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Problems picking up the target consistantly

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by wlc, Nov 4, 2011.

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  1. wlc

    wlc Member

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    I continue to have difficulty picking up and locking on the target. I shoot with one eye and hold a low gun and don't try to see it right out of the house. Even after reading everything I could find and taking lessons, I still have problems. This is especially true if the light is not good. I try to pick a place in space above the gun and out near where I expect to be able to see the target clearly and soft focus there. My eye seems to want to be looking at something though and as soon as I call for the target I start looking where I anticipate it might be. I'm not making a good transition from looking for it to looking at it. Has anyone had this problem and solved it?

    Thanks
     
  2. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    WIC : If I miss a bird it is because I did not pick it up out of the house. You are at small disadvantage shooting one eye, but try to focus on a "wide" area a foot above the house. Let your eye "disolve" into that wide area above the house and depending on what station you are on you should move that area acordingly. The best thing you could do is work on two eyes. And of course thier is a lot of difference between seeing the bird and intently focusing on the bird. I try and shoot the steps or the cap instead of the hole bird. Yes I know Jerry!

    Geary
     
  3. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    Raise your comb.
     
  4. MKillian

    MKillian TS Member

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    Had it? Yes!

    Solved it? Not entirely but it's a lot better than it used to be.

    I find that when I fail to acquire the target well it's usually because I'm gazing too high. I try to limit myself to 12-18" above the house roof; it's important that you actually sit something a foot tall on the edge of the roof to see what 12" looks like from the 16 yard line... or further back.

    Soft focus is tough with one eye; to me it's more important to have my eye perfectly still before I call for the target. THEN it's purely a matter of self discipline to keep your eye still until I clearly recognize the target and its direction; THEN and only then do I move my eye to it.

    Crappy light always makes things tough because it's so darned hard to pick the target out of the background. It just takes a little longer to be sure you've acquired the target. Rushing the move to the target will cause more misses than anything else I can think of.

    Crappy light is one of the main causes of head lifting. If you don't acquire the target as quickly as you thi8nk you should, you're prone to raising you head off the stock to get a better view. Not good!

    Mike K
     
  5. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    First and foremost have your eyes checked and have an up to date prescription for your shooting glasses.

    I'm a one eyed shooter. I have a similar problem mainly caused by the medications I'm taking and aging. I've learned to stay away from any foods or drinks with caffine and sugar at least eight hours before shooting. If you do this, you will be surprised how much it helps with vision and gun control. If you're a smoker this will effect your vision negatively, be aware of this. I also use lubricating eye drops, which is a great help; I use them fifteen minutes before walking to the line, this allows my eyes to get adjusted. I also do eye excercises in low and normal light to strenghten my eyes, it helps with target focus.

    Phil Kiner has an eye excercise video, you may want to purchase one of these to help with your problem.

    Good Luck,
    Surfer
     
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Your brain needs information as soon as possible inorder to figure out how to break the target. Look at the front edge of the trap house when you call for te bird. See the bird as soon as possible, then move the gun to the target and pull the trigger. HMB
     
  7. wlc

    wlc Member

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    Mike, you clearly understood my problem. I may be looking too high, I'll try the 12"-18" you suggest. do you pick something in the background to maintain your look location? I have had several shooters try to describe "soft focus" to me and I don't know that I have ever been able to achieve it. Nora Ross said to look just over the roof, when I try that I just see a streak and jump at it.

    Thanks
     
  8. MKillian

    MKillian TS Member

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    I had the same problem with seeing streaks when I looked right at/above the edge of the house roof. It may work for Nora but not for me. Phil Kiner encouraged me to experiment with eye hold height until I found what was comfortable for me.

    At each post I pick something in the background that helps me check that I have my gaze at the right height because it will tend to climb over 5 targets if I don't.

    My "look locations" are spread more-or-less evenly across the house roof starting from a foot in from the left corner on post 1 to a foot in from the right corner on post 5.

    I hold my gun high enough that the rib and maybe some of the top barrel will block my view of the edge of the house roof (I will hold lower depending on conditions). The target first appears now over the barrel instead of over the house roof. That technique came out in several articles by Frank Hoppe (I think) in "Trap & Field" this past year and they changed how I hold and look.

    It's hard to achieve a soft focus with 1 eye. If I find an object in the background that is in the right place for an eye hold reference, I want to look through it or past it instead of at it. Once my eye is perfectly still I wait until I can comprehend the background over a broad area before I call for the target. For me, it's not so much what I'm looking at. The trick for me is to make my brain ready to pick up motion over the entire area where the target will appear on that post. I usually find that if I'm not ready to do that, my eye is still moving around looking for something.

    Mike K
     
  9. SMOKEIT

    SMOKEIT Well-Known Member

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    I use a dot on my left lens so I am a one eye shooter. Even so you can obtain a soft look at a big area.
    Think about looking at a wide rectangle starting at the lip and up to just above level. I mount the gun about a foot over the house and never look directly at the bead--I look at the rectangle area- mount the gun with the bead on the lower part of the rectangle---looking thru the bead...Takes practice but you can do it....SMOKIT
     
  10. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

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    Soft focus is similar to looking through your windsheild while driving. Your eyes aren't loocked onto any specific object, you just see the whole field of traffic before you. The second a brake light, turn signal lights up or a shinney object starts edging into your lane, your focus narrows to that object and your hands respond accordantly to that situation. The same is true on the trap line, your view should be global, not looking at anything specific; your view is just out there. When looking through the windsheild, your view has to be balanced, not looking to high, two low or to far left or right or your eyes will not focus quickly enough to respond to the situation at hand.

    The middle of my gaze/soft focus is usually in one or two places, where I see a whole undistorted target, not a streak or where I'm normally breaking the target. These two view points work for me, but may not work for anyone else, as were all different. That's the key, were all differnt and no two people see the target the same or at the same time, only you can figure out what works best for you.

    As mentioned before, do yourself a favor and get a hold of Phil Kiner's video or better yet, take one of his clinics.

    Surfer
     
  11. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    + What Mike k says. Don't forget that the box you are looking to focus in changes with every station. You do not want to waste focus area on the entire house from station one if all the birds will be coming into view from more of the left side of the house. Same with station 4 and 5. Station three is where you have to really get wide with the focus. Think intense focus not just looking into the area. Every bird you call for should have an intensity of focus. Shoot the cap or the ridge lines instead of the whole bird. It is all in your head and that is the game.

    If you want to really learn how to focus take a Kay's class......

    Geary
     
  12. mikkeeh

    mikkeeh Active Member

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    This may sound strange....but have you checked you blood sugar. High or low blood glucose levels will play havoc with your ability to focus your eyes. Just a thought!
     
  13. Beni

    Beni Member

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    Im one eyed to, had to commit to a hold point either on the house or 1 barrel above it. Biggest problem for me has been to get my focus away from my front bead and just out in the field,evan if it takes an extra second or two before i call for a target. Keep that gun still until you see it,Its tough not to shoot at the streak because we see it quicker,believe it or not using jordans wall chart really helped me,because when you make your move to the target you are seeing a clear and whole target,everytime and you can carry that memory right to the line. I agree with Mike about the light you really have to pay attention to when you shoot and what lens you use... good luck beni
     
  14. wlc

    wlc Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate hearing from shooters who have had the same problem. I have Kiners video and have taken his clinic. I don't think I understood the problem I was having when I took the clinic though.
     
  15. 20yard

    20yard TS Member

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    I agree soft focus is probably wrong. I have this issue especially at new clubs. If my soft focus is too far out I find I don't pick up the bird and then I am late moving to target.
     
  16. Jack L. Smith

    Jack L. Smith Member

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    WLC - The one thing I have learned is that seeing the target is more than one thing.

    There are good suggestions from your fellow shooters here. Some of the advice offered here could be a solution; or not.

    If you are located in Eastern PA or S. NJ, I can connect you with a personal coach for your consideration. I am a one eye shooter that has improved a lot and I am seeing the target better; a lot has to do with what is happending far before we call PULL. The causes & effects of our approach to trap shooting changes are inter-related.

    What if your stock doesn't fit you perfectly? I mean perfectly.
    What if your mount is not repeatable and consistant? & Why?
    What if your eye is not centered on the rib?
    What if you are opening your (other) eye? & Why?
    What happens if you see space between the beads, vs. figure 8, and why?
    How long do you wait before calling pull & why?
    How long do you wait before shooting, and why?
    What if your stance(s)are incorrect?
    What if your hold points aren't right for finding YOUR sweet spot?
    What if you see the target streak but not the clear edges of the target and can a lens color change can help?
    What if your gun shoots too flat or too high for YOU and is not optimizing your best solution?
    Where is your eye center relative to the lens, rib and target site picture?
    How & when are you actually moving on the target - and why?

    what what what what - sounds like Captain Binghamton from McHales's Navy.

    If you are serious about diagnosing your issue, and improvement, seek the advice of a good, personal trap coach with credentials and references. Get one that will go to the line and work with you, one on one. For the cost of a few flats of shells, you may have great success and path to improvement.

    good luck,

    js
     
  17. wlc

    wlc Member

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    Lots of good information here. I now need to try to find what will work for me without over analyzing it. Some days I see tagets well and shoot well. On these days I don't think about why it's working. Maybe some time at the range mounting the gun and looking for the targets without shooting them would help.
     
  18. Bird30

    Bird30 TS Member

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    Have your eyes checked. My scores went down and I had a eye exam and found that I had the start of cataracts. I started using lite yellow glasses which let more lite in my eyes and my scores have gone back to the middle 90's to the high 90's. May not be your problem but worth a try.

    Dave
     
  19. Calkidd

    Calkidd Well-Known Member

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    I am a one eye shooter to but I don't have my soft focus just above the house. I have found that if I look too close to the top of house the Target is a streak. I look more level or above the plane of my barrel.

    I read somewhere that your peripheral vision is much more efficient at picking up moving targets than your direct vision hence soft focus. But, for me, looking down too close towards the house or exit of the target causes that streaming thus making it harder to track the target.

    Bryan
     
  20. MKillian

    MKillian TS Member

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    Bryan,

    That's the same problem I had and that Frank Hoppe's articles and Phil Kiner's coaching helped me get over.

    I found that when I tried to soft focus near the edge of the house roof I ended up focusing on that edge more often than not. Then my eyes had to focus OUT to chase the target which is not efficient.

    Mike K
     
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