Editor’s Note: I was fortunate to meet former Olympian and Gold Medalist shooter, the late Tony Rosetti, 20 years ago. Rosetti had the reputation in years past as one of the best shots ever and had proved his prowess with a shotgun afield – particularly in hunting doves. His shooting expertise and tips are just as strong today as then and will help you have a better dove season this year. Rosetti was very concerned about dove hunting safely and said to, “Never: shoot at a dove below the tree line; take your gun off of safety until just before you’re ready to shoot; walk through a dove field looking for a bird without first engaging your safety; and allow alcoholic beverages on a hunt until everyone unloads his gun, leaves the field and stores his gun.”
Determine the Lead Best For You:
Most dove hunters use two different types of leads. With the sustained lead, you hold your barrel out in front of the bird during the aiming process. When you see what you believe to be the proper distance between the end of the barrel and the dove, then you pull the trigger. But Rosetti taught, “The second type of lead, the swing-through method, is the lead I prefer. I come from the rear of the dove, swing past the bird and pull the trigger when I see daylight between my barrel and the dove. No matter which lead you like, you must continue to swing the gun after you squeeze the trigger. You can’t just swing past the dove, and then when you’re out in front of it, stop the movement of the gun, and pull the trigger. If you do, you’ll be shooting behind the bird, because the bird keeps on flying forward.
“By shooting trap, skeet and sporting clays, you learn how to continue to swing past the target and make the proper follow-through to shoot correctly. Once your mind learns how to see the proper lead and to continue the swing-through, then leading and shooting doves will become automatic and much easier for you. If you’re serious about your dove shooting, go to a trap, skeet or sporting-clay range. Have a qualified instructor watch you shoot. In 5-10 minutes, he’ll be able to see the mistakes you’re making and help you drastically increase your ability to shoot doves more proficiently.”
Learn Why You’re Missing:
According to Rosetti, “A good wing-shooting instructor will be able to tell you whether you’re shooting in front of or behind the targets and teach you the proper shooting position to correct your misses. He’ll look at the way you mount the gun and watch the position of your head when you shoot. He’ll notice if you pick your head up off the stock, which can cause you to miss. If you raise your head up only 1/2-inch above the rib, you’ll shoot 3-feet high. Usually you won’t be able to tell whether you’re raising your head up or not. All you need to see when you shoot correctly is the bead of the shotgun and the bird. Taking a lesson or two from a shooting instructor will allow you to identify your mistakes, and shoot more accurately.”
Besides enjoying shooting doves, to learn more about hunting elk successfully, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Secrets for Hunting Elk,” available in Kindle and Audible at https://www.amazon.com/. You may have to copy and paste this click into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon allows you to read and hear 10% of the book for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible with one click. To see more of John’s elk books, visit www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
Tomorrow: Understand When to Shoot Doves