Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

Pretty excited about this weekend. I was in a buddies wedding in August and for a gift he got his groomsman a bird hunt with On-Point Outfitters. I am really excited to give this a go. I have never shot a pheasant so this will be pretty cool. The groom has 2 English Setters, another groomsman has 2 GSP, and I have a lab. This should be an amazing hunt with that many dogs on the ground, and both pointing and flushing dogs working. Lilly has hunted with these dogs before and it was cool to watch her look for the pointers locked up. I whoa her up a bit and we can move it for the flush.

It really will be an awesome time and cant wait to see the dogs working together. my buddy has a GoPro so I am hoping I can use it to get some footage.

I am taking the 20 ga and was planning on getting some 6 shot. I have a few boxes of Winchester AA I had got for grouse hunting in 7.5 shot. I was wondering if you all thought that they should work or should I bump up to 6 shot. Any ammo preference. I figured that with these being stocked birds they would hold a bit better for the point, and not run, and allow for closer shots.

My current set up is primarily for grousing and has a skeet in the bottom barrel and improved cylinder in the top. I was wondering if you all think I should go with improved on the bottom and modified on the top for pheasants and chucker?

Any tips would be appreciated. To say I am excited is an understatement. I just hope I can hit these guys as I am 0Fer on grouse and woodies

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 11:32 AM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

Over pointing dogs and released birds, I say you're fine with 7.5 and the existing chokes. I've shot a ton of preserve birds like that. That's basically my set up in 12 ga, even in North Dakota.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 12:06 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

you should be fine Mike
in my 12 o/u I run cylinder on top (first fire) and improved for the bottom.. and im using 2.75 #6's knocking them dead

If I were a better shot I'd be using improved/mod but that's another topic

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by spangler2k3
you should be fine Mike
in my 12 o/u I run cylinder on top (first fire) and improved for the bottom.. and im using 2.75 #6's knocking them dead

If I were a better shot I'd be using improved/mod but that's another topic
I think I am in the same boat. I think that the more pellets and wider spread I can have the better off I will be. I mean I have 2 barrels for a reason right. LOL if the first shot doesn't knock him down, the second should. I may take my other choke with me and pick up a box just in case. The only real conscern I am having is if the smaller number of pellets in a 20 ga. compared to a 12 will hurt me. The Winchesters show 1300 fps on the box, so they should have the power. I'd just hate to spend 15 bucks on a box of shells that really wouldn't help that much.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 12:34 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

Your chokes will be ok.

FWIW last time we went to On-Point most shots were relatively close, with only a few runners taking flight out a ways.

I use Modified mostly, but I use a Poly-Choke, so I can adjust on the fly if needed.
Setup my son with improved, and he didn't have any problems.

Good Luck!!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 01:58 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

I went on two preserve hunts last year to introduce some buddies to shooting birds. Used a 20 O/U with exact same chokes, low brass 7.5's. I absolutely collapsed the birds, even at distance. Second hunt I had to get our dinner because the other guys couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. If you shoot even miserably mediocre, you'll be fine as is. I basically use the same set up for everything (grouse, pheasant, doodles) except clays/skeet. For targets, I go down to size 8 or 9 shot.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 03:28 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

I'll tell you what, I posted on another thread that I never use smaller than 6's. Saturday morning I ended up at the game lands with my 20ga. Trouble was I left my "pheasant" loads on the table and forgot to take out my cylinder choke. I thought I was in trouble. Only got a crack at one but I crushed her with 7.5's at about 35 yards. I am a new convert to the Fiochi Golden Pheasant loads.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 03:53 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

You will have a great time at On Point..I shoot 6 shot followed by 2 shells of 7 shot with similar choke.
I try not to hunt my setter with flushing dogs as she is still young, but you said that you already hunted all the dogs together...
Good Luck

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 04:15 AM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

On preserve hunts my son and I use Remington Game Loads, 2.75", 1290 fps, 1 oz., 6s and for wild birds we use Remington Express Long Range loads, 2.75", 1330 fps, 1.25 oz., 6s. We use IC chokes for all our upland bird hunting. Hope this helps.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: Going on an outfitter hunt, shot size & chokes

Never been on a preserve hunt, so I don't know if the birds are weaker or what but IMO some of the loads mentioned are pretty light for pheasants.

For 12 we use Fiocchi Golden Pheasants 2 3/4" 1 3/8oz of #5's.
For 16 Golden's 2 3/4" 1 1/8oz of #5's
For 20 Golden's 3" 1 1/4oz of #5's.

Golden Pheasant loads use nickel shot.

I don't like smaller shot, 6's and 7.5's because 1) it limits your effective range, 2) has limited penetration, 3) you end up with meat full of shot.


Just because you use smaller shot doesn't necessarily mean you will have a wider pattern. Smaller shot will throw a denser pattern which equates to more shot in the meat. I like my teeth!
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