3 Wingshooting Methods Explained

Learn the swing through, pull away and maintained lead methods to hit more moving targets with your shotgun. Wingshooting expert Marty Fischer explains how.

The wingshooting swing through method.

The Swing Through Method

Swing Through, Pass Through, Pull Through (all are one and the same). The swing through mehod of shooting is very popular with hunters and those who are self-taught and shoot instinctively. Remember – successful, instinctive shooting comes as a result of good technique. With swing through, the gun is always inserted behind the target. The bird is allowed to pass the line of the muzzle before any move is made. Control of speed of swing  and timing are generally far more important to the swing through shooter than any lead picture. Some swing through shooters with good timing and a fast swing see little or no lead on most targets. The trigger is pulled on, or very near the bird as the mounted gun swings past the target.

Wingshooting pull away method.

                                          Wingshooting pull away method.

The Pull Away Method

This is the official CPSA shooting method. With pull away, the gun is mounted directly at the target. This method uses our natural ability to point. Pull away enables a shooter to judge speed, distance and line of the target very effectively. Stance, timing and rhythm of the shot, as with all shooting techniques, are determined by the pre-planned kill zone. After the stock touches the face, the gun is smoothly moved ahead of the target until the correct lead picture is seen and felt. Pull away is excellent for long range shots and can improve shooter timing and consistency on many shots.

The Maintained Lead Method

When using the maintained lead style, the gun is inserted ahead of a bird, it moves at the bird’s pace as the lead picture is found. When the shooter recognizes his insertion as the right picture, he simply moves with the bird and pulls the trigger. It should be      noted that keeping the gun moving after the shot is important because the gun and target are traveling at the same speed with this style, and any deviation of the gun speed will affect the lead picture. The more the bird crosses in front of the gun, the better this method will work.

(Source: By Marty Fischer. http://goo.gl/PpqpDI)


How to Pan-Sear Wild Duck Breast the Right Way, and a Sauce to Go with It

If I were forced to pick my favorite thing to eat, I would probably go with ducks. They’re one of the most versatile animals out there when it comes to cooking: they’re as good on the grill as they are in a stew, and they also adapt to every style of cooking out there. Duck is hugely popular in Chinese and French cuisine, and all others in between. There are so many ways to prepare it, but for this post I will focus on just the breast.

argentina duck hunting

My preferred method is pan-searing a breast simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooking it in butter. When cooked correctly, it has a texture and flavor similar to fine aged beef. This is one of the simplest ways to cook duck, but it can also be one of the hardest to perfect. Duck needs to be cooked rare to medium—at the most. Unfortunately, many people think it should be cooked well done, like a chicken breast. There’s a fine line to walk when cooking it. On one side of that line you have a tender, juicy piece of meat and on the other a dry, livery-tasting hockey puck. Knowing where that line falls takes time to figure out and depends on what kind of duck you are using.

You also have a choice to make: leave the skin on or take it off? The answer depends on the bird. Some species eat a lot of small fish, which influences the taste. If you remove the skin and fat from the breast, you can cut down on the any unpleasant flavors. That said, I like to leave the skin on with mallards, wood ducks, teal, pintails, and widgeons.


Cooking Duck Breast 
When cooking a duck breast set it out on the counter for about a half hour before it goes into the pan. I season it liberally with salt and pepper and let it sit. When you’re ready to cook the breast, bring a tablespoon of butter up to heat over a medium-high pan and then place the breasts skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes for larger duck, and about 2-3 minutes for smaller ducks. Flip them over and give them the same time on the other side. That usually brings the duck to a decent medium rare. If you are going to eat the breasts as-is, then you’re all set. But if you would like to make a quick pan sauce to go with it, set the meat aside and tent it with aluminum foil.

duck hunting in argentina

Cranberry Pan Sauce
Using whatever fat is left in the pan, mince 2 cloves of garlic and sauté the garlic for about a minute until just soft. Then deglaze the pan with half a cup of stock. Duck stock is best, but chicken stock works as well. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure you get all the little bits that are stuck to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir in 1/3 cup of highbush cranberry jelly. If you don’t have highbush cranberry jelly, red currant jelly would work as would just about any jelly you want. Reduce that sauce down by half and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir that until combined and season to taste with salt and pepper as needed. Serve over the duck breast, and enjoy.


(Source: by Jamie Carlson. http://goo.gl/n6IX8q)

10 Tactics For Hunting Pressured Ducks

We caught up with two big-time duck hunters to get their thoughts on a range of duck-fooling challenges. You might be surprised at what they had to say.

Ever hear of matching the hatch in fly-fishing? It’s the same deal in blind building—sort of: “It’s hard to relate a blind-building discussion when there’s such a vast array of locations and setups guys use around the country,” Rod Haydel of Haydel’s Game Calls emphasizes. “Down in the South, the hunting I know best, it’s critical to match the terrain we’re hunting in.”

Haydel then asks his buddies to check out his work. “I use a little test when I’m taking somebody along to a place where I’ve built a blind. When we pull up, I’ll ask them if they can find the blind. If they can’t, I’ve done it right.

“By all means, you need to keep things as natural as they can be,” Haydel stresses. Don’t use pine tree branches if they’re aren’t any around. It sounds funny, but you need to think about that 0276along with keeping that profile to a minimum.”

Another thing to consider is not hunting too late in the day. “Guys are staying out in the fields longer and longer,” Haydel insists. “Sure, it’s our passion, but sometimes it’s better to stop one duck shy of a limit rather than hunting another couple hours to get it. Don’t get in the routine of being too focused on the limit. It might hurt the quality of your hunting in the long run.”

Rod Haydel suggests moving decoys closer and making your pocket right next to the blind using a hook-type set. “I try to put several duck species in close, especially those ducks I’m specifically hunting and imitating with my calling. Ducks can then reference the decoys tight to the blind when I call. Also, if ducks are lighting to the right side of the blind, I can move the decoys to the left side, and vice versa.”

“Are you using a call for the species you’re trying to call?” Haydel asks. “It sounds funny, but if not, do it. Are you trying to outcall other guys in the blind? Forget it. Let one guy lead. And sometimes when ducks don’t come to calls it’s because all of them aren’t callable all the time.”

Sean Mann of Sean Mann Outdoors has the best advice of all if ducks flare to your calling: “Don’t call!” Rod Haydel seconds the notion: “If ducks don’t like my calling, I then try to call as little as possible, or as little as I can get by with.”

Rod Haydel believes that nowadays, a lot of hunters are probably guilty of overcalling a little. “Often this happens in a big hunting party,” he says. “All the callers seem to go to the feeding chuckle at the same time. When you have six guys doing that, it sounds like machine-gun fire. It sounds unnatural. I’m a strong believer in single quacks. If I’m the sole caller, I’ll throw quacks in there. This can add to the sound without muddying the water too much.”

“Wood ducks are widespread, and they migrate early with the teal. They’re also so crazy that you won’t necessarily call them as you will mallards, but it can be done,” Rod Haydel reminds. “Sometimes hunters will jumpshoot them on creeks, or they hunt near the roost, which only lasts a few days at best. If there’s a lot of activity you might run birds right out of there. If a lot of season is left, you don’t want to do that, of course.

0309“Wood ducks make a whole slew of funny noises,” Haydel continued. “The typical squeal call is often heard after you spook them, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s an alarm or social call. It’s also heard sometimes when they come in.” He uses the loud “wheat-wheat” squeal of a woodie in flight, which will get other birds’ attention. “You can choke down on your call with your hand, and change the way you blow it,” he instructed.

They also whine. I start with the “wheat” call, then add a “whine,” which is softer, and definitely good at close range (under 150 yards). They’ll make that sound after landing on the water as if to say, “Where y’all at?” Sometimes they’ll swim in, and I’ll jump up to get them in the air if they do that. A few decoys will help draw them in too.”

Hunting ducks in heavy cover can be difficult. “What you should do is hunt near the roost but not in that exact area. Scout to find their flight pattern,” Haydel said, “as they take certain travel routes between roosting and feeding areas. Avoid the actual roosts to keep the birds using them consistently as resting areas. Then you can try to call them in.”

“In Louisiana, I’m down into the flyway,” Haydel said. “And ducks have seen and heard everything by the time they get here. I try to catch their attention, to get them on a line, and to keep them there. Rather than throwing in feeding or greeting calls, the way we traditionally would, I’ll make a single quack to keep them in line, pausing between quacks, slowly calling, quack (pause) quack (pause) quack (pause). If they break, I’ll hit them with a comeback call as soon as they get off line, and fix that problem immediately if I can.”

What if your spots won’t hold birds? “Down in our area [Louisiana],” Haydel said, “after pressure heats up, ducks move elsewhere sometimes. Guys who are having trouble with their usual spots will tell me they find ducks in big numbers in locations they’ve never seen them before. They’ve moved due to hunting pressure.”

So, what’s Rod Haydel do? “What you need to do is find an out-of-the-way place without hunting pressure. A small cattle pond might work. It might not have huge numbers of birds on it, but if you line up several of these areas—which might not stand the pressure two days in a row, but will be good for one—that could help. Hunt one locale, switch, then go somewhere else. Some of my most memorable hunts around here were in places so small I could throw a rock across them.”

(Source: By STEVE HICKOFF. http://goo.gl/vSu9cK)

Your Duck Blind Doesn’t Have to be Fancy to be Effective

I started from scratch three months ago. Pulled off the old burlap, pulled out the old corner stakes. This blind wasn’t quite right last season. Too many ducks looked too long and too hard. It seemed fine to me, wedged against a root ball, but I was doing the selling, not the buying, and the blind lacked in customer satisfaction. So on a hot day in August, I tore the blind down to bare mud and hauled in a rubber tub filled with fresh burlap, camo netting, cable ties, tomato stakes, wasp spray, handsaws, and a portable drill and staple gun. I was in no rush. I’d work till I was invisible.

When it comes to blinding up on a duck hunt, I’m a stickler for details. Those hunters who eat Pop-Tarts from the foil wrapper while standing up in the blind just don’t get it. We flare moreduck_blind Argentina birds than we realize because half of the birds we spook slip off to the side before we even see them. How much does tucking away shell boxes matter? What difference does it make to cut fresh brush? If it makes a 10-yard difference to 10 percent of the birds, that’s enough. When it comes to playing hide-and-seek with a black duck on full alert, I don’t cut corners.

Blind Spots
I’ve hunted from some crazy blinds—crazy good and crazy awful—and I’ve learned something from each one. In the Northwest Territories, I shot whitewing scoters from hand-built rock blinds that didn’t involve a single nail or square inch of netting. I’ve kicked back in an Arkansas double-decker blind with a cook kitchen and bunk room. What made it work were six guys who didn’t move a boot toe when the ducks were overhead. My buddy Scott Wood and I once dug trenches in the mud beside a North Dakota wheatfield puddle, and covered ourselves with mud and stubble. Nothing swanky about that, but when you’ve got nothing to work with, it’s best to do as little as possible. It’s about minding the details. Once on a sea duck hunt, my guide anchored a 24-foot white fiberglass boat off a Chesapeake Bay marsh spit, tossed out decoys, cranked up the radio, and told us to load up. He was wearing white Chuck Taylors. We didn’t shoot a duck, and didn’t deserve to.

The most interesting blind I’ve hunted from was at the end of a miles-long airboat ride at dawn to an empty arm of the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountains rising like a mirage in the distance. Thin marsh straggled across the water a few hundred yards away, but otherwise we were surrounded by 5 inches of mirror-flat water. We lay out in coffin blinds that barely touched the lake bottom, as exposed as dead clams at low tide. But around our coffin blinds were hundreds of plastic silhouette decoys—ducks, geese, and coots with not even an eye dot for detail. In the low sun, each bird cast a shadow image of itself, doubling the appearance of the spread. The coffin blinds were mere black blobs in a dark cloud of 500 other black blobs. Greenwing teal and northern shovelers piled in without a blink. It was a brilliant sleight of hand. We were hiding in plain sight.
That’s the trick.

Vanishing Act
Argentina duck huntingBack in the swamp, I was after something a bit more substantial than a magic mirror trick. I’d leased the swamp, so this blind was staying put. I had to figure out a place for the dog, and Jack was old enough now to want to bring along a hunting pal. This blind had to be larger than the last. Before I started pounding in corner stakes, I put my duck glasses on.

What didn’t the ducks like? What was making them nervous? Maybe the blind caught too much early sun. If I angled it a few feet toward the south, that would give it another hour in the shade. And most of the birds flew from the north end of the swamp and came in high. From that angle, the blind might have appeared as a dark slit on the end of an island, something off just enough to steer them away. I cut a couple of cedars from the nearby woods to place across the top of the blind once we were in position. And to mitigate the larger box shape, I cut a holly sapling and jammed it into the mud inside the blind, against the back wall. I’d never tried that before. It would stay leafed out all season long, and we could trim any offending boughs on the first morning’s hunt. It gave the blind a 3D look that helped it melt away.

I held off on any hunter comforts: no bench seat, no place to stash a heater, no way to fry bacon. We’d walk in with biscuits, sit on a bucket, and hunker down and hunt.

When I finished I was drenched with sweat and bleeding from cuts and scratches. I stepped back to take a gander. That blind held the DNA of Great Plains pit blinds and Great Salt Lake granite cliffs and green timber hides in the Mississippi bottoms. It was perfect, even though it didn’t look like much. In fact, it looked like nothing at all.

(Source: http://goo.gl/2ljH5p. by T. Edward Nickens)

The Basics of Wingshooting

The more crossing a target to your position, the more lead you will need to hit it. Don’t be afraid to miss in front of those crossing birds.
A shotgun is a different animal all together. Since there is no rear sight on the models used for shooting flying objects like gamebirds and clay targets, the gun is pointed and not aimed.

When you consider the absence of a rear sight, you’ll find that the shooter’s eye on the side of the shooting shoulder takes its place.

Assuming the gun fits the shooter properly and is mounted to the face and placed in the shoulder correctly, the gun should shoot exactly where the shooter is looking.

Since the gun will shoot to the point of the shooter’s focus when properly fitted and mounted, he should always look down the rib or through the beads of the gun and directly on the target itself or to a point ahead of the target depending on his shooting style.

If at any time the eyes leave that focal point relative to the target and are directed back to the barrel for shooter alignment, or they look at some object other than the intended target, the result will almost always be a miss. argentina pigeon hunting

Successful shooting starts with a good stance, which allows the body to move freely through-out the shot sequence.
The shooter’s ability to use his eyes to acquire a lead picture is not the only ingredient needed for a successful shot. Things like proper foot and body position and a well executed gun mount are also required if a shot is to be successful. These important elements of successful shooting require physical motion and can be learned and applied with proper practice.

At first, mastering the basics of wingshooting might appear to be difficult for some new shooters, as the thought of having to determine just what sight picture is needed to hit a constantly moving and changing flying target can be confusing.

Even though humans are not blessed with the best vision in nature, they do have a mental capacity that is superior to all creatures. As a result, we can see and feel lead pictures that can in fact be learned and stored mentally for future use. You will find that shotgun leads are not measured. On shots taken in the field, there simply isn’t time.

Professional instructors often tell their students to feel the lead, not measure it. The eyes will tell the shooter when the picture is right. Without question, the more information that is stored for immediate recall when a bird is flushed or passes overhead, the more instinctively the shooter will respond. As this skill is further developed, the shooter’s ability to feel the lead will become more natural.

A good understanding of how the eyes and brain work together to direct the hands can give a shooter a leg up when it comes to his shooting skills. These skills can only be developed with proper practice.

Like other physical skills that require precise use of the motor movement senses, the proper and controlled mechanics for handling a shotgun have to be learned and developed to the point that they become habitual or as some might say, instinctive.

dove hunting in argentinaBeing an accomplished shot with a shotgun doesn’t bear any resemblance to passing a college course in rocket science, but many shooters seem to take it to that level.

Once the basic motor skills of mounting and swinging a shotgun are mastered, and a series of mental images of lead pictures for certain shots are filed away in the brain, lead picture identification becomes more natural. And when all of the elements needed for a successful shot are in place, the shooter will be amazed at how natural it feels when a target such as a pheasant or duck presents itself in front of the gun.

The eyes will lock on the target and the hands will masterfully push the gun towards the bird. As this sequence of events unfolds, everything to the shooter seems to be in slow motion.

Remarkably the eyes and brain instinctively know when the proper sight picture is acquired and, as the shot sequence continues, the shooter will see the bird fall while focusing on it through the beads on the gun.

(Source:By: Marty Fischer. http://goo.gl/tNM3Tv)

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