CLAY SHOOTING
John Bidwell
Not every springing teal you encounter gives the luxury of taking a shot at it on the way down – often they go up and away and then fall to earth a long way out of range.

Sometimes, however, a favourable wind might push them back towards the shooting position and make for an easier shot.

Sod’s Law though states that every now and then the wind will drop when it’s our turn to shoot and a clay, instead, of coming back, will keep on going without a shot having been fired!

For this reason (and to save our blushes) I think it best we learn how to shoot teal properly as they fly up and away then, if the wind is good to us, shoot it on the way down if we happened to miss with the first shot.

One advantage of shooting this bird on the “up” is that its flight path will be a great deal more consistent than it is when falling to earth at the whim of any breeze that might be out there.

And because its powered trajectory is consistent you can adopt a consistent approach both in terms of the way you address the trap and target, and where you kill it.

A falling bird, on the other hand, might drop 20 yards away, or 40 – and not necessarily in the same general area which, needless to say, makes it increasingly difficult to shoot consistently.

And another thing, for safety reasons, a referee might stipulate you shoot the bird before, or just as, it reaches its peak.

After that it will be called lost.

Remember, too, that it’s always easier to mount your gun and bring it up to a point of aim than it is bringing it down to one.