Campfire Log: Gun Mounting Speed Dilemma
Accuracy in wingshooting can be honed on the skeet or sporting clay course. But when the bright colors and long tail feathers of a rooster explode from the cover and fade into a small, dark gliding shape in the distance in a matter of a few seconds, we all face a problematic enemy: time.
I’ve hunted with guys who fire their scatterguns at a flush before I even consider turning off my safety. The speedy competition doesn’t seem to help the fluid motions necessary for a smooth shotgun mount and shot execution. Instead it makes a hunter feel edgy, like some grizzled cowboy in a spaghetti western, anticipating the quick draw.
Other Kansas pheasant hunters, however, appear to make time stand still. Their slow, steady gun mount and swing seem to take so long to materialize, you wonder if they forgot how to pull the trigger. After what seems to be a calendar year or two, a rooster drops and dogs are on the retrieve.
One thing is for sure: heed the advice of the old-timers. Everyone’s speed of mounting and swinging a shotgun is likely different, and the real competition is between you and the pheasant, not the other hunters.
Smoothness beats herky-jerky any day.
Keep your cheek on the wood; keep your eyes on the beak, not the bead.
And practice, practice, practice the feel of the stock butt tight to your shoulder and cheek on the comb.
That should take care of it, most of the time. That is, unless the roosters startle you.