With my first Game day fast approaching I have spent the weekend practising in preparation of the big day. Not only have I been focusing on my driven shooting but I have also been practising my gun down technique.
Having only ever been a clay shooter I am used to mounting my gun in preparation of the clay release however this style of shooting is inappropriate for a Game day with birds that have a mind of their own.
There’s no calling ‘Pull’ with a pheasant!!
The toughest part of the gun down technique is getting the lead right as so much less seems to be needed due to you having a better swing when bringing the gun up to your shoulder. However, after a couple of tries I eventually got the hang of it and I was smashing clays I never dreamed I would be able to hit!
I spent more time than I would usually of liked on the High Towers. These have always been my nemesis and I usually try my best to avoid these at all costs! However, with most of my Game days being driven pheasant days I had to get some proper practise in. I was pleasantly surprised with how well I did, but I definitely think I need to get a bit more practise in on these before my Game season officially starts. The 120ft High Tower at Lady’s Wood Shooting School is one of the best to practise on!
As with anything; if you don’t keep practising you will never get better. Olympians don’t become Olympian’s overnight, a lot of hard work and practise is what is needed. I have gradually started to notice a huge improvement in my shooting after many months of feeling like I was getting nowhere. At times I felt like I was going backwards in my shooting! Apparently this is quite common and I had a lot of lovely people tell me it ‘happens to us all’ and to not give up; but when it happens to you it is really hard to stay committed and positive.
My advice would be to keep on practising as much as you can manage and never give up. If you have a bad day, pick yourself up, drink a sloe gin or two, and come back fighting the next day.
Practise makes perfect – just maybe not straight away!
Check out the videos in the sidebar from my recent practise round at Royal Berkshire Shooting School.