I'm just taking up Sporting Clays and last Saturday was the first time that I shot a rabbit target. I can't say that I had a lot of success. Can you give me some tips/strategies that work for you?
Rabbits are troublesome targets because their proximity to the ground exaggerates their apparent speed. This coupled with the effect of friction with the ground slowing them down more quickly than an airborne target results in misses both ahead and behind. If it bounces there is another opportunity to shoot where it is not. To handle the bounce factor maintain absolute focus on the target. Tis will help you move the gun with the target and if it goes up your gun goes with it. The apparent speed and the friction with the ground tend to offset each other--just think half 'the speed/half the lead.' On close targets--shoot the forefoot off the rabbit---on long targets you will see a gap--but less than what you would expect on a aerial target at the same distance.
Rabbits are unpredictable targets in many cases. I agree with Ken and I would like to add that because the rabbits are 'flying' below eye level, on the ground, very easily the shooter's head can come off from the gun stock!!!
I concur. Hard Focus on birds is required, but is an absolute MUST on rabbits. I try and burn a hole through the center of the rabbit, looking at nothing else. The ground has a tendency to speed things up in your mind, while at the same time, there are more distractions (grass, trees, weeds, etc) for your eyes to 'get stuck on' as you're swinging through the shot and thus, more chance to stop the gun. If you can block out all else and shoot the front foot, you should do fine on most rabbits.
Shoot about a foot to foot and a half in front and and slightly underneath. This was 25 yards away
Remember keep the gun moving and hard focus on the target for the one that jumps!
There's more on my website see-the-lead.com
just underneath and foot to two foot in front depending on how fast it is going. also be ready in case they jump so you can shoot them in the air (im 13 and rabbits are my favourite type of target