Previous slide
Next slide

How to Beat a Shooting Slump: 4 Quick Fixes

When it comes to waterfowl hunting, everyone has their fair share of bad days. Even the pros have periods when they can’t seem to touch a single feather. While this can be extremely frustrating and discouraging, often, there’s no need to worry. At some point, your shots are bound to start connecting again. And until they do, we’re here to help!

You see, when you rush the shot on a flushing rooster, you’re only making sure that your shooting slump continues. Perhaps you’ve even gone to the club countless times for shooting practice, analyzed your shots to death, and nothing seems to be of any help.

Hey, it happens. And as humbling as it can be, if you want to keep collecting ducks, you’re going to have to figure out a way to work your way out of an occasional slump. Instead of kicking yourself and spiraling into despair, here are some tips on how to get to a point where shooting feels like the most natural thing again.

Are You Shooting a Poor-Fitting Gun?

Being a good shot is all about investing in a shotgun that fits. So, if you haven’t made sure that your gun fits your physical characteristics, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be a skilled marksman or markswoman. What’s even more surprising is the fact that not many shooters actually consider this before purchasing their fowling-piece. As a result, when shots aren’t connecting, they inevitably start thinking they’ve lost their touch, when in fact, it all comes down to the shotgun. So, make sure that the piece you end up buying feels comfortable, can mount easily to your shoulder, and essentially feels like an extension of your arm. You’d be surprised what a game-changer this can be (pun intended).

Identify the Mistakes

Slumps typically arise when you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Perhaps you never actually managed to get far enough ahead of those annoyingly fast crossers. Maybe you somehow managed to lose your focus on those easy incomers, and instead, you shot the water below them. Or maybe, you have a habit of waiting for a tad too long to cash in on the high overhead opportunities, which ends up forcing you to take off-balance shots while falling backward. You get where we’re going with this, and now you know where to start. When the shots don’t come easily, stop for a moment, identify your mistakes, and try to figure out what you’re doing wrong. Whatever you do, don’t overthink it. Trust your instincts, fix your aim, and pull the trigger. It’ll come back to you one way or another. 

Go Back to the Basics & Correct What You Can Control

Sometimes, it’s the simplest situations or problems with your form that keep causing you to miss. So, we encourage you to think back to the fundamentals of shooting. Have you positioned your feet correctly or at least as well as you can, considering the fact that you’re likely standing in muck or uncomfortably confined in a layout blind? If not, adjust accordingly.  Are you shouldering your gun properly? Feel free to take a few practice shots to see how it feels. Maybe the problem is with your setup? Is the sun constantly blazing in your eyes? Is there a crosswind that keeps creating tough chances?  Bottom line – take control of all aspects that can help you stack the odds in your favor. All of the above can be easily adjusted, and then, all there’s left to do is give it your best shot!

Get It Out of Your Head & Keep Shooting

While you may feel embarrassed and self-conscious due to your unfortunate slump, all this will do is prolong it! And if your hunting buddies tend to jokingly tease you about your awkward whiffs, this is all you’ll be able to think about.  The solution? Get it all out of your head! Stop focusing so much on your shell count or the teasing from across the blind. With proper practice and enough experience, you’ll get to a point when you feel confident in your shooting ability, even after a few awful misses. So you’ve flopped some shots, big deal! Drown the outside noise, forget about the misses, and ignore the chatter. Put your focus solely on the next opportunity, and make it count. Sometimes, you just have to shoot your way out of a bad situation.

Call Us for the Best Waterfowl Hunting Experience in Tennessee

By now, you’ve likely figured out that the anxious “I’m no good, I hope I get a hit this time” mindset does nothing but prolong your slump by focusing your mind on the wrong thing. When struggling to cash in on your thoroughly laid-out duck-hunting plans, just forget about those missed shots and think about the fundamentals. Trust us, your shooting will return. Oh, and there’s another great way to get out of your rut. With the help of our excellent Tennessee duck hunting guides! Our team will set everything up, offer some valuable advice and show you all the best tips and tricks that will help you connect again. Give us a call and we’ll make sure you get your groove back!

2023 Season Photos

Flooded Timber