San Francisco, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
The Shotgunning Education Program is designed to assist Australian hunters in the use of non-toxic shot and to provide education material which will assist game bird hunters in equipment selection, development of key shooting and hunting skills and proven hunting strategies and techniques. The program is endorsed and delivered through the cooperation of Field & Game Australia (FGA) and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) (SSAA).
This one-day course provides information to hunters to improve their skills, as well as hands-on practical training, which will help improve the collection of game and ensure that game bird hunting is sustainable and humane.
We will then look at pattern testing your shotgun to various distances and choke/load combinations and compare the results to the Tom Roster’s Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table as adapted for Australian Game Birds. We will then hone your hunting skills by examining, demonstrating and practicing distance estimation (for target acquisition) and shooting skills (simulated target practice).
Module 1 – Shooting Skills Assessment
This activity is to determine at what distance, using a shotgun, trainees can consistently hit at least six out of eight targets, with a single shot. The test begins at 20 metres from the mid-point of a crossing target and increases in 10 metre increments up to 40 metres.
The purpose of this exercise is to give workshop trainees an indication of their current shooting skill range. The idea is to educate trainees on the optimum distance that they can consistently (at least 75% of the time) hit a moving target with their first shot. The aim is to identify areas for improving shooting skills.
Module 2 – Distance Estimation
This activity demonstrates a number of techniques for estimating the range to a game species. These can be applied for all game bird hunting situations.
Correct distance assessment allows a hunter to accurately determine if a game bird is within his/her personal shooting skill range and whether the shotshell and choke combinations tested will be effective in those situations.
After poor shooting skills, the other key factor contributing to low success rates of hunting, is the inability of a hunter to accurately judge distances and, as a result, shoot at game birds outside their effective shooting skill range. The purpose of this activity is for trainees to learn and practise distance estimation.
Module 3 – Pattern Testing
In this activity, a range with two sets of three pattern test boards (six in total) is set-up so that trainees can pattern test their gun. Trainees will shoot a specific barrel.
We will then measure the pattern density of their chosen distance load and choke and compare with Tom Roster’s Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table adapted for Australian Game Birds.
We will identify certain loads and choke combinations achieve the minimum pattern density outlined in the Lethality Table.
The purpose of this activity is to assess the chosen choke/load combination to establish a lethal pattern.
Patterning is a practical exercise that involves shooting aspecific barrel, choke and shotshell combination onto a flat (vertical) recordable surface (i.e. sheet of paper). This should be undertaken at distances you are likely to encounter in a hunting scenario and within your personal effective shooting range (as determined by the skills assessment).
Module 4 – Shooting Skills Practice
This exercise throws a number of targets that simulate flying ducks in the field for trainees to shoot at. These targets will be presented as crossing, overhead incoming and overhead outgoing. Trainees will call for, or be randomly presented with targets. Where requested, trainees can focus on specific targets where the trainee needs improvement. Up to 100 targets per trainee will be presented.
Trainees will have an opportunity to identify areas of shooting difficulty and practise in order to improve.
Trainees will practise selecting appropriate chokes and receive advice from the trainer.
Module 5 – Wounding, Retrieval and General Discussion
This final activity recaps on the day’s activities and incorporates the leanings into the discussion on wounding and retrieval.
To clearly discuss the effects of wounding upon game as a natural resource and the social impacts upon hunting.
- Pattern Sheets (as many as required)
- Clay Targets (for both Shooting Skills Assessement and Shooting Skills Practice)
- Steel Shot Target Ammunition (typically you can expect to shoot between 100-150 rounds)
- Expert Instruction and Coaching from qualified Shotgunning Education Progran Trainers
- Shotgunning Education Handbook - Be a Better Game Bird Hunter
- Shotgunning Education Program Certificate
- Shotgunning Education Cloth Badge
- Tom Roster DVD
- A great time with like-minded people!!!
What To Bring
All trainers and trainees must bring the following.
- Current Firearms License.
- Safety Gear including - Ear and Eye protection, High Visibility cap or vest, Sunscreen.
- Typical shotgun used for legally hunting waterfowl with non-toxic shot. This excludes Damascus twist barrelled shotguns and muzzle-loading shotguns. All firearms must be legally registered and in good working order. All firearms must have carrying slings removed.
- All firearm maintenance equipment, including choke tubes and spanner.
- Preferred non-toxic (steel) hunting ammunition.(Approximately 12 rounds of each brand you wish to evaluate are usually sufficient.)
- Hunting/Target shooting jacket, ammunition/game bag or cartridge belt.
- Suitable clothing and footwear for all weather conditions.
- Receipt of course payment and ticket.
- As this event will not be catered, all participants must bring all of their own food and drink.
Conditions of Entry
It is important that all trainees meet the standard entry requirements and those they strictly adhere to the Behaviour,Drug and Alcohol Code* requirements listed below.
The Behaviour, Drug and Alcohol Code
Every person: Trainer and participant or member of the community involved with the training and sport, should work to ensure:
- inclusion of every person regardless of their age, gender or sexual orientation
- inclusion of every person regardless of their race, culture or religion
- opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in the sport and develop to their full potential
- respect is shown towards others, the club and the broader community
- a safe and inclusive environment for all
- elimination of violent and abusive behaviour
- protection from sexual harassment or intimidation.
This Code applies to all sanctioned training activities.
What kinds of behaviors breach the Code?
The following behaviours are considered serious breaches of the Code:
- Violent or abusive behaviour towards another person.
- Vilification of any kind towards another person.
- Discrimination against another person based on their age, gender or sexual orientation.
- Discrimination against another person based on their race, culture, religion or any other irrelevant personal characteristic.
- Sexual harassment or intimidation of another person.
- Victimisation of another person for exercising their rights through the Code of Conduct.
- Failure to maintain a safe environment.
- The consumption of any quantity of alcohol during the course or attending the course in anintoxicated state.
- The taking of during the course or attending the course affected by prescription and/or non-prescription drugs that could possibly affect the safety of the person or others attending the course.
If any of these behaviours take place within a training and sport context, the relevant State Sporting Association (FGA or SSAA Vic) is able to impose penalties or sanctions. For this to occur, the breach must be confirmed through an appropriate assessment process at the appropriate level.
Trainers are to report any code breaches promptly to the FGA or SSAA Vic.
* Department of Planning and Community Development 2013: Victorian Code of Conduct for Community Sport
When & Where
Shotgunning Education Program
The Shotguning Education Program (SEP) is available for all game bird hunters.
The SEP workshop is a one day workshop jointly developed by the Game Management Authority (GMA), with specialist input from Field & Game Australia (FGA) and Sporting Shooter Association of Australia (Victoria). This full day, interactive, practical workshop is specifically designed to address and improve the essential skills and knowledge of all game bird hunters. The program delivers practical benefits and equips game bird hunters to be more effective and efficient in the field. This workshop is suitablefor all game bird hunters, experienced or novice.
SEP workshops are conducted at venues around Victoria, with courses scheduled based on demand.