When it comes to hunting safely, you’ll want to make sure that you know how to use your tools and equipment, especially with guns. Using a shotgun can be quite daunting at first because of its weight and power, but once you know how to use it correctly, you will be able to achieve perfect form while shooting your target efficiently. Many hunters, especially beginners, wonder: “What is the correct way to shoulder a shotgun?”. That is why in this article, I’ll be showing you the proper way on shouldering a shotgun and how to hunt safely with it.
So read on as I show you these helpful tips to using a shotgun for hunting deer or birds!
What is the Correct Way to Shoulder a Shotgun?
Hunting isn’t just limited to using bows and carbon arrows! You can shoot with shotguns as well, which is quite useful when hunting for birds. One of the basic movements to learn is shouldering a gun, which gives you more accuracy and strength when taking a shot. So to help you out, I’ll be showing you the shooting basics with a shotgun, from shouldering to pulling the trigger.
Before learning to shoulder the shotgun, remember to pay attention to the stance you are doing. There are various ways on how to shoulder a shotgun, and the correct way will depend on what you are comfortable with. Here are the different ways to shoulder the shotgun correctly:
- Lower your head and get the shotgun’s stock closer to your cheek, then your shoulder.
- Lower your head and let the stock go closer to your shoulder and then your cheek.
- Let the stock of your shotgun be brought up to your cheek then focus on fitting it on your shoulder.
- Let the shotgun go up to your shoulder and then focus on putting it right up to your cheek.
Choosing between any of these four ways to shoulder a shotgun will depend on preference, from the current situation, shooting position, or the target you are trying to shoot.
For beginners, you can start by following these steps and then working to find your comfort level in shouldering a gun:
- Pull the gun snugly into the shoulder and firmly to the chest, without any space between the chest and shotgun’s stock.
- Keep the form tight and close to your body to absorb the impact. The stock should be right by the cheek. Avoid focusing on lowering your head. The gun should be brought to the cheek, not you adjust your head.
- Always remember to take your aim and pull the trigger fast and quickly. Do NOT interfere with the swing and deal with it. And practice more!
Tips on Hunting with a Shotgun Safely
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert on hunting, you will still need to know how to shoot safely! Besides learning how to shoulder a shotgun, here are more tips on how to shoot safely:
- Always practice your mount, but remember the safety precautions! Make sure that you dry fire and ensure that there are NO bullets in the shotgun. Have a friend shine a flashlight at a wall while moving the beam and then practice by mounting and following it. Every time you mount your gun, you then practice your muscle memory, which will become instinctive while you’re on the field.
- When shooting birds, let them get up and out rather than shooting them once they are up off the ground. Be patient, as shooting too quickly will end up with you missing. For close and quick shots, say “Move, mount, shoot”. For longer shots, say “Butt, belly, beak, bang”. That way, you have better timing when shooting.
- Make sure that you always fit your gun properly and that you have the right type of bullets with you. Go for better ammo for improved impact.
- Always be open for newer patterns. Change it and seek instruction, learning new techniques and documenting how you hunt and what you can improve on. That way, you’ll be able to become a pro shooter the more open you are to improve.
Here is an excellent video showing you how to hunt with a shotgun here:
If you want accuracy and safety when using a shotgun for hunting (which I’m sure everyone does!), then you should start on practicing how to shoulder a shotgun. Whether you are hunting on an elevated stand or the ground, it’s still crucial to learn the proper form of shooting. Not only will it have you hit your target successfully, but it keeps you and other hunters around you safe as well.
I hope that this article answers your question: “What is the correct way to shoulder a shotgun?” Now that you know what to do follow these methods and tips on hunting today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences when hunting with a shotgun, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.