Clay pigeon shooting

JOHN BIDWELL

Successful clay shooting and game shooting are, to all intents and purposes, one and the same: both require that you swing the gun smoothly and address the bird correctly in terms of stance and muzzle position.

The biggest difference – and one clay shooters fall foul of on a game day – is footwork.

Some footwork is usually necessary at a Sporting shoot but nowhere near as much as a day in the field pursuing live quarry.

Game birds can, and will, change direction in flight thereby putting the onus on a shooter to watch his quarry carefully and adjust foot position accordingly.

Sometimes this will mean altering our stance at the very last moment even as we mount the gun, especially if the bird veers or flares away at the last second, such as a woodcock or English partridge is wont to do.

When all said and done thousands of game birds owe their lives to shooters’ footwork… or rather the lack of it.