Wingshooting: A Difficult Skill to Master, Wis. DNR Has a Program to Help You

An article from WWA’s Words From The Wardens.

This article originally appeared in Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s June 1, 2018 eNewsletter.

By WDNR Conservation Warden Doug Ziehn

One of the most difficult outdoor skills is cleanly harvesting a flying bird.

From the first shotgun to today, sportsmen and sportswomen have been trying to perfect this art. The ethical hunter harvests game with as little wounding loss as possible. The WDNR with volunteer instructors is helping hunters do just that.

A few years back Wisconsin wardens got involved with a program to teach and to help those interested in wing-shooting techniques. As you know wing-shooting is estimating your target on the fly – not an easy skill but one you can learn or teach. Wingshooting clinics are taught by wardens, wildlife biologist, partner groups (including WWA) and volunteer instructors to specifically help bird hunters hone their skills.

The Wingshooting program is a single day class that teaches the three basics of accurate shotgunning. These are:

  1. Appropriate Equipment (shotgun fit, ammunition selection, proper choke).
  2. Accurate distance estimation (subtending).
  3. The art of shotgunning, using the “Swing Through Method”.
  4. Two more important benefits are enhanced positive hunter ethics and hunting with a better appreciation of Wisconsin’s wildlife resources.

Students will learn how to determine their eye dominance, shotgun mount, how to see shot string, how to properly pattern their shotgun, and how to use the Tom Roster Lethality Table provided by the department. All of this while shooting clays, with the ammo and clay birds provided by the class.

If you are already a skilled wingshooter, consider signing on as a volunteer instructor to lead a one-day course. Some of the topics you would be asked to cover include: patterning, subtending, gun fit, and the swing through method. If this sounds like something you could instruct, please contact . Let’s talk!

For more information about the Wingshooting program visit and search keyword: “Wingshooting“.