View Full Version : Long distance lead on dove

September 4, 2009, 06:02 PM
Had a question on the best way to judge lead on dove. I'm sort of reluctant to take the longer shots on passing birds (the 30 to 35 yard shots or thereabouts). I figure I would just waste a shell anyways. But I know that my 12 guage is capable of that distance. So, just asking you guys how do you judge the lead on a dove (or other bird for that matter) out to the 30-35 yard distance? Been using the modified choke; maybe I should switch to improved? I have read elsewhere that you just touch off a shot "when your brain tells you that its just about right."

Also, I'm having some trouble with the shots that others probably nail all the time: the straight inbound and outbound birds. My best success usually comes from the "left to right" floaters.

Thanks for any advice.

September 4, 2009, 07:36 PM
Telling someone how much to lead a dove is difficult because of differences in angles, elevation, speed, wind, reflexes, speed of muzzle swing, sustained lead or swing through, stopping swing vs following thru, etc. I would suggest you switch to the IC choke and gradually increase the amount of lead on distant shots until you get a hit. Then try to replicate the lead. On incoming shots, generally you should try to shoot just in front of their head. On outgoing shots, try to shoot their feet off. In both cases, you are applying a short lead.

September 4, 2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks, LHB1. Sound advice to me. I've always sort of had the impression or been told that the modified choke is kind of an "all purpose" choke. Maybe it is; but might as well give the improved a go too.

September 4, 2009, 09:10 PM
I wish I could give you some good advice on wingshooting, but I cant. I have always used the point and shoot technique. After many years I just have a good idea of where to shoot. I tried the other ways, but they never worked for me. As for the choke, I prefer full. They can always get further away, but kinda hard to call them back. I do hunt often with a side by side 12 in mod and full. I suggest you play around and find what works best for you. I dont like swapping guns, loads, chokes etc. I stay in a small group of these that way I know exactly what they will do. Keeps me consistant.

September 4, 2009, 09:18 PM
I've used the "swing through the target and slap the trigger" method for 40 years. Has worked on crows, doves, ducks, and geese from 10 to 50 yards if I do my part.

September 4, 2009, 10:26 PM
Well, lets go through it from a mathematical POV. Let's say
a Dove is traveling 90 degrees to you at 30 mph. That is 44 feet
per second. You are 35 yards away (105 feet). You zero in on
his body and squeeze the trigger. The shot comes out of the shotgun
at roughly 1000 feet per second. It will cover the 105 feet to the
target in roughly 0.105 seconds. In that time the bird will travel
4.62 feet and you will miss way behind him.

The result? It can't be done. :)

September 5, 2009, 11:05 AM
Years ago I got some shotgun shooting instruction from a pro. I like what he used to say to his students: If they could suck out all your brains you would never miss with a shotgun again. In other words, shooting small, fast objects with a shotgun requires instinct, not thought. It is sort of like trying to hit a 90 miles per hour fastball, if you think about it, your bat will never make contact with the ball.

roy reali
September 5, 2009, 11:21 AM
Here is a saying I picked up a long time ago.

Rifle shooting is a science, shotgun shooting is an art.

Fat White Boy
September 5, 2009, 08:39 PM
I use Geauxtide's method. Swing from behind the bird- As you catch up, keep swinging the shotgun- pull the trigger as you pass the head. Keep swinging! If you stop swinging the barrel, you will shoot behind the bird. This is for crossing and quartering targets. Straight on and flying directly away are different shots...

September 6, 2009, 09:46 AM
The lead is more than you think. I do the butt-bird-beak-bang theory, with a significant delay as I swing past the beak to the bang. My guestimate is an approx. 6 ft lead. I notice when I dove hunt, I usually don't lead enough. I tend to hit passing doves on the 2nd shot, which I increase the lead off my first shot. Obviously, the longer the distance, the longer the lead on the first shot. If you can shoot some skeet, it will help tremendously.

On the Incoming shots, cover the bird with your barrel. Should be a kill. on the going out shots, try making a figure 8 with your rear and front sight, (if you have a ventilated rib) then aim UNDER the bird. This actually places the shot in front, which the bird will fly into the shot because it is going away from you. If the shot is quartering away, you have to add subtle leads in that general direction.

remember, most doves are missed because they are under lead, not over lead.