How Many Birds In A Pair?
September 2007 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Well, 2, of course. Right? That depends. If we're counting, 2 is the right number. And that's why, when 2 shells go into the gun, the trouble begins.
2 birds and 2 shells equals 2 shots. Sounds right. But here's the problem. When the first trap fires, your eyes lock on one bird. When you pull the trigger one shell fires. You then move your eyes to the one remaining bird. When you pull the trigger, one shell fires. Regardless of how many traps fire, or quail take wing, one bird requires one shell, one shot.
So it should always be all about one, not two. But that's not where we usually put our attention. Our attention is on 2 birds, 2 shells, 2 shots. So, when the gun moves to the first bird, we have some of our attention on the first bird and some on the second. Some? That's right, we've got about 50% of our attention on the second bird while we are shooting the first.
How many birds in a pair? Just one please. It's so important that we give that one bird, one shot, all our attention,...not some. Splitting your attention between two birds will cost you on your score sheet and in the game fields. How many birds are there in a round of sporting? 100? No, one. How many quail did you see in that flush? Right, just one. After all, one plus one equals two, right? XX!
Though I can't really say this is common, it does happen enough times during my lessons that I feel it's worth mentioning here. And, it does happen at all skill levels.
Here,...my student and I are primarily working on getting his set-up correct before each shot. Doing so correctly eliminates wasted time and wasted gun movements...............
As Rick Smith says, "It tastes bad but it's good for you"
Because I see this counterproductive habit everywhere, I feel it deserves our attention. How many times have you seen a shooter get upset over a miss? There are two reasons for getting upset, one valid, one not. Let's first talk about the one that's valid..............