No hunter likes to waste a cartridge. Each wasted cartridge indicates that a target got away intact. Ducks can be difficult targets, so I’m going to give you some hunting tips on improving your shot and saving a few cartridges along the way!
Practice in the off Season
Don’t spend the off season doing nothing but exaggerating last season’s hit rate! If you do, then, come open season, you’ll find that your shot has got rusty and you’re hitting nothing but thin air.
Instead, make sure that you keep your shooting eye in shape by taking a few trips to shoot sporting clays. Try and use those stations which simulate duck hunting e.g. incoming and crossing patterns.
Come the first day of hunting season you’ll thank me!
A fitted shotgun is much like a fitted suit, once it’s on it feels amazing.
A shotgun bought straight off the shelf may look amazing, but if it doesn’t match your physique then you’ll find it’s harder to swing and harder to aim.
I recommend that once you buy a shotgun, you ask the gunsmith to tailor the stock fit your shoulder like it’s been there all your life. Remember: the more comfortable you are, the better your shot will be.
One of the best duck hunting tips I can give you is to not panic when you see a duck racing away.
Pulling the trigger as soon as you can is only going to waste ammo.
Take a deep breath, concentrate on the task in hand and make sure you’ve perfected your aim before squeezing the trigger calmly.
You’ll be amazed at the difference a composed attitude makes.
Don’t Use Steel Shots for Distance Shooting
Steel shots are pretty damn effective when shooting over decoys, but anything over 35 yards and you’re going to struggle to even clip a wing.
If you want something that’s effective over distance then ideally you want to look at non-toxic alternatives e.g. Hevi-Shot, Tungsten and Bismuth.
I find these just as good as, if not better than, the old standard (but now banned) lead shot.
Keep on Swinging!
What’s important in the following manly pursuits: Kicking a football, hitting a golf ball and throwing a punch?
You have to follow through or your action loses most of its effectiveness.
Shooting ducks is no different, so make sure you keep that shotgun swinging after you’ve fired to get the perfect shot.
One of the best duck hunting tips, no scratch that, one of the best bird hunting tips I can give you is to never shoot randomly into a flock and hope you hit something.
You need to aim at one bird in particular.
I tend to shoot at a trailing duck first as, regardless of whether you hit it or not, you’re likely to have your gun in the right position for any flaring birds.