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Getting this crucial Pick Up right every time will be easier if you select a static object which is in line with the ‘Pick Up Point’. That might be a bush or fencepost under the flight-path of the target, or a pylon or church spire somewhere in the distance. It does not matter what the object is, as long as it helps ensure your gun is pointing at the same Pick Up Point every time you call 'pull'. If you discipline yourself to this process for every target, you will quickly develop a very efficient and naturally reactive style of shooting.
(4) The final part of the plan is deciding the ‘Kill Picture’, generally described as ‘Lead’ for the crossing target. The successful, experienced clay shot has built up a library of ‘Kill Pictures’ and the library never gets filled up because there is always a new target to figure out. The Kill Picture for this target looks like a gap of roughly six inches between the end of the barrels and the clay targets. To be absolutely clear about this, the Kill Picture is what is seen relating to the end of the barrels. What the distance of that gap is at the point of impact is irrelevant. If you’ve watched someone shooting a particular target consistently well, and you can’t figure out what the Kill Picture should be, ask them to describe what they saw when killing the target. Ask them to physically demonstrate the picture not just describe it as a measurement. That’s the planning complete and remember you’ll also need to apply it to ‘Doubles’. In its simplest form – Kill Point; Feet Position; Pick Up Point; Kill Picture.
Now for the physical process – set the feet to the Kill Point; point the barrels at the Kill Point; wind the barrels back along the expected flight-path of the cross target;
stop the barrels when they reach the Pick Up Point. Pause and mentally rehearse the Kill Picture, see it in your mind. Call 'pull', point at the target, move with the target, make a controlled acceleration of your left hand (my word for this movement is ‘Push’). Fire when you’ve made the Kill Picture. It really is that simple; but remember I described the Kill Picture as 'roughly six inches'. Never try to measure the picture as an exact distance – that will create a ‘making certain hesitation’ and you’ll miss.
Clay shooting (sporting clays) is much more art than science and much more fun that way!