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A guide to walked-up shooting

PUBLISHED: 17:29 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:29 21 September 2017

A mixture of cover is often worked on walked-up days

A mixture of cover is often worked on walked-up days

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Bite-sized tips and techniques to ensure you make every shot count when walking-up birds or rough shooting

... sometimes a mixture of breeds works vey well... sometimes a mixture of breeds works vey well

PRACTICE

• Before heading out to the countryside it’s useful to practise on going away targets at a local clay ground (a normal range for shooting a going away bird is 20-40m in front).

• Start stationary behind the trap when practising, either a little to the left or right. Gain confidence on both sideward angles by increasing the angle gradually on both sides, and vertically if you are able to do so.

• Practise a good start position and do not shoot with the ‘wrong’ foot forward.

• Always practise safe gun hold and walk with your gun broken, with your muzzle either up or down… nowhere in between!

Half way through the mount, pushing forward with the front hand and moving with the bird, keep it in view on the barrelsHalf way through the mount, pushing forward with the front hand and moving with the bird, keep it in view on the barrels

TAKING THE SHOT

• Move with the bird by pushing forward with the front hand when halfway through the mount.

• Don’t make the mistake of aiming for the bird – shotgun shooting is instinctive.

• Try and shoot quickly and ensure you make every shot count.

• Keep all shots safe – the shot fallout can travel up to 300m.

• Do not take a shot if you are off balance, it’s important to remain sure-footed.

• Remember to keep the gun moving after you’ve fired.

Your cheek needs to be firmly in contact throughout the shot and follow through.....Your cheek needs to be firmly in contact throughout the shot and follow through.....

GETTING IT RIGHT

• You will be disadvantaged if starting with the gun at ‘high port’.

• Wherever you look, the muzzle should go; keep the muzzles low so you can look across them to where you expect to see the bird.

• Apply some lead just before you fire, depending on the angle and speed. If the bird is at a wider angle, more lateral lead is needed.

• The longer you take to get into position and mount, the further away your bird will get, possibly putting you out effective range.

FIELD TIPS

• Keep the rules of the countryside in mind at all times.

• Walked-up shooting can be a long day – ensure you are fit enough!

• Take enough cartridges for the day and pick up empty ones.

• Always climb over the hinge end of farmers’ gates, and do not climb on the wire of a high tensile fence – look for a safe place where you won’t damage it.

• Keep in mind you may have a dog with you, so sit him where he can’t accidently knock over the gun when crossing an obstacle, and always have your gun unloaded and keep muzzle aware.

• Try to travel light but come prepared for anything – a good game bag is essential!

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