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  • #31
    Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

    Well, I guess we're clearing up a few things.

    1. We won't know if birds on public land in Montana are wilder than posted non-public land birds in Iowa until we've both hunted in both places. I submit that public land birds in Montana this year had to be about the wildest on the planet ... because there just weren't any to shoot ... and everybody was trying to shoot them anyway. Pheasants on the refuge were jumping into the air fifty to sixty yards away when they merely heard us walking. And no, it's not possible to walk through crusty snow and be quiet enough for them to not hear it. After the first two days I pulled the bell from Puppy. Half the time I couldn't see where she was working (she's so small) but the bell made it a lost cause with those spooky pheasants. Hunting in Montana this year was a game of attrition: keep at it until we found a rooster that made a mistake. The last three days I found a new spot with plenty of cover (pretty much endless) and some birds (by no means a lot of them) who clearly had not been hunted. What a treat that was! Been so long I'd almost forgot what it was like to find birds that would hold more than a split second. Still it took a lot of work to find them. Generally speaking, yeah, I'm sure the birds were wilder in Montana. A LOT wilder. They had to have been.

    2. I believe my complaint was not that our clays course isn't changed often enough but rather that the changes were always towards making more long shots. That just doesn't work for the older crowd who don't have the eyesight to see little clay targets whizzing on edge at forty yards. "Well, you shoot pheasants and geese that far away." Yes, but a goose presents a HELLUVA lot bigger target. Since then the crew have been more creative with their changes. Meant buying a couple of new machines but that's paid off well because we've used them to open up a five-stand on one skeet range during the winter and spring months when the snow is too deep over on the clays side. Already we've seen a considerable increase in revenues. We are somewhat restricted in how often we can change the clays course because any changes have to be okayed by the province's self-important safety officer. Red tape. I will say the one change they made that I felt was really great for field practice was using an old oscillating trap machine to throw crossers from behind trees to the left of station three. That was about as close as you can get to wild bird simulation. Some were hard and fast pulled in close with a short window to hit them before they hit the trees to the right of the stand. Next one might be almost a straightaway and out there a ways before it came into view speeding across the meadow. Fast shooting! Unfortunately it was TOO hard and some of the hotshots pissed and moaned because their scores suffered. "Not supposed to have oscillating at clays. That's just not done." So it was swapped out for bateau looper thrown vertically. Ho-hum!! Just wait till it ends its arc and shoot it when the target almost stops in midair before dropping sharply. Again, once you've shot the station, it's a piece of cake. The oscillating thrower was NEVER a piece of cake because the shooter NEVER knew what was coming out of it.

    3. I don't get out and hunt grouse much any more. Early in the season it's too often quite hot and buggy. Then big game season opens early October and the Down East douche bags with big trailers and ATVs show up (most come two to three weeks before moose season actually opens). By then the northern geese/ducks are arriving. It's only twenty minutes to all the waterfowl hunting I can handle. And a lot fewer idiots to deal with (surprisingly). Anyway I get real nervous hunting the grouse woods with my dogs when those crazy clowns are about. Several years ago I had a guy jump off his ATV in clear sight of me wearing orange and he went for his rifle. "Well, there are wolves out here!" I invented some new four letter words!

    4.
    "I usually try to hunt on windy days, almost entirely into the wind. A high percent of the time the bird will flush with the wind vs into the wind."
    That's Iowa vs Montana. Hunting pheasants in Montana's rough country (you've seen the pictures) seldom offers the opportunity to be able to hunt consistently into the wind ... because the coulees, creeks, ditches, etc. go every which direction. That's where the birds are. Not along cornfield fence lines (because there are damned few cornfields there). I prefer to hunt into the wind when I can. But only early in the morning. The biggest problem with hunting into the wind is in the afternoons, even if the topography is favourable, it almost always means hunting facing the sun low in the western sky ... because the wind in that country is almost always out of the west or northwest. Besides losing birds flying into the sun, it's often difficult for my old battered eyes to quickly differentiate sex when I'm looking at the shaded side of the bird. If it takes more than a split second to ID the bird and wind is blowing hard, that's often enough time for them to get out of range before I can get a decent shot, especially if they're jumpy to start with and don't allow me to get very close before flushing. If the ground has snow on it the additional reflected light can help significantly. Otherwise I find the advantage of hunting into the wind in the afternoon is almost outweighed by lighting issues. So I go find the roosters wherever, however.

    After they have been shot at a few times, roosters tend to not let dog or man get close enough to be any kind of threat no matter what the conditions. Pheasants have a VERY keen sense of smell and great big ears. They almost always know exactly what the score is before they get into the air, especially if they are downwind. They know there is a dog and a man after them and they usually know exactly where both are. Have you ever noticed how pheasants are a lot more jumpy on windy days? And they stay away from cattails, bull rushes, and tall grass when it's blowing ... because the stuff is noisy and it's harder for them to hear where their pursuers are, especially if he/it is downwind. Look for educated birds on those days in shorter grass, thick leafless brush (wild rose, snowberry, Russian olive), wind breaks, or sage brush benches. Stay downwind as much as possible and approach quietly or forget it. Be ready to get to the dogs quickly and shoot fast. On real windy days the birds won't hold at all. Just as well put the pointer away. On windless days they hold a lot better because then pheasants as often as not try to outmanoeuvre a dog using their ears, nose, and legs. With no wind blowing they can better hear and smell exactly where the enemy is. On windy days those senses are often handicapped which makes them more nervous for obvious reasons. Then they take to the wing much more readily.

    5. I'm not saying that shooting clays has no merit for sharpening field skills. I said it's greatly exaggerated. And I stand by that. There is no substitute for learning how to shoot on uneven ground (wet clay bottoms stomped to pieces by cattle is about the worst!) or at targets erupting unexpectedly from behind or fluttering down onto the decoys like a bunch of fall leaves. Trap shooting is a great place to start getting familiar with a shotgun but other than that really of almost no use for the field. Probably even detrimental if one shoots a designated trap gun. Skeet is more helpful but again very limited because the target's flight path is fixed and controlled by the shooter. The skeet range is a good place to get the shooting-all-in-one-motion business down pat ... but very few skeet shooters shoot truly low gun or attempt to recover from the wrong stance before taking the shot. I do. Actually, I seem to shoot skeet better low gun. Sporting clays helps with adjusting to different presentations and most shooters use their field guns. But they still need to remember they're in a totally artificial environment. Just because they can pile up good scores on the clays range doesn't mean a whole lot when in an irregular natural environment hunting birds that can do all kinds of crazy unexpected things once they're in the air. Hunting in the field vs shooting clays is not entirely apples and oranges. Maybe peaches and nectarines.

    6. There is a difference between being worn out to the point of not being able to get on the target easily or quickly enough to be very effective and being exhausted to the point of being unsafe. Many times I have been caught in the field in situations where I was dangerously exhausted (at least once to a point beyond life expectancy ... or so the examining physician said), but I had stopped hunting long before I got to that point. One of the things I learned very early on in my more than half century in the field (though almost not early enough) is what my physical limitations are. I admit to regularly pushing the envelope a bit but I can get away with it ... because 1) I'm pretty smart, smart enough to get myself out of just about any unexpected jam; 2) I'm fearless and never panic; and 3) I know exactly where my limit is ... because I have been there ... probably hundreds of times. You don't know where my limit is (I doubt very much you have any idea where your limit is). So don't go making uninformed judgements or assumptions that I'm dangerously over my limit. I know what I'm doing ... because I've done it a lot.

    8. I was not referring to the shells I use. I was speaking about others who have trouble understanding why the bazooka loads they shoot in the goose fields don't perform the same as the shells/guns they shoot on the trap/clays range. Both fellas I took goose hunting with me the last two years were loaded up with that hypersonic crap. And both of them shoot with me at the range. And both had a tough time in the field.

    Will ignore 1 & 2 for now.
    #3 I was referring to your post on the turkey blog comparing shooting grouse on the ground with a 22 to head shooting a turkey you called in. That would be an apples to oranges thing. If you can't understand that ask Fitch, I am sure he can get the point across. Maybe he already has πŸ˜…

    4) this is not the first time you have blurted out this pheasants have a good sense of smell thing. Just where in the heck did this thought come from ? I spoke with 2 PF biologists and both gave the same answer. Verified what I already knew. VERY poor sense of smell !!
    This claim is so bad it is right there with blabbering bubbas pattern density thing.
    Yes they have keen hearing AND excellent eyesight.

    more of 4) Sorry this what I have seen a large majority of the time with pheasants on windy days, especially when where they want to go is right, left or behind me. Pheasants trying to fly into a stiff wind are the proverbial "sitting duck". Whether our pheasants here are not as wild ( but this worked in ND on their wild pheasants ) or my dogs really are better than yours........ Go chew on that for awhile πŸ˜‹

    5) I have said this before, I don't shoot a round of sporting for score. I ask the puller to keep track of targets thrown.
    If one practices to get better in field, good scores can't be the measuring stick unless one is consistently breaking over 90 % on all targets, no matter how targets have been changed or when you go to a new course.
    The goal with practice for the field is to become consistent with your move, mount & shoot perspective. This includes foot movement. As well one can delay the pull to create more unique shots or throw them in reverse with a delay at pullers discretion.
    This beats the heck out of what skeet & trap offer for field practice......

    6) Go read what I posted again........ If you "dangerously near" the point of exhaustion then that is too close.
    The I am "pretty smart" and "I know my limitations" are exactly the attitudes that cause most of the hunting accidents, especially in the over 60 age group.
    Read what I posted again, you are an accident waiting happen. The dots all line up......
    Your story about being lost in the dark and stumbling on the farmers combine was planned ? Sounds like plain dumb luck........or fearlessly dumb.

    8) Were your shooting buddies any good at the range where they started with the gun mounted and called pull for the target ?
    Then they go to shoot live birds with shells that will give them recoil like they have never experienced and you think they will shoot well ?
    So as steel shot expert why can't you understand the two shot size larger to compare to lead shot is for almost all the situations, not just waterfowl ? Do you understand how two steel shot size larger makes it comparable to lead ?
    Last edited by springerman3; 01-24-2019, 06:48 PM.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

      Will ignore 1 & 2 for now.
      #3 I was referring to your post on the turkey blog comparing shooting grouse on the ground with a 22 to head shooting a turkey you called in. That would be an apples to oranges thing. If you can't understand that ask Fitch, I am sure he can get the point across. Maybe he already has πŸ˜…

      4) this is not the first time you have blurted out this pheasants have a good sense of smell thing. Just where in the heck did this thought come from ? I spoke with 2 PF biologists and both gave the same answer. Verified what I already knew. VERY poor sense of smell !!
      This claim is so bad it is right there with blabbering bubbas pattern density thing.
      Yes they have keen hearing AND excellent eyesight.

      more of 4) Sorry this what I have seen a large majority of the time with pheasants on windy days, especially when where they want to go is right, left or behind me. Pheasants trying to fly into a stiff wind are the proverbial "sitting duck". Whether our pheasants here are not as wild ( but this worked in ND on their wild pheasants ) or my dogs really are better than yours........ Go chew on that for awhile πŸ˜‹

      5) I have said this before, I don't shoot a round of sporting for score. I ask the puller to keep track of targets thrown.
      If one practices to get better in field, good scores can't be the measuring stick unless one is consistently breaking over 90 % on all targets, no matter how targets have been changed or when you go to a new course.
      The goal with practice for the field is to become consistent with your move, mount & shoot perspective. This includes foot movement. As well one can delay the pull to create more unique shots or throw them in reverse with a delay at pullers discretion.
      This beats the heck out of what skeet & trap offer for field practice......

      6) Go read what I posted again........ If you "dangerously near" the point of exhaustion then that is too close.
      The I am "pretty smart" and "I know my limitations" are exactly the attitudes that cause most of the hunting accidents, especially in the over 60 age group.
      Read what I posted again, you are an accident waiting happen. The dots all line up......
      Your story about being lost in the dark and stumbling on the farmers combine was planned ? Sounds like plain dumb luck........or fearlessly dumb.

      8) Were your shooting buddies any good at the range where they started with the gun mounted and called pull for the target ?
      Then they go to shoot live birds with shells that will give them recoil like they have never experienced and you think they will shoot well ?
      So as steel shot expert why can't you understand the two shot size larger to compare to lead shot is for almost all the situations, not just waterfowl ? Do you understand how two steel shot size larger makes it comparable to lead ?
      3) You have taken what I said in the turkey thread entirely out of context. Actually, it's a total misquote. A Bubba tactic.

      4) Correct you are about pheasants' poor sense of smell! My dad always told me they could smell us. I'm sure it must be their great big ears.

      more 4) I believe I had said something about intercepting their flight plan to places of refuge is the exception. Stay between the birdy dog and the cover you expect the pheasant will want to go to and sure, you'll likely get a shot ... no matter which direction the wind is blowing. An ideal scenario but one that more often than not occurs by accident. Two years ago at the refuge on a very windy day (EVERY day that year was very windy!) I noticed a camper trailer parked behind some cottonwood trees on a hill above us. I wondered what it was doing there and went up to check it out. As soon as I determined it was on the other side of the boundary fence I turned around and headed back down to the road to my Jimmy. Don't want to be seen poking around someone's unattended property in case it's been broken into. We were done for the day anyway. Suddenly I noticed Puppy wasn't with us. I waited and nothing. She's on point somewhere. Finally I heard a squawking rooster get up in the trees next to the trailer. To my surprise he came flying straight towards us into that tornado force wind at my back. Then he saw me. Up, up he rises, still coming at me. By the time that rooster was finally directly overhead he must have been nearly fifty yards up but almost stopped in midair. One easy shot and down he fell dead. Opal brought him to me and I quickly stuffed him in the bag. The wind was howling and I was tired of it. When I got to the Jimmy and pulled the rooster out I noticed he was no dumb young bird. He had very long spurs ... but no tail feathers. Well that's a shame. Dogs must have pulled them out. Wonder how long they would be for a fine specimen like this? It was just a short ways so I walked back to where he'd dropped to find them. Nothing! That's strange. When I cleaned him that night I learned why he was tailless. His torn open crop and shoulder were healing up from a terrible wound. Looked like claw marks. Whatever did that undoubtedly got a mouthful of tail feathers for dinner instead of pheasant meat. So why did that old rooster give me such an easy shot standing right out in the open? A death wish? Nope. I happened to be directly in line between the trees on the hill where he'd been hiding and the miles of tulies below where all smart birds flee to after they're pushed up. Nothing over the hill downwind from the trees but a square mile of sparse grass and sagebrush.

      5) You're singing to the choir. Again.

      6) Hunting a lot and hunting hard is bound to involve some risk. So far I've made it just fine. Had a couple of ultra scary moments when I was very young. But I learned from them. The tractor story (not a combine) was something of a freak situation. Ordinarily I have no problems finding my way out in the dark and that night I would have been just fine had I not taken a shortcut across the plowed field. Should have stayed on the fence line. I know that farm like the back of my hand ... at least those parts of it that aren't plowed up. It was never really a hairy situation anyway. Though I couldn't get my bearings in that big tilled field in pitch dark, Highway 2 was maybe two to three miles away with BNSF tracks next to it. I could always hear trucks and the occasional train. But walking to the highway would mean walking back down it a couple more miles to Fred's farmhouse with three dogs in tow (on the edge of narrow, busy highway at night) and getting him to drive me out to find my Jimmy. He wouldn't mind but I think I would probably have preferred freezing to death to that kind of humiliation ... well, not really. People who are stupid, can't think outside their technocrap box, and/or don't know their limitations are the ones that most often get in trouble in the field. They can't handle a crisis ... because they've never had any experience thinking for themselves in one. Maybe you can fool yourself into believing the unexpected will never happen if you take every precaution and follow every rule in the book to the tee ... but it will. No matter what you do or don't do sh*t happens. And I'll admit it seems to happen to me more than my fair share. That's okay. I'm equipped to deal with it, probably a lot better than most people. I'm no rock climber or bull fighter. But I'm not going to live in a gilded cage either. I go into the outdoors to escape cages.

      One of my friends had a former hunting partner who is also a hunter safety instructor of umpteen years. And he also is an expert on how careless everyone else is in the field compared to his exalted being. Don't do this, only do that .... etc., etc. Everything by the books. Then one day their pickup crapped out in the wilderness. "Looks like it's the fuel pump." Well, the guy with the star logo on his cap absolutely freaked. "Why don't you carry an extra one in the truck? Any safe person would do that! We're going to die out here! Blah, blah, blah!" He had a first class panic attack. Of course they didn't die. They didn't come home on time and the S&R found them before dawn. Sitting around a fire. Needless to say, that hunting partnership came to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Last I knew the instructor dude still hasn't found anyone to hunt with. So I'm sure he's had to give up hunting ... because his teacher's manual says hunting alone is unsafe.

      8) Why can't you understand that I have a lot of experience shooting uplands with #6 steel shot ... and it works just fine. Your book may say it's not supposed to, but it does. I have shot scores of birds with #6 steel. I would probably use #5 steel for pheasants, if I could ever find some on the shelf. #5 lead shot works very well but in a pinch I have used #7.5 lead on pheasants and with surprisingly good effect. The point I have made is that pheasants, though tough birds (tougher than quail, grouse, or partridge), seem to succumb to much more variety in lead or steel shot sizes than waterfowl do for steel shot. That has been my experience. Look at their comparative anatomies and the reason should be obvious. Of course, it really doesn't make much difference in your case anyway because you always shoot your birds in the head no matter what the species. Yes, I could do what the book says and shoot pheasants with #4 steel duck loads (lots of that stuff on the shelves) but I can't see much point in hurting my shoulder and blowing them full of big holes if it's not necessary.
      Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 01-26-2019, 02:38 PM.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

        3) You have taken what I said in the turkey thread entirely out of context. Actually, it's a total misquote. A Bubba tactic.

        4) Correct you are about pheasants' poor sense of smell! My dad always told me they could smell us. I'm sure it must be their great big ears.

        more 4) I believe I had said something about intercepting their flight plan to places of refuge is the exception. Stay between the birdy dog and the cover you expect the pheasant will want to go to and sure, you'll likely get a shot ... no matter which direction the wind is blowing. An ideal scenario but one that more often than not occurs by accident. Two years ago at the refuge on a very windy day (EVERY day that year was very windy!) I noticed a camper trailer parked behind some cottonwood trees on a hill above us. I wondered what it was doing there and went up to check it out. As soon as I determined it was on the other side of the boundary fence I turned around and headed back down to the road to my Jimmy. Don't want to be seen poking around someone's unattended property in case it's been broken into. We were done for the day anyway. Suddenly I noticed Puppy wasn't with us. I waited and nothing. She's on point somewhere. Finally I heard a squawking rooster get up in the trees next to the trailer. To my surprise he came flying straight towards us into that tornado force wind at my back. Then he saw me. Up, up he rises, still coming at me. By the time that rooster was finally directly overhead he must have been nearly fifty yards up but almost stopped in midair. One easy shot and down he fell dead. Opal brought him to me and I quickly stuffed him in the bag. The wind was howling and I was tired of it. When I got to the Jimmy and pulled the rooster out I noticed he was no dumb young bird. He had very long spurs ... but no tail feathers. Well that's a shame. Dogs must have pulled them out. Wonder how long they would be for a fine specimen like this? It was just a short ways so I walked back to where he'd dropped to find them. Nothing! That's strange. When I cleaned him that night I learned why he was tailless. His torn open crop and shoulder were healing up from a terrible wound. Looked like claw marks. Whatever did that undoubtedly got a mouthful of tail feathers for dinner instead of pheasant meat. So why did that old rooster give me such an easy shot standing right out in the open? A death wish? Nope. I happened to be directly in line between the trees on the hill where he'd been hiding and the miles of tulies below where all smart birds flee to after they're pushed up. Nothing over the hill downwind from the trees but a square mile of sparse grass and sagebrush.

        5) You're singing to the choir. Again.

        6) Hunting a lot and hunting hard is bound to involve some risk. So far I've made it just fine. Had a couple of ultra scary moments when I was very young. But I learned from them. The tractor story (not a combine) was something of a freak situation. Ordinarily I have no problems finding my way out in the dark and that night I would have been just fine had I not taken a shortcut across the plowed field. Should have stayed on the fence line. I know that farm like the back of my hand ... at least those parts of it that aren't plowed up. It was never really a hairy situation anyway. Though I couldn't get my bearings in that big tilled field in pitch dark, Highway 2 was maybe two to three miles away with BNSF tracks next to it. I could always hear trucks and the occasional train. But walking to the highway would mean walking back down it a couple more miles to Fred's farmhouse with three dogs in tow (on the edge of narrow, busy highway at night) and getting him to drive me out to find my Jimmy. He wouldn't mind but I think I would probably have preferred freezing to death to that kind of humiliation ... well, not really. People who are stupid, can't think outside their technocrap box, and/or don't know their limitations are the ones that most often get in trouble in the field. They can't handle a crisis ... because they've never had any experience thinking for themselves in one. Maybe you can fool yourself into believing the unexpected will never happen if you take every precaution and follow every rule in the book to the tee ... but it will. No matter what you do or don't do sh*t happens. And I'll admit it seems to happen to me more than my fair share. That's okay. I'm equipped to deal with it, probably a lot better than most people. I'm no rock climber or bull fighter. But I'm not going to live in a gilded cage either. I go into the outdoors to escape cages.

        One of my friends had a former hunting partner who is also a hunter safety instructor of umpteen years. And he also is an expert on how careless everyone else is in the field compared to his exalted being. Don't do this, only do that .... etc., etc. Everything by the books. Then one day their pickup crapped out in the wilderness. "Looks like it's the fuel pump." Well, the guy with the star logo on his cap absolutely freaked. "Why don't you carry an extra one in the truck? Any safe person would do that! We're going to die out here! Blah, blah, blah!" He had a first class panic attack. Of course they didn't die. They didn't come home on time and the S&R found them before dawn. Sitting around a fire. Needless to say, that hunting partnership came to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Last I knew the instructor dude still hasn't found anyone to hunt with. So I'm sure he's had to give up hunting ... because his teacher's manual says hunting alone is unsafe.

        8) Why can't you understand that I have a lot of experience shooting uplands with #6 steel shot ... and it works just fine. Your book may say it's not supposed to, but it does. I have shot scores of birds with #6 steel. I would probably use #5 steel for pheasants, if I could ever find some on the shelf. #5 lead shot works very well but in a pinch I have used #7.5 lead on pheasants and with surprisingly good effect. The point I have made is that pheasants, though tough birds (tougher than quail, grouse, or partridge), seem to succumb to much more variety in lead or steel shot sizes than waterfowl do for steel shot. That has been my experience. Look at their comparative anatomies and the reason should be obvious. Of course, it really doesn't make much difference in your case anyway because you always shoot your birds in the head no matter what the species. Yes, I could do what the book says and shoot pheasants with #4 steel duck loads (lots of that stuff on the shelves) but I can't see much point in hurting my shoulder and blowing them full of big holes if it's not necessary.
        What I can't understand is that you seem to think # 6 steel will give you the same performance as # 6 lead ? # 6 steel is equivalent to # 8 lead shot, even when you increase the velocity by 200 fps.......You tell us it is deadly but on windy days you have a poor pattern. Why would that be happening ?
        Phil did an article not long ago explaining if you use larger steel shot then you can use lower velocity shells, this was not fake news 😎
        As well you keep shooting pheasants the butt and expect to kill them with marginal loads. A poorly hit bird is not tough, the hunter just didn't do their job.
        If you are shooting 1500 fps BB steel loads for geese then why would a # 4 steel load for pheasants be any worse ?

        Once again the story about I know a guy or guys and they were bad at what they were trying to do...... I know folks like too, it means that nobody is perfect.
        I will repeat my whole focus from the start of this has been about taking shots one can hit. Knowing what your load & choke combo can do is part of this at the distance one has shown to be capable at.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

          What I can't understand is that you seem to think # 6 steel will give you the same performance as # 6 lead ? # 6 steel is equivalent to # 8 lead shot, even when you increase the velocity by 200 fps.......You tell us it is deadly but on windy days you have a poor pattern. Why would that be happening ?
          Phil did an article not long ago explaining if you use larger steel shot then you can use lower velocity shells, this was not fake news 😎
          As well you keep shooting pheasants the butt and expect to kill them with marginal loads. A poorly hit bird is not tough, the hunter just didn't do their job.
          If you are shooting 1500 fps BB steel loads for geese then why would a # 4 steel load for pheasants be any worse ?

          Once again the story about I know a guy or guys and they were bad at what they were trying to do...... I know folks like too, it means that nobody is perfect.
          I will repeat my whole focus from the start of this has been about taking shots one can hit. Knowing what your load & choke combo can do is part of this at the distance one has shown to be capable at.
          If I can kill pheasants as effectively with #6 steel as I can #5 lead then it is what it is. Four years ago I bought a box of #6 low base steel dove loads on my way west to Montana (that was the only thing on the shelves that wasn't bazooka waterfowl ammo) and the performance was outstanding. I shot the first dozen roosters with as many shells. But there were a lot of birds back then, it was early in the season, and one certainly had the luxury of picking the shots.

          Wind will blow BB steel off course too. Man, have I seen that ... a lot! Of course the further from the target, the more severe the wind distortion. Maybe the problem is less severe with larger steel shot but I'd have to see some test results to prove it. Though larger steel shot is heavier and has more inertia, it also has greater surface area which makes the pellets more of a sail in the wind. Increased inertia is offset by increased wind resistance. Again, shooting pheasants with duck loads is not the better option in my experience. Blowing big holes in the birds and developing a flinch from recoil would seem to defeat any (if any) advantage. #4 steel is not "worse" than #6, it's just not sufficiently better to outweigh the disadvantages. Not in my experience anyway.

          I do seem to remember Phil writing about using small steel shot for doves and uplands with good results. In fact, I think he has written about it more than once. You are, I think, referring to articles on waterfowl loads?

          You assume I "keep shooting pheasants [in] the butt." Really? This is from your personal observation? No, because you've never hunted with me. Or is it from something I've written? No. Though I won't pass on a good within-range straightaway shot, those are by no means the majority of shots presented. I don't recall ever writing anything to that effect. The advantage to straightaway shots is almost no lead adjustment is required: cover the bird and shoot. That means the odds of putting the target in the center of the pattern (where impacting pellet density will be highest) are much better than for crossing shots (where there is a higher probability of only hitting the bird with the edge of the pattern). Also, the pellets in a straightaway shot are penetrating parallel to the lay of the feathers instead of striking broadside against them (much more of an issue with waterfowl). It seems to me the advantages of taking "butt shots" pretty much balances the disadvantages. My experience has been that for uplands straightaway shots don't result in any less birds in the bag than crossing or quartering shots.

          And my "focus" has always been that unless you hunt how and where I hunt (i.e. actually hunt with me), being judgemental is hardly justified. Similarly, though you obviously have lots of experience on the clays range, you have never shot our range, nor do you shoot my gun. It is one thing to offer tips and suggestions but quite another to pass judgement on what a shooter/hunter is doing wrong if you're not actually there watching them in the act of shooting. And pulling bits and pieces out of context from these blogs for that purpose is not productive.
          Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 01-29-2019, 06:59 PM. Reason: Clarification and grammar correction

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

            If I can kill pheasants as effectively with #6 steel as I can #5 lead then it is what it is. Four years ago I bought a box of #6 low base steel dove loads on my way west to Montana (that was the only thing on the shelves that wasn't bazooka waterfowl ammo) and the performance was outstanding. I shot the first dozen roosters with as many shells. But there were a lot of birds back then, it was early in the season, and one certainly had the luxury of picking the shots.

            Wind will blow BB steel off course too. Man, have I seen that ... a lot! Of course the further from the target, the more severe the wind distortion. Maybe the problem is less severe with larger steel shot but I'd have to see some test results to prove it. Though larger steel shot is heavier and has more inertia, it also has greater surface area which makes the pellets more of a sail in the wind. Increased inertia is offset by increased wind resistance. Again, shooting pheasants with duck loads is not the better option in my experience. Blowing big holes in the birds and developing a flinch from recoil would seem to defeat any (if any) advantage. #4 steel is not "worse" than #6, it's just not sufficiently better to outweigh the disadvantages. Not in my experience anyway.

            I do seem to remember Phil writing about using small steel shot for doves and uplands with good results. In fact, I think he has written about it more than once. You are, I think, referring to articles on waterfowl loads?

            You assume I "keep shooting pheasants [in] the butt." Really? This is from your personal observation? No, because you've never hunted with me. Or is it from something I've written? No. Though I won't pass on a good within-range straightaway shot, those are by no means the majority of shots presented. I don't recall ever writing anything to that effect. The advantage to straightaway shots is almost no lead adjustment is required: cover the bird and shoot. That means the odds of putting the target in the center of the pattern (where impacting pellet density will be highest) are much better than for crossing shots (where there is a higher probability of only hitting the bird with the edge of the pattern). Also, the pellets in a straightaway shot are penetrating parallel to the lay of the feathers instead of striking broadside against them (much more of an issue with waterfowl). It seems to me the advantages of taking "butt shots" pretty much balances the disadvantages. My experience has been that for uplands straightaway shots don't result in any less birds in the bag than crossing or quartering shots.

            And my "focus" has always been that unless you hunt how and where I hunt (i.e. actually hunt with me), being judgemental is hardly justified. Similarly, though you obviously have lots of experience on the clays range, you have never shot our range, nor do you shoot my gun. It is one thing to offer tips and suggestions but quite another to pass judgement on what a shooter/hunter is doing wrong if you're not actually there watching them in the act of shooting. And pulling bits and pieces out of context from these blogs for that purpose is not productive.
            "If I can kill pheasants as effectively with #6 steel as #5 lead then it is what it is"
            Yes sure .......
            The key word in that is "if" and the answer would be no. Using lead # 5 which has the capacity to penetrate well up to 45 yards where #6 steel would just be knocking feathers off at 30-35 yards.
            I tell you what if you think #6 steel is so deadly vs #5 lead then "if" you go hunt turkeys with Fitch then use that load. Just make sure they are at 40 yards or farther. I will be extremely curious on how that turns out.....
            Funny that ballistics tests show that larger, heavier pellets actually pattern and penetrate better on windy days vs smaller lighter shot. My own experience patterning a variety of loads ( turkey & field ) shows that quite well.
            Yes, you have posted several times about how the pheasant you shot did not die when hit. Dropped a leg ( that is a butt shot whether it is going away, quartering or crossing ) or the dog had to make some awesome retrieve because the bird ran after going down.
            The going away you shot you describe is the hardest bird to kill, pellets must pass through bone and body to reach the vitals. The head is rarely visible enough to hit so what happens with most hunters is they shoot it in the butt ( maybe some shot breaks a wing ) but this leads to the weak analogy that pheasants are tough. Especially when folks try this at 40 plus yards......
            Broadside isn't an issue when pellets hit the head and neck, it is rare for me to put more than two or three pellets in the body of a bird, even then they are high on the body where they hit the ribs.
            I practice quartering & crossing targets a lot, I am quite confident of my ability to put a moving muzzle in front of a bird ( live or clay ) to hit it. The average hunter does not do that very well.
            It doesn't matter what your gun is or where the clays course is or the same with live birds. See the target, put the muzzle where it belongs and pull the trigger. Targets break and birds are dead when they hit the ground.
            The feather analogy is just as lame as the pheasants can smell us thing. Feathers on pheasants (regardless of what direction the pellets are hitting from) offer minimal resistance and effect on pellets ability to penetrate.
            Yes, Phil's article was about waterfowl loads. Rio shells, 1 3/8 oz , shot sizes were BB, 1 & 3 if I remember correctly.
            It is unfortunate you think that my posts are an attack on you. I do not take things out of context, I am addressing either poor or inconsistent information or things that go against my 5 decades of bird hunting experience.
            Per your shooting grouse on the ground with a 22 vs calling in a turkey and shooting it in the head. From an ethical viewpoint is not sporting to shoot a bird on the ground when the accepted method is to attempt shooting it while they are flying. That is the most challenging method to harvest them.
            The accepted and most challenging way to harvest a wild turkey is ( trying ) to call them in to range ( 35 yards or less ) and make a solid kill shot to the head/neck area.
            What I find interesting is you seem to think you know what loads you want to use but settle for something else. The shot size I want they didn't have or some other excuse.
            You are telling us that you can't find a retailer, gun shop or distributor that can order what you want ? Yes you live in Canada but seem to frequent the US fairly often. Your brother in Montana or other relative can't buy them or accept a shipment.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

              "If I can kill pheasants as effectively with #6 steel as #5 lead then it is what it is"
              Yes sure .......
              The key word in that is "if" and the answer would be no. Using lead # 5 which has the capacity to penetrate well up to 45 yards where #6 steel would just be knocking feathers off at 30-35 yards.
              I tell you what if you think #6 steel is so deadly vs #5 lead then "if" you go hunt turkeys with Fitch then use that load. Just make sure they are at 40 yards or farther. I will be extremely curious on how that turns out.....
              Funny that ballistics tests show that larger, heavier pellets actually pattern and penetrate better on windy days vs smaller lighter shot. My own experience patterning a variety of loads ( turkey & field ) shows that quite well.
              Yes, you have posted several times about how the pheasant you shot did not die when hit. Dropped a leg ( that is a butt shot whether it is going away, quartering or crossing ) or the dog had to make some awesome retrieve because the bird ran after going down.
              The going away you shot you describe is the hardest bird to kill, pellets must pass through bone and body to reach the vitals. The head is rarely visible enough to hit so what happens with most hunters is they shoot it in the butt ( maybe some shot breaks a wing ) but this leads to the weak analogy that pheasants are tough. Especially when folks try this at 40 plus yards......
              Broadside isn't an issue when pellets hit the head and neck, it is rare for me to put more than two or three pellets in the body of a bird, even then they are high on the body where they hit the ribs.
              I practice quartering & crossing targets a lot, I am quite confident of my ability to put a moving muzzle in front of a bird ( live or clay ) to hit it. The average hunter does not do that very well.
              It doesn't matter what your gun is or where the clays course is or the same with live birds. See the target, put the muzzle where it belongs and pull the trigger. Targets break and birds are dead when they hit the ground.
              The feather analogy is just as lame as the pheasants can smell us thing. Feathers on pheasants (regardless of what direction the pellets are hitting from) offer minimal resistance and effect on pellets ability to penetrate.
              Yes, Phil's article was about waterfowl loads. Rio shells, 1 3/8 oz , shot sizes were BB, 1 & 3 if I remember correctly.
              It is unfortunate you think that my posts are an attack on you. I do not take things out of context, I am addressing either poor or inconsistent information or things that go against my 5 decades of bird hunting experience.
              Per your shooting grouse on the ground with a 22 vs calling in a turkey and shooting it in the head. From an ethical viewpoint is not sporting to shoot a bird on the ground when the accepted method is to attempt shooting it while they are flying. That is the most challenging method to harvest them.
              The accepted and most challenging way to harvest a wild turkey is ( trying ) to call them in to range ( 35 yards or less ) and make a solid kill shot to the head/neck area.
              What I find interesting is you seem to think you know what loads you want to use but settle for something else. The shot size I want they didn't have or some other excuse.
              You are telling us that you can't find a retailer, gun shop or distributor that can order what you want ? Yes you live in Canada but seem to frequent the US fairly often. Your brother in Montana or other relative can't buy them or accept a shipment.
              #6 steel kills pheasants well at 30-35 yards. I know because I shoot a lot of them with the stuff. You do not. "If" you read my sentence in it's context, that is exactly what I'm saying. Pulling one word out of context is juvenile. Very Bubbish.

              Please reference your pellets in the wind studies. Otherwise you're just blowing your own.

              Back to Springerman the trick shooter always shooting every flying bird in the head. Yeah, right. Unless you're an Olympic skeet shooter, I'm going to have to concede that you're merely passing more wind on that claim.

              Your expertise on feather orientation and pellet penetration is also without foundation. I did say it was more of an issue with waterfowl (which every waterfowl hunter recognizes), however, that does not mean it's of no consequence for other birds. The feathers on the side of a pheasant are what are hit in crossing shots. They are the longest and widest on it's torso (tail being not part of the torso). Anyone who has cleaned a pheasant knows that. It's a logical conclusion that these feathers will afford the most protection when overlapped. And in fact, underneath the wings against the torso is where I find most pellets that are only lodged in the flesh. Often they merely fall out of the feathers when I'm cleaning the birds. The thin bones and shorter feathers on a pheasant's back do not afford a whole lot of protection. I find a lot of uplands shot in the lungs were hit through the back going away. One would think the much thicker flesh of the breast would act as a more significant shock absorber for protecting the vitals from pellet penetration. In any event, unless you can produce some studies that refute my field experience (i.e. that going away shots are just as lethal, if not more lethal, than crossing shots), I think we can relegate your claim to their being more passing wind.

              Your Iowa ethics are not shared throughout the world. In the West you'd be laughed at claiming the practice of shooting grouse with a .22 is "unethical" and "unacceptable." Up here you'd get the same reception. Almost no one hunts grouse here with a shotgun. Similarly, where I was raised they think baiting animals is unethical and shooting from a stand is only a bowhunter thing (and not terribly highly regarded even for that sport). Montanans are free roaming deer stalkers while you folks are posted forty acre ambushers. Like it or not, the world does not play by your code.

              Re ammo selection: again, your semi-suburban environment does not translate into the same situation everywhere. There is seldom a huge variety available here or in Montana where I hunt. Often during the season supplies dry up and selection becomes even more limited. I will make do with what is available. But only within reason. #6 steel works for uplands as well as #5. I have killed a lot of birds with either. Making concessions is much more restricted with waterfowl because they require a lot more punishment. Usually I won't shoot mallards with anything less than #2. Perhaps if #4 steel was all that was available I might consider it but only for close shots and field hunting. Usually if #2 is not available I choose to shoot any ducks that come by my goose spread with goose loads.

              When I travel to Montana in my Jimmy with three dogs, I have to bring along enough stuff to stay for six weeks, equipment to look after the vehicle, and gear for both bird and deer hunting. Luggage space is VERY limited ... as in every inch is accounted for. I do not have space to be dragging around a bunch of extra ammo. Hell, I don't have enough room to bring more than just a day or two supply of dog food! My brother lives five hours away from where we hunt together and when he travels east to meet me, his space limitations are usually also restricted. And really, I should be asking him to look after me? Come on. Acquiring ammo up here on order from the mom and pop store is very expensive. They only order by the pallet. Big box stores do not take custom orders. Again, you live in a different world down there.

              I haven't been forced to make any huge concessions buying ammo along the way (and in fact a new source turned up this past fall on the way home that is very promising). I decided to try #6 low base knowing that the local rip off outdoors store near the Montana bird refuge had an adequate supply of waterfowl loads if the dove loads didn't work out. But they worked very well! Wish I'd bought more of them.
              Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 01-30-2019, 05:12 PM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                #6 steel kills pheasants well at 30-35 yards. I know because I shoot a lot of them with the stuff. You do not. "If" you read my sentence in it's context, that is exactly what I'm saying. Pulling one word out of context is juvenile. Very Bubbish.

                Please reference your pellets in the wind studies. Otherwise you're just blowing your own.

                Back to Springerman the trick shooter always shooting every flying bird in the head. Yeah, right. Unless you're an Olympic skeet shooter, I'm going to have to concede that you're merely passing more wind on that claim.

                Your expertise on feather orientation and pellet penetration is also without foundation. I did say it was more of an issue with waterfowl (which every waterfowl hunter recognizes), however, that does not mean it's of no consequence for other birds. The feathers on the side of a pheasant are what are hit in crossing shots. They are the longest and widest on it's torso (tail being not part of the torso). Anyone who has cleaned a pheasant knows that. It's a logical conclusion that these feathers will afford the most protection when overlapped. And in fact, underneath the wings against the torso is where I find most pellets that are only lodged in the flesh. Often they merely fall out of the feathers when I'm cleaning the birds. The thin bones and shorter feathers on a pheasant's back do not afford a whole lot of protection. I find a lot of uplands shot in the lungs were hit through the back going away. One would think the much thicker flesh of the breast would act as a more significant shock absorber for protecting the vitals from pellet penetration. In any event, unless you can produce some studies that refute my field experience (i.e. that going away shots are just as lethal, if not more lethal, than crossing shots), I think we can relegate your claim to their being more passing wind.

                Your Iowa ethics are not shared throughout the world. In the West you'd be laughed at claiming the practice of shooting grouse with a .22 is "unethical" and "unacceptable." Up here you'd get the same reception. Almost no one hunts grouse here with a shotgun. Similarly, where I was raised they think baiting animals is unethical and shooting from a stand is only a bowhunter thing (and not terribly highly regarded even for that sport). Montanans are free roaming deer stalkers while you folks are posted forty acre ambushers. Like it or not, the world does not play by your code.

                Re ammo selection: again, your semi-suburban environment does not translate into the same situation everywhere. There is seldom a huge variety available here or in Montana where I hunt. Often during the season supplies dry up and selection becomes even more limited. I will make do with what is available. But only within reason. #6 steel works for uplands as well as #5. I have killed a lot of birds with either. Making concessions is much more restricted with waterfowl because they require a lot more punishment. Usually I won't shoot mallards with anything less than #2. Perhaps if #4 steel was all that was available I might consider it but only for close shots and field hunting. Usually if #2 is not available I choose to shoot any ducks that come by my goose spread with goose loads.

                When I travel to Montana in my Jimmy with three dogs, I have to bring along enough stuff to stay for six weeks, equipment to look after the vehicle, and gear for both bird and deer hunting. Luggage space is VERY limited ... as in every inch is accounted for. I do not have space to be dragging around a bunch of extra ammo. Hell, I don't have enough room to bring more than just a day or two supply of dog food! My brother lives five hours away from where we hunt together and when he travels east to meet me, his space limitations are usually also restricted. And really, I should be asking him to look after me? Come on. Acquiring ammo up here on order from the mom and pop store is very expensive. They only order by the pallet. Big box stores do not take custom orders. Again, you live in a different world down there.

                I haven't been forced to make any huge concessions buying ammo along the way (and in fact a new source turned up this past fall on the way home that is very promising). I decided to try #6 low base knowing that the local rip off outdoors store near the Montana bird refuge had an adequate supply of waterfowl loads if the dove loads didn't work out. But they worked very well! Wish I'd bought more of them.
                The reason I focused on "if" is because that was the key word in your sentence......there is no way for anyone to think that a steel # 6 is compares to a lead # 5. So "if" a steel # 6 is as good as you think how does it compare to a lead # 6 ?
                I asked 2 questions earlier on this thread about what you knew about the rule using 2 sizes larger steel to compare to lead shot. There was no answer, that is extremely bubbish if you want to go down that path πŸ˜‹
                Since steel shot has been the primary non toxic load for waterfowl, what have been the main complaints about it ?
                I shoot most of my pheasants with lead # 6 loads, occasionally will use # 5 if it is "really windy". So from what you tell us that would be a flawed concept but somehow almost every article I see tells us to bump up one or two shot sizes in windy conditions. Pretty sure Phil has even put that in when he writes about that topic......
                If you would look back at what I posted I used the term "most" probably 3 out of 4. It is unfortunate that you can't accept what a good springer can do in the field to give a hunter high quality shots.....
                Per the feather perspective evidently your steel # 6 don't have much penetration capacity if they are just under the skin. My quality lead shot must have some magical powers 😎 as they penetrate completely into the lungs. If you had read my post I stated high on the back by the ribs. This would be almost in a straight line with the head & neck. Actually you must not be very familiar with the anatomy of a pheasant as the flesh is actually quite thin there as well when there are 3 or 4 pellets in the head & neck it is quite moot about pellets in the body. Only when the bird is
                distinctly elevated would there be an issue with pellets trying to pass through the thicker part of the breast to hit the vitals......where do you get this stuff ? Did you get into a bad batch of LaBatt beer ?
                Ethics are not an Iowa thing, they apply to all people. As hunters we should be proud to take an animal's life in the most sporting way possible. When one ground swats an animal that would be more challenging to shoot on the wing they show great disrespect for it as well as disrespect for their fellow hunters. Is this thought not extremely similar to you talking on another post about not shooting game from long distance ?
                I understand that folks in a survival situation or truly living off the land would be frugal with their ammo supply. That situation does not apply to vast majority of us, even more so when one has 40 or 50 geese in their freezer.
                It is illegal in Iowa to bait for deer so I repeat the bad LaBatt 🍺 question.

                Yes I to have found this entertaining as well enlightening. I find it amazing that we are supposed to be enthralled by your stories but somehow the stories of others don't pass your smell test.....
                ​​​​​​​Please start checking the date code on that LaBatt beer πŸ˜‹

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

                  The reason I focused on "if" is because that was the key word in your sentence......there is no way for anyone to think that a steel # 6 is compares to a lead # 5. So "if" a steel # 6 is as good as you think how does it compare to a lead # 6 ?
                  I asked 2 questions earlier on this thread about what you knew about the rule using 2 sizes larger steel to compare to lead shot. There was no answer, that is extremely bubbish if you want to go down that path πŸ˜‹
                  Since steel shot has been the primary non toxic load for waterfowl, what have been the main complaints about it ?
                  I shoot most of my pheasants with lead # 6 loads, occasionally will use # 5 if it is "really windy". So from what you tell us that would be a flawed concept but somehow almost every article I see tells us to bump up one or two shot sizes in windy conditions. Pretty sure Phil has even put that in when he writes about that topic......
                  If you would look back at what I posted I used the term "most" probably 3 out of 4. It is unfortunate that you can't accept what a good springer can do in the field to give a hunter high quality shots.....
                  Per the feather perspective evidently your steel # 6 don't have much penetration capacity if they are just under the skin. My quality lead shot must have some magical powers 😎 as they penetrate completely into the lungs. If you had read my post I stated high on the back by the ribs. This would be almost in a straight line with the head & neck. Actually you must not be very familiar with the anatomy of a pheasant as the flesh is actually quite thin there as well when there are 3 or 4 pellets in the head & neck it is quite moot about pellets in the body. Only when the bird is
                  distinctly elevated would there be an issue with pellets trying to pass through the thicker part of the breast to hit the vitals......where do you get this stuff ? Did you get into a bad batch of LaBatt beer ?
                  Ethics are not an Iowa thing, they apply to all people. As hunters we should be proud to take an animal's life in the most sporting way possible. When one ground swats an animal that would be more challenging to shoot on the wing they show great disrespect for it as well as disrespect for their fellow hunters. Is this thought not extremely similar to you talking on another post about not shooting game from long distance ?
                  I understand that folks in a survival situation or truly living off the land would be frugal with their ammo supply. That situation does not apply to vast majority of us, even more so when one has 40 or 50 geese in their freezer.
                  It is illegal in Iowa to bait for deer so I repeat the bad LaBatt 🍺 question.

                  Yes I to have found this entertaining as well enlightening. I find it amazing that we are supposed to be enthralled by your stories but somehow the stories of others don't pass your smell test.....
                  Please start checking the date code on that LaBatt beer πŸ˜‹
                  My beer of choice is strictly Coors Lite. I have preached on this before: because I hate the stuff I won't be tempted to drink to excess.

                  I am very familiar with the two shot size rule as well as the history behind it. Steel shot was first mandated for waterfowl. There's a world of difference between waterfowl and uplands. Eventually in a very few places (particularly federal refuges and waterfowl production areas) the non-toxic rule was applied to all bird hunters, probably because too many guys were declaring themselves to be upland hunting when they were in fact shooting ducks. The two shot size rule was one of the answers to help waterfowl hunters adjust to the steel mandate. Uplands were not in the picture when the rule was developed. Initially manufacturers simply threw steel shot in shells built with lead components and powder loads. The results were disastrous for game and guns alike. Eventually the powder charge was changed to boost velocity and, more importantly, wads were developed that absorbed some of the compression of unforgiving steel shot. Bumping up two shot sizes was also part of the answer. But these solutions were developed to specifically address waterfowl hunting issues. They were not developed in response to problems encountered when hunting uplands with steel because no one was hunting uplands with steel. Obviously any issues that might come up would be different because the two types of birds are built very differently. They have to be. Waterfowl spend most of their lives sitting on freezing water and flying from one end of the continent to the other twice a year. Pheasant anatomy has evolved to fill a much different niche. So why would the same two-shot-size rule apply? It doesn't. It was never designed to apply to uplands. My point here is that the characteristics of steel shot when used on uplands are considerably different than for waterfowl. That has been my experience ... and I have a LOT of experience with steel shot.

                  Springerman, unless you have considerable experience using steel shot, and from what I have read of your posts you do not, then perhaps you should defer to my knowledge gained from decades of using the stuff?


                  Yes, the flesh is thinnest right under the wing of a pheasant ... where the feather armour is obviously greatest (perhaps there is a correlation?). Also, half the time when in flight that vulnerable spot is protected by the hardiest stiffest feathers on a bird's body - its wings. Check your anatomy: a pheasant's breasts extend well around to the sides of the birds torso. The breasts in fact supply the muscle to pull a pheasant's wings downward. It's why the shoulder muscles on its back are so much smaller than the meat on its breast. Very little energy is required to lift an essentially collapsed wing when in flight, but substantial power is needed to propel the wings downward against air resistance to generate lift. Those large breast muscles designed for pulling against the wings in different directions (to propel the bird in different directions) require a large area for anchoring. Consequently much of the sides and bottom of upper torso is covered with that thick muscle. To shoot a pheasant through the heart and lungs on a crossing shot means penetrating thick breast muscle, and/or heavy feathers, and/or dodging the wings. A successful "butt shot" requires shooting through almost no feather resistance, barely any muscle tissue, and a thin layer of intermittent bone to reach the vitals immediately underneath. Weighing the pros and cons, I don't see a lot of advantage for crossing shots over going away. Oh, and the supposed head shot advantage for crossing shots is absurd. When flushed, pheasants always have their head up, putting their great eyesight to use ... which makes their heads equally as good a target no matter what the presentation.

                  In a relatively recent article Phil called into question whether the two-shot-size rule might be somewhat self-defeating for the same reason I cited in my thoughts below (i.e. larger surface area = > wind resistance and also > tissue resistance). And he may be onto something. If velocity can be increased substantially, will not smaller shot with smaller surface area stand a better chance of penetrating more efficiently through waterfowls' heavy feathers and flesh? Certainly if I was inclined to shoot hypersonic 1700 fps stuff, I would consider dropping down to #2 steel for honkers. I'm generally shooting at them 40-45 yards and a substantially increased pellet payload with greater or equal penetration potential might be attractive. But I just don't see that happening for me. Besides being ridiculously expensive, I don't believe those loads are safe for my gun and certainly not for my fragile eyes or shoulder (I broke the tip of shoulder blade in a fall while pheasant hunting in 2016 and it's not been the same since). More importantly, I do very well shooting 1 1/8 oz BB 3" at 1550 fps. It's hard to improve on taking a limit and batting a thousand several mornings every fall. Similarly, since I can knock down a dozen pheasants straight with half a box of low base #6 steel, why should I try to improve on that? But I did try. That same season out of necessity (choosing from what was available) I switched to Federal's very expensive high base 1500 fps #5 copper painted lead pheasant loads and they didn't do nearly as well. In fact, they performed very poorly (including one hang/misfire). Perhaps their substantially increased recoil had something to do with that. Yet another reason to avoid hypersonic for waterfowl. Getting beat up seldom improves shooting performance.


                  I am sure the grouse up here appreciate the ethics of being shot in the head on the ground with a .22 over being dinged somewhere on their body with shotgun pellets while flying (and yes, the preferred ethical practice here is shooting them in the head rather than blowing a big hole through their succulent breasts). Shooting grouse in the air with a shotgun may be "more sporting" but I have to question if it's more ethical from the standpoint of incurring the quickest death for the game. Or are you going to try to convince us that you also kill all your flying ruff grouse with only crossing shots and in the head/neck? That would be a tough sell! Once Mr. Ruff is in the air it is a rare day when he gives the scatter-gunner anything but a "butt shot." I wouldn't have any problems with the ethics of someone who chose to hunt whitetail deer with hollow point 500 Nitro Express ... as long as he exclusively chose to target their heads. I'm sure many "sportsmen" would find the appearance of a deer with its head mostly blown off to be "unethical" but I suspect the deer would find it a swifter and therefore much more appealing death than being shot through lungs.

                  I never said baiting deer was legal or practised in Iowa.


                  Addendum: Springerman, since participation on the Blogs section is still gutshot due to social media requirements, and since you seem to be about the only person over there commenting on Phil's threads, I'll give you my thoughts on your response to a possible future for 3" sixteen gauge. You missed a third "no". I think the subtle gist of Phil's thread is that Browning's soon to be released waterfowl version of it's Sweet 16 remake is pretty much silly. The sixteen gauge has at best a future as an upland gun. Dipping them in camo and declaring them to be waterfowl shotguns is clearly just a halfhearted gimmick. Very transparent. Introducing a 3" version would be a bust right out of the gate. Introducing a trap or clays sixteen gauge shotgun might be a much more practical proposition, although finding ammo would be a big problem (as far as I know, Browning is the only one on this side of the sea making 16 gauge target loads).
                  Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-01-2019, 07:36 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                    My beer of choice is strictly Coors Lite. I have preached on this before: because I hate the stuff I won't be tempted to drink to excess.

                    I am very familiar with the two shot size rule as well as the history behind it. Steel shot was first mandated for waterfowl. There's a world of difference between waterfowl and uplands. Eventually in a very few places (particularly federal refuges and waterfowl production areas) the non-toxic rule was applied to all bird hunters, probably because too many guys were declaring themselves to be upland hunting when they were in fact shooting ducks. The two shot size rule was one of the answers to help waterfowl hunters adjust to the steel mandate. Uplands were not in the picture when the rule was developed. Initially manufacturers simply threw steel shot in shells built with lead components and powder loads. The results were disastrous for game and guns alike. Eventually the powder charge was changed to boost velocity and, more importantly, wads were developed that absorbed some of the compression of unforgiving steel shot. Bumping up two shot sizes was also part of the answer. But these solutions were developed to specifically address waterfowl hunting issues. They were not developed in response to problems encountered when hunting uplands with steel because no one was hunting uplands with steel. Obviously any issues that might come up would be different because the two types of birds are built very differently. They have to be. Waterfowl spend most of their lives sitting on freezing water and flying from one end of the continent to the other twice a year. Pheasant anatomy has evolved to fill a much different niche. So why would the same two-shot-size rule apply? It doesn't. It was never designed to apply to uplands. My point here is that the characteristics of steel shot when used on uplands are considerably different than for waterfowl. That has been my experience ... and I have a LOT of experience with steel shot.

                    Springerman, unless you have considerable experience using steel shot, and from what I have read of your posts you do not, then perhaps you should defer to my knowledge gained from decades of using the stuff?


                    Yes, the flesh is thinnest right under the wing of a pheasant ... where the feather armour is obviously greatest (perhaps there is a correlation?). Also, half the time when in flight that vulnerable spot is protected by the hardiest stiffest feathers on a bird's body - its wings. Check your anatomy: a pheasant's breasts extend well around to the sides of the birds torso. The breasts in fact supply the muscle to pull a pheasant's wings downward. It's why the shoulder muscles on its back are so much smaller than the meat on its breast. Very little energy is required to lift an essentially collapsed wing when in flight, but substantial power is needed to propel the wings downward against air resistance to generate lift. Those large breast muscles designed for pulling against the wings in different directions (to propel the bird in different directions) require a large area for anchoring. Consequently much of the sides and bottom of upper torso is covered with that thick muscle. To shoot a pheasant through the heart and lungs on a crossing shot means penetrating thick breast muscle, and/or heavy feathers, and/or dodging the wings. A successful "butt shot" requires shooting through almost no feather resistance, barely any muscle tissue, and a thin layer of intermittent bone to reach the vitals immediately underneath. Weighing the pros and cons, I don't see a lot of advantage for crossing shots over going away. Oh, and the supposed head shot advantage for crossing shots is absurd. When flushed, pheasants always have their head up, putting their great eyesight to use ... which makes their heads equally as good a target no matter what the presentation.

                    In a relatively recent article Phil called into question whether the two-shot-size rule might be somewhat self-defeating for the same reason I cited in my thoughts below (i.e. larger surface area = > wind resistance and also > tissue resistance). And he may be onto something. If velocity can be increased substantially, will not smaller shot with smaller surface area stand a better chance of penetrating more efficiently through waterfowls' heavy feathers and flesh? Certainly if I was inclined to shoot hypersonic 1700 fps stuff, I would consider dropping down to #2 steel for honkers. I'm generally shooting at them 40-45 yards and a substantially increased pellet payload with greater or equal penetration potential might be attractive. But I just don't see that happening for me. Besides being ridiculously expensive, I don't believe those loads are safe for my gun and certainly not for my fragile eyes or shoulder (I broke the tip of shoulder blade in a fall while pheasant hunting in 2016 and it's not been the same since). More importantly, I do very well shooting 1 1/8 oz BB 3" at 1550 fps. It's hard to improve on taking a limit and batting a thousand several mornings every fall. Similarly, since I can knock down a dozen pheasants straight with half a box of low base #6 steel, why should I try to improve on that? But I did try. That same season out of necessity (choosing from what was available) I switched to Federal's very expensive high base 1500 fps #5 copper painted lead pheasant loads and they didn't do nearly as well. In fact, they performed very poorly (including one hang/misfire). Perhaps their substantially increased recoil had something to do with that. Yet another reason to avoid hypersonic for waterfowl. Getting beat up seldom improves shooting performance.


                    I am sure the grouse up here appreciate the ethics of being shot in the head on the ground with a .22 over being dinged somewhere on their body with shotgun pellets while flying (and yes, the preferred ethical practice here is shooting them in the head rather than blowing a big hole through their succulent breasts). Shooting grouse in the air with a shotgun may be "more sporting" but I have to question if it's more ethical from the standpoint of incurring the quickest death for the game. Or are you going to try to convince us that you also kill all your flying ruff grouse with only crossing shots and in the head/neck? That would be a tough sell! Once Mr. Ruff is in the air it is a rare day when he gives the scatter-gunner anything but a "butt shot." I wouldn't have any problems with the ethics of someone who chose to hunt whitetail deer with hollow point 500 Nitro Express ... as long as he exclusively chose to target their heads. I'm sure many "sportsmen" would find the appearance of a deer with its head mostly blown off to be "unethical" but I suspect the deer would find it a swifter and therefore much more appealing death than being shot through lungs.

                    I never said baiting deer was legal or practised in Iowa.


                    Addendum: Springerman, since participation on the Blogs section is still gutshot due to social media requirements, and since you seem to be about the only person over there commenting on Phil's threads, I'll give you my thoughts on your response to a possible future for 3" sixteen gauge. You missed a third "no". I think the subtle gist of Phil's thread is that Browning's soon to be released waterfowl version of it's Sweet 16 remake is pretty much silly. The sixteen gauge has at best a future as an upland gun. Dipping them in camo and declaring them to be waterfowl shotguns is clearly just a halfhearted gimmick. Very transparent. Introducing a 3" version would be a bust right out of the gate. Introducing a trap or clays sixteen gauge shotgun might be a much more practical proposition, although finding ammo would be a big problem (as far as I know, Browning is the only one on this side of the sea making 16 gauge target loads).


                    "While you folks are forty acre ambushers" refers to what when in the preceding sentences you spoke of not liking baiting ?

                    The article/blog I was referring to was titled "The Speed Trap" from July 2018. Read that, note when Phil talks abo

                    Lots of words typed about the 2 sizes larger but really no information given.......
                    The main complaint about steel shot was it was too light to adequately penetrate and kill waterfowl.
                    The critical point is that by bumping up 2 shot sizes you increase the weight so that it is "similar" to lead shot. Steel BB to a lead # 2, steel # 2 to a lead 4. Those were the preferred lead shot sizes for geese and duck before the non toxic mandate.
                    The reason for a heavier (larger) shot is that it maintains velocity better than lighter (smaller) shot which also allows it to pattern & penetrate better. This happens despite the increased wind resistance. Is it unaffected, no. But the effect is less than on lighter shot. Also the faster one tries to make smaller shot fly the faster it slows down.
                    This has been a standard rule of thumb (based on ballistic tests) long before steel shot came into play.

                    In the over 30 years of chasing grouse I have probably "shot up" maybe 6 to 8 grouse tops. Break a wing and they fall. Just like any bird hunting perspective, good dog work is the key to success. So your inability to kill pheasants cleanly is somehow ok but if one doesn't do that to a grouse then that is not acceptable ?
                    There is a distinct reason the ruffed grouse is referred to as "The King of Upland Game Birds" !
                    It is unfortunate you are not up to the challenge they present.

                    Per your alleged expertise on steel shot, based on the above science based info I noted there is no way that anyone should even start to suggest that a steel # 6 is equal to a lead # 5 or even lead # 6. Especially as the range increases past 30 - 35 yards. Attending a CONSEP class made this extremely apparent.
                    As well the thought that a quartering or crossing shot is not as potentially deadly as a straightaway is just.........well clueless.
                    You have stated before how "slow" you are shooting a shotgun then you would obviously struggle with those type of shots. Relying on body shots when good gun movement will clearly put the pattern on the head & neck and the inability to understand that is well........just clueless.

                    Yes to your thoughts on the Browning 16 gauge. Evidently Cabelas is not going carry the Herters shells anymore, they were well priced at $6.99 a box in 16 gauge.
                    I see Fiocchi & Winchester 16 gauge shells around here !

                    Coors Lite can go bad too πŸ˜‹

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by springerman3 View Post



                      "While you folks are forty acre ambushers" refers to what when in the preceding sentences you spoke of not liking baiting ?

                      The article/blog I was referring to was titled "The Speed Trap" from July 2018. Read that, note when Phil talks abo

                      Lots of words typed about the 2 sizes larger but really no information given.......
                      The main complaint about steel shot was it was too light to adequately penetrate and kill waterfowl.
                      The critical point is that by bumping up 2 shot sizes you increase the weight so that it is "similar" to lead shot. Steel BB to a lead # 2, steel # 2 to a lead 4. Those were the preferred lead shot sizes for geese and duck before the non toxic mandate.
                      The reason for a heavier (larger) shot is that it maintains velocity better than lighter (smaller) shot which also allows it to pattern & penetrate better. This happens despite the increased wind resistance. Is it unaffected, no. But the effect is less than on lighter shot. Also the faster one tries to make smaller shot fly the faster it slows down.
                      This has been a standard rule of thumb (based on ballistic tests) long before steel shot came into play.

                      In the over 30 years of chasing grouse I have probably "shot up" maybe 6 to 8 grouse tops. Break a wing and they fall. Just like any bird hunting perspective, good dog work is the key to success. So your inability to kill pheasants cleanly is somehow ok but if one doesn't do that to a grouse then that is not acceptable ?
                      There is a distinct reason the ruffed grouse is referred to as "The King of Upland Game Birds" !
                      It is unfortunate you are not up to the challenge they present.

                      Per your alleged expertise on steel shot, based on the above science based info I noted there is no way that anyone should even start to suggest that a steel # 6 is equal to a lead # 5 or even lead # 6. Especially as the range increases past 30 - 35 yards. Attending a CONSEP class made this extremely apparent.
                      As well the thought that a quartering or crossing shot is not as potentially deadly as a straightaway is just.........well clueless.
                      You have stated before how "slow" you are shooting a shotgun then you would obviously struggle with those type of shots. Relying on body shots when good gun movement will clearly put the pattern on the head & neck and the inability to understand that is well........just clueless.

                      Yes to your thoughts on the Browning 16 gauge. Evidently Cabelas is not going carry the Herters shells anymore, they were well priced at $6.99 a box in 16 gauge.
                      I see Fiocchi & Winchester 16 gauge shells around here !

                      Coors Lite can go bad too πŸ˜‹
                      As I said, I have been successful shooting pheasants with lead shot from #7.5 to #5. Larger would work fine too I suppose but I don't care to blow them up any more than necessary. I'll pick #5 lead if it's available but don't have a problem with the two smaller sizes. Why wouldn't the same variety work for steel shot? It should. Thus, obtaining the same performance in steel would be roughly #6 (there is no #5.5) to #3. But finding #5 steel (= #7 lead) is pretty much impossible where I shop for ammo. #3 steel isn't that common either and only available in high velocity waterfowl high base shells. And again I don't see much advantage in beating up myself and the pheasant's meat shooting high base waterfowl #4 (or #3) if it's not necessary. So, #6 is usually what I'm using in steel shot for uplands. And for pheasants it works well. The range of effectiveness for steel shot sizes on waterfowl is much more limited because the birds are much hardier. Back in the lead shot days I pretty much exclusively shot #4 at mallards and #2 at geese. Early season in Montana might allow for #6 on scroungy ducks but I don't recall using it much if ever. When shifting to steel there was a little more flexibility for shot selection simply because for whatever reason there is more selection available for steel shot than there ever was for lead: #2 & #3 steel for mallards and BB or #1 steel for geese (I never saw #1 or #3 shot until steel came along). That doesn't exactly translate to a two shot size bump ... but it's what works.

                      I don't want fast steel for pheasants. It doesn't seem to be necessary and doesn't work as well for me (probably due to recoil and flinch). For waterfowl it's an entirely different story. Speed kills for them. As I recall, the "more muzzle velocity = faster velocity is lost" statistics pertained to patterns at the end or past the end of acceptable range.

                      I never said quartering or crossing shots are less lethal than going away shots. I said the pros and cons of both balance each other. You're the clueless guy who said "butt shots" don't work.

                      I am a slower shot than I was formerly. It's part of the ageing process. And working harder for birds makes me slower yet. Much poorer eyesight also slows things down too. Being slower just means I'm not able to take as many shots as I used to, which doesn't in any way translate into taking poorer quality shots. Again, an assumption you have made because you are clueless: because you have never seen me hunting. In comparison to some of the guys at the club, I would have to say my follow-up shots are relatively slow even on the range. That probably comes from being in the field so many years. I tend to give the bird a chance to fall before shooting again. That hesitation naturally carries over to range shooting. Anyway, shooting carefully usually does not equate to shooting quickly.

                      You really dodged the bullet in that last grouse response. Har, har. Yeah, I'm sure in all those years of shooting the King you never dinged a bird that flew off crippled and was lost. Right! Those who choose to shoot grouse with .22 don't leave any collateral damage to rot in the field. The bird is either dead instantly and in the bag or flying away unharmed and healthy to make more birds for next year. And no hidden pellets to break teeth at the dinner table either. But it's still somehow not sportsmanlike or ethical. I don't get that. I guess it's more important for you to give the bird a sporting chance ... to get hurt and suffer. This is all about your exulted image of yourself as a "traditional" sportsman. It has nothing to do with ethics from the animal's perspective. Oh, and if you think shooting grouse in the head with a .22 is real easy, perhaps you should try it some time.
                      Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-02-2019, 03:14 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                        As I said, I have been successful shooting pheasants with lead shot from #7.5 to #5. Larger would work fine too I suppose but I don't care to blow them up any more than necessary. I'll pick #5 lead if it's available but don't have a problem with the two smaller sizes. Why wouldn't the same variety work for steel shot? It should. Thus, obtaining the same performance in steel would be roughly #6 (there is no #5.5) to #3. But finding #5 steel (= #7 lead) is pretty much impossible where I shop for ammo. #3 steel isn't that common either and only available in high velocity waterfowl high base shells. And again I don't see much advantage in beating up myself and the pheasant's meat shooting high base waterfowl #4 (or #3) if it's not necessary. So, #6 is usually what I'm using in steel shot for uplands. And for pheasants it works well. The range of effectiveness for steel shot sizes on waterfowl is much more limited because the birds are much hardier. Back in the lead shot days I pretty much exclusively shot #4 at mallards and #2 at geese. Early season in Montana might allow for #6 on scroungy ducks but I don't recall using it much if ever. When shifting to steel there was a little more flexibility for shot selection simply because for whatever reason there is more selection available for steel shot than there ever was for lead: #2 & #3 steel for mallards and BB or #1 steel for geese (I never saw #1 or #3 shot until steel came along). That doesn't exactly translate to a two shot size bump ... but it's what works.

                        I don't want fast steel for pheasants. It doesn't seem to be necessary and doesn't work as well for me (probably due to recoil and flinch). For waterfowl it's an entirely different story. Speed kills for them. As I recall, the "more muzzle velocity = faster velocity is lost" statistics pertained to patterns at the end or past the end of acceptable range.

                        I never said quartering or crossing shots are less lethal than going away shots. I said the pros and cons of both balance each other. You're the clueless guy who said "butt shots" don't work.

                        I am a slower shot than I was formerly. It's part of the ageing process. And working harder for birds makes me slower yet. Much poorer eyesight also slows things down too. Being slower just means I'm not able to take as many shots as I used to, which doesn't in any way translate into taking poorer quality shots. Again, an assumption you have made because you are clueless: because you have never seen me hunting. In comparison to some of the guys at the club, I would have to say my follow-up shots are relatively slow even on the range. That probably comes from being in the field so many years. I tend to give the bird a chance to fall before shooting again. That hesitation naturally carries over to range shooting. Anyway, shooting carefully usually does not equate to shooting quickly.

                        You really dodged the bullet in that last grouse response. Har, har. Yeah, I'm sure in all those years of shooting the King you never dinged a bird that flew off crippled and was lost. Right! Those who choose to shoot grouse with .22 don't leave any collateral damage to rot in the field. The bird is either dead instantly and in the bag or flying away unharmed and healthy to make more birds for next year. And no hidden pellets to break teeth at the dinner table either. But it's still somehow not sportsmanlike or ethical. I don't get that. I guess it's more important for you to give the bird a sporting chance ... to get hurt and suffer. This is all about your exulted image of yourself as a "traditional" sportsman. It has nothing to do with ethics from the animal's perspective. Oh, and if you think shooting grouse in the head with a .22 is real easy, perhaps you should try it some time.
                        First I will note you did not answer my question about your statement "forty acre ambushers".
                        The har har response about my question comparing a wounded grouse vs a wounded pheasant escaping wasn't what one would call an answer either......so consider it repeated. I believe you have posted about geese flying off beyond your field of view after you shot them too. If shooting game birds before they can escape by flying away is such a good option for you folks in Canada then why don't you let geese land in your decoys and shoot them with a 22 ? Yes I know it s illegal but for his example lets say it isn't.
                        Would you change tactics so you could make head shots on geese while standing in the decoys ?
                        Any hunter worth merit hates wounding game and not retrieving it, we do the best we can. I am extremely confident that those who post here share that and any that have had the pleasure of chasing "The King" would much rather try their luck at shooting at them flying vs ground swatting them.
                        Your thoughts about blowing birds full of holes with larger shot doesn't really have much merit too. # 4 steel has 192 pellets in an ounce of shot, my standard 7/8 ounce of # 6 lead has 197 pellets. An ounce of steel # 6 has 315 pellets, that's over 50 % more shot.......
                        I really can't understand your telling us you find pellets ( will assume steel # 6 ) along the breast underneath the wing lodged under the skin and they fall out from the feathers when you clean the bird vs pellets can penetrate through feathers, flesh & bone to hit the vitals when you shoot them from behind. Those two perspectives contradict each other quite a bit. As well those pellets in the breast were not going to do damage to vitals even if they penetrated unless the bird was very elevated above the hunter. Again I repeat your anatomy knowledge of a wild pheasant is.......weak.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Oh yes I forgot to ask. In this tightly packed Jimmy for your trip to Montana, do you carry an extra fuel pump ? πŸ˜‹πŸ˜Ž

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Buckshott00 View Post
                            Not trying to rain on your parade there OH, good job. But, when was the last time you went to the patterning board?

                            Don't sweat it guy, I'm just razzing ya' eh. I personally believe that most of us using a shotgun get to a certain level of proficiency where choke selection matters very little. It helps at the margins, but if you're not taking marginal or iffy shots, it won't make a much difference if a bird is hit with 5 pellets or 8.

                            If you're not trying to reach out and take geese from way far away of course you can use a more open choke. It's all about pattern density at distance, the choke is going to help you, but it's not going to make the shot.

                            I've actually had this story in reverse where I've been trap shooting or something and forgot to switch it out and hit upland birds with full.
                            No worries.

                            Those flying honkers weren't terribly close but each was sure hit hard. Because I was standing from well inside the trees meant I had some pretty narrow windows to shoot through. Same old story: it's those difficult shots that seem to connect the best. No opportunity to overthink them. For that reason I have gone almost completely to low gun (almost belt touching) at skeet and enjoying it much more. My scores are good enough (ave 20). No worse than shooting high gun. With my poor eyesight, I can see them much better and still seem to be able to get on them quickly and accurately. All one smooth motion. Same thing at five-stand next door. At stand #2, which is essentially #4 skeet, the true pair is skeet high and low house. Never missed today both rounds but in the past I typically have had an awful time shooting high house singles on that skeet station. Still shooting #8 skeet high gun and don't seem to have any trouble. Maybe I'll muster the courage to try shooting it low gun next week. -7 today and I was wearing four layers. No extension needed on the stock! Last layer was my snug upland vest to keep all the loose fabric in Cabelas wading jacket out of the way. Shooting low gun without the vest while wearing that jacket is a losing proposition!


                            And I've had your story in reverse. A few weeks back the five-stand was filled up so I went next door to skeet range. Shot great through to #3 before I realized I still had full choke tube in the gun from shooting trap at the end of the day the last time there. Actually did very well. Only missed one and killed the option. But on #3 one of the guys observed the targets were disintegrated every shot. "Gees, what choke are you using in that old cannon?" OMG!! Fortunately I had brought my ammo box to the range gun rack at #2 and was able to quickly changed out to skeet tube before it was my turn to shoot again. I'd have to chock that one up to some lucky shooting!

                            I have patterned both Magnum and Light Twelve about two years ago. Full and IC chokes for Magnum and Light Twelve is fixed modified. Magnum shoots 50/50 and Light Twelve shoots a bit high but I fix that by simply swapping with the Magnum's synthetic stock if I decide a lighter gun is needed (e.g. this fall when it took so much work getting birds). As you know, I prefer to shoot the same way with the same gun (or essentially the same gun) when in either field or on the range.
                            Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-03-2019, 08:44 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by springerman3 View Post

                              First I will note you did not answer my question about your statement "forty acre ambushers".
                              The har har response about my question comparing a wounded grouse vs a wounded pheasant escaping wasn't what one would call an answer either......so consider it repeated. I believe you have posted about geese flying off beyond your field of view after you shot them too. If shooting game birds before they can escape by flying away is such a good option for you folks in Canada then why don't you let geese land in your decoys and shoot them with a 22 ? Yes I know it s illegal but for his example lets say it isn't.
                              Would you change tactics so you could make head shots on geese while standing in the decoys ?
                              Any hunter worth merit hates wounding game and not retrieving it, we do the best we can. I am extremely confident that those who post here share that and any that have had the pleasure of chasing "The King" would much rather try their luck at shooting at them flying vs ground swatting them.
                              Your thoughts about blowing birds full of holes with larger shot doesn't really have much merit too. # 4 steel has 192 pellets in an ounce of shot, my standard 7/8 ounce of # 6 lead has 197 pellets. An ounce of steel # 6 has 315 pellets, that's over 50 % more shot.......
                              I really can't understand your telling us you find pellets ( will assume steel # 6 ) along the breast underneath the wing lodged under the skin and they fall out from the feathers when you clean the bird vs pellets can penetrate through feathers, flesh & bone to hit the vitals when you shoot them from behind. Those two perspectives contradict each other quite a bit. As well those pellets in the breast were not going to do damage to vitals even if they penetrated unless the bird was very elevated above the hunter. Again I repeat your anatomy knowledge of a wild pheasant is.......weak.
                              Where to begin. "As well those pellets in the breast were not going to do damage to vitals even if they penetrated unless the bird was very elevated above the hunter." Just what is "very elevated?" I am just over six feet tall and suspect you are no taller. It is my experience that almost every rooster that flies off gets AT LEAST ten feet in the air before accelerating away. Many are MUCH higher than that. It would seem to me that many if not most of our shots have to be from below the bird. Now look at this image of a pheasants breast. It certainly appears to me the vitals can be reached shooting through the breast sideways easily enough. I don't see how shooting from "very much below" the bird will improve those odds. Possibly one would then be shooting through more breast meat to reach the vitals which if anything should be something of a disadvantage. The only real advantage to overhead pass shots is a larger target: both wings are outstretched. True, a broken wing by itself is not directly fatal ... but pretty much so when hunting with three dogs. For the sake of the bird I would prefer an instantly fatal shot. For the sake of the table I prefer a broken wing. The dogs prefer the "sport" of chasing down a cripple too. But of course, I don't target wings. What's best for the bird is what's best for me therefore I do my best to kill them outright. Obviously you do not share that philosophy. Your "pleasure" when hunting the King is more important than his right to a swift and sure death.

                              Would I prefer to take head shots at geese in the decoys with a .22 over shooting them out of the air with a shotgun? Hitting a goose in the head with a .22 at forty yards while it's walking around feeding in my decoys would be a HELLUVA lot more challenging than shooting one out of the air with a shotgun from a coffin blind at fifteen yards like you did. One of our former Alabama forum participants described it best (albeit somewhat crudely): a shooter has to be retarded to miss those shots. Even at fifteen yards with a .22 it would be no real easy matter hitting an often as not moving target the size of a silver dollar (especially when laying on one's back in a layout blind!). And it would be a one shot only deal. No second barrel or third shell to shoot at them. Yeah, I would probably shoot geese with a .22 if it was legal. Cheaper ammo, challenging to accomplish, more ethical for the birds (no cripples), no damage to hearing, no pellets to chew on afterwards. What's not to like? It might interest you to know that it is legal to shoot turkeys with a rifle in Montana (or it was the last time I bought a tag there). And if the North American goose population continues to explode exponentially, I predict sooner or later the feds will choose to offer that option for hunting them as well. Just look at the concessions they've already made: electronic calls, extended magazines, extended (sometimes no) limits, extended fall seasons, additional spring seasons. And it's all had little or no effect on reducing the problem. Yep, allowing rifle hunting for those vermin is not far into the future. Seems to me getting the varmint shooting crowd involved in culling these things is actually not a bad idea. Anyway, why should shooting a goose in the head with a .22 at twenty to forty yards be any less ethical or sporting than similarly shooting a turkey in the head with an overly compressed pattern of twelve gauge shot? I don't get that.

                              It's the size of the holes from #4 shot that I choose to avoid. Also, half as many pellets as #6 shot would mean probability of hitting the bird in the vitals is reduced in half when shooting #4. So tell me again why I should be shooting pheasants with #4 steel rather than #6?
                              Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-04-2019, 05:54 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Oh wow a photo of two plucked ditch parrots to show us what ? We have already concluded the area where the breast is thicker (lower half)......
                                How about flipping them over, I am curious how many pellet holes ( at least 8 or 10 ) there are in the butt??
                                As well more info that doesn't add up. The pheasants flush almost straight up to find the hunter is just garbage. Also if they are flying straight away from a 6 foot tall person and have elevated to ten feet ( or much higher ) lets say 30 feet, then it will be very difficult to have pellets hit an area on the back when you can't see it. This is why folks shoot them in the butt so much as well as the usual poor gun movement the average hunter has. So are your pellets like little heat seeking missiles and loop into the area you want them to go ??
                                As I stated before, your ability to understand how to move a shotgun to create the proper forward allowance is just clue less. Especially when it comes to quartering or crossing shots.....
                                A good flushing dog forces a bird to flush to get
                                quickly away from what is the eminent threat (similar to what a coyote, mountain lion or other 4 legged predator would be ).
                                Most of the birds I get shots at are at most 8 to 10 feet high because they have flushed at an angle to get away quickly with the wind at their back. This method of hunting creates the common quartering or crossing shots that I get opportunities to take.

                                Lets examine this ethics thing you seem to be confused about.
                                Here are some of your statements on this issue. "Bird hunting without a dog -- Boring. I just don't want to shoot birds that badly".
                                Here is another. "Goose hunting. I prefer longer shots from cover for several reasons. It's more challenging and therefore more fun"
                                Yet you seem to think is just fine to pot shoot grouse on the ground. Where does good dog work factor in on shooting a grouse on the ground ?
                                "Longer shots from cover". Walking down the trail to ground swat what evidently is not a "wild" grouse because "wild" birds never let you get close or would not stand there looking at you.
                                Yet another: " Any way the hard work will pay dividends in the end no matter what does or does not end up in the bag".
                                How does strolling down a logging road or trail with a 22 to ground shoot grouse qualify as "hard work" ?
                                I have grown quite wary (and probably weary) of your analogies that don't have enough facts to support them.
                                Thanks for the laughs though, sometimes I worry about falling out my chair from laughing so hard and hurting myself πŸΊπŸ˜‹

                                Comment

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                                • New petition to sell Montana to Canada
                                  99explorer
                                  There is a movement afoot to sell the state of Montana to Canada for $1 trillion to pay off part of our national debt.
                                  It would become South Alberta....
                                  Yesterday, 12:27 AM
                                • Reply to New petition to sell Montana to Canada
                                  fitch270
                                  Wouldn't South Alberta be its own province?

                                  There's been a "movement" to separate upstate NY from the NYC area for years. Fat chance...
                                  Today, 12:09 AM
                                • Illegals buying guns
                                  labrador12
                                  If 8 million illegals are trying to buy guns a year, what is the size of the illegal population? Is 10% of the illegal population armed? 50%? Are there...
                                  Yesterday, 10:56 AM
                                • Reply to Illegals buying guns
                                  Harmonious Fulmination
                                  In peak seasons Ellis Island processed over 5000 dirt poor migrants a day. And with those inadequate traditional families they made America and Americans...
                                  Today, 12:02 AM
                                • Reply to Illegals buying guns
                                  fitch270
                                  The logistics of the situation is the issue. Better safe than sorry. Trying to figure out who is who and has relatives where takes time and resources....
                                  Yesterday, 11:58 PM

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