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 Post subject: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:48 am
Posts: 124
Was invited to participate with 20 locals in a shoot at a local Pheasant preserve. I believe the first half of the day will be a tower shoot which I've never even heard of but I guess they throw Pheasants out of a tower and you shoot them as they fly over. The other half of the day will be regular hunting over dogs which to me sounds more fun. My question is will my 20 gauge O/U with imp cyl./mod. be enough gun for the tower shoot or should I try and borrow a 12 gauge mod. or full choke to use on that part of the hunt?


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:58 pm 
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My club does tower shoots. I have never done one but the guys that do shoot both 20's and 12's

The afternoon hunt usually is for all the birds that got away. They can throw a few hunderd birds out of that tower


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Location: SC
I have never shot pheasants from a tower but I have shot ducks once, pen raised mallards and they sailed over us (in fixed blinds) from all sorts of ranges and angles but most were within good range for my 20ga choked IC/M. :)
If I was going to shoot pheasants this way, I would use Winchester's Super-X Super Pheasant load in #5 shot, if they proved good on the pattern board. :wink: This shell is available in 2 3/4" and 3", #4,5 & 6 copper-plated shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:09 pm 
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LCSMITH26 wrote:
I have never shot pheasants from a tower but I have shot ducks once, pen raised mallards and they sailed over us (in fixed blinds) from all sorts of ranges and angles but most were within good range for my 20ga choked IC/M. :)
If I was going to shoot pheasants this way, I would use Winchester's Super-X Super Pheasant load in #5 shot, if they proved good on the pattern board. :wink: This shell is available in 2 3/4" and 3", #4,5 & 6 copper-plated shot.

The rules state we can only use #6 shot and smaller. Would I be better off using the 3" magnums?


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:44 pm 
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You should be fine using a 7/8 ounce #6 for those birds. They will present you with shots that are exposing the vitals moreso than a flushing bird that will present its backside to you. Ask the people that are putting it on what the typical yardage the shots will be.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:48 pm 
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I have been on a tower shoot and it depends alot on the wind and the presentation. Biirds coming right at you or directly over the top are eaisier to kill than a going away bird in my opnion, there is more vitals exposed. I would say pattern your choke and load combo.

I have had good luck with Winchester Super-x and Kent Fast lead in my 20 Gauges. If you have tubes in your gun you might want to have the tighter chokes available.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:51 pm 
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A tower shoot is where they have a "tower" of some sorts where the birds are released. Most shoots I have heard about and seen are set up as one big circle with X number shooting stations (usually with no more than 2 shooters at a station) and the "tower" is in the middle. The "tower" can be a simple wooden enclosed box where the birds are stacked and launched or it could be some type of elevated platform. Then a set number of birds are released within a specific time interval. When the set number of birds are released during that specific time interval (and all shooting as stopped), a horn usually sounds and shooters rotate to the next station.

Some shoots will allow the shooters to walk the fields and "hunt" the missed birds, with or without dogs.

I prefer tight chokes to begin with, so for my O/U, 20 gauge, I have it set up as fixed mod (.020) and full (.032). I have not shot my gun at a pheasant tower shoot yet but have shot it at a pigeon tower shoot, which is no different regarding the shooting methods used. I shot the full choke first as they were incoming and then shot the mod as they got closer and flew near the shooting station. If you use quality ammo, I think you can get away with IC/Mod for pheasant (if your gun is fixed choke at IC/Mod), you would just need to be patient a little bit more than other shooters with tigher chokes and let the birds come in closer to your shooting station, obviously shooting the Mod first and then the IC as the birds got closer to your shooting position.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:13 am 
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Location: West Michigan
This can be a lot of fun, particularly if you are shooting with good-natured friends. Lots of opportunities to poke fun at one another!

My experience was ten stations, rotate one station every ten birds, for total 100 birds and ten different stations. Most guys just use their regular gun. Gauge doesn't seem to matter. I use inexpensive "game loads" size #6 (that's all I ever use) and birds die when I hit them.

Afternoon "clean-up" hunt needs to be organized: is good for showing-off your dog, and useful for finding cripples.

I can see where some anal game-hog, body-counter guy could be annoying and put a damper on the experience, but that's unlikely among friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:58 pm 
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Another name for the these tower shoots is (European Shoot) which is supposed to give the shooters a taste of how it was maybe still is to shoot driven birds like they did in England.

I have done this a few times, and it's a lot of fun, but the quality of the shoot varies greatly from place to place. Probably the best of these in the United States is located in Baxter Springs, Kansas, Called Showme Birds.

I believe a 20ga will probaby work fine, but espacally at Showme Birds, the 12ga is King. You will see about every kind of gun, but the guys that do it a lot, usually shoot semi-autos and the really serious ones will use extended mags nearly as long as the gun barrel.

You really do need a semi-auto or you are going to get overrun at times and loose opportunities to shoot, and have birds flying past you, while you are trying to load your gun. Even with a 5 shot semi auto, you will sometimes have a hard time keeping your gun loaded. When they come at you, often it's several at a time.

At Showme Birds they recomend 12ga #6 shot, 1-1/8 OZ loads and improved cylinder choke for the average shooter. You don't want heavier loads, because in 300 bird shoot, you might shoot 5 boxes of shells, and some people will shoot eight, if they shoot at everything and espacally if they miss very offen.

I have always used a Browning A5 12ga for this, with a pretty open choke.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:30 am 
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Chaco1 wrote:
They will present you with shots that are exposing the vitals moreso than a flushing bird that will present its backside to you.


Bingo! That's a big difference. They are also generally young birds. It is done at several preserve hunts to "fill the freezer."

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Location: Arkansas
Another note on guns for the European shoots is you definately need a Semi-auto or a pump at some of the places, not only because you need to shoot fast and often, but unfortunately for safety reasons many places will have a wooden rail in front of you, on your stand and even if you could under other siduations get by with an over and under or side by side, the rail gets in the way, when you open your gun for reloading under speed and the birds are not going to wait on you, unlike if you were shooting sporting clays or something.

However, the rail often makes a handy shelf for laying out some shells for fast reloading. Still I would love to give it a try with a good side by side with ejectors, if it wasn't for that darned rail.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:42 pm 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
Chaco1 wrote:
They will present you with shots that are exposing the vitals moreso than a flushing bird that will present its backside to you.


Bingo! That's a big difference. They are also generally young birds. It is done at several preserve hunts to "fill the freezer."


Edit

Bingo! That's a big difference. They are also generally young birds. It is done at several preserve Shoots to "fill the freezer."

Shooting pen raised birds thrown off a tower isn't hunting


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Jiganator wrote:
RandyWakeman wrote:
Chaco1 wrote:
They will present you with shots that are exposing the vitals moreso than a flushing bird that will present its backside to you.


Bingo! That's a big difference. They are also generally young birds. It is done at several preserve hunts to "fill the freezer."


Edit

Bingo! That's a big difference. They are also generally young birds. It is done at several preserve Shoots to "fill the freezer."

Shooting pen raised birds thrown off a tower isn't hunting


No, it isn't hunting, it's a shoot. But it's still a lot of fun and depending on the day, pretty challenging shooting. Shooting driven birds is often a lot more challenging then jump shooting, but hunting over good dogs is still my favorite.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:51 pm 
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I believe it is also called "Continental" pheasant shooting. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:25 am
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Howdy Folks,
JUST SIGNED ON TODAY AND THIS SUBJECT INTRIGUED ME TO JUMP IN THE CONVERSATION.
ONE OBSERVATION: IS TOWER SHOOTS HUNTING OR SHOOTING?
I being a little long in the tooth,would defend the shooting pleasure of the sport:sport being a very present determination,with many opinions of course.
Just let me throw this at you:If a well managed tower shoot with the focus on sport of shooting and preservation of a healthy game population is the rule.Doesn't that overshadow the hunt where bag limits are ignored and covey's are busted and hunted to extinction.I grew up in that era or generation.
Getting a little long on wind here so to wind it up I HOPE MY POINT is that we maintain our sport and appreciate our game


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Who said what now?


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:17 am 
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Location: Piedmont North Carolina
[quote="sernv99"]A tower shoot is where they have a "tower" of some sorts where the birds are released. Most shoots I have heard about and seen are set up as one big circle with X number shooting stations (usually with no more than 2 shooters at a station) and the "tower" is in the middle. The "tower" can be a simple wooden enclosed box where the birds are stacked and launched or it could be some type of elevated platform. Then a set number of birds are released within a specific time interval. When the set number of birds are released during that specific time interval (and all shooting as stopped), a horn usually sounds and shooters rotate to the next station.

Some shoots will allow the shooters to walk the fields and "hunt" the missed birds, with or without dogs.

I have hosted over forty 200-bird tower shoots and this is a good description of how they work. The predominant gun used is a 12 gauge but I have seen everything down to a 3" .410 take birds. As others have mentioned, a lot depends on the wind, the terrain around the field, and how the birds are thrown. The trees on three sides of our field are mature oaks that are 30-35 yards tall. It is not uncommon for well thrown birds with a tail wind (most will fly with the wind) to clear the trees by 5-25 yards, particularly the hens. Birds that sail directly over the shooter at 20-35 yards can be taken with almost anything within reason. However, in addition to some nose-bleed high birds, there are lots of long passing and going away shots, especially when the shooter on the next stand has missed and others jump in. Depending on wind and who is shooting, 20-40% of the birds may make it out of the circle crippled or otherwise. We do a "mop up" with dogs and a large percentage of the birds not initially recovered are found well down in the woods dead or unable to fly. The others may just sail well out of the country. For the average shooter, this suggests that a 12 gauge with at least one modified choke and 6s or larger is a good choice. Having personally shot over 1,000 pheasants during and after our tower shoots, I am well aware that they can be taken with any gauge under certain circumstances but day in and day out smaller gauges and loads are neither as effective nor as humane as one capable of killing the longest shots cleanly. Just my observation over many years if doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Yeah, I'd rather go hunting with my dog.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:05 pm 
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nshepherd wrote:
Yeah, I'd rather go hunting with my dog.


We're in total agreement there. Aside from the enjoyable social aspects of a tower shoot with family and friends, they have the effect of scattering a lot of birds in the fields and woods to be hunted over my Brittany and a couple other good bird dogs. After the pheasants have been out for a day or so, they are scattered over a half-mile radius and run and flush at the sound of hunters much like the wild birds we shoot in Montana and Nebraska. Shooting hens over dogs in thick woods is a lot like ruffed grouse hunting on flatter terrain, albeit at a lower adrenalin level. Until we can get into the real thing, Lily and I think this is a pretty good substitute....and it's already paid for.

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 Post subject: Re: Tower Pheasant shoot???
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:05 am 
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A EUROPEAN TOWER SHOOT IS VERY CHALLENGING.BIRDS ARE RELEASED FROM A WELL POSITIONED TOWER AND THEY FLY FAST AND STAY ELEVATED AS THE FLYWAY IS USUALLY OVER A WATER ,POND TERRAIN SO RETRIEVERS ARE THE CHOICE IN DOGS .THE SPORTING ARGUMENT FOR THIS TYPE OF HUNT IS THAT THE HIGH AND FAST FLYING TOWER RELEASED BIRDS HAVE A BETTER CHANCE THAN THE SLOW TO GAIN ELEVATION AND SPEED OF THE DRIVEN OR HUNTED BIRDS.AS HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE THE QUALITY OF THE BIRDS IS A MAJOR FACTOR.


Last edited by Sgt. Rock on Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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