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 Post subject: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:48 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:57 pm
Posts: 18
Hi all,


I want to become better at bird hunting - how far should my lead be? I'm guessing Dove will be the thing I will hunt the most next Sept.

-Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 3945
Location: Neosho, MO
i'm kinda new at this stuff too, but have a hunting buddy who's a really good shot. He had me join a skeet league last fall and I've continued shooting skeet a couple of times a week. Any dove shot that looked anything like a skeet shot was ok, and quail/pheasants were greatly improved this year. The shot I have continued to struggle with is the high passing dove shot. My buddy says you need about a school bus of lead on those high, fast crossers. I'm going to the Kansas dove opener with him this coming season and maybe I can get the picture then.

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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:09 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:57 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Canada
Lots of people have problems with lead.The mistakes people make is they stop moving the gun.You must follow threw.Sustain the lead and follow threw.On side to side shots I follow the bird pass it and instinct pulls the trigger.I never stop the gun from moving.On over head shots I follow the bird when its over my head I simply blot it out and fire,keeping the gun on the move.Shotgun requires lots of practice and your instinct will get better.


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:54 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 4373
Location: Long Island, NY
A very difficult question to answer. For example, a quail crossing at 20 yards (pretty typical) might need three feet of lead. But, a goose or duck crossing at 40 yards might need 7 or 8 feet of lead. Plus, the 4 feet of lead that I see might be the exact same length as the 6 feet of lead that you see. I thin k that Peter Blakeley wrot a book called "Read the line, Feel the lead." That pretty much sums it up. Lead is really a matter of experience and feel.

The best advice I can give you is to get out to a skeet field and shoot. If you really need to know what the actual dimensions of the lead should be, it is 3 1/2 feet. Now, that is a bit of a trick answer. The actual lead will be 3 1/2 feet for every bird shot at the center stake from any position on the field except for station 8. The problem is that at stations 3, 4 and 5 you get to see the full 3 1/2 feet. But at the other stations, the angles change, and even though the lead is 3 1/2 feet, it is going to look a lot smaller. You can try this trick. From the center stake, measure back to the target house exactly 3 1/2 feet and put a marker (a traffic cone works well). Do the same for the other house. Now, as you make your way around the field, you will see exactly what the lead picture should look like. Just be careful that wneh you are shooting your target, that you don't begin to measure the lead. Have a good look at the sight picture and swing on the target. And, as has been sayd, folow through!.

Frank

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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 3709
Location: BRANCHVILLE, s.c.
Frank knows, but to state it another way, after you have done a lot of shooting the computer in your subconscious brain calculates it for you. There are lots of variables like the angle of the shot, range, speed of the target, speed of your swing & on & on.


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 1268
Location: wyoming
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Last edited by chucka on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:20 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:38 am
Posts: 775
Lead is a tricky thing as many here will tell you. The best advice I can give is to practice alot of skeet. And chucka has it correctly, doves are hard, especially when in flight. Their speed can vary depending upon if they have a tail wind or not and how fast the wind is blowing.

Shooting a yard ahead at skeet is a fairly good approximation a station 4 as that is the average reaction time for most shooters. A bird inflight, on a crossing shot, I use a general rule of thumb, 1/2 - 3/4 the distance you would use shooting skeet. That is what my mind tells me when to pull the trigger.

My method of tracking may be different than yours. I'll swing my gun through the bird and just as it hits the 1.5ft - 2ft mark, my mind says 'shoot'. I then pull the trigger and pull the gun forward. I've trained myself to take the safety off only when the bird flushes (safety - shoot) and shoot - pull gun in direction of bird flight.


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:39 am
Posts: 619
Most wild birds are tougher to hit than clay pigeons, even sporting clays. There's no "pull" in the field. You don't always know when the bird is going to get up or come by; what direction it's going to come from or take, how fast it will be, the effect of the wind on passing shots, how consistent the distance of the shots will be, etc..

You've gotten some good info here. Shoot a lot of clays but once you're feeling like you've got some competency with clay targets don't be surprised when you hit stretches when wild birds don't fall. I've seen better shots than me and there's plenty of them, miss their share of doves.


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:20 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Dothan,Al
All the guys before this have given good,sound,advice!!! In my opinon...doves are the hardest of most ALL sporting birds to hit...they fly fast and erratic..then throw in wind and distance :lol: ....can bring the best clay shooter to his humbling knees :mrgreen: ...experiance and clay practice is the best advice I can give and like I do...Take several boxes of shells :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:24 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:47 am
Posts: 229
Location: greensboro, NC
Frank refers to Blakeley's "Read the Line, Feel the Lead" book? I have Blakeley's SC video of that same name, and I HIGHLY recommend it. He starts out on the skeet field and explains how 20 yd crosser (station 4) increased to 40 yds actually triples the lead even though you only double the distance. It's a Sunrise eyecam too, and after shooting every skeet shot, he moves on to sporting clays course. Get it--you'll be glad you did.

Riflemeister's buddy's dove lead advice is priceless by the way--lead it by a bus length indeed! I'll always have that in my head now and will maybe hit more of them screaming devils that way :)


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Location: Wyoming
I am asked how much did you lead that and honestly can't tell a person. It's instinctive and it took me lots and lots of practice. Shooting SC helped me more than anything, skeet is fun but dosen't reflect the real hunting shots you are likely to come across.

Another thing that I don't think has been touched on is the types of lead. Sustained lead getting in front and keeping the gun that distance. This is good for certain shots but I find I stop the gun more often using this method than the second.

The second is the Swing through method starting behind the bird and swinging through till you are far enough through and you shoot. Persoanlly I prefer the swing through because it is harder to stop the swing when you pull the trigger. I find this to be more instinctive and you don't have to think about it as much.

Get out on the skket or sc field and try both methods decide which works best for you in given situations and paractice practice parctice.

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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:07 pm
Posts: 844
Location: The Great State of Texas
The first thing you need to do is pattern your shotgun. Second thing to do is get a book called "Shotgunning, the Art and the Science" written by Bob Brister. Tough book to find but they are out there. Read it from cover to cover and the knowledge you will gain will be tremendous. I never patterned any of my guns until I read that book and struggled. I thought it was overrated. Once I started shooting at pattern boards, I learned that the way I mount a shotgun I normally shoot higher than I am actually aiming. Most importantly when shooting clays or birds, KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE TARGET! If you ever take your eye off the moving target to measure your lead, you will stop swinging and the shot string will miss behind by several or more feet. Accepting the fact that I shoot high makes it easy for me. I shoot what is called a "Pull Away". When I see the target, my guns starts moving from a low position to the target, while moving my entire torso and pivoting on my legs I come up directly under the target, keeping the target above my barrel. Since my shotgun is already tracking the speed of the bird, keeping my eye on the target I increase the speed of the shotgun past the bird. I never see the lead directly, all I see from the side is that the space in front of the target begins to open up, as it opens up I slap the trigger as the stock hits my shoulder. Works for me and my scores on the skeet range and birds taken in the field increased dramatically. Its does take a lot of practice to learn to keep your eyes on the target. For me, shooting fast flying doves or ducks is easier than shooting at high flying Geese when they appear to moving slow but are flying faster than what they appear. This is when human nature takes over and I attempt to start measuring lead again and mess up. Another tip, when you do go dove hunting, only load one shell at a time and make your shots count. If you try really hard and concentrate you will see that you will start crushing those birds on the first shot shooting instinctively.

I think it is very important to practice shooting skeet, trap or clays from a low mount position if you plan to be a bird hunter. If you practice clays with the gun pre mounted and then try to hunt live birds you would have to walk or stand in the field with your gun mounted which is ridiculous.

There are many good skeet shooters who struggle in the field shooting live birds and vice versa. Learning to throw the shotgun in front of the target while keeping your eyes on the target is the tough part. However once you get the hang of it and stop "Measuring Lead" you will see that the brain will somehow take over and measure the lead for you almost subconsciously. Sounds strange, but its the truth.


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 Post subject: Re: Correct Lead?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:45 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:14 pm
Posts: 207
Kevin,

I would suggest a book by Rollin Oswald on shotgun fit. He explains everything you need to know to get your gun to fit.

If it dont fit, you wont hit! (At least to your potential)

I would also suggest searching Gil and vickey ASH, Optimum shooting precision. A ton of good info there on how your eyes see targets, what causes misses etc...

Then when your gun fits, I would go see an instructor. He can help you quickly identify your mistakes and get you on the right track faster than just shooting on your own . If you miss a clay, did you check your lead and stop your swing? did you lift your head and shoot high? did you miss high , low, behind or combination of those? Are you consisitently doing the wrong thing, or only on occaision. Are you mounting the gun properly. Which method works best for you, sustained lead, pass through, pull away or instinctive? Are you shooting with the correct eye?

Well worth the money.


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