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 Post subject: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:57 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Boise, ID
Tomorrow brings opening day in Idaho for grouse. :D I am curious what others use for field loads and chokes. I typically use (12 gauge) 6 shot and a IC choke to hunt, but switched it out for the off/trap season to a mod choke to force me to tighten up.

Most of my shots at grouse are 15-20 yards and the 6 shot with the IC worked fine last season. Many of the shots are frequently through brush or tree limbs, is it better to stick with heavier 6 shot? Mod or IC ? OR would 7.5 shot be better with a tighter choke?

On a quick jump would you obliterate the bird with the 7.5 shot and a mod choke?

What's working for you other hunters?


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:34 am 
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Location: Forney, TX
#7.5 1oz or 1 1/8oz with improved cylinder choke.

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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:30 pm
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Location: Wisconsin
I hunt in Northern Minnesota - seeing & shooting are pretty tough until early October when the leaves start coming down. I use a 20 gauge, IC choke, 1oz. of #7-1/2 at about 1200 fps. If I do my part, the load works just fine from 15 yards out to about 30.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:24 am
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Location: Arizona
jlptexashunter wrote:
#7.5 1oz or 1 1/8oz with improved cylinder choke.


I shoot the exact same load, I use it for quail so since I come across quite a few while grouse hunting. If I'm in blue grouse country I usually switch over to 6's as they can be a quite a bit tougher than a ruffed. I shot one with 7.5's last year and it stopped, turned around and laughed at me. :oops:
I'd rather use a 20 gauge for upland but haven't got around to buying one yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: boise idaho
I'm torn wether to go for doves or grouse tomorrow after work. Either way I'll be using my 12 ga mossberg 500 with mod choke and 1 1/8th oz. 7 1/2"s. Works great!!


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:57 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Boise, ID
rikasam,

Good to see another Idaho boy online. I too am looking forward to opening day tomorrow. I'm torn on whether to chase grouse or dove as well. I think with this hot weather if you can find a stream in the hills you'll do well for grouse. Doves are everywhere so who knows.

It will be a good day either way!


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: boise idaho
brentinidaho---
I'll probably head out towards Mtn. Home. Lots of sunflowers out that way, I've hunted there for years for doves. Where are you at?


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:12 pm 
I was thinking more of the Horseshoe bend/black canyon area, but that is more if I am after grouse

Do you just find some public land and wait for them to come in or do you chase them? Do you have any spots you recommend that you'll share? There is 10,000 miles of nothing out that way!!!

If I hunt for doves, I had thought of taking the .410, but on the first I might be overestimating my accuracy.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:11 pm 
this is rikasam
Head out towards Mtn. Home off the back roads along the Boise front. Find a field of sunflowers on BLM land. I walk them like quail hunting.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:19 am
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Location: Clarksville, New York
One ounce of 6 shot through a modified choke works fine for me. -Matt Latham

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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 7:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:38 pm
Posts: 53
Location: michigan
I use the same load year-round (Sept 15th to Jan 1st)--it's 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2 shot at about 1250 fps. This load has dropped grouse at 41 paces. That's as far as I'll push it, though. I use a skeet choke at the beginning of the season, then switch to improved cyl after the leaves fall in October. I'm good to about 30 yds tops with that. In the late December season (Michigan) I switch to a modified as my shots are noticably longer.

The problem I often have since I switched to choke tubes a couple years ago is that I'm never happy with my choke selection....Used to just have a modified shotgun that I used for everything...It always worked and I never was nerved about having the wrong choke tube in!

Good Luck this season!


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:54 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:24 pm
Posts: 202
Location: Canehill Arkansas
Just for fun some time try a load of 9's in the open barrel or skeet to imp.cylinder barrel and 6 in the closed mod. to full barrell. I thought the 9's would be to light but seemed to drop the birds ok . Gave me a little denser pattern.The 6's in the tight barrel drop them at longer range . I have also used 4,and 5's in the tight barrel that worked well. My pet 12 ga. loads carry 11/4 oz. of shot moving around 1150to1250 fps.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:08 pm 
I use a variety of loads through skeet/IC choked O/U

#7.5 1 1/8oz bottom barrel
# 8 1 1/8oz spreader load top barrel
In the begining of the season

And towards the end I go to IC/Light MOD same loads for the woods I hunt in are (Dirty) lots of trees here in Quebec

The season opens Sept. 18 2004 can't wait


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: boise idaho
Well had a good evening hunt for doves, found a rocky sunflower field next to a small stock pond. Got a 10 bird limit in about 2 hours, with 18 shots, both jump shooting and sitting by the pond. They liked my 2 decoys I put by the pond. Did you go brentinidaho?? Heading to Fall Creek for grouse this weekend. Think I'll use the double 20 ga stevens. 7/8 oz of
#7 1/2's in the right barrel, #6's in the left.


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 Post subject: Re: Best load and choke for grouse
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:57 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Boise, ID
Rikasam and all other posters,

You had a good night!!! I shot the 1 grouse I saw, but my time of day was off. I got out around 2 and hit the hottest part of the day, then had to be back before 7 and missed the cooler evening hunt. Saw 12 dove on the way out flying from one posted no hunting field to another. They taunted me as they flew.

I ended up going with my tried and trusted IC choke with 6 shot. I'm going to try the 7.5 next time out. Thanks for everone sharing what has been working for them.


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