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The Gazette
swing confidence • confidence • a short sharp story

Target practice

      The Swing Sharpener: Choke up! Yes, in your practice put full choke in both barrels. If you do not have full, then use the tightest available. Now you can shoot the100-birder at your local course, a round of Skeet or 5 Stand and get some real benefit from it.
      Don’t give a thought to the distance you are from a target, whether it is 15 or 50 yards. Just trust your ability and do not rely on the mechanical safety net of the open chokes. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking how tight your pattern is, just shoot your normal game. Learn to trust your hand and eye coordination. It is not for no reason that the best shots in the world shoot tight chokes on every target.

Target instruction

       The “Confidence” Game: With belief in your own ability and once you have established a good foundation of the basics, good shooting is really a game of confidence. Even though your scores may suffer at first, the sight of clays being reduced to balls of smoke will do wonders for that sense of confidence. If you really want to shoot better this coming season, you have to put time into the dry mounting drills at home and give one of these three practice drills try. What have you got to lose?

Sharpening Your "Axe"!
     I would like to recount a short story, which might put practice into perspective.
      Every year in Canada there are the Lumberjack Tree-felling Championships. The contestants enter the forest with nothing but an axe and over a period of 6 hours attempt to fell more trees than their competitors.
     The sponsorship within the industry is great and the prizes attract entrants from all over the world, in just the same manner as Sporting Clays Competitions.
       A whistle is blown to start the event and once again, after 6 hours, to end it. On this occasion, the whistle blew and the contestants thundered into the forest and the thunk of metal on wood reverberated throughout the woods.
       The judges were most surprised when one of the lumberjacks, a chap named Henry, emerged from the woods and sat down. His fellow competitors continued to chop away furiously. After 10 minutes, Henry arose and re-entered the woods. This anomaly continued every hour, on
the hour, throughout the day.
       When the 6 hours were up and the whistle was blown, the judges marked and counted the fallen timber. The contestants waited, huddled in a group, for the results. When the winner was announced, there was a stunned silence, both on the part of the judges and the contestants.
       The winner was none other than Henry, the lumberjack who insisted on taking 10 minute rests every hour, on the hour, throughout the day.
      The judges congratulated him, but felt duty-bound to ask how it was possible that he had felled more trees! He had rested for a total of 60 minutes, so, in effect, only chopping wood for 5 hours instead of 6, as the others had . What had he been doing during those 10 minute breaks?
      His reply was simple: “I was sharpening my axe.” Practice is simply that: a sharpening of your skills and improving your ability to break more targets than your competitors.

Video cover “MASTERING THE

A Unique Approach to the Instructional Video with Chris Batha & Bruce Scott

Learn to follow your instincts with Chris Batha, Chief Instructor and Gunfitter and Bruce Scott of the Shotgun Journal. Their combination of classic wingshooting techniques and proven clay - busting tips is packed with technical and practical information.

Churchill and Stansbury styles plus the three major techniques are demonstrated with the “EYE CAM” on the layouts, high towers and grouse butts of the Churchill Shooting Grounds, London, England.

For the Wing Shooter who shoots
clays, for the Clay Shooter who hunts.

• The Instinctive Shot
• Technique Analysis
• Target Tactics for Wing and Clay
• Classic Styles
• The New Eye Cam Technology
• The Fundamentals
• Gun Fit
• Choosing Your Double Gun
• Buying a Pre-owned Gun
• Correct Gun Handling
• The Side by Side
• Loading

To order your copy please send a
check for $64.95 (specifying VHS or
DVD) to Chris Batha Shooting
Schools, 43 Pinckney Colony Road,
Okatie SC 29909-4100. Shipping is included.
email: sdgump@hargray.com

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