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Discussion in 'Upland Bird Hunting' started by DXHI, Aug 18, 2015.
First time hunting these birds.
What is your go to round for these critters
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
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.
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.
Used the Federal Prarie Storm in #5 lead and the Prarie Storm #4 in steel when required. Hardly any survive this load. Good luck
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.
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.
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.
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.
I live in central South Dakota and hunted pheasants for 30 years. Wild birds= Fedral Premium #4 and a full choke.
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).
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.
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.
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.