By Montana Grant

Posted: August 2, 2018

Shotgun shooting is a year around sport. Practicing now will make you a better hunter in the fall. Here are some tips to improve your shot gunning skills.

First, use a shotgun that fits you properly. Remember that a shotgun is meant to be pointed and not aimed when shooting clays and birds. Have a trained gunsmith help fit your favorite gun. It should fit your shoulder perfectly and give you a flat view down the barrel. The stock length, weight, and a vent rib will help you point the gun consistently. Not every gun is created equally. A stock that is too long or short will make accuracy poor.

Vent ribs create a flat and smooth sighting plane. Now I know I just said that you don’t aim the shotgun but our brains can recognize more than one thing without thinking. Place a bright sight pin at the end of the barrel. I prefer high vis neon green. I also place a small pin midway down the barrel. When these two appear as one, you are dead on. Vent ribs also distribute heat. After a lot of shooting or on warm days, your barrel will show waves or blurred vision due to heat waves. Plain barrels will be affected more.

Recoil pads make shooting more comfortable. These pads help most when shooting a lot during skeet, trap, or sporting clays. They also help when shooting heavy waterfowl loads or slugs. Hunters tend to flinch when they have a sore shoulder or are afraid of a strong recoil. You can also wear shirts, vests, or coats that have recoil pads sewed into them.

Shooting Glasses are great protection for your eyes but also improve your sight picture. If you can’t see it, you will miss. In low light conditions use a vermillion or yellow shooting lens. This will gather light and improve definition of your target. These are also great when hunting and looking for movement or details of deer or your game. Eyesight is often the first thing to go as we age. Marksmanship is all about eyesight.

Shoot safe and smart!

Montana Grant

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