1.Determine your dominant eye
Prepare for your shoot by finding out which is your dominant eye before you go to the clay shooting venue. It is important to bear in mind that dominant eye does not always follow dominant hand, however by using this simple test you can decide which eye to use to look down the barrel of the gun to focus on the target
Focus on an object in a room and point at it. Close your left eye and if you can still see that object at the end of your finger this means that you are right eye dominant. If it has moved away from your finger open your left eye and close your right eye, be careful not to move your hand. If you are left hand dominant that same object will be back at the end of your finger. Simple as that!
2.Mounting the gun correctly
Holding the gun correctly is crucial to firing the shot comfortably and accurately. With the help of your instructor you need to aim for the butt of the shotgun to sit in the groove in your shoulder joint. Hold the shotgun tight to ensure that the kick of the gun doesn’t impact on you when fired.
Your front hand should be placed as far down the barrel as possible whilst still allowing you to hold the gun tightly.
3.Comfortable and strong standing position
Your standing position is important to maintain accuracy when firing the gun. Both feet facing forward, with the foot opposite your trigger finger being the furthest forward. Use this foot for the majority of your weight to lean on as it is this that keeps you steady and helps maintain your balance.
4.Bring your head to the shotgun
If you are a first time shooter it will be very tempting to bring the gun upwards instead of bringing your head to the shotgun. If you can bring your head down to the shotgun you should be able to see right down the barrel and see your target much clearer. Don’t worry if you don’t get this right at the start, the instructor will always be on hand to guide you with this.
5.Stay steady and calm while firing
Hitting your clays generally comes down to two factors – your positioning and not delaying your shot. You will get lots of hints and tips but here’s some more that will impress even the most experienced instructor.
Follow the clay as it comes out of the trap, keep your eye down the barrel and be sure to keep the bead at the end of your gun inline. Resist the temptation to follow the clay with just your eye, you need the barrel to follow your line of sight too. Squeeze the trigger just as the clay disappears out of your line of sight.
One last tip, shoot the clay as its rising, once it starts to fall it may be best to wait for the next clay!
This time of year is simply perfect for clay shooting so why not give it a go?