Over the past few weeks we have brought you a selection of 'Top Tips' from our team of instructors. The latest in our series come from Royal Berkshire Sporting Agent and Shooting Instructor Ben Smith. Ben works in the Sporting Agency alongside Gordon and is a very proficient game shot and fly fisherman, instructing in the field on dozens of game shoots every season. Ben’s Top Game Shooting Tips are; Tip 1- Practice little and often In the off season try and practice little and often. Like with most sports, long periods of inactivity are extremely counterproductive and will hinder your progress. Seek out your local clay ground once or twice a month, or make sure you concern the local pigeon population regularly in the off season. Tip 2- Aim small, miss small Some people struggle to grasp what is meant by this concept initially. It works with all birds but Pheasants in particular are fairly large birds. If you stare at ‘the bird’ as a whole, which is what many are taught when shooting, then you are looking at a very large surface area, much of which covers non vital organs/areas of the bird (i.e. wings, tail, feet, guts) that when shot will not cleanly dispatch the bird. However If I refine this and stare at just the head (‘Aim small’), then even if I make a small miscalculation (‘Miss small’), the pellets will (if they miss the head) hopefully hit the neck or breast, both of which should kill the bird cleanly. If you do this I guarantee you will notice your kills getting cleaner. Tip 3- Stare at the head Staring at the head will also give a gun a good indication of the line and trajectory of the bird when shooting. Its very hard to change direction without your head leading the way. Tip 4- Learn how to cook game Invest time in learning how to cook game properly – it will add a whole new dimension to your enjoyment of the sport. Good luck with practicing these tips over the summer. To really get to grips with them, why not book a lesson or guided round at the Royal Berkshire?