Photo by Andrew Hetherington

The goose hunter who’s set up at the end of the line of blinds is the one who gets the go-ahead to shoot the bird that skirts the decoys. When such a situation arises, you need to open the blind doors, sit up, and keep your muzzle below the line of the target as you swing on the bird that’s passing to the side of the spread. Right-handers have trouble shooting birds passing to the right, as explained in the Advanced Challenge, which shows why every goose setup should have a left-handed shooter (I am available).


The Challenge
Go to a sporting clays course, a field, anywhere that a quartering-away incoming target can be safely thrown. Get in a layout blind and close the doors. If you don’t have a blind, lie down and use a range bag as a headrest.

The trap should be in front of you, set to throw a target that will quarter past you 25 to 30 yards to your left (if you are right-handed).

At your call of pull, sit up. The puller should give about a second’s grace–less if you’re making this look too easy–then send the bird on its way. Shoot the target as it passes your blind.

Shooting off your back is hard. If you hit six of 10 birds, you’re doing well.

Advanced Challenge
If you’re right-handed, Set the shot up with the target quartering left to right to pass you on your right side. Now you will really have to twist your body to make the shot.

Good Gun


A 12-gauge pump or semiauto with a Modified choke, such as a Browning BPS.