Shooting Flying Game with a Rifle
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Shooting Flying Game with a Rifle

Shooting Flying Game with a Rifle




      

Shooting Flying Game with a Rifle


Shooting Flying Game with a Rifle

Quail and wild ducks are not entirely beyond the skill of the rifle snapshot. I have known a man to kill five quail in the course of a day, all shot fairly on the wing with a rifle. He was only successful with one style of flight, a bird that rose close to the gun and bore away, not straight, but at any easy angle. He then shot in the usual way by throwing his sights in front and pulling just before the game covered them. Any shot in which an allowance of more than a couple of inches had to be given was nearly sure to result in a miss and straightaway birds were rarely hit. The wildfowl that I have seen killed were rising birds, angling gently off, and never passing ducks, however close they might come. Snap shooting game with a rifle is withal a fascinating pastime, one bird so killed affording more satisfaction than several dropped before a shotgun.

Prairie chickens can be killed on the wing with a rifle, where they are plentiful and tame, especially the sort of immature birds that used to be shot in August. I have been told that a professional trick shot, on a wager, once hit seven swallows in a hundred shots, but I didn't see it done. John Winston, the live pigeon shot, used to go quail shooting with a rifle occasionally, bringing back bags of birds which he said were all killed on the wingI never happened to be out with him. Yet I think it is within the skill of man to kill an occasional bird of any kind on the wing with a rifle, quail, chicken, wild goose, duck, crow, or hawk.

The finest work I have ever heard of was described by Stonehenge, the English sporting writer, who tells of a British gamekeeper who killed fifty live pigeons in a hundred shots, fifteen yards rise, muzzle loading rifle. Nevertheless, when all is said, the man who would do his wing shooting with a rifle must possess a deal of patience and fortitude. What anyone can do though is vastly to improve the accuracy of his wing shooting with a shotgun and his chances at big game with a large bore rifle.

The professional shot's stock in trade, such as firing while standing on his head, bending over backwards, aiming with rifle upside down, aiming by means of a mirror, etc., are all silly and not to be imitated by a self-respecting amateur.

Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.

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