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What size shot for waterfowl would you use if you could only use one? I'm referring to specifically 3 inch length shells, becaus

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  • What size shot for waterfowl would you use if you could only use one? I'm referring to specifically 3 inch length shells, becaus

    What size shot for waterfowl would you use if you could only use one? I'm referring to specifically 3 inch length shells, because I do not own a magnum. I hear guys that swear by 4's and some by 2's and 3's and so on. I'm referring to mostly hunting ducks, not so much geese. That being said if you had a low flying geese, it would be nice to have the right size shot to heel them too. I'm also looking for something that won't tear up smaller ducks like teal too much too. Does such a shot size exist? To me it sounds like 3's are the ones for that. Your thoughts?

  • #2
    Ah dunno...

    #4's oughta do it up close, over decoys.

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    • #3
      BBs for geese, #2 for northern mallards and heavy divers, #4 for lighter ducks like woodies, wigeon, and teal. With lead it was more doable to stretch one shot size a bit but not so with steel. Not much fudge factor with that stuff. Hard enough to make it work with the right shot size.

      In the olden lead shot days #2 was about bare minimum for geese and even then I preferred it for northern mallards. #2 steel just won't cut the mustard for geese. #1 is a bare minimum for them in my opinion. Incidentally, until steel shot came along I had never heard of #1 and #3.

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      • #4
        JMO~~#4 shot works for all around Duck Hunting over Decoys...As for #1&#3 shot mite be Home-made?

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        • #5
          Kent sells #1 and #3 shot in FastSteel. I know I have seen it in another brand too but not Winchester. Maybe Federal?

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          • #6
            Yep, checked their website, Federal sells #1 and #3 shot.

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            • #7
              I've killed a bunch of snow geese with Federal #1's.

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              • #8
                I use Black cloud #2s almost exclusively. I have killed everything from teal to Canadas stone dead. Like to have some BB on hand for higher flying geese.

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                • #9
                  Yes, WAM, I would think #1 would be an excellent choice for snows/blues/speckles! It's a little light for big honkers. However, my brother showed me up two years ago using our dad's (now mine) 2¾" Browning auto and 1500 fps #1 shot Kent FastSteel. In any event, #1 would be a poor choice for ducks in my opinion. Especially smaller ducks. Sparse pattern and inflicts way too much unnecessary damage.

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                  • #10
                    I've shot most of my geese with #2's while duck hunting. Opportunities arise and when they fly within 25-30yds low over the river I didn't have a problem dropping them. I do however always carry BB & BBB with me at all times hunting duck for such occasions. Many times you have the opportunity to switch out shells when you hear or see the 1st goose before they get to you. I use Kent FastSteel. I am considering only carrying BB for all waterfowl hunting to save the hassle.

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                    • #11
                      Occasionally the opportunity presents itself to shoot a duck when I'm goose hunting here and I usually have to take them with BB. It tears em up but not too bad since they're almost never coming in to the decoys but just passing by out there a ways. The dogs absolutely love it when a duck drops. Opal will defer to old Pearl when retrieving geese but she won't give up a duck to her! If Opal gets to the duck first she'll grunt and growl at the old girl. Pearl will back off for ducks but both dogs know not to mess with her about the honkers.

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                      • #12
                        You said one size shot? Size #3, and only shoot at geese at close range.

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                        • #13
                          I hunt Kansas public land and I reload my own shells, the easiest for me shooting steel would be #1's for late season large ducks and geese, folds 'em every time and doesnt tear up too much as long as you dont blast them 10 feet away right off the water.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dcast View Post
                            I've shot most of my geese with #2's while duck hunting. Opportunities arise and when they fly within 25-30yds low over the river I didn't have a problem dropping them. I do however always carry BB & BBB with me at all times hunting duck for such occasions. Many times you have the opportunity to switch out shells when you hear or see the 1st goose before they get to you. I use Kent FastSteel. I am considering only carrying BB for all waterfowl hunting to save the hassle.
                            Your last sentence is how I was thinking, and leaning towards doing...
                            I am looking/reading/etc around to essentially back up my thinking there...

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