VIDEO: Presenting the Bird to the Guns

I made a deal with the dogs. I’ll let you do what you have always wanted to do, flush the bird. But, in return, you can only do it when I ask you to.

I use a verbal “all right” cue. Once the dog is in the birdy area and points the bird, “All right” does not mean flush the bird. It simply means do what you think is right to stop the bird (if it’s running), manage it, and prepare it for the flush. I can’t expect the dog to do an aggressive flush until it has established where the target is. The goal is stylish, thoughtful bird management, an aggressive flush followed by an instant stop to flush.


Wingshooting, It’s not a Game

We have a ladies hunt and wingshooting day coming up soon.

I’ll be explaining and demonstrating the differences between wingshooting and the shooting games including skeet, trap, sporting clays, etc.

Wingshooting is unique and requires different timing and procedure because real birds don’t simulate the flight of clay targets. With real birds, you can’t see one fly first, you don’t know where your feet (stance) will be, you have no hold point or break point, etc. In addition, the flight of targets is opposite of that of real birds. Clays start out fast, slow down and drop. Birds do the opposite, they start slow, accelerate and rise.

The method I advise and practice for wingshooting is similar to the Churchill or Instinctive style of shooting.

Higgins Gundogs Rules to Successful Wingshooting

After the flush:
1: As the bird flies, focus on his leading edge (usually his head)

2: Square your shoulders to the bird and keep them squared (follow the bird with your upper body)

3: With your shoulders already squared to it and following the bird, mount the gun in front of the bird

4: When the gun touches your cheek, pull the trigger (the gun touches your shoulder and cheek at the same time)

One of my favorite Churchill quotes: ”In practice the shooter should not be conscious of his muzzle, the rib or sight. His eye, or rather his attention, should be fully occupied with the bird, and, if he holds his gun properly, he will hit whatever he is looking at.”

Brad Higgins
HigginsGundogs
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Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette
Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog’s point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.
Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.