“Rabbits are my most challenging target, and I basically feel like I’m guessing when I shoot at them. Help! What is the best way to approach rabbits?”
Crossing rabbits, and especially quartering ones, always look as if they are moving faster than they really are due to their proximity to the ground. Most misses are in front, even though squad members will tell you that you are missing behind. Many shooters have a tendency to start their move with a hold point too far back toward the trap, which generates excessive gun speed.
For the rabbit, your muzzle should start just below the line of the target. Start moving your gun as the target emerges from the trap and quickly match the speed of the rabbit. Matching gun speed with target speed is critical. Insert your gun on the target line at about the level of the rabbit’s “feet” or bottom edge while applying hard focus to the front “foot” of the rabbit — about 4:30 on the clock for a left-to-right and 7:30 for a right-to-left target. For quartering or crossing rabbits inside 35 yards, pull the trigger as soon as you FEEL the muzzle touching the “tail” or trailing edge of the target, while maintaining sharp visual focus on the front foot.
It may feel as though you are going to miss behind, but the momentum of your swing and your natural eye-hand coordination will apply the necessary forward allowance. You are more likely to miss if your hold point is too far back, you fail to match gun speed to target speed, you apply soft focus, or you try to measure your lead.
Keep your eye on the front foot and match gun speed to target speed, and you will crush them every time!
- Don Currie, Chief NSCA Instructor
The "Shooting Rabbits" article can also be found at: http://doncurrie.com/shooting-rabbits/