Does your shotgun shoot straight? Does it shoot too tightly to hit the game you’re after? Are your patterns too sparse to kill cleanly? There’s only one way to find out: blast holes in large pieces of paper. A tedious chore under ideal conditions and a paper chase on a gusty day, patterning is still essential homework that must be done. Fooling with flapping sheets of paper, taking aim, and punching holes is no fun—homework rarely is. But, when the final exam comes in the form of a greenhead over your decoys, a turkey dropping at 40 yards, or a quail buzzing into the brush, it’s good to know that your shotgun throws enough pellets to fill in the blanks.