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Steel Shot size for use on public land


danny berg

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At the start of season I will use 4's. As the birds start getting skittish and more wild flushes at greater distance I will switch to 2's.

I have been just sticking to steel no matter where I hunt. I took me a while to adjust to steel( all mental I'm sure) so I don't want to switch back and forth. I will even use steel when I am shooting clays for practice.

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I just use the better shells like #5 hevi-shot or kent impact! The way I look at it is, you only get so many shots at a rooster that why even take the chance! They cost a little more but it really pays off in the end! Again just my 2 cents worth!

Rainman

[This message has been edited by Rainman (edited 10-15-2004).]

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BDR
I am with you, I don't own a single 12 ga lead shell anymore, although I still have a few .410 and 20 ga lead left, but I haven't touched the .410 or 20 ga in 6 years except to clean each spring. 90% of all my hunting is on public.

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Was a mortality study done in North Dakota a couple years ago that compared #2, #4 and #6 steel on pheasants. Study found that #2 steel was the most effective and they expected #3 to perform close to #2.

I use #2 steel and #4 hevi-shot if on Federal land. On state land I use #5 lead.

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Do you have to use steel on public land? because if you dont i cant see an advantages, it costs more, has less knock down power, and isnt as accurate. Unless the area you hunt has the oppertunity to jump ducks also, but then you would have to use steel all the time.

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bigdog, non-toxic shot (steel or otherwise) must be used on public land. Doesn't matter whether its federal or county land.

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No, non-toxic shot is not required on all public land, only if you are hunting waterfowl or on Federal land. This is the section from the Laws:

• Lead shot may be used statewide for hunting other small game in accordance with firearms restrictions in this booklet, except in federal Wildlife Refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas

You can use lead shot on State WMA's for small game.

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bigdog and others, I decided to look it up while scanning my regs today and like you've proven you are right.

I guess in my case I figure better safe then sorry and if I'm gonna be hunting near water areas (cattail sloughs), then having non-toxic is good since I might jump some ducks or find geese in a field.

Pardon my incorrect response.

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Some more info I was wrong about... I was always under the assumption that you were not allowed to use lead in WMA's... Good thing I read this thread... When you assume you make and a#$ out of U and me...

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From a neighbor to your south who has shot literally hundreds of pheasants with steel shot, the best combination I've found for DIA (dead in air) is 3" #2's through an improved cylinder. Even when on private land, I'll never use anything else. Good hunting!

NWBuck

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I always use 2 shot also. It's what I use for ducks so I don't buy extra shells.

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Two steel all the time for me, public or private, no hassles about changing shells, no worries about having lead in your vest on a public area, it has the wing breaking and knockdown power you need for pheasants. Plus theres a reason that they went to steel, lead that is eaten kills ducks, and most pheasant hunting in MN is by a wetland, why spray lead shot into the wetland, even if its private land?

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I reload my own shells so I've done some of my own testing and such. When I go after birds I'll use steel only because the area I hunt has many potholes and even when going after pheasant chances are good of jumping some ducks. If I'm going after duck or pheasant all I got with me is steel. The target I'm after is what determines the size shot I'm carrying. Pheasant #3 first shell #1 next two shells. Duck #1 first 2 shells then BB. Goose BB first shell then T for the last 2 shots. The only time I carry lead is when after rabbit/squirrel. Notice that while pheasant hunting I only have 3 shells. If your pheasant hunting miles from water and some ducks come over and you got one and your gun don't have a plug you can get a ticket.

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Ole

I don't think a 3 inch shell is too much for a pheasant. That is, though, why I choose the improved cylinder. Occasionally you have to let them fly a bit, but if you're careful, it isn't a problem. I like the extra killing power for reducing the number of lost cripples. Good Luck!

NWBuck

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Heavy Shot is worth the price when you take into account down range energy and penetration....

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