About the Study Guide

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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 along the top of 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 face, the stock should fit snugly against your cheek with your eye on that side above the centerline of the gun. If you can’t assume that position comfortably, you may need to adjust the “gun fit.”
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. Slap the trigger rather than squeezing it.
  • 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.