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Practice for Duck Season: Mount Your Shotgun Indoors with a Flashlight in the Barrel

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August 06, 2013

Practice for Duck Season: Mount Your Shotgun Indoors with a Flashlight in the Barrel

By Phil Bourjaily

The most important facet of your shotgunning skills to polish is your gun mount.

You can practice the mount at home — using a gun you know is unloaded — with or without an AA MiniMaglite in the muzzle for a 12 gauge; 20s take an AAA MiniMaglite. Turn the beam to its tightest setting so the light shows where the gun is pointed.

First, draw the curtains so the neighbors don’t call the police. Start with a low gun, with the butt lightly under your arm and the muzzle below the target, which will be a spot on the opposite wall. I have a print of two jumping wood ducks in my office that works for me. Focus on the spot (for me it’s the beak of one wood duck or the other). The first move is with the muzzle toward the target — in the words of one instructor: “like you were going to hipshoot it.” As the muzzle moves to the target, bring the stock to your face and trigger the shot as the butt makes contact with your shoulder. Your head should hardly move at all.

Practice pointing at spots and shooting at crossers by moving the gun along the juncture of the wall and ceiling. Again, move the muzzle first, keep it below that seam, and then bring the gun to your face as you swing past the imaginary bird.

The gun mount does not have to be fast. Speed with a shotgun comes from acquiring the target quickly with your eyes and from shooting without double checking. Moving the gun fast only gets you out of sync with the target.

Practice your gun mounts at home* before moving on to clay birds. When you do, it’s very important that you don’t move the gun until you see the target. Then, keep your eyes on the bird and trust your hands to put the gun in the right place. It’s surprising how simple shooting a shotgun really is. 

*Five minutes a night and 20 or so gun mounts is enough to make a difference by the time the season starts. If you want to train like an Olympian, do at least 100 gun mounts a night. Hunting season is approaching; start practicing now.

Comments (5)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

First, draw the curtains so the neighbors don’t call the police?

Excellent advice Sir Phil!

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from Marion Johnson wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

With today's liability suits, you should have added "Take the flashlight out of the barrel before you load the gun".

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from buckstopper wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Well the neighbors can't see in my man cave...any case I would also suggest you wear your hunting coat that you would wear in the blind or standing in flooded timber while practicing mounting your smokepole so the butt stock won't hang up on your sleeve causing you to shoot high.....

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from springerman3 wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Good tip Phil, this would also be good practice for the dove hunter or for other feathered creatures that we pursue :)

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from Treestand wrote 36 weeks 4 days ago

A good piece of Advice Sir Phil!!

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from buckstopper wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Well the neighbors can't see in my man cave...any case I would also suggest you wear your hunting coat that you would wear in the blind or standing in flooded timber while practicing mounting your smokepole so the butt stock won't hang up on your sleeve causing you to shoot high.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

First, draw the curtains so the neighbors don’t call the police?

Excellent advice Sir Phil!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marion Johnson wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

With today's liability suits, you should have added "Take the flashlight out of the barrel before you load the gun".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from springerman3 wrote 36 weeks 5 days ago

Good tip Phil, this would also be good practice for the dove hunter or for other feathered creatures that we pursue :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 36 weeks 4 days ago

A good piece of Advice Sir Phil!!

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