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Their Aim is True By Mike Leggett
Measures didn't know he was developing a personal shooting curriculum for himself
and other shotgunners.|
he know was that he was a kid and his BB gun didn't have a front sight on it.|
"I had to learn to shoot is by watching the BB fly through the air," Measures
says. "I got to where I could hit things as small as a BB, and when I picked up
a shotgun I found out I was awesome."
that was the beginning of "Shoot Where You Look," the BB gun-based instruction
course in which Measures teaches beginners the basics of shotgunning and polishes
the shooting skills of advanced students. "It's not a science," he says. "But
if you do certain things, the result is predictable. I can make a shotgunner out
dove season only days away, Measures is busy helping shooters around central Texas
get ready for their time in the field. He has refined his technique and teaching
methods and has been offering formal instruction since the mid-60's. Some people
wonder how shooting a BB gun at a cardboard box from 6 feet translates to shooting
a crossing dove in a sunflower field, but it works, and Measures manages to show
you can focus, do the things it takes to hit a crossing tennis ball with a single
BB at 20 feet, it's geometrically easier to hit a clay target at 25 yards," Measures
says. The gun doesn't matter. The load doesn't matter. Only a repeatable process
of mounting the gun and picking up a sight picture off the end of the barrel.
shooters wonder why they have good days and bad during dove season. Why one moment
they're knocking down everything that flies and ten minutes later might not be
able to hit the ground. It's probably a result of one of three things, Measures
says, and those three things are the greatest impediments to good shooting anywhere:|
is practice. "I see guys who haven't picked up a shotgun since last bird season,"
Measures says. "They aren't ready to shoot. You have to get mentally and physically
ready to shoot." Practice is the only way to establish and enhance good shooting
habits, he says. Mount, swinging and shooting the gun are three acts that should
constitute a seamless process, but they only become on through good practice.
Second is the swing itself, which is the most common problem in bad shooting.
"people stop the gun," Measures says. "If you're going to stop the gun, you're
going to miss. You'll be shooting where is was, not where it's going to be." |
third bad habit is shooting at birds that are too far away. We all know some hunters
are notorious for this, but Measures says many dove hunters succumb to the lure
of a bird that's just simply out of range. Keep the target inside 30 yards, and
your percentages go up. |
is a fourth element of successful shooting that only comes with practice, Measures
says: concentration. "You have to focus on a single bird," he says. "We've all
had those times when we have fired up into a flock of doves two or three times
and didn't focus." You have to focus on a single bird; on the beak of a single
bird. When you do that, all the rest of them disappear. You'll get a full sack
real quick that way." Some shooters have heard about eye dominance and its impact
on shooting success, but Measures doesn't worry about things like that. His only
concern is that the shotgun is mounted in the right place against the cheek so
that the shooter doesn't have to lower his head to make contact with the stock.
"You have to mount the gun the same way every time," Measures says, which is where
practice comes in. |
Measures offers one last suggestion for shooters getting ready for dove season.
"Take your shotgun out and shoot at a cardboard target at 20-25 feet. Smoothbores
are notorious for having their own little quirks in where they shoot, and you
can't adjust for them unless you know where your shotgun shoots. "You have to
put the load of shot where the target will be when the target gets there." |
Never, ever, point a gun; loaded, unloaded, on safe, off safe, or
otherwise at anything you don't intend to shoot! You will never have to
say, "I didn't know it was loaded."
When you have mastered Shoot Where You LookSM,
please e-mail us your results at
Shoot Where You LookSM
Livingston, TX 77351
|(800) 201-5535 Office
(936) 328-7927 Cell