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96trigger

Pheasant loads

34 posts in this topic

What do you use for a pheasant load? Bought or homemade. I've got some 6 shot left but I'm not sure what a good load might be. Anybody have some favorite recipes or favorite shells?

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I use 6 shot for the first half the year and then when it gets cold and nasty move to 4's or 5's. I usually shoot my 20 gauge with a heavy game/upland load for the vast majority of pheasant hunts. You don't need a big magnum load to kill a little rooster!

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I use lead 5 shot where I can use lead shot. In steel (non-toxic) I prefer 4 shot. Pay attention to the ounce of shot or dram equivlant. The higher the number, the better the knock down. I won't use anything less than 1-1/8 oz.

Your 6 shot should be sufficient for the early season birds that tend to get up closer. Late season you will need more weight and even jump up to 3" for the longer shots.

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I also prefer 5 shot, 6 for my 1st or 2nd shot, then 5s to back them up. 3" 5s late season on my backup shots or skittish birds

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I like to shoot fiochi 3'' 5 shot the entire year. You may have to let them get out there a little bit if they get up too close but it definately gets the job done. Later in the year I will shoot 3.5'' turkey loads as my 3rd and 4th shots incase I miss the first couple. they will definately get out there and touch them. Four shot is my choice for steel loads when hunting WPAs and other nontoxic areas.

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I don't see me out shooting phesants until maybe the second week in November. Soooooooooooooo, it will be 4 shot for me by the time I get out there.

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If you are hunting someplace that requires non-toxic, skip the steel and go with Hevi Shot or other brand equivolents. I use heavi shot #5 or 6. I made the switch last year and won't go back to steel. It doesn't cost any more either since I don't have to shoot as much as I did with steel. I shoot once (assuming I hit crazy.gif) and the bird falls dead. Much more lethal than steel.

ccarlson

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I would agree with the above posts as 6 for the first part and then going to 4's for the rest of the season.

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1 1/4oz 6 for early season. 1 3/8oz 4's for late. 5's are good as well for a little of each.

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if we are hunting private land i use my dads homemade 6 shot lead. and if im hunting public i will use 3 or 2 shot. 2's for sure when it gets late season so i got the knock down power.

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CCarlson,

What is the recommended choke to use with the Hevi Loads.

Does it pattern similar to steel or lead.

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I would agree with ccarlson and go with hevi-shot. Its a great equivalent to lead. I like 6's, heavier DRAM the better.

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Because I don't like pickin' pellets, I prefer to go with 5's & 4's. I really would rather do 4's.... more impact power and fewer pellets with greater carrying power for spooky bird long shots. Nothin' worse than a bird just crawlin' with pellets from smaller shot. Fringe shots with the smaller shot is a wounding shot with no punch!

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My observation is that hevi shot appears to hold fairly tight together and patterns very well so I go with a more open choke. I shoot an improved cylinder now and by November I may switch to the modified on a windy day if the birds are breaking further out and not holding point.

Others may know more about the shot pattern facts of the hevi shot.

Holy cow, I was just in last night to stock up on some pheasant loads and the prices have really taken a jump. I had heard that all ammunition is going up due to production costs but it really made a jump. Good thing gas is down a bit.

ccarlson

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I'll shoot 2 3/4 in 6 shot out of my 16 ga all year long, never had a problem knocking birds dead, just tighten up the choke if they are flushing wild. I read a magazine article once about not switching up shells during the season as they all fly at a differnt velocity and can cause some misses, I don't know but it made sence to me. Plus alot of years i'll buy 2 boxes of shells and have 15 left at the end of the year.

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I'm a big-fan of the hevi-loads. I've been going to them for turkeys for upwards of 5 years, and won't use anything else. The fact of the matter is that they simply pattern better than lead. I've done it with 10's of guns, and hundreds of choke/load combinations from many different manufacturers.

If you're hunting the dakotas and shoot up a hundred shells a year, the price is probably not worth it. However, if you're like me, and maybe shoot 20-30 shells a year, I think the better patterns and downrange energy are worth it.

As for what I use, it's the 2 3/4, #6's in Rem-Hevi. Smaller shot size is less of an issue with the Hevi load, because a #6 hits like a #5 (similar downrange velocity and impact). Like with turkeys, I choose to get more pellets out there than less.

Lead kills well, don't get me wrong, but hevi kills better. Depending on how much you shoot, I think it may be worth a look.

Joel

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I use 2 steel all the time. I just buy a case at the beginning of the season and use it for both ducks and pheasants. I hunt alot of Waterfowl Production Areas both in MN and SoDak and this way I don't have to worry about accidently having lead on me when I'm on a WPA. You do have to hold off a bit on the close birds, but that actually makes me a better shot. Wait, wait, wait, bang.

I used to love the knockdown power of four lead and could probably use it in SoDak since its mostly on private land, but 1) I wonder how it affects your shooting swapping from steel to lead, and 2) I just figure why keep spreading lead around? Even though you're upland hunting, lots of times you're shooting over swamps, and all birds eat pebbles for grit, it seems to me some of that lead shot would be eaten by birds.

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For 20 ga lead I use 1 1/8 oz short magnums in #7.5 shot for the first barrel and #6 shot in the second barrel.

For 12 ga lead I use #5 or #6 and no less than 1 1/4 oz. I really like Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads. Good hard shot works wonders.

For 12 ga steel I use #2 or #3 shot.

Keep in mind I hunt over a pointer and usually my shots are 25 yards or less. Your mileage may vary if you use a flusher or like to try long range shots.

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I use winchester pheasant load 5 shot 1 3/8. may use 4 shot later in the yearin North Dakota.

MinnKota

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Hmmmm...guess I'm the only one that uses copper plated BB huh? No wounded birds..they drop dead with few pellets in the meat.

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I use a variety of loads. For WPA land in MN I agree that Hevishot is the way to go. Its kind of hard to shoot tons of shells pheasent hunting in Mn so the cost isnt a major draw back. for private land and WMA I think that it is prety hard to beat the Federal pheasants forever loads. They are copper plated and really seem to have good knock down power.

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1 1/8 oz. of hard #5's, Longshot powder, Fed. 209A primer,Rem. R12L wad, Rem STS hull 29.8 gr/ 10,200 PSI 31.2 gr/ 11,100 PSI 1475 fps! SPEED KILLS!!!! tuk

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Federal Premium 1 3/8 oz 5s. They are quick ... I wanna say 1500 fps...and they hit hard. Dont confuse going to 3" shells with more range, they are actually slower and as someone said, speed kills.

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Your not the only one, I just didn't want to share my secret. I use copper 6's early and 5's later. I think the penetration is good and the copper helps to contain the lead.

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I have been using the copper plated shot for 4 seasons now and I won't shoot anything else. Hard hitting, fast, with a lot less feather draw.

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    • easyrider25
      Hey guys thanks for the tips.  What you are saying really makes sense.  I have been working on these items this week, not expecting a completely changed dog out there but looking forward to continued exercises this weekend out in the blind.
    • JBMasterAngler
      Drove all the way up to grindstone this morning from Forest Lake. As I'm driving along the shoreline, I can't stop admiring how beautiful of a day it is, and how great it will be to be on the water. Was totally amped up to fish for some trout! Then I pull up to the boat launch...and it's closed down!  This dredging project has been pushed back for years, then they finally decide to do it on a beautiful sunny day, that I picked to come here...on the last day of the lake trout season nonetheless! Needless to say, I was very upset! 
    • papadarv
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