A Lesson In Shotgun Humility

Brad Gill | October 9, 2021

Middle school football season is about gone, but I did hear another good one the other evening.

Lady No. 1 says to Lady No. 2 that our team had just made it inside the “red zone,” even sharing that NFL announcers refer to teams being inside the red zone all the time.

The ball was on the 7 yard line. The “red zone” she was talking about was a painted red semi-circle that started in the corner of the field and topped out at the 8 yard line.

I started to educate them that the red line was from a soccer game held the previous afternoon, but Lady No. 1 seemed so sure of herself that I didn’t feel like an argument that late in the day.

I’d like to have all those times back when I’ve sounded like a babbling idiot because I really didn’t know what I was talking about. Too many times to count I’m afraid.

Proverbs 10:19 says, When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

Much of what I’ve learned in life has come as a result of keeping my mouth shut. That first comes with humility and a realization that I don’t know something. The older I get the more I love humility because it points to a world full of others willing to help.

I learned something in an article in the latest issue of GON.

I am not a wing-shooter. I stink. Give me a deer under 150, meat in the freezer. But anything that flies or runs and requires a scattergun, not so much.

Opening day of dove season found me on a little sorghum patch in Putnam County. It took exactly 13 shots before I folded my first and only dove for the afternoon. I knew that was going to happen, but I was still deflated.

OK, that’s the humility part.

Here comes my education.

In the October issue, we highlighted Mike Simpson with Bridge Creek Clays outside of Moultrie. Mike’s credentials are impressive. In a nutshell, he works with youth from all over the world and has trained several kids who have gone on to win gold medals in the Olympics.

Mike is impressive and so is his facility. However, there was a few paragraphs in that entire story that really stuck with me.

GON writer Daryl Gay did what Daryl does, asked how he could be a better wing-shooter on a September dove field. Thanks for asking Daryl because his answers were like a glowing billboard to me.

“Get fit for the right shotgun,” Simpson says adamantly. “That is the first order of business; it’s crucial. People go to Walmart or wherever and pick up whatever is on the shelf, then can’t understand why it’s not magic right out of the box. When that gun hits your shoulder, if it’s not pointing where you’re looking then you’re not likely to hit what you’re shooting at. Making that adjustment is the first key.”

“One of the biggest things I see with people, especially hunters who use both rifle and shotgun, is that they don’t realize that they should aim a rifle but point a shotgun. When they put the shotgun up, they look for the bead to aim by; by the time they find it, the target is long gone. Point, instinctively; don’t aim.”

Aim a rifle but point a shotgun. I’ve heard that for 30+ years, but for whatever reason it took Mike Simpson in a GON article in 2021 for it to finally hit home.

Humility is a funny thing. It can be extremely beneficial.

You may just find out that the quicker you humble yourself, the quicker you’ll get to a solution. And in my case, the quicker I’ll get to actually taking home more doves and rabbits.

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