HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base



Swing-through Method

The swing-through method is the easiest to master. You simply swing the muzzle of the shotgun so it points at the flying bird. Then you follow the bird’s flight path, increasing the speed of your swing until the shotgun muzzle has passed through the bird to a spot just in front of it. While firing, continue your swing through the target area and after. This will prevent you from shooting behind the bird, which would waste your ammo and likely only injure the bird.

Sustained Lead

This technique is meant for shooting at game birds in flight. To use the sustained lead technique, you need to estimate the speed, range and angle at which your target is flying. This requires some practice and experience to get right. Once you’ve made the estimate, you swing the muzzle that distance ahead of the target and maintain this distance (or lead) in front of the bird, up to and after you’ve fired the shot.

Snap Shooting

Snap shooting also takes some experience to get right. To snap shoot, you must be able to anticipate the amount of time it will take a flying bird to get to a certain spot. Instead of following through, you pick a spot in front of the target and fire quickly at the exact spot where you think the shot and the target will meet. Snap shooting is most accurate when the target is at close range or dead-ahead. Pun intended.


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