Below my Feet
Where I normally shoot, I don’t see a lot of target below my feet. When I got to big shoots and have to shoot from a raised platform or down into a stream bed, I have a really tough time hitting the targets. Any suggestions?
The shooting stance employed on targets above the waist doesn’t lend itself to a target below the waist. Most shooters today employ what we refer to as a Stanbury stance or modified Stanbury stance, named after the legendary British shooter and instructor Percy Stanbury. For the right-handed shooter, this stance is characterized by the toe of the lead foot (left foot) oriented at about 1 o’clock (slightly right) of the left-most break point of a pair. The toe of the right foot, then, is oriented between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock, with about 10 to 12 inches between the heels. For a left-handed shooter, the right foot is oriented at 11 o’clock (slightly left) of the right-most break point of a pair. We use this stance because, for most targets above the waist, it produces the least amount of torque, or tension, at the break points. It is in fact our “neutral” position.
If, however, you try to reach for an object located on the ground directly in front of your lead foot while in this stance, reaching for it is quite uncomfortable. Your natural tendency would be to reorient your feet so that you are facing the object squarely, then to bend at the waist to pick it up. You “square up” to the object, with both feet relatively equidistant from the object, thrust your butt back and bend at the waist to pick it up.
The same is true for the stance I recommend on a target below your waist. The targets you describe, as well as most rabbits, are below the shooter’s waist. My recommendation on a target presentation with a break point below your waist is to employ a more Churchillian stance. Orient both feet and your body to face the break point of your lower target and, while keeping your shoulders directly above your feet, push your butt back and orient your torso to the break point of your below-the-waist target. Square up, butt back.