Trying to get my nephew a bird

Goosemaster

Well-known member
For the past 3 years, my nephew hunts with me for 5 days. He has been shut out 3 years in a row. He isn't very aggressive, but he has whiffed on some easy shots each year. We are hunting mostly public land, but also some good private farms.i know he's disappointed, but he doesn't show it. He got a few birds when he was 15, he's now 26. Any suggestions???
 

Bob Peters

Well-known member
I'm an adult onset hunter, getting my first pheasant wasn't easy. I shot a lot of clays but would always miss the rooster. As long as he's shooting a gun/choke/shell that is appropriate, try to take the pressure off him. Tell him to mount the gun, take his time, and shoot. If he is persistent, it will happen. When he drops his first rooster on the season take him out for a PBR and a bacon cheeseburger. If he keeps at it none of them will be automatic, but they will become easier.
 

KSBrittman

Active member
Here are some things that have worked for a few younger hunters I have brought along .

If hunting with dogs let him know what the dog body language looks like when he is starting track birds (getting birdy)
He will be more prepared for the shot .

When my dog start following birds I anticipate the direction they will likely fly based on adjoining escape cover .

I think it real important to get your feet set

I have my young hunters look hard at the front edge of target weather it be the roosters head or front edge of a clay .

I would have him shoot some low gun clays weather it be trap or backyard clays .

Gil Ash has some good videos on how this is best done .

Hope this helps and look forward to hearing about his success
 
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Goosemaster

Well-known member
I'm an adult onset hunter, getting my first pheasant wasn't easy. I shot a lot of clays but would always miss the rooster. As long as he's shooting a gun/choke/shell that is appropriate, try to take the pressure off him. Tell him to mount the gun, take his time, and shoot. If he is persistent, it will happen. When he drops his first rooster on the season take him out for a PBR and a bacon cheeseburger. If he keeps at it none of them will be automatic, but they will become easier.
When he turned 15, I bought him a youth model 870 20 guage.It actually still fits him pretty well. I've turned him loose with my cousin, without a dog.Ive had him blocking.Ive had him alongside me.Ive had him out on his own.Ive tried everything I know of, and he still gets skunked 5 days straight! Believe me, I would celebrate like a banshee if he got any bird, even a sharptail! He's kind of a strange kid.Grew up in Minneapolis. His Dad doesn't hunt.His Mom is a big granola. He likes to fly fish.He graduated from college, and he works a lot, but he just isn't aggressive enough, that's his problem. He's short, and doesn't cover ground very fast.Maybe I can get him out to South Dak.
 

BrdHntr

Active member
I'd start by giving him the dominant eye test - Of course if he closes one eye, then this doesn't matter - This is the first thing I do with new or inexperienced shooters - I've come across a few that were right handed, with a dominant left eye; two choices; close your left eye when you shoot, or shoot left handed.

Next, I would get someone to throw clays, first start shooting at targets straight away (usually they shoot high, but you can tell and correct him), then move him to shoot at crossers - while you stand behind your nephew. Have him hold the gun as he would hunting, and mount the gun after the target is called. You can see where he is shooting, and help him adjust. You can build a lot of confidence in a new shooter, as they start busting clays. (I really enjoy working with & helping new/inexperienced shooters)
Having him mount the gun after calling the target helps him learn proper mounting technique and target acquisition.

Good luck and sure hope the two of you are celebrating this year!
 

Powderhorn Jim

Active member
I've seen a lot of good shotgun shooters (on clays) totally fall apart when a pheasant flushes. It is helpful when shooting clays (I prefer skeet or sporting clays) to shoot low gun, using the gun you will be hunting with. The other thing that helps me is to shoot random delay (International) releases. It helps with the shock of having a bird flush when you are not expecting it. We use a pre-programmed random release that delays for up to 3 seconds. If that isn't available, "pullers choice" works well enough. Too many American shooters start clay shooting pre-mounted with an instant release upon calling for the bird. That will really screw you up when a pheasant flushes.
 

BrdHntr

Active member
Great post PJ - on the occasion I get to go shoot Sporting clays or skeet, I hold my gun as I walk with it - except high house station 8 - there is no way I can mount the gun and break that target in time - I've tried! If you are shooting to improve your wing shooting skills, then do all you can to simulate it. We have remote & stationary throwers at our place, so we get plenty of practice throughout the year. We throw doubles and triples routinely. Pump shooters have a tendency to short shuck, so throwing multiple targets helps eliminate this
 

gimruis

Well-known member
Holy cow if I went that long without folding up a rooster I would have given up. Maybe its just not for him. Gotta wonder is he even enjoys going with at this point.
 

RED Huck

Member
Whether-weather ? Dominant eye test. Proper gun mount-practice, moving gun mount, lead. I also like Gile Ash's instructional videos. If all he shoots is five days a year, it's going to be tough to teach him
 

Kismet

UPH Guru
Something he can do at home, without supervision is to repeatedly bring the shotgun up to his shoulder while he is tracking imaginary birds, over and over again. He must get comfortable with the coordination of following the bird and mounting his shotgun simultaneously. He can look at the bead as the gun gets set, then look beyond (I used to track the moulding at the ceiling/wall intersection and track that.

Not more than five or ten minutes is enough for one session. Later in the day, do it again, and again, lather, rinse and repeat.

He WILL get the rhythm, and bring it along with him the next time a bird goes up.

Best wishes and congratulations for taking the time and concern to work with the young man.

Good for you.
 

McFarmer

Well-known member
I’m serious about if he wants to shoot one, he may be going out because he thinks it makes others happy or it’s expected of him.

Our son won’t hunt native game anymore but is willing to shoot all the “ditch chickens” he can.

Peoples’ philosophies change over time.
 
For the past 3 years, my nephew hunts with me for 5 days. He has been shut out 3 years in a row. He isn't very aggressive, but he has whiffed on some easy shots each year. We are hunting mostly public land, but also some good private farms.i know he's disappointed, but he doesn't show it. He got a few birds when he was 15, he's now 26. Any suggestions???
If you weren’t such a cheap ass you would take him to a pay hunt where he gets tons of shots 😂😂😂😂😂 I’m joking I know you don’t like the pay to play that’s why I said it
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
Holy cow if I went that long without folding up a rooster I would have given up. Maybe its just not for him. Gotta wonder is he even enjoys going with at this point.
He likes the comradery.He actually likes bird hunting... I think. He's been driving 600 miles to go on these 5 day hunts. Maybe I could fool him with some planted birds.Hes a city kid, that came to Montana every summer.
 

5 stand

Well-known member
He likes the comradery.He actually likes bird hunting... I think. He's been driving 600 miles to go on these 5 day hunts. Maybe I could fool him with some planted birds.Hes a city kid, that came to Montana every summer.
If he's putting that much effort into it, he deserve to kill a bird.
It's hard to fix someone shooting woes, over the internet. I hope you figure out a way to get him over the hump. Good luck from Arkansas.
 
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