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I noticed something.........again


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Shot a few rounds of skeet yesterday. While I am fairly new to skeet on any sort of an "official" course and my scores were only fair I did notice something. All my hits came as though I was not trying. Mount gun, pick up bird, swing, shoot, POOF no more bird. The misses were like a mini step by step procedure being played in my head, in other words I was thinking about what to do but not necessarily doing it. The hits were like all I remember is the bird breaking. I have experienced this while shooting practically everything and in particular while hunting. It also seems like most of my missed whether with handgun or long gun come when I take too long, and that my be different with long range precision type shooting which I have done very little of. What does this possibly tell about my shooting? On the skeet range more misses came when I took longer to shoot (followed the clay longer before shooting) I did well on doubles, and the last two positions, all of which required picking up the bird fast. The same has been for the times when I have shot a good stage at a match. Love to hear your thoughts!

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To me it tells me tht your instincts are on the money but your trying to over complicate the shot.

I have only shot trap when it comes to clays but I'm diffrent than most of the people with their expensive over unordered and I show up with a 26" versamax set up for 3 gun with an 11 rnd tube. I don't know where the clay is gong to come out. I don't have a fast enough reaction to see the clay and shoot it like a lot of people do. I'm better when I swing and take the shot when I feel comfortable with it.

Until today this became a problem when the shot got longer out I was iffy of breaking the clay. Well I had been shooting with a mod choke. And decidedly that since I had the range to myself that I was going to start to choke up. Shot a round with mod, 2 round with imp mod and 2 round with a full choke. One thing I realized was that after my first round with the tighter chokes my scores didn't drop. I was still shooting 23-24 out of 25 with the full choke. I never missed the far shot because I had the pattern now I just wasn't as good with the quick point and shoot shots.

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Hello: I was having trouble shooting the birds and taking too long. I had a couple of guys that tried to help me but with not much success. I could shoot steel and real birds with not much problem. The problem was with me taking my time to judge the shot. I then had a friend come out and give me some tips. The best thing he told me was "hit the bird". Simple but it worked. If I wait and judge the shot and leed I will miss it most times. If I just get on the shot I do much better. I shoot low ready just as well as a shouldered gun. Another thing that is helping me is figuring out the point to break the shot or break point. It has stopped me from following the bird and missing the shot. Using tighter chokes has helped me as well in trap. If I miss it is not the chokes fault. Besides the dust looks great :cheers: Remember "Hit the Bird" Thanks, Eric

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Shooting clays, wether it be trap, skeet, or sporting clays is all about seeing the bird clearly. Like REALLY focusing.

When you say it was as if you werent trying, I have a feeling that the reality was that you were focused on the bird, and your subconcious took care of the rest. You know exactly how to break the bird every time, its just a matter of not letting your concious mind get in the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Exactly! Shoot it!

One reason people miss when they "think" or "aim" is that they try to change their eye's focus from near (bead) to far (bird). The gun basically stops when one does this. Try it by tracking a bird flying through your yard with your outstretched finger. First, you never miss with your finger, do you? Your innate eye-hand coordination is perfect for tracking the bird with your finger. Now, switch your focus between your finger and the bird and you'll see your finger falls behind the flight of the bird. The guys at Orvis Sandanona showed me this and it really made sense to me.

If you substitute a well-fitted shotgun for your finger, your eye-hand coordination works great. If you try to aim, you'll be lucky if you hit the target.

Welcome to the Zen of Clays! I'm just starting to get there and it's pretty cool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Even tough this is an entirely different sport I have noticed while mountain biking, that I if I am out riding and thinking about my lines and cleaning a tough section of trail I often will mess up. Miss my line, lose the front end etc. But while chasing someone down, looking for a place pass or riding to stay ahead of someone I will hit my lines, clean the difficult spots and basically ride MUCH better. All of this is done without thinking about it and reacting to the present trail and trail conditions

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