There was a time in North America when it was possible to learn the skills necessary to become a great wingshot by shooting live birds. But we’re talking a long time ago – think of the heydays of the passenger pigeon, which was the early- to mid-1800s. Think of the days of market hunting for waterfowl, which ended in the early 20th century.
The bottom line is, it takes a lot of shooting to become good at it. Championship caliber shooters in any shotgunning discipline shoot tens of thousands of shells a year to develop and maintain their skills.