA

As some readers here may have noticed, I have been engaged in a long quest to improve my trap shooting. With thanks to the many here who offered their tips and pointers, my trap shooting improved to where I shoot in the 90s and generally keep up with the better shooters at the club.

Now a different problem has emerged: I can no longer hit anything in the field. It seems not only a problem with the mount and swing, there appears also to be a difference in my eye picture as well between trap and field. What worked on the trap range does not work in the field for me.

Experienced hands have advised me to shoot trap with low gun, safety on until I see the bird. That seems to help but then whats the point of regulation trap shooting for me any more?

I must be doing something wrong somewhere, but what?

TIA
B.
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putz463
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:27 am  Reply with quote
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Glad the Trap scores are improving. I agree with the experienced hands suggestion... low gun don't move the gun until the bird is in focus then move the gun to the bird.

"what's the point..." What do you want to do? Be a better Trap shooter or better hunter or both? IMO; high gun/pre-mount target shooting and field hunting are two very different activities and need to be practiced individually. Also, the adrenaline rush of field hunting is rarely a factor in target shooting.

FWIW; I practice (always shoot Skeet, 5 Stand and SC low gun) goal to keep my hunting reflexes and gun timing in tune, not to be the worlds best clay game shooter. I console by thinking; if I hit 4 out of every 5 (real) birds or bunnys I ever raise a gun to I'm good with that. The only pre mount game I play is Trap. But even then, soft focus, move the gun to the bird etc... I see the difference being in the pre mount vs low gun timing/movement + add some hunt adrenaline.

Could be a gun fit issue as well; does your club have a pattern plate/board? If so, try some snap shooting at the plate and see where the gun is shooting relative to where you're looking. Might be an eye opener.

Hope this helps, best of luck with it

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MSM2019
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:05 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Mar 2019
Posts: 355
Location: Central Connecticut

If you want to be a better field shot you need to shoot more live birds.

Clay targets are OK for keeping a nice smooth mount but that is about where it ends. Clay targets are usually a lot faster than upland birds on the rise.

Most game birds especially when pointed by a dog are actually a lot slower than most folks think. This includes ALL upland birds on the rise, Shoot a lot of clay targets and I will bet you will over lead game birds every time.

Crow hunting, pigeons and blackbirds are great practice for hunting, a whole lot better than any clay target game........and I shoot a fair amount of sporting clays and FITASC, so I am definitely not against breaking clay targets every chance I get. Just don't think it is all that helpful when shooting live birds.

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Charles Hammack
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:50 am  Reply with quote
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Location: Central Missouri

Hello Brewster:

Correct me if I am wrong , we have visited once long ago on the phone perhaps ?

What everyone has said is spot on and correct but how about a little background info first ?

Are you athletically inclined ? Height ? Weight ? Cuff length ? Build ? Are you one eye dominant ? Correct eye to gun orientation ? Length of pull on both types of shotguns ?

Lots of factors , I can tell by some of your responses alot of what's going on!

I am really leaning towards going back to shooting competition trap again with the 16, I can tell you it is a whole lot harder to become a really good game shot than it is to become a good trapshooter, structured games are a whole lot easier than live birds ever though being.

I shot trap to be in the money for all those years , I was a lousy game shot except those things that mimics shots at trap , pass shooting was easy for me , swing and keep swinging ( dove , ducks , geese etc ) but quail in cover and such that was another thing , I sucked at it big time .

Ole Ben Felton is the reason that I am one hell of a game shot today and can use double triggers , now ole Ben was not the best of game shots , good but not the best mind you , but he knew how it was supposed to be done and could teach it . 🤗.

If you would be kind enough to give some data ? Perhaps we might work you through it !

Best regards Nick

PS

I learned to shoot trap in the hopes of learning to not be the last guy on the totem pole at the family quail hunts , got better after I could break a 100 straight at trap but not a whole lot in cover. Different types shooting and mindset.


Last edited by Charles Hammack on Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cold Iron
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:53 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Mar 2016
Posts: 440
Location: Mn.

Brewster11 wrote:

Experienced hands have advised me to shoot trap with low gun, safety on until I see the bird. That seems to help but then whats the point of regulation trap shooting for me any more?

I must be doing something wrong somewhere, but what?

Is your trap gun setup for a high POI? And if so are you shooting the same gun on game as trap? Some can switch back and forth, Mike Campbell who used to post on here could, he deleted all of his posts awhile back and wish he wouldn't have. He had a lot of good ones. My youngest son can switch between high POI and flat shooting guns. I can not.

I used to shoot high POI for trap and setup my field guns to do the same. And could shoot pheasants and most other game birds fine. Except for ruff grouse. You don't get a chance to "float" grouse, heck most of the time you are shooting at a blur and shadows. Eventually I stopped shooting registered trap in fact all trap, and went to my 16 ga. guns for grouse which are all flat shooting. And my shot to harvest ratio is the highest it has ever been last couple of years. Did I mention I stopped shooting trap?

When you say regulation trap are you talking registered birds for ATA? Or given your location maybe PITA? You said your in the 90's now and it takes a 90 average on registered birds just to get out of the basement.

16 Yard Classes
AAA 98% and up
AA 96.25 & under 98%
A 94.75 & under 96.25%
B 93% & under 94.75%
C 90% & under 93%
D Under 90%

I really doubt that you could get to A class or better shooting low gun with the safety on. If you are trying to advance in class there is no sense paying for registered targets if you aren't going to premount. It is hard enough to make AAA27AAA as it is. Sounds like you already figured that out. Most AA or better trap shooters that I know will not shoot any other shotgun venue because they feel it messes up their trapshooting.

Clays are always slowing down once they leave the trap. Live birds are usually speeding up once they flush. But shooting clays does help you focus on the bird and become a better shot, usually. I find trap the least helpful and in my case detrimental to hunting live birds. For skeet I use the Todd Bender sustained lead method and shot it so much that eventually I couldn't do swing through at will anymore and had to pay an instructor to get me back to it. I prefer skeet over trap but always have.

Sporting Clays or 5 stand is by FAR the best at helping shooting better at game birds IMO. But where I live it is a heck of a drive to most courses. But worth it. For me.
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tramroad28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:37 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 539
Location: Ohio..where ruffed grouse were

Never heard of AAA in Trap...it's good to learn.

Apart from fundamental shotgun POI and balance differences twixt field and trap guns, I have found that, for me, most clays negatively affect field shooting due to the greater speed of gun to bird possible at clays with many games, Trap handicap or 16s included. Speed is seldom needed, as much as is imagined, with most game birds...ruffed grouse included.
We all manage super speed and strength enough in the real world, imo.

I would consider registered Trap or SCs to both be poor practice re afield.
Low gun, informal Skeet, if available, to be the best practice and, the most affordable in time and $$$s to boot.

Really, to me, clays practice is best for simple gun familiarization....as regards target presentation...not so much. sounds good and all but, not so much.
Clays be fun but widely overrated as regards gamebird improvement...far too many variables enter into a field shot.

Whatever you choose...get a grin out of it and consider the job well enough done.
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16'er
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:49 am  Reply with quote
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Probably going to need to 'un-learn' some habits from trap shooting. I've recommended this title several times on this site...

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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:09 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 1420
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

Brewester11,

The men are giving you some good advise, I will add this to it. Most times a hunter is beaten by the birds he wants to shoot by not setting up correctly to gun the bird. This is especially true when gunning Grouse. Keeping your eyes on the flying bird or birds and smoothy mounting your gun on uneven footing is critical to making a good shot on a flying bird.

Even with starting at the gun down, and safe on position, you are not walking in the field or forest. When you are out hunting, practice stopping on uneven ground and smoothly mounting your gun. You must be able to accomplish this without taking your eyes off the bird in flight, especially if you want to be a seriously good Grouse gunner. Remember also live birds do not fly in a straight line, most of the time, as clays do.

The good thing about shooting clays is it gives you good hand to eye coordination and helps with your muscle reflex memory. When you are gunning birds correctly all this becomes automatic and you shoot the bird before you even realize what is going on.
Many Trap shooters are not always good live bird shooters, especially in the forest.

Ken Davies and Bill Buehner were two of the best live bird shooters who ever lived, Ken's book on gunning is one of the best ever published. Having walked in the woods Grouse hunting with both men, when they spoke about gunning birds you listened closely. George Ryman may have been the only live bird gunner that was in reality their equal, especially in the Grouse woods.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man


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bobski
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:51 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 18 Feb 2018
Posts: 618
Location: va, ct, mo

shoot skeet to improve your field work.

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Hootch
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:17 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 1382
Location: Eagle, Nebraska

I don't shoot trap, have shot it 3 times in my life. But I shoot sporting clays at least once a week in spring through start of bird season. I do not mount the gun until I see the bird, don't care if its a tournament or just shooting for my enjoyment. I shoot clays only to practice for bird season.

Hammack pretty much said it all. Any clays game not same as shooting birds.
Early season I am shooting doves as much as possible and right into teal season.

By pheasant/qual season, I am usually in good shape.

My experience, maybe not yours, most of misses are due to gun mount. Sporting clays at the least is good practice for that, and a good station makes you swing through.
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bobski
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:31 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 18 Feb 2018
Posts: 618
Location: va, ct, mo

.......the Todd Bender sustained lead method .................

todd bender did not invent sustained leads and I refuse it wherever is see it mentioned.
take no offense personally.

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John Singer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:57 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
Posts: 300
Location: Rochester, MN

The clay target games, trap, skeet, and sporting clays were all developed to allow hunters to develop and maintain their wing shooting in the off season.

As trap is the oldest game and traces its origins to the time of muzzleloading and flintlock guns, it was probably always shot with premounted guns.

Both skeet and sporting clays started with low gun mounts. However, at least in the US, the rules have been changed so that people can shoot higher scores.

Trap is the most common game in the US. It is the least expensive game in terms of capital outlay. It is also the game that has been most analyzed and the guns most specialized for optimizing scores. Also, at some clubs, the trap shooters are the most anal retentive shooters you will ever meet. Some of them do not want to shoot on a squad with you if you miss too many targets.

Think about this, what other form of shooting has shooters wearing blinders or using a release trigger.

Would any of you hunt with someone with blinders or a release trigger??????

I have always felt that skeet and sporting clays have more to teach wing shooters than trap does. As others have stated, it is best to shoot these games from a low gun position. I do not hunt with people who walk through the uplands or sit in a duck blind with a premounted gun.

When I shoot in the off season, I much prefer skeet and sporting clays. I shoot them from a low gun mount. I am not particularly concerned about my scores.

The best and fastest game shooters that I have ever met were skeet shooters.

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Riflemeister
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:24 pm  Reply with quote
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I shoot just about any clay target game, but mainly skeet and trap. I think the best clay target presentation for a bird hunter with pointing dogs is Wobble Trap with the thrower housed underneath the shooter, Second best is probably your own thrower and working on presentations that give you problems. Sporting clays doesn't offer many shots that replicate the flight of any bird I've ever hunted, and although definitely challenging, doesn't help that much with my bird hunting.

A couple of years ago I attended an Orvis Wingshooting School up near Chicago on my way out west for my fall bird hunting trip. They teach the instinctive method with a lot of references to Churchill. I found a lot of the info very useful, especially the high pre-mount position that eliminates a lot of excessive gun movement during the mount. The school emphasizes gun fit and a smooth mount to the bird. I'm still a work in progress, but on the days it's all working for me it's almost magical.

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MSM2019
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:25 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Mar 2019
Posts: 355
Location: Central Connecticut

Plenty of skeet shooters use release triggers and I know of a few Sporting Clays shooters that use them. Not really a big deal.

Skeet shooters aren't much compared to some of the FITASC and Sporting Clays shooters........but none of that makes you a great wing shooter.

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John Singer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:44 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
Posts: 300
Location: Rochester, MN

MSM2019 wrote:
Plenty of skeet shooters use release triggers and I know of a few Sporting Clays shooters that use them.


I stand corrected here.

I did not realize that release triggers were used in skeet and sporting clays.

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