Good partridge shooting is about giving yourself as much time as possible. When you watch a professional athlete performing at the peak of their powers, people often comment about how much time they seem to have compared with others. What you are noticing is the extra fractions of a second they make for themselves. They find this extra time through good preparation, both mentally and technically. You can find it too through some simple adjustments.
1 Ahead of the day
Get the gun out and practise with it. Try to find a flat, fast, driven clay target, ideally with some curl. This will allow you to practise shooting on the inside wing of the curl (imaginary in this case). It will help to prepare you for shooting classically presented partridges that have been driven across the wind to make them climb and curl.
In between trips to the shooting ground, dry mounting — to deepen the neural pathways that govern the speed and accuracy of your movement and to strengthen the muscles — is free and available in your living room.
2 The day before
This may sound laughably simple, but pack the car the night before with everything you will need except dog, gun and cartridges. You can arrive at the shoot relaxed and eagerly anticipating a wonderful day or you can arrive in a muddle. Option two means you arrive flustered, unprepared and full of tension. Tension is the enemy of a good gun swing. Getting organised avoids unnecessary tension.
3 On the day
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September 09, 2020