With that said just try to remember this: When planning and shooting pairs of clays, you almost ALWAYS have more time than you think. What we need to do as be as efficient as possible in the ‘beginning’ and ‘middle’ of the shot, so we have the valuable time to kill each target. When I watch many shooters, they start moving the gun too late, then move the gun rapidly to engage the first bird, then look for their results, then search for the second bird, and slash the gun at it. Basically, because of poor efficiency and lack of planning, they are forced to shoot very quickly because they have wasted too much valuable time. So let’s break this down….
First, the shooter needs to be EAGER to see the bird, and in almost all cases, start their hands in motion based on seeing the movement of the bird. Most shooting methods work best when we ‘move on the flash’ of the target. Most shooters wait to long to start the gun to meet the target. Simply put, it you wait longer, you just have to move faster. This makes everything ‘look’ and ‘feel’ faster than if you started earlier in the process. Then, engage the first bird. Let’s assume you are shooting a report pair. IMMEDIATELY after the gun goes off, get your eyes back to see the second. Don’t waste time admiring your break. This is critical and where most of the time is wasted shooting a pair of targets. This should happen so fast that in a report pair you ‘beat the trapper’, and be waiting for the bird to leave the second trap. In a true pair, during your planning of the shot, you should have figured out precisely where the second target will be in the air, when you fire at the first, so you know exactly where to look as soon as you finish the first bird. Side note, most shooters think about ‘where to take the gun for the second bird’ when they should be thinking about where to take their eyes to find the second bird. Find the bird with your eyes first, and the gun will generally take care of itself. This will all add up to more time to work the second bird.
So to sum things up, most shooters shoot like this…..
Late start- Quick shot- Slow transition- Quick shot.
You should feel like this…..
Quick start- Slow shot- FAST transition- Slow shot.
Remember, if its a report pair, strive to beat the trapper to the second trap. If its a true pair, don’t grade your performance on the first bird, and know precisely where to immediately look for the second bird. Let’s do everything we can to have as much time with each bird as needed.
Fennell Shooting School