Heide Mason, President of Juliana’s Anglers Sporting Club
Lars Jacob is a true Renaissance Man! He will not care for this review because it is overlong and too complimentary, and Lars is humble. I was introduced to Lars several years ago by a friend at Ten Mile River Preserve in New York who insisted I meet Lars and take a wing-shooting lesson from him during a Tower shoot. I did and the rest (as they say) is history. There are many talented shotgunners out there as well as many lifetime sportsmen and women. But there are few true lifetime students of the sport; and that’s where Lars is different. It takes a true understanding of an area to translate that knowledge into teaching.
Lars’ approach to instruction is calm and understated, skill full as well. Lars is an astute observer. If the shooting sportsman is a beginner, Lars will give that student a solid and comfortable base to advance by covering the basics of gun mount, gun fit, gun selection, and of course ... shell selection. However, for the more experienced sport; the subtle suggestions: the lift of a heel, body rotation, tracking and timing will simply elevate that hunter to the next level. I can honestly say that Lars has gotten me to a place where very few birds pass my peg in a line of guns. And candidly, as the only woman in the line on most occasions ... I kinda love it!!
Wild Surroundings is the logical and elegant combination of Lars’ skills and joys. Lars has created a place to learn about gun dog training, shotgun instruction, bespoke gun fitting and sourcing, deer hunting, fly fishing, foraging, cooking, spirits, wine, and of course ... sharing a fine table! Lars understands that the harvesting of game creates a responsibility. We honor and appreciate those gifts by simply recovering that game (the joy of well-trained gun dogs) supplementing, preparing, and sharing our meals.
R. Stephen Bartholow, Jr.
I have been blessed to work with some really great instructors, but Lars’ instruction is what best resonates with me. He has a way of combining the fundamentals of both clays and wing-shooting that really makes sense. Instead of simply dismissing one’s bias towards certain methods. Lars works with the shooter’s bias and teaches how to accentuate the good habits and change the bad ones. In other words, after working with Lars, I come away with a stronger sense of my instinctive shooting combined with the knowledge of how to improve my consistency using different methods on different presentations. Over time, those different methods evolve into my instinctive shooting. That’s a great feeling to have. Lars is simply the best instructor I have ever worked with. Period.
For most of my self taught shooting career I ignored the elements of body positioning and foot work. Instead, I placed all of my emphasis at the muzzle. I would mount the gun, find the target and shoot. It took less than five minutes for Lars to point out that how I positioned my body was detrimental to my shooting success. As a self-taught right-hander, my primary emphasis was at the muzzle and I paid very little concern to what my left hand was doing. My hands were not working together and Lars pointed that out in a way that made immediate sense. I used to shoot as fast as I could because I didn’t want to miss my chance. It took a while, but Lars showed me that by slowing down, identifying the target, moving both hands in unison I would hit targets more efficiently and quickly than my old mount-and-find technique.
Lars is the penultimate instructor: he is able to quickly assess an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and design a program that will allow for growth and development. Working together I was able to improve my skills and gain the confidence needed to be a good shooter. He is patient, and his instructions are clear, allowing me to optimize and enjoy the entire experience. I look forward to my next lesson with great enthusiasm.
Paul S. McNamara
If you are serious about improving your shooting (upland birds or clays) then Lars Jacob of Manchester, Vermont is your contact. Lars is a consummate professional instructor with years of experience, but the best aspect of his instruction is his enthusiasm for you to improve your shooting and he is not satisfied until you do. First class gentleman, first class instructions.