Wardfield’s Wisdom with Tom Payne

With the grouse an partridge season now underway, we wanted to share an extract from an article by pigeon shooting guru Tom Payne. Tom wrote this article for Shooting UK giving his expert insight into ways in which to prepare for a successful season ahead.


Basics to focus on


Good gun mount You are looking for a slow, smooth and controlled gun mount, making sure that you make a solid connection with muzzle to bird.


Footwork This is a major part of shooting well. Focus on a good stance first as this is the building block to any shot if you feel your footwork has been letting you down. Once you have established a good stance you can start to build good, consistent footwork again. Don’t move and mount at the same time or you will end up in a mess.


Consistent structure Develop and practise a consistent structure to the way you prepare before your shot and how you set yourself up for your birds. A golfer doesn’t suddenly change his or her swing half-way through a round, and nor should you change the way you shoot on a day. But this is a very common mistake and one of the major causes of people getting into bad habits.




Tom’s Top Tips


  • If you have any suspicions that your gun doesn’t fit, arrange to have a gun fit with a professional. And if you are thinking about buying a new gun for the season, go forearmed with your measurements and specifications.


  • Don’t hang around until the last minute to get your gun serviced — do it now, even if it’s just a quick once-over so that your mind is put at rest for the start of the season.


  • Pick a good cartridge that suits you and your gun. As the season gets closer, practise with as close a load as you will be hoping to use in the field. This will help your body condition itself in readiness. If you are able to store them correctly, work out how many cartridges you will need for the season and purchase accordingly. This will work out cheaper in the long run and save you panicking if you forget to buy extra supplies later.


  • Think about your clothing and footwear. Wearing the correct and good-quality clothing and boots will only benefit your shooting and is always a good investment.


  • Check your cartridge bags and gunslips and make sure they are in good working order.


  • Now is the time to practise and iron out any problems with your shooting technique. An experienced gameshooting instructor can work with you on this to get you ready.