Pheasant load recommendations?

Discussion in 'Upland Bird Hunting' started by DXHI, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. DXHI

    DXHI Well-Known Member

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    First time hunting these birds.
    What is your go to round for these critters
     
  2. parker300

    parker300 Member

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    depends if they are holding you can kill them with dove loads 1 1/4 of 6's or 4's is about the standard some like 5's I hunt a lot of wetlands so have to shoot nontoxic so I just shoot 3 inch steel 2's at every thing its not a great quail load but it will crush pheasants to 60 yards
     
  3. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    Are we talking 12ga? If so most way over shell for these birds, have shot most all with 7.5 1 oz clays loads, later in the season 6's are more than enough. My go to these days is 16ga with 1 oz 6's. Have shot plenty with 7/8 oz 7.5 in 20. Find a a good load that patterns well and shoots clean in your scatter gun and run with it.
     
  4. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Just about all my pheasants for the last 30 years, driven and flushed, have been have been shot with an IC choked 20/12 ga with 1- 1/8oz of #6 in a premium game load. Remington express/Win SX, 1oz in 20ga.
     
  5. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Used the Federal Prarie Storm in #5 lead and the Prarie Storm #4 in steel when required. Hardly any survive this load. Good luck
     
  6. 1100 Remington Man

    1100 Remington Man Well-Known Member

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    I am from Iowa and have hunted them for 40+ years. I have used 12ga,20,ga & 28ga. For hunting Wild Pheasants without a dog 12ga 2 3/4 inch 3 3/4dr 1 1/4 oz of 5 shot will do for 95% of all hunting conditions.
    While I like using my 28ga with Winchester 1oz load of 6 shot, I will not hunt Pheasant with out a good dog with it. Just FYI 3/4oz in a 28ga sucks compared to 1oz load.
    If hunting with a 20ga with a good dog 2 3/4 inch 1oz of 6 shot is good and better if you can shoot 3 inch buy 1 1/4oz of 5 shot is better.
    To sum it up Minimun 1oz of shot and 1 1/4oz is better and nothing smaller than 6 shot for wild birds period. Going from 1oz of shot to 1 1/4oz extends your effective range 5 yards.

    Good Hunting
     
  7. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    I use 12ga IC, early in the season. Modified choke later on. Always shoot #5 copper plated.
    If using a 20 gauge, will go with 3" shells, #5 copper plated.
    In Iowa, wild pheasants later in the season are a tough bird to bring down at distance. No sense in being under gunned, and losing a bird.
    By the way, I ALWAYS, hunt with a labdrador . You are wasting your time hunting pheasants in Iowa without a dog.
     
  8. 1100 Remington Man

    1100 Remington Man Well-Known Member

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    Just a little FYI My GSP passed away 2 years ago. Last year in Iowa I shot 30 Pheasants and even managed a Triple three shots three birds all with out a dog.
    Could I have done better with a dog Yes but till I retire in a few years I will be without a dog.
    I will be hunting with a 12ga 1100 Remington and 5 shot with Modifed Choke just like last year.
     
  9. StrutNut

    StrutNut Well-Known Member

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    I have always had great luck with 12 ga #5 and 28 gauge in #6. I used to use larger rounds but that just pulls more feathers into the meat. I found the smaller pellets hit them hard and dont penetrate the back into the meat as much so I dont wreck as much meat. #5 seem to be the best of both worlds as if you go too much smaller you can also have a mess on your hands with broadside shots. I was just trying to find a compromise between too many pellets and hitting too hard and #5 and #6 seem to win with Lead. Steel shot, #2's.
     
  10. cacsrx1

    cacsrx1 Well-Known Member

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    I live in central South Dakota and hunted pheasants for 30 years. Wild birds= Fedral Premium #4 and a full choke.
     
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  11. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    If the birds are dumb and holding for a point, #6s from a 12ga are sufficient. But if they are wily birds on the run, you will have longer shots and you MUST break a leg or kill them outright or they will hit the ground and run. My go-to load is #5 shot, haven't reloaded it in years, so I forget the charge weight but it is max for a 2-3/4 inch shell...1-5/8? In my experience, this is the sweet spot in pattern density and longer range power, leaving fewer pellets in the meat.

    I haven't been out since we hunted ND a couple years ago, but it hammered birds and the only runner was a roughly 90 yard shot (he was already hit so we kept shooting).
     
  12. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    Interesting choices, there must be some tough birds out there. I've hunted driven pheasants in the UK, 60 yard passing/overhead shots are common if not the norm. Everyone on the line used 6 or 7s, no issues. Hunted driven grouse and 5 or 6s was the choice of the line. Never used more than 6s in Dakotas or Oregon, mostly 7.5, 1 once in the big 12 and 6s in the side by side 20. At the clubs most limit the shot size to 7.5. I am talking lead, hardened shot, never had to use steel thank goodness.
     
  13. TimeOnTarget

    TimeOnTarget Well-Known Member

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    As a fellow SD I agree..... all i shoot anymore are #4's, copper plated lead variety. usually in the 1 1/2oz or better. early season get a mod choke and later I'll switch to full.
     
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  14. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Well-Known Member

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    The load I found that worked best in my 20 gauge is the Fiocchi Golden Pheasant Nickel Plated 3" 1 1/4 oz #4's.
    I've used #5's and they work well, but my mind tends to believe the #4's work a bit better.