A guide to walked-up shooting
PUBLISHED: 17:29 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:29 21 September 2017
Bite-sized tips and techniques to ensure you make every shot count when walking-up birds or rough shooting
• 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!
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.
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.
• 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!