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 Post subject: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:21 am 
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Location: Wyoming
I'm giving away my age here, it's been a good 30 years since the steel requirement was imposed upon us. I remember killing geese with trap loads, 1 1/8 ounce, we simply replaced the #8 shot in our reloads with #2 or #4. My first experiences with steel were terrible, I could see that we were hitting the geese but not killing them. I actually gave up hunting them for a long time but later humbled myself into shooting them only at closer range. The new Kent bismuth has me excited about waterfowl hunting again. Thirty bucks a box but worth it IMO.




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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:36 am 
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I stopped duck and goose hunting when lead was outlawed. I still have a box of 20 gauge 3" #2s; they packed a wallop out of my light SxS.........

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:46 pm
Posts: 1123
Location: Western NY
I can recall dropping geese with lead shot I was hunting crows with...so effective...
I don't wish for lead to make a return though..we are better off without it. I and most other waterfowlers have adjusted our methods and have great success with steel shot..and no need for unubtanium shells.... Everytime I go out goose hunting my wife tells me to look in the freezer to see how many geese are already in there (as if she'll convince me not to go). There's no problem with steel shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:14 am 
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Location: Indian Head Country Wisconsin
Yes and I disagree on the need for steel for layout blind field hunting geese. In N.D. I would often go back to the truck after early goose hunting and switch to lead shells and walk right back out to the same field and hunt the edges and cattail sloughs for the pheasants I saw while goose hunting. Problem is the enviros will soon ban lead for pheasants too if they get there way. And for fishing, and deer and anything else. It’s a win win for peta and the enviros. Drive up costs and drive out hunters under banner of saving earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:53 am 
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Location: 35 miles from Normal, Illinois (as close to normal as I'll ever be)
I am forever known for the confident pronouncement I made several decades ago that, "They will never make us shoot steel out here in these corn fields." At the time I was sitting in a goose pit and shooting a Franchi 48AL magnum fitted with the then newest innovation in shotgunning - custom stainless steel choke tubes that throw the most beautiful long range patterns with 1-7/8 oz of lead #2's you have ever seen, and that I cannot shoot steel through.

I truly believe that any objective examination of the lead poisoning studies that gave us nontoxic shot would find them to be junk science driven by a political agenda. But, we will forever be stuck with it. There has been too much money poured into development of guns and ammo. And, as long as people are willing to shell out (pun) more than $5 a shot for boutique nontox loads, the industry is gonna keep pushing them at us.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:09 pm
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Location: Omaha, NE
I have a fair amount of #2, BB, BBB and even T lead shot.

Any recommendations on what those can be used for now?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:05 am 
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Location: Wyoming
It's an old argument but here's my $.02. I do understand the no-lead rule in the heavily hunted marshlands where thousands of shells are fired each season and at that in a relatively small area. Where I hunt the law is, was, and always will be crap. On the rivers and stubble fields we hunt steel has done more harm than good over thirty years due to geese / ducks being hit and not immediately killed.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:32 pm
Posts: 242
Location: USA
The "problem" with ducks and geese not being killed outright with steel shot, is mostly from those that think they need a 3 1/2" shell to kill them, and those 3 1/2" shells has wounded far more waterfowl than they have ever or will ever kill!

I average no less than 100 waterfowl hunts a season, and hunt ducks, geese, cranes and swan. I only shoot a 12 ga. shotgun, I only shoot steel shot and I only shoot 7/8 oz. loads in 2 3/4" shells.

My log sheet that hangs next to my freezer shows 268 ducks, 318 geese, 1 swan and 18 cranes. That is just from the 2018-2019 season, and my freezer is empty and clean before the first day of teal season. Some of the guys that I hunt with have far more birds in their freezers than what I do, and by next teal season, everything in my freezer will have been eaten, the freezer cleaned and ready to start being filled again.

No, I'm not bragging or any such thing, I just take my hunting very seriously, considering the cost of everything involved.

Shoot light loads, shoot fast loads, and up your shot size. Above all else though, pattern your guns and set a self imposed range limit on the distance you shoot your birds, in accordance with your patterns.

I prefer to shoot steel, and would never shoot lead for waterfowl, even if it were made legal again. My biggest reason is that felt recoil is a lot LESS with steel shot than what it is with lead, and I am one who actually enjoys reloading my own steel shot loads. The guys that have learned to shoot steel and have become proficient with it, like it about as much as I do. And on top of everything else, it is a whole lot cheaper to reload steel shot than what it is to load lead shot.

And yes, I do remember shooting geese with lead, and have shot many many hundreds of geese with lead loads.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:26 pm 
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duckgoosehunt wrote:
The "problem" with ducks and geese not being killed outright with steel shot, is mostly from those that think they need a 3 1/2" shell to kill them, and those 3 1/2" shells has wounded far more waterfowl than they have ever or will ever kill!

I average no less than 100 waterfowl hunts a season, and hunt ducks, geese, cranes and swan. I only shoot a 12 ga. shotgun, I only shoot steel shot and I only shoot 7/8 oz. loads in 2 3/4" shells.

My log sheet that hangs next to my freezer shows 268 ducks, 318 geese, 1 swan and 18 cranes. That is just from the 2018-2019 season, and my freezer is empty and clean before the first day of teal season. Some of the guys that I hunt with have far more birds in their freezers than what I do, and by next teal season, everything in my freezer will have been eaten, the freezer cleaned and ready to start being filled again.

No, I'm not bragging or any such thing, I just take my hunting very seriously, considering the cost of everything involved.

Shoot light loads, shoot fast loads, and up your shot size. Above all else though, pattern your guns and set a self imposed range limit on the distance you shoot your birds, in accordance with your patterns.

I prefer to shoot steel, and would never shoot lead for waterfowl, even if it were made legal again. My biggest reason is that felt recoil is a lot LESS with steel shot than what it is with lead, and I am one who actually enjoys reloading my own steel shot loads. The guys that have learned to shoot steel and have become proficient with it, like it about as much as I do. And on top of everything else, it is a whole lot cheaper to reload steel shot than what it is to load lead shot.

And yes, I do remember shooting geese with lead, and have shot many many hundreds of geese with lead loads.


What shot size do you use ?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:47 pm 
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I use my old #2 and BB lead for turkey hunting. Very effective. My waterfowl hunting days are over.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4427
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I shot lead at geese and have seen some really impressive shooting by a friend with a Model 21 Duck Gun and Winchester Western 3 inch copper plated and buffered BBs. Laser verified distances longer than anyone would believe; nevertheless repeatedly done because of his skill and practice at pass shooting Canadians with that combination.

duckgoosehunt said: "I prefer to shoot steel, and would never shoot lead for waterfowl, even if it were made legal again. My biggest reason is that felt recoil is a lot LESS with steel shot than what it is with lead, and I am one who actually enjoys reloading my own steel shot loads."

I am not here to cause a war, but I am truly befuddled by how a change from lead to steel would cause less "felt" recoil unless there was a change in one of the key variables that contribute to recoil, i.e. velocity, or shot charge weight. I can only guess that since you said you use 7/8 oz steel that must be the reason you get less "felt" recoil from steel.

However, if you shot 7/8 oz of lead at the same velocity wouldn't the "felt" recoil be the same?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:33 pm 
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I believe that lead is still legal for waterfowl in some countries in South America as well as the UK

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:32 pm
Posts: 242
Location: USA
DLW1 - for years, I used #3 steel for wood ducks and teal, #1 for mallards and T steel for geese and swans.

For the 2018-2019 waterfowl season, the only shot size I used was BBB and it actually worked far better than I expected. I used a tight choke in all my guns and tighter than normal patterns. My thought with the tight patterns was that I would either have a clean kill or a clean miss, and I got exactly that. I missed a few more birds than normal, but what I hit was grave yard dead when they hit the ground. I also payed more attention to my lead, and tried to keep the majority of the pellets in the head and neck. More often than not, I believe that the birds I missed were from shooting too far in front of them, more than shooting behind them.


Oyeme - when lead was legal for waterfowl, my 3" goose loads were 1 7/8 oz. of magnum #2 lead and my 2 3/4" duck loads were 1 3/8 oz. of copper plated #4. Both loads were Max. Dram Equivalent.

Now, the only STEEL loads that I shoot are a 7/8 load at 1,690 fps., and the felt recoil with this load is far LESS than either of the lead loads that are listed above.

My old bones can no longer take the pounding of the old lead loads, or even 3" steel shot loads, and forget about those crazy 3 1/2" steel loads.

I do not know the answer to your last question, as I do not have a 7/8 oz. lead load that duplicates the velocity of my steel loads


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:18 pm 
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casonet wrote:
I believe that lead is still legal for waterfowl in some countries in South America as well as the UK


It is also legal in NZ as long as you are 300 M from the water (as in a field)

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Location: Western Tampa, FL
duckgoosehunt; "I do not know the answer to your last question, as I do not have a 7/8 oz. lead load that duplicates the velocity of my steel loads."

No worries as I think you already answered the question when you specified your old lead loads VS current steel loads. Take care. Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:36 pm 
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duckgoosehunt wrote:
The "problem" with ducks and geese not being killed outright with steel shot, is mostly from those that think they need a 3 1/2" shell to kill them, and those 3 1/2" shells has wounded far more waterfowl than they have ever or will ever kill!


How do you know this?

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:32 pm
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Location: USA
RandyWakeman wrote:
duckgoosehunt wrote:
The "problem" with ducks and geese not being killed outright with steel shot, is mostly from those that think they need a 3 1/2" shell to kill them, and those 3 1/2" shells has wounded far more waterfowl than they have ever or will ever kill!


How do you know this?



By doing several hundred field tests with various Game and Fish Officials, since the first 3 1/2" 12 ga. steel shot load hit the market years ago, with literally thousands of rounds of 3 1/2" 12 ga. rounds fired at ducks and geese, and at known and measured shooting distances.

MOST 3 1/2" 12 ga. steel shot loads are on the heavy side and therefore slow, as compared to a lot of 3" and 2 3/4" loads, and that right there is their downfall - they do not have enough speed for those steel pellets to penetration the body of ducks or geese. We have seen a lot of birds hit in the head with these slower loads, and unless a pellet went in through the eye, many many birds just kept of flying.

Back when steel shot became mandatory for waterfowl here in the states, it was treated like a deadly curse because everyone just absolutely hated it! Me and the guys I hunt with, we developed our own loads well before any steel shot loading components were available on the market. We would take our light but fast 2 3/4" 12 ga. loads, and would hunt with guys all over the country that shot nothing but 3 1/2" shells, and you could literally watch a duck or goose be pushed away from a heavy load of steel, and just keep on flying like it was never touched! Our "baby loads" as everyone was calling them, was killing birds left and right, with us limiting out everytime we went hunting, while the vast majority of the 3 1/2" shooters struggled to sometimes get a single bird!

My first tundra swan hunt that I went on was a free hunt, and didn't cost me a dime. A guide called me up one day and said that if I could kill a swan with one of my 2 3/4" loads, I could have the hunt at no cost. I made the hunt, killed a swan on my second shot, and it only cost me a little bit of gas to get there. Everybody else was shooting those damn 3 1/2" loads and you could tell it from everybody throwing a fit over the recoil, and no birds hitting the ground! I wound up letting everyone shoot my baby loads, and everybody killed a swan that day and the following day.

Even now, guys I see shooting those 3 1/2" 12 ga. loads have a VERY LOW percentage of killing shots, especially when compared to the 3" loads and the 2 3/4" loads are still better yet! Now, IF those big shells are limited to 40 yards and you know where to put the bead, you're in luck. But why in the Sam hill would you subject yourself to that much recoil, when it is absolutely unnecessary. A good 2 3/4" load will always kill further than your best 3 1/2" load, and that has been proven countless times, over and over again.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:31 pm 
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duckgoosehunt wrote:
RandyWakeman wrote:
duckgoosehunt wrote:
The "problem" with ducks and geese not being killed outright with steel shot, is mostly from those that think they need a 3 1/2" shell to kill them, and those 3 1/2" shells has wounded far more waterfowl than they have ever or will ever kill!


How do you know this?



MOST 3 1/2" 12 ga. steel shot loads are on the heavy side and therefore slow, as compared to a lot of 3" and 2 3/4" loads, and that right there is their downfall - they do not have enough speed for those steel pellets to penetration the body of ducks or geese. We have seen a lot of birds hit in the head with these slower loads, and unless a pellet went in through the eye, many many birds just kept of flying.


My experience (which is not scientific or based on tens of thousands of hunters experiences) suggests that wounding losses have not changed over the last 30 years (According to CONSEP, a conservative average wounding rate for ducks and waterfowl nationwide by hunters is 25 percent, or one bird struck but un­retrieved for every three hit and recovered. That translates into roughly 2.5 to 3 million lost ducks and another 1 million lost geese.)

Also, while sales and demand remains healthy for 3-1/2 inch chambered 12 gauges, 3-1/2 inch ammo sales are low, and most people with 3-1/2 inch chambered 12 gauges use only 3 inch unfolded length shells.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:35 am 
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My waterfowl experience, is much more limited than some people. but what I have noticed is that the people that seem to be most prone to taking shots that they shouldn't take, tend to be the people shooting the 3-1/2" loads.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you remember shooting geese with lead?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:53 am 
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I use 3½" shells when I hunt specklebelly geese, and they kill the geese well. Unlike first generation 3½" shells, today's 1½ oz. loads @1,500 fps aren't slow. I shoot 3" for ducks.




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