I remember the first time I was introduced to the sport of shotgunning. It was at a Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in southern Illinois. The ladies teaching us were as excited to watch us shoot for the first time as we new shooters were. They were so encouraging and enthusiastic that I ended up shooting with them and becoming a member of their organization.
Some people are intimidated by “the shotgun.” Yeah, the 12- gauge can be a bit scary if your first experience is not with a nurturing, friendly, helpful and qualified instructor. Such an instructor will fit you with a shotgun whose gauge and recoil level are right for you. No, you will not break 25 clays in a row your first time out, but I have no doubt you will have fun.
Find an instructor who will go over basic firearm safety and shotgun fundamentals with you. Your focus should be on stance and mounting the shotgun. Mounting the gun is the process of bringing the gun up to the shooting position. The best advice I can give regarding shouldering a shotgun is to ensure you hold it securely in the pocket of your shoulder. A death grip is not necessary, but you do want to keep a nice tight handle on the shotgun to help absorb recoil.
The best way to practice shotgun shooting is to shoot more. Most clubs have open times where you can walk up to the counter and reserve your spot. You can find a local club at NSSA > Find A Club.
Do not be intimidated if you have never gone to the range before. Just talk to the folks and let them know you are a new shooter and you would like to shoot skeet, and they will be more than happy to show you how it is done.
Here is a little tip. Shooters love to help new shooters who they feel respect the sport. The easiest way to prove you respect the sport is to demonstrate safe and responsible gun-handling practices.
Review the Ten Rules of Firearm safety.
Follow these tips, and the folks at the club will welcome you with open arms and invite you to come back to shoot with them. Because they know, like I know, that firearms safety depends on you!