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December 22, 2020

Source: Daleen Loest / Shutterstock.com 

Skeet shooting is a challenging and enjoyable activity that many use to stay sharp during the hunting offseason. It’s also a growing recreational pastime in its own right. As with any skill-based activity, most shooters need practice in order to improve. 

These seven skeet shooting tips can help you direct your rounds for a more effective training session.  

1. Aim with your eyes. 

You should be focusing your attention on the clay pigeon, not aiming your gun. Practice your swing so that the action becomes second nature. Track the target with your eyes and allow your gun to follow the motion. 

Because the target moves, you’ll need to keep both eyes open to track it correctly. Still, you should use your dominant eye to focus on the bird. If you’re having trouble, check your eye dominance. If you have opposite hand and eye dominance, consider blurring your dominant eye vision with a piece of tape on your shooting glasses or try shooting with the other hand.  

Protecting your vision is essential for safety and good shooting. Ranges require shooters to wear shooting glasses or sunglasses for eye protection. Especially in the summer months, a camo hunting hat or visor can keep the sun out of your face and help you track the target better. 

2. Focus on the fundamentals.

To free up your focus for the birds, you’ll need the mechanics of the shot to be muscle memory. Your stance, mount and swing should be automatic. This is only possible through repetition. 

You don’t need to head to the range with a box of clay pigeons to practice the fundamentals. To save time and money, practice dry firing your shotgun in the garage or backyard and hone in on the mechanics of the shooting motion. 

3. Feel out the firearm.

gunman with smoking shotgun after a shot

Source: Rionegro / Shutterstock.com

To be on the top of your shooting game, you must be familiar with your shotgun. This includes practicing with the gun you’re most likely to use in the field as well as taking the time to pattern your shotgun

4. Find a good fit.

A properly fitting shotgun will reduce the recoil you feel. The right fit should reduce fatigue and help you maintain your line to the target while remaining comfortable to hold and shoot. 

Performance hunting gear can also help you up to your game. A shooting vest or hunting jacket can absorb some recoil from the shot and help you find the proper mount.  

5. Evaluate your stance.

Your stance is a fundamental element of your game that determines your mount, swing and shot. You should have a comfortable, weight-forward stance with 60 percent of your weight on your front foot. The end goal of your position is to help you maintain a line to the skeet. 

6. Have patience. 

Skeet shooting is a fast-moving sport, but cultivating patience pays off for shooters. You’ll want to develop a natural rhythm for the mount, load and swing. Be careful not to rush any step. 

After you’ve mounted your gun, don’t rush to call the shot. Make sure your eyes have time to adjust to the sky right above the trap box where the bird will appear. You’ll want your swing to be smooth and purposeful. To make the shot, squeeze the trigger without jerking or disrupting the swing, which should continue after the shot is made.

7. Develop a sportsmanship mentality.

sportsman

If you’re serious about skeet shooting, having the right disposition can help you make the most of your practice. This attitude involves setting out with the goal to improve, concentrating on the stand and maintaining proper etiquette at the range. 

Skeet shooting is a social activity, and you can learn a lot from observing experts and asking for advice. Don’t let one lost bird ruin your day or discourage you. As with anything, progress isn’t always linear, and having good sportsmanship can help you get past poor performances. 

The Takeaway

Skeet shooting is an art that must be crafted through repetition. Keeping these tips in mind can help you direct your practice and improve your game, whether it comes to fruition during the next turkey season or your next round with friends. 

The right gear can help you make the most of your skeet shooting practice. Nomad creates hunting clothes for sport and recreation that can enhance your shooting experience. Explore our apparel collection online or browse our blog series for more tips on how to stay sharp in the offseason. 

 


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