Skeet Shooting – Station 1 Detailed Tips:

In August of 2018, we covered the baseline stations (1, 7, 8) altogether in one article. This month we will cover station 1 in more detail.  As we build our Skeet game, we look to reduce the many variables involved in shooting a single or a pair into a set of consistent, precise actions which can be learned, practiced and perfected. By doing this we are giving ourselves the highest probability of breaking each target each time all day long.  Station 1 is where each round in a skeet tournament begins, aside from shoot off doubles which begins at station 3.

The basics for shooting station 1 are as follows:

Station 1 – High 1

  • Stance: Use a stance that allows you to turn smoothly and completely in the event that the low 1 on the double comes across low and fast. Right Handed shooters “open” our stance, facing your belly button slightly to the left on the low house window, left-handed shooters face straight out to the open field.
  • Hold Point: Usually a 45-degree angle but be conservative to not hold too high so that the target does not come out and fly under your barrel.
  • Look point: After you line the beads up, the look point is 3” above the barrel
  • Shot Execution: Settle your eyes with a soft focus for (.5 – .75 sec), call for the target, when the target comes into your look point assure you are lined up and shoot.

Station 1 – Low 1

  • Stance: Same as High 1
  • Hold Point: 10’ to the left of the low house window, level with the bottom of the window
  • Look Point: Halfway back to the window, up on the flight path of the target
  • Shot Execution: Settle, call and when the target comes into your look point bring it across to your side of the field, matching gun speed with target speed, obtain 6” – 1’ of lead, shoot and follow through with your head on the gun. (This long incomer is a great target for us to practice patience, matching gun speed with target speed, keeping our head on the gun all the way across the field).

Station 1 – Double

  • Stance: Hold Point and Look Point – same as High 1
  • Shot Execution: Settle, call, shoot when high 1 comes into your look point, with head tight on the gun, the gun moves lower, eyes shift up to the center of the field, find, track and shoot Low 1 the same as the single.

Now let’s discuss some details for you to consider for your game. Note the following tips are what I practice in order to be more precise and consistent.  As you review you may “calculate” that the perceived advantage gained is potentially small, however, the point is to accrue all of these advantages together into what turns out to be a larger advantage which may turn out to be the difference of one or two additional targets broken each round or each 100. You can try some of the tips in your practice to see what works best for your skeet game.

Station 1 – High 1

  • Foot Position – My heels are close to the back of the station (near the High house wall. For a left-handed shooter, their outside of their left foot would be close to the wall, but still allowing for enough room to mount the gun and turn smoothly without touching the wall. (This gives me a bit more room to see the target earlier, a foot or so, while on the same side of the field that we are shooting from.)
  • Foot Position: While most shooters select a stance that has their belly button in the low house window, or facing directly out towards the field for a left-handed shooter, I use a more “open” stance that has my belly button in between the center stake and the low house window.  This allows me an additional range to turn and shoot a low 1 target that comes across lower and or faster than expected.  The left-hand shooter does not need to adjust anything at this station as they are already well prepared for a low and or fast low 1 target.
  • Sample Targets: Since this is the start of the round, together, all shooters are offered a high, low, and a pair in order to see where the targets are flying with respect to the center stake as well as the distance markers.  This is the time to determine what adjustments you will make. The wind and the sun can often provide some challenges here in selecting a hold point.  Shooting in the early morning around the Florida area, high 1 can require a second set of sunglasses or a set of welding glasses in order to have the best chance of seeing and shooting the target, especially in the first round of a 100-target shoot.  What I usually try to assure is to not hold “too high” where the target comes out and dives under the gun so quickly that I do not have time to pull the trigger.  Skeet is an outdoor sport, subject to a variety of weather conditions that are changing all the time.  What your practice targets, decide what if any adjustments you need to make and then execute your shot routine when it is your turn.
  • Patience is key here, for high 1 have your look point 3” above the bead – let your eyes “settle”, soft focus, at this look point before calling.  After you call, when the target enters your look point, make any left-right adjustment necessary and pull the trigger.

Station 1 – Low 1

  • After a successful high 1, I dismount and go through my shot routine for a low 1 target. Since I load 2 shells, while I dismount, I continue to look over at the low house so my eyes stay focused for that distance.
  • Foot position: Adjusted as per above so that I can turn smoothly while tracking and shooting the low target which on a windy day, or due to the sun needs to be shot later than usual.

Station 1 – Double

  • Same as High 1
  • Stance: Hold Point and Look Point – same as High 1
  • Foot Position: is already adjusted to handle a low and fast low 1 2ndtarget coming across.

Hopefully, you are patient, let the shots develop and come off the station with a clean start!

Russ Naples
JCTS Skeet Chairman
NSSA Certified Instructor
Four-time NSSA First Team All American