About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the Arizona Hunter's Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Hunter Education Certificate.

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Pointing a Shotgun

  • Because targets usually appear suddenly and move quickly, there's no time to "aim" a shotgun. It's designed to be pointed, with the eye sighting a little above the barrel or rib.
  • The sight is usually a bead on the front of the gun. Your eye must be in line with the barrel, so it's important to position your head properly on the stock.
  • When you bring the gun to your shoulder, your cheek should fit snugly against the stock, providing a proper sight picture. If you can't assume that position comfortably, you may need to adjust the "gun fit." Most shotguns are designed to fit the average shooter, but you can make adjustments, such as changing the stock to fit you better.
Hunter pointing shotgun

Shouldering the Shotgun

  • When you bring the shotgun to your shoulder, the stock should be brought to your cheek first and then back to your shoulder.
  • A common error is lowering the head and cheek to the stock, instead of bringing the stock all the way up to the cheek. When done properly, with your head naturally erect, the gun butt always should come to the same spot on your shoulder.

Pulling the Trigger

  • Unlike rifle shooting, quick trigger action is important when hunting with a shotgun. Tap the trigger in much the same way you would strike a typewriter key.
  • Because the trigger is pulled quickly and the body and gun are typically in motion, breath control isn't necessary.
  • Continue the shotgun's swing as you pull the trigger. Stopping the swing as you shoot will cause you to hit behind a moving target.