Wingshots are my goal, but that's not to say I don't fall short...especially after a long day of no action and a single zips into the deeks.
When the birds are showing you their breasts
their vitals are exposed, and it becomes an easy kill. They have a harder time backpedaling. That's what I try to get them to do. I've noticed a 50/50 chance of wounding birds when they are wingtips to me, and I believe it's because the wings protect the vitals on the downflap. I have seen Grouse flop down belly up and then get up in a few seconds and scamper off with a broken wing after being hit with a duck load at 15 yards...nevermind a winterized duck.
If they are on the water, the percentage of clean kills goes down alot...and, yes, that is my experience, not observations of other peoples. Nothing worse than chasing after a bird in a swamp shooting 4 or 5 times to get it to stop and die
that's a real good way to discover a muck hole deeper than your waders.
Sometimes I carry a bunch of Hi Brass #6 Hevi Shot to finish off a wounded swimmer.
As I've only gone out for ducks 3 times this year so far I am still on target for that goal with the ONE duck I've shot. Work sucks
...but it buys more decoys.