Whether preparing for duck hunting season or just looking to enjoy some target practice, trap shooting is one of the most enjoyable outdoor experiences with a gun. The challenge and exhilaration of firing the weapon accurately might seem boring over time, but it is one of the best skills to hone.
One of the main reasons trap shooting is so valuable is because it helps us to turn off parts of our brain that are constantly chattering. We all have chores and responsibilities, but sometimes our brain reminds us of cleaning dishes, performing some work related task, or anxieties about upcoming bills. Trap shooting allows us to escape all of that for a while.
Similar to archery with a compound bow, it can actually be quite meditative and relaxing.
In this article, we are going to provide 4 surprising tips to increase your trap shooting skill. Whether you are doing so for hunting season or competition, these expert tips will help.
Trap Shooting for Fun and Practice
Hunting birds is both fun and can be a delicious past time. In comparison with whitetail deer hunting or other big game hunting trips, there is usually a lot more action with waterfowl and other birds.
Instead of sitting in a blind or tracking big game for hours without seeing a single animal, you can easily find dozens of birds to hunt and oftentimes can do so with friends. There is a lot more action with bird hunting, which is why so many people enjoy it.
But the responsibility to honor the animal is no different than big game.
Just like an ethical hunter will practice shooting targets or hitting the bullseye on an archery range, bird hunters should practice trap shooting to be respectful and ethical towards the animal. It doesn’t feel good to clip a duck or dove and never find the wounded animal. This usually means a slow, painful death.
In contrast, when we practice trap shooting enough, it’s possible to not only avoid injuring animals, but also provide great tasting meat for your freezer.
Luckily, trap shooting is one of the most fun ways to practice because, like the hunting, there is so much action involved.
Becoming An Elite Trap Shooter
Even if you are not looking to compete or become an Olympic trap shooting expert, improving your skill will be beneficial and isn’t that hard. The most important thing to realize is that our body adapts to specific movements we repeat over and over again.
Therefore, if we go trap shooting and practice with the shotgun long enough, our body will adapt to the motion and start picking up the skill. Some writers claim we need 10,000 hours to become true “experts” at a skill, but even a small percentage of that will make us great.
How to Get Better at Trap Shooting: 4 Key Tips
Like any great skill, getting better at trap shooting requires one key thing: practice. Assuming you already knew that, we’re going to provide some surprising tips to get the most out of your practice.
#1. Find a gun club you enjoy
Gun clubs aren’t that challenging to find these days. Trap shooting can be found in many large cities (and many smaller ones), but the bigger question is: do you enjoy it?
If the main way to get better is to practice, you have to make sure practicing trap shooting is fun and enjoyable. Because it is such a social pursuit, the people at your gun club must be enjoyable to speak to and connect with. As odd as it sounds, change gun clubs if you simply enjoy chatting with people at a different one!
#2. Start with a private lesson or two
It isn’t so hard to get on the range and start trap shooting. In fact, someone with experience can probably take you out and get you hitting targets within a short period… but what if you’re doing it wrong?
Starting out with any skill is the most crucial moment because you can learn fundamental skills the right way or the wrong way. Doing so the right way ensures that you have a solid foundation for your practice. If you learn it the wrong way, you might practice for ages and develop bad habits that you must unlearn in the future.
#3. Find your eye dominance
Don’t make the mistake of assuming the way you hold a gun comfortably is the best way to start trap shooting. This is NOT always the case. Here is a simple way to find out:
- Pick an object in the distance
- Put your hands together and make a small circle between them to view the object
- Look at the object with both eyes open
- Alternate looking at the object with one eye open and then the other
- The one eye that you can still see the object is the dominant eye
You may have to switch the gun to the other side even if your other hand is dominant. While it will feel awkward at first, it will help in the long run. Try to do this within the first few times you go trap shooting to get fundamentals down, but it is never too late.
#4. Find a reliable gun to shoot
It doesn’t matter whether you are trap shooting as a sport or for hunting practice: you want a good gun.
This is one of the places you don’t want to skimp if you can help it. The gun is the most important thing and barring any catastrophe, it will probably last the better part of your lifetime. Therefore, pick a darn good gun for yourself and that may not be the most expensive one.
Get a gun that is comfortable and reliable. You may only spend $100 on a gun like this, but probably best to budget up to $6-700 simply to make sure you have plenty of freedom to find what works for you.
Final Words on Trap Shooting
Practicing trap shooting is one of the most enjoyable things you can do with a gun. Even if you aren’t trap shooting for hunting practice, it’s a great way to blow off some steam and clear your mind.
For the hunters out there, the ducks, doves, and other birds will thank you for the practice. A quick and ethical kill is always a main priority even when it comes to birds. Have fun and remember… practice makes perfect!
If you want more tips on hunting game birds or shooting accuracy in general, check out our Conscious Hunter VIP community, which is free for the first month if you click here.