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Pete Blakeley Shooting School and the "intuitive judgment" shooting method

"Intuitive" or "Instinctive?"  

Quail Hunting, or ruffed grouse hunting in thick cover are both good examples of an instinctive, reflexive shotgunning. Usually in these situations, no conscious application of lead or forward allowance is necessary and the sudden appearance of the bird in our peripheral vision is enough to trigger a subconscious gun movement in the direction of it. The fast handling gun, wide shot pattern and the narrow angle of the bird are a very forgiving combination and these shots are often successful as a result. However, pointing a gun at fast-flushing birds at modest range is only one facet of the art of successful shotgunning and unfortunately for us, this is not what many bird-hunting or competitive shooting situations are about. Our success with a shotgun depends on an accurate conversion of the visual information into a corresponding physical one to put the barrels in the right place as the shot is triggered.
At extended ranges or with compound leads, this becomes more difficult. Imagine a white-wing dove, cruising the thermals of the hot Texas breeze at 45 mph and more. At 30 yards or so, the laws of physics dictate that he will need at least 5-6 feet of lead. What about the canvasback duck that skims over the cypress trees and comes plummeting into the bayou like a skirmishing Mig fighter? He could be touching sixty miles an hour and need even more lead. Also, in a competitive environment on the sporting clay course for example, think of the 50 yard plus crossing shot that almost everybody misses or the 40 yard battue target that drops like a stone and we shoot over it. These are not "instinctive" shots and in these situations, we need to apply a more conscious or "intuitive" approach to them if we are to be successful. This is what I call "intuitive judgment" shot gunning and this is exactly how the experts shoot. Over a period of time they build up a personal mental repertoire of sight pictures, which they can then successfully apply to each target, regardless of whether it is a dove, duck or clay target. They then have the ability to see a subtle but consequential target/barrel relationship on every shot and adjust it to each shooting situation. My coaching methods involve a technique that is based on pure logic and a systematic breakdown of all the variables involved to allow you to do this. 

In an extract from "Successful Shotgunning" I wrote:- 

Successful shotgunning isn't and inherent trait, it is a skill and it must be learned like any other skill. It requires systematic study and the ability to accurately calculate the variables of moving targets. The aspiring shotgunner has absolutely no control over any airborne target. Once he triggers the shot, its over. It would make perfect sense therefore to pay attention to the things that he can control, gunfit, stance, mount and swing and the most important one of all, our visual ability to accurately calculate all the variables involved." 
  
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My coaching sessions focus on the following:
Correct gun mounting procedure and optimum barrel management.
ShotGun fit and expert pattern plate analysis. 
Correct foot positions and also (for bird hunting situation) weight distribution footwork.
Shotgun technique and shooting methods.
Successful target evaluation, including correct line development, simple and compound lead requirements based on the angle, speed and range of the target.
Individual Lessons 
One hour lesson - $175.00
Full day one-on-one lesson - $1,200 (6-7 hours coaching)

Group Lessons 
One hour lesson 2 students $200.00 (minimum 2 hours)
One hour lesson 3 students $225.00 (minimum 2 hours)
One hour lesson 4 students $250.00 (minimum 2 hours)
Full day 5-6 students - $1,500 (6-7 hours coaching)

Please note that targets and shells are not included in the lesson prices. 

Shooting clinics are limited to a maximum of 6 students per two-day school. If possible, students should be at similar proficiency level in each group, to ensure maximum "one-on-one" involvement with each student. 

As I said in the November 2000 issue of Sporting Clays magazine:- "When taking a shooting lesson with an experienced coach there should be immediate improvement. If there isn't, change your coach. If you can't hit the target it's his fault not yours" 

To schedule a lesson in the Dallas Metroplex area, or to schedule a clinic at your club, please either send me an email on the contact page or call  903-383-2923.

 

Specialists Clinics

Driven pheasant shooting is considered by many to be the epitome of bird hunting, very exciting and great fun. At the Dallas Gun Club there is an excellent 120-foot high tower with two machines on it that will throw a pretty good pair of simulated "tall" pheasants. Anyone who is considering a trip to Europe to shoot these splendid sporting birds should seriously consider taking a days instruction here at the DGC, not just to hone their shooting skills before they go but I can also fill in all the details on the "pomp and ceremony" and etiquette involved. 
 

Individual Lessons 
One hour lesson - $175.00

Group Lessons 
2 students $180.00
3 students $200.00
4 students $240.00
Full day 5-6 students - $1,500

Please note that targets and shells are not included in the lesson prices. 

Shooting clinics are limited to a maximum of 6 students per two-day school. If possible, students should be at similar proficiency level in each group, to ensure maximum "one-on-one" involvement with each student. 

As I said in the November 2000 issue of Sporting Clays magazine:- "When taking a shooting lesson with an experienced coach there should be immediate improvement. If there isn't, change your coach. If you can't hit the target it's his fault not yours" 

To schedule a lesson in the Dallas Metroplex area, or to schedule a clinic at your club, please either send me an email on the contact page or call  903-383-2923.

 

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