The wheels on the bus go round and round, or so they say, but sadly sometimes they fall off! “Last week I couldn’t miss,” you say. “I dropped birds left, right and centre!” So what happened? What caused this almighty shift, propelling the proverbial wheel off into the imaginary wilderness, while you, the shooter, stood dazed and confused?
My personal take on this sudden regression of skill relates to a number of factors. But, I hear you cry, surely it’s only due to pointing the gun in the wrong place? If only life were that simple!
A day in the field can be hindered even prior to your arrival. A night of lost sleep, work issues plaguing the mind, matters of the heart, etc, etc. The list of possibilities is endless, but if the head is not in the game, the game is well and truly over (quite literally, in fact, and unscathed!).
When wielding a shotgun, the harder you push, the more it will resist. Targets will seem tougher and further out of reach; a feeling of failure descends and the wheels have now detached. It’s a tough call to suggest a complete cure for such a situation, but you know you can shoot, you’ve done it before, so why not today?
Don’t look up!
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RSPB gives mixed message on shooting
Having recently attended the RSPB’s virtual AGM, Conor O’Gorman discusses the outcome of the charity’s year-long review of game bird shooting
Causeway for concern
Alan Jarrett’s renewed interest in reading takes him down memory lane to an offshore island duck flight that very nearly ended in disaster
Through a purple patch
The Garrows Estate is taking a conservation-focused approach to restoring the wildlife populations and biodiversity on the Scottish heather moorland.
When the wheels fall off
Losing form on a day’s shooting can be infuriating, especially if you’ve been shooting like a god up to that point. Simon O’Leary looks at some common causes and how to remedy them
Beaches, books & bad behaviour!
The annual Kay family vacation to Northumberland offers a chance to give the cockers a blast on the beach – although they don’t always shower themselves in glory, as Ryan Kay recalls...
Using the Stop whistle
Now you’ve instilled the basics, it’s time to up the ante with some more tricky distance work. Howard Kirby explains how to take the core Stop whistle command to the next level
The humble teal
They may be tiny, but as far as Rupert Butler is concerned, the appeal of this little duck is huge. He recalls some of his most memorable nights in pursuit of these aerial acrobats
Mike is impressed with the Fabarm Elos B2 Field Notte, which offers great value for money, is suited to fieldwork or clays and is future-proofed for use with steel in all choke constrictions
CALL OF THE WILD
Dom Holtam reconnects with one of the purest forms of shotgun shooting as he walks-up woodcock over pointing dogs in the Scottish Highlands
A yen for the Fens
Tony Jackson recounts a memorable duck flight over an area of Fenland in Norfolk with his friend and author, the late Alan Savory