The Battue Target
If the battue target were human, it would suffer from multiple personality disorder. These targets can be thrown in so many different ways and are affected by wind and light conditions to such an extent that it’s difficult to provide one “silver bullet” for breaking them.
If you examine a battue target closely, you will notice that it differs dramatically from a standard target in one significant way: it lacks mass at the edges. It’s essentially a Frisbee with the edges cut off. As a result, it tends to turn over (or not) at a certain point in the target’s flight, depending on the wind and the way in which the target setter sets the trap.
In an ideal world, the target setter presents the battue’s belly or face just prior to and through the breakpoint. At those separator stations, however, the target setter will sometimes force you to engage the battue while still in transition. With that said, let’s zero in on a few of the most common battue profiles you might encounter and what tactics you might employ to yield more X’s on the scorecard.
These are extremely difficult to hit with a pattern at any distance, but if you are forced to engage a battue on edge, you might want to tighten up your choke. I’m not a big choke changer, but in this case you are essentially trying to hit a dinner plate on edge, so a tighter choke is recommended.
Belly or Face
Whether battue or standard, a target with lots of real estate (exposed belly or face) lulls the shooter into thinking the target is moving a bit slower than it actually is.
Think about the jumbo jet that just took off from an runway. It looks like it’s standing still. The reality is it’s moving at about 180 MPH. You’re being deceived into believing that the target is moving slower than it really is. The apparent slowness of the belly/face target aircraft, as with the aircraft, is an optical illusion. That means the target is moving faster than your brain would have you believe, and the target will require more perceived forward allowance to break it.
So, from a conscious point of view, you need to tell yourself that these targets need a little more forward allowance than your internal computer indicates. Once again, don’t try to measure incremental forward allowance; simply apply hard focus to the leading edge of the target, FEEL more lead, and pull the trigger.
/—- DC —-/