Tips to Help You to Shoot Doves With More Accuracy
Hunting foul is a challenge, particularly for beginners as they must learn how to adjust their aim and stance to anticipate where the bird will be after the shot is fired. The good news is that there are some tried-and-true techniques that can put shooters ahead of the learning curve, get more hits and waste less ammunition. Let’s take a look at how shooting doves in particular can help to become more proficient when it comes to hunting all sorts of foul.
Anticipate the Flight Path
The first rule of thumb to follow is to try and predict where the dove will be flying a couple of seconds after you fire the shotgun. Doves are very fast, and if you take aim and shoot when they are dead in your sights, chances are that the bird will be long gone before the shot reaches them. The trick is to guess where the bird will be once the shot intercepts their flight path. The good news is that most birds don’t do a lot of aerial acrobatics if they do not perceive a threat.
Consequently, positioning the shot a few yards ahead of the bird’s flight path is key to having the shot intercept them instead of missing. The same applies if you are aiming for a bird that flies overhead and away from you. Aim the gun below the bird in order to have the shot end up in front of it as it flies away. If the bird is coming toward you, shoot at a point where you think the shot will intercept its flight path as well. All of these tricks will take a little bit of practice and experimentation, but it won’t take long to get a sense of where to aim and when to pull the trigger.
Use Large Shot
Larger pellets have more range, provide more lethal coverage over a wider area and tend to produce fewer holes once you get a kill. This makes cleaning the bird easier after it is retrieved. This rule applies to birds that are at close range, as smaller shot can shred the bird to pieces. When shooting birds further away, smaller shot tends to lose energy and produce minimal damage to the bird. Smaller shot may simply fall out of range before impacting the bird as well.
Work on Your Stance
Experienced shooters agree that you have a better chance of scoring more hits than misses if your feet are firmly planted on the ground. This gives you more balance and control, particularly once you pull the trigger and your body absorbs the recoil from the shotgun. Try to stand on level ground whenever possible, and keep your feet flat. You also want to lean slightly forward and maintain a good, balanced posture when shooting as well. The more balanced and anchored to the ground you are will translate into more control over the direction that your shot takes.
Focus on the Mount
With other guns, the rule of thumb is to focus on the sights and how you handle the trigger. With a shotgun, particularly when targeting doves, you want to focus on the mount. The mount is simply how you position the gun before firing. There is no such thing as a universal, perfect mount, as each shooter is different. However, there are some fundamentals to follow. First, you want the butt of the gun to be planted in the soft spot between your shoulder and your upper chest. Next, look out at the sight or the end of the barrel, and make sure that it’s pointed at where you want the shot to go. Slightly pull out the gun from the shoulder pocket without moving the barrel from it’s angle.
Coupled with having a good stance and predicting where the dove will be a few seconds down the line, and you are in the right position to have more successful hits than misses. Just remember that these are just basic guidelines, but you will also enhance these with your own sense of comfort and “feel” as you become more proficient. However, using these principles should help you to become more proficient in less time. Try them for yourself, and see why getting the hang of these fundamentals is so important to having a successful hunt.