Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Preparing for a Lesson with Don

The following is standard information that I provide to clients who express interest or  first-time students preparing for a scheduled lesson, clinic or gun fitting.  Please call me should you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the following.

Length of a lesson?
My typical lesson, following the initial lesson, is two hours in length.  For trap or skeet, I will occasionally conduct shorter lessons.  Initial lessons (first lesson with me) with an individual student is typically a minimum of 2-1/2 to 3 hours; 3-1/2 hours (half day) for groups of 3 to 5 students.  Formal gun fittings are an hour and a half (see info on gun fittings below).  If you wish to take extended or multiple sessions, I recommend that you split the sessions to give yourself time to absorb what you’ve learned (For example, one session in the afternoon and the second session the following morning).  The primary reason that I require a longer initial lesson is that we will spend a bit of time on eye testing and gun fit during your first lesson.  The rationale for a 2 to 3 hour minimum is that shotgunning is best learned through repetitive action. In order to engineer an improvement or change to one’s mechanics or technique, immediate reinforcement and repetition produces lasting results. Please peruse and my LinkedIn profile for testimonials regarding the effectiveness of this approach.

1 student – $175/hour
2 students – $225/hour
3 students – $250/hour

If your group has 3 or more students, you are better off with a half-day and my day/half-day rate:

$800 for ½ day – 3.5 hours (participants split the cost)
$1,600 for a full day – 7 hours (participants split the cost)

* Note: prices do not include targets, shells or golf cart costs which are payable to the host club.

Deposit/Cancellation Policy?
I do not ask for a deposit as I rarely have cancellations and when I do, clients typically “make it right”.  If you have to cancel, please do so as early as possible. If you cancel within 72 hours of the lesson, you agree to pay 1/2 the price of the lesson. If you cancel within 24 hours, you agree to pay full price for the lesson.

What should I bring?
-rain gear (I don’t cancel lessons for rain unless there is lightning), however, I also don’t make my students shoot in heavy rain.
-shooting vest or non-cotton shirt (cotton shirts get “sticky” and tend to cause your gun to “catch” as you mount and dismount).
-eye protection
-ear protection (strongly recommend in-ear plugs instead of ear muffs)
-shotgun (or let me know in advance that you need a loaner gun).
-shotgun shells (or purchase them from the host club if available).  As for the amount of shells you should bring, assume a shooting rate of 125 shells per hour.  This is a total number regardless of the number of participants…we won’t likely use this amount, but this is a safe number.
-For semi-auto shotgun users, please bring any and all shims with you if available.  This allows me to adjust the fit of your gun as necessary.

First time students often ask me what they can do to prepare for our session. Purchasing and viewing one of my DVDs can be a great help as this will aid your ability to absorb the instruction since you will already be familiar with my teaching style and approach. I would recommend “Focus-Movement-Faith” for beginning to novice students and “Target Tactics for Sporting Clays” for more experienced or advanced shooters. You might also consider becoming a member of and gain access to a treasure trove of published articles, instructional videos and blog posts. If you have scheduled your lesson well in advance of our lesson date, you might want to consider ordering my book “Mastering Sporting Clays”. All are available at

Gun fittings?
I conduct regular gun fittings and work with leading manufacturers such as Perazzi and Caesar Guerini as well as expert stock makers to produce shotguns that match individual client specifications.  Fun fit is critical to superior performance in shotgunning whether shooting at targets of the clay or feathered variety.  All shotgunners need a gun that shoots where they are looking.  Whether the best solution for you is a new custom gun, re-stocking a gun or simply modifying your current gun, I guarantee to help you achieve your goal of shooting with a properly fitted shotgun. I offer two types of gun fittings:
1) Formal Gun Fitting – If you are interested in a custom stock or custom gun purchased either through the Academy of Wing & Clay Shooting or another dealer. A complete written fitting sheet with specifications and measurements is provided. ($400, 1.5 hours)
2) Fitting Checkup – If you are seeking an evaluation of your existing shotgun for proper fit. Your gun is adjusted if equipped with adjustable comb, butt plate and/or rib and a written report is provided should modifications to your gun prove necessary. Please bring all parts and pieces that came with your shotgun. ($200, 30-45 minutes)

I look forward to working with you to improve your  shotgunning skills.  To learn more or to book a lesson or gun fitting, please go to, give me a call, drop me an e-mail or complete the short contact form here.

Thank you for your inquiry.