Growing up in central Minnesota, wingshooting was a big part of our family adventures. We spent countless weekends hunting pheasants, doves, ducks and geese, and like anything … practice makes perfect. My younger brother and I couldn’t wait for the youth waterfowl season to kick off each fall, so even when my dad had to work, my mom would bring us out. The memories will never be forgotten. Unfortunately I don’t get to spend quite as many days in the field wingshooting anymore (I spend way too much time sitting in a tree hunting deer), so I try to use the summer months to improve those skills for fall.
I've done a couple of things to shorten the learning curve. One is to practice with Winchester AA TrAAcker. I love these shotshells because they contain colored wads that follow the shot string, so you can see why you’re missing. For example, if you’re too far behind the clay target, you will see exactly where your shot hit on the fly. I don’t always have someone by my side to help coach, so this a great way for anyone to make the needed changes and improve much quicker.
The next choice I made to improve my wing shooting was to mount a holographic sight on my shotgun. To some this may seem crazy, but 99 percent of my hunting is big game and I’m used to having a scope or holographic sight on my gun. I was a little nervous the first year I headed to Saskatchewan for a waterfowl hunt, but figured if I didn’t like the sight, I could always remove it on the hunt. But it turned out to be a huge improvement. My shots were spot on and I absolutely loved having it and probably wouldn’t do a waterfowl hunt again without it. The only drawback is it sits up a little higher, so I did notice slightly increased recoil, but the improved shooting was worth it.
Wingshooting has been a great way for our family to bond from the time we were kids, to more recent waterfowl trips with my dad in Canada. I love to sit back and enjoy the early morning sunrises, non-stop laughter and fun, and have one less thing to worry about. I know that my summer practice will keep me ready and prepared even if iI only get to do one or two wingshooting trips a year. So even if you’re a bit rusty, put in some time this summer and get back into the fun of wing shooting with family and friends.