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Waterfowl Hunting Techniques For Duck and Goose Hunting


suggestions for shells

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Unread 01-21-2010, 01:14 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LaPine Or.
Posts: 2,541
Re: suggestions for shells

Well if this doesnt start out like the .300win vs .300wby debate!

Both sides (heavy shot vs standard) are right. I take this years end of the season hunting as a personal challange to adjust my decoy/and calling technique to bring em in close enough to use affordable ammo! As we all know calling in late season birds is extremely difficult(hence the heavy shot for extended range), but nesisity being the mother of invention, I might learn something about my own calling/decoying techniques and be able to adjust. Im too poor to buy 10 shells when i can get 25 for the same price this year.

Normally Ill have a box or two of heavy shot on hand incase the ducks/geese seem to be hanging up just on the edge of being in range for the days hunt. Its very effective and sometimes even worth the price. Adjusting for the extra 10 to 15 yards as well as the difference in speed of the shot at that range can get EXPENSIVE! If you decide to switch in the middle of your hunt, stick with it and DONT switch back for that hunt. Your lead and internal ''in range'' beacon get way out of whack.

Bottom line IMHO, you need both on hand. Depending on what the days hunt brings /high winds /call shy birds etc. both the cheap ammo and rediculous priced ammo are great tools. To choose 1 over the other permanently, shortens the tools at hand. ex. why shoot heavy shot if your birds are bombing into your deeks on a calm day? If youve got that much $ go ahead i guess, but id rather save $ so i could afford to get out there 1 more day.

Here in the northwest conditions change multiple times daily so youve gotta be able to adjust or you go home. I personally use 3" #2's for ducks in my auto-loader,and 3"#1's pattern better in my pump.(& im talkin Rem sportsmans high speed steel 1400 fps 1 1/4 oz loads) Cheap, but effective! For geese I use 3 1/2" BB or T's. As far as heavy shot goes, heavy #2's are effective on ducks and close in geese. pick a bigger load that patterns well out of your gun for longer range goose whackin. Youll be happy to have both in your ''tool box''. Good hunting winmag
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'

"I have No idea why that cop made me ride in the back seat, when I Clearly called Shotgun!"
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Unread 01-22-2010, 11:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 115
Re: suggestions for shells

As mentioned in your other post speed kill's with steel. I love to hunt duck's and did a bunch of research on steel shot and hear's what I found. If your not going at least 1450fps your going to slow. I reloaded for awhile at 1565fps with a #2 and bb duplex load killed em graveyard dead out to 45yd's. The industry finally figured it out and you can buy some super steel shot off the shelf. I ended up shooting Federal in the reddish box #2's at 1550fps, Wal-Mart usually had them at the begining of the season. Don't let weight fool you with the 3.5" shell's it's not humanly possibly tell the differance in 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 oz's of shot your only talking a couple of piece's of shot and the price is so much more for so little. Mack's Prarrie Wing's sell's Kent that does all the above for a great price, it's what my little brother shot. All the new non toxic's are great but I just can't justify spending that much more over the right kinda steel that will get the job done.
Tight Groups
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Unread 01-23-2010, 01:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Missoula, MT USA
Posts: 278
Re: suggestions for shells

I shoot about 2 cases a year at ducks and geese. I don't think the benefits of heavi-steel justify the cost. I bought a case of it this year, only because I got it at Joe's in Spokane in the final days of their going out of business sale (for $7 a box!!). It pummels birds, but not much more so than regular steel. If you are doing your job getting the ducks in close, anything that patterns well with the choke you are using is sufficient. I think that stuff appeals to the skybusting crowd.

I've probably killed more ducks with Remington 3" #4 than anything else. It's fast and pretty cheap.

If you cover a duck good at 20 yards or less with a lot of pellets going really fast you do get to see it tumble pretty hard, but then you've got a duck that you might not want to eat.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 07:05 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 45
Re: suggestions for shells

Duck hunting in up state New York is nothing like what you guys are talking about. We hunt on the rivers and flooded timber. You need to be a good caller and have a good size spread of decoys, 2-3 dozen decoys, and be on your toes.

I have always been partial to Winchester 3" # 3's. They are fast enough and still have enough knock down power to hit a duck at 30 yds. I even use them on an occasional goose if they are right on me.

I have never been a fan of 3 1/2" shells or 10 ga. If I were hunting geese all the time then I would go with a 10 ga and reload my shells to safe some money.
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Unread 01-12-2011, 11:46 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chanhassen MN
Posts: 8
Re: suggestions for shells

I shoot 3 1/2 blackcloud 4s at ducks all season. Might be a bit expensive but it drops ducks on the first shot and at some pretty surprising ranges!
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Unread 01-13-2011, 10:04 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Re: suggestions for shells

Originally Posted by D.Camilleri View Post
I have a new mossberg 935 on order and it should be here in a couple of days, so with a little more than a month to go to shoot waterfowl, I am looking for some suggestions on shells to buy. I had my daughter pick me up some estate 3 1/2's at sportsmans warehouse in 2's and 4's, but they are only 1 3/8 oz loads. These were the only 3 1/2's that they had left on the shelf! I am planning on using 3" for the majority of shots with some 3 1/2's for geese or maybe try some of these fast shooting lighter 3 1/2 loads. I am new to this steel stuff, because I quit hunting waterfowl 20 years ago and am just getting started again. Give me some suggestions.
The best shells i have shot in years are the new Hypersonic shells by Rem. these shells travel at 1700fps. i hunt rice fields in northern Louisiana and flooded timber in southern Arkansas. i use the 3 1/2 number 4. these shells have increase my kills to about 75%. they are $24 a box. i can not tell you how impressed i am with them.
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Unread 02-20-2011, 03:30 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 5
Re: suggestions for shells

Since you are new to the steel shot game...one word SPEED KILLS. Go pattern your gun with different loads and CHOKES, don't be affraid to try modified or improved modified. I shoot 90 % of the time Federal Speed-Shok 1 1/4 oz. of 3's with imp. mod choke.I tried the new Remington HyperSonic 1700 fps. 1 1/4 of 2's and shot them as a 3rd shot or late season when they go a little tougher to decoy. The Remington load for what I see is tough to beat. They are bringing out a 20 and 10 guage load this year.

Good luck,
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