(charlo slim @ Feb. 25 2012,11:06)
(Larry Brown @ Feb. 25 2012,7:06)
Roster has always placed much of his focus on waterfowl shooting, which makes sense because all of his work with steel shot. Seems to me that subtending makes much more sense with waterfowl (and with driven birds) because they're typically in sight far longer, and generally getting closer rather than farther away, than are upland birds.
In British shotgun guru Gough Thomas' book, "Shooting Facts & Fancies", he has an excellent illustration of "subtending", using wood pigeons as an example in comparison to the 28" barrels of a 12ga. Excellent points that it does not work very well if you swap guns around a lot, and it's especially problematic if you vacillate between the .410 and the 12ga. Even worse between a .410 OU and a 12ga sxs. But it can be particularly useful where one is most tempted to "sky bust" at birds that are out of range.
In my own case, not being a waterfowler but having some experience shooting driven birds, I always tend to overestimate range when I've been shooting mostly pheasants and all of a sudden I'm looking at a partridge.
Agreed, Larry, across the board. The larger vs smaller bird deal is part of the reason, I think, that so much ridiculously long shooting occurs on geese -- they are just so large that they tend to seem close even when far out of effective shotgun range. When shifting from large Western Canadas in MT to the much smaller Lesser Canadas down here in OK, I will be passing up readily killable birds for awhile till I get things dialed in.
Overhead birds also often seem to be farther away than those at the same distance but closer to ground level. Could be just from lacking frame of reference I suppose, sortof like we tend to perceive the moon as being much larger near the horizon and much smaller overhead.
Honestly, I've never really thought much about subtending relative to typical upland hunting.
Right on. Overhead shots are harder for me to judge too. Might be less so if I were a waterfowler.
Re upland hunting, I think pheasants are one bird that can present problems for people who have not hunted them before. They're bigger than most anything else we shoot in the uplands, and look even bigger in profile because of that darned tail! Back when I was guiding nonresidents for pheasants in Iowa, I found myself saying "that was a pretty long shot!" quite frequently.