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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about hunting pheasants at a local resort.
The scenario is: raised birds (trained in flight pens, they say the birds jump and fly hard) are placed on a farm and we hunt with a guide and his dogs. The hunters will be: me (avid clay shooter), brother-in-law, friend, and my wife (they are occasional target shooters). None of us hunt much at all anymore. I may use a 12 or a 20, brother-in-law and friend will use a 12, and wife will use a 20 or 28.
How "heavy" do our shells need to be? For example will standard heavy field loads suffice? I've seen 1 1/4 oz 1225 fps loads available. Is the 1 1/4 1330 fps load worth the extra recoil? Hot target loads with 7 1/2? Loads for the smaller gauges? Max shot size is #6. Any opinions on 7 1/2? Do I need the Golden Pheasants? Thanks
 

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The straws from your cokes at Mc Donalds and a bag of dried peas from the local grocery ought to about cover it I would think.

Actually in a 12 I think I would opt for 1 1/8 oz of 7.5 in a IC choked barrel. In a 20, 7/8 oz of 6's in either a IC or Mod.

Unfortunately I have no experience with the 28, but I'm still kicken, so theres still hope.

Hope you enjoy your hunt, wishing you fine fall weather for it,

Jeff

The nut list- Baker 1898 Damascus barrel double hammer gun / American Arms single shot 12 ga/ Winchester Model 12 26" IC solid rib black diamond high grade straight grip checkered stock and fore end 12ga / Winchester 1300 Black Shadow Turkey 12ga / Winchester SX2 3 ½" 12ga / Browning Gold Hunter 20ga / Stoeger 2000 Max4 camo 12ga / Beretta AL391 Urika Gold 12ga / Remington 870 Wingmaster 20ga / Springfield .410 single shot (for yet to be conceived grand babies)/ Ugartechea Model 30 12 ga/
 

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I think you need #6 shot. We had a bad experience on a couple of pheasants last weekend with target loads. If they are flying away from you, and you rear-end them, you run the chance of them just being wounded but still flying away. This happened to us twice and it was pretty sad. Do the right thing and use #6.
G
 

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I'm with gar-dog, use #6 shot. I'd suggest #5, but #6 is the biggest you have available.

I've shot pen-raised pheasant with 1 oz of #6 at 1225 fps through an IC choke over pointers with great success. If over flushing dogs, I'd go with 1-1/8 oz of #6 at the same 1225 fps through a Mod choke. Not a big difference either way, however. You don't have to put up with lots of recoil, but you do have to use big enough shot and enough velocity to get the job done.
 

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Open choke, 1 oz 7.5 shot works just fine if you shoot them when they jump up. Most of the farm raised birds raise up much slower than wild birds.

If you want to let them get out away from you to shoot them, (kind of hard to do for most folks) then 1 oz of 6 is better.

In my doubles, I use 7.5 in the open choke, 6 in the tighter choke to use as a back up in case of a miss.
 

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for farm raised chickens I/we used double "A" trap loads (1 1 1/8 oz. of #7 1/2 shot) out of a IC choked 1187 skeet gun or a 12 gauge Wingmaster(same choke). Reached out to forty yards on occasion but mostly under 30 yards (having a dog helped). :)
 

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My suggestion to use the 7.5 shot in the 12 ga in my previous post on this thread was based soley on my assumption that these birds were going to be shot over pointing dogs. I feel that planted/released birds hold much tighter than their wild bretheren and shots are therefore generally much closer.

When quail hunting in Southern Iowa with pointing dogs we run into roosters quite often and even shooting a ounce and a eighth of 8 shot on these wild birds, we loose very, very, few.

Even though they are rarely seen here perhaps the English size 7 shot would be the ideal preserve bird load?

Best to all,

Jeff

The nut list- Baker 1898 Damascus barrel double hammer gun / American Arms single shot 12 ga/ Winchester Model 12 26" IC solid rib black diamond high grade straight grip checkered stock and fore end 12ga / Winchester 1300 Black Shadow Turkey 12ga / Winchester SX2 3 ½" 12ga / Browning Gold Hunter 20ga / Stoeger 2000 Max4 camo 12ga / Beretta AL391 Urika Gold 12ga / Remington 870 Wingmaster 20ga / Springfield .410 single shot (for yet to be conceived grand babies)/ Ugartechea Model 30 12 ga/
 

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I shoot a lot of stocked birds over Pointers. The gauge doesn't really matter, though I shoot either a 28, 20 or 16. Correct choke and shot size is the key. After shooting a few thousand stocked birds, I have settled on open chokes (Skeet & IC) and #5 shot to be ideal. For those who use a 28, Winchester makes a good 1oz #5 load that works like a champ. I've seen too many birds knocked down with 7 1/2s and run off. Larger shot also means fewer pellets in the bird, so if you eat them, that also makes a difference.
 

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I've hunted pen-raised birds with 12, 20, and 28 ga. guns. All worked just fine with standard loads of #7 1/2 shot. These birds "die easy" compared to wild birds.

12 ga - 1 1/8 oz. (1 oz or even 7/8 oz should work fine!)
20 ga - 7/8 oz
28 ga - 3/4 oz

Again, these were standard velocity 7 1/2 loads, and choked as open as I could get them (usually Sk/Sk or Cyl/IC). I know a guy who hunted them for years using a .410 choked Sk/Sk and 7 1/2's, with great success.

All the guns you mention should work just fine with the least expensive loads you can find with 7 1/2 shot at your local gunshop or Wal-Mart.
 

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The choice between 6 vs 7 1/2 is for lethal delivered energy (the number 6 pellet at 1.9 grains travels further faster and carries more punch - 1.61 ft lbs at 60 yards - than the 7 1/2 at 1.25 grains) or death by a thousand cuts (the 7 1/2 has 350 pellets per ounce vs 225 for the 6). With a SxS, in moderate weather conditions for farm-raised birds I might choose 7 1/2 in the open IC choked barrel for the close crossing shots, and put 6 and an IM choke in the left barrel for more distant and going away birds. Shells for the right barrel go in the right pocket, and for the left barrel in the left.

If the weather were freezing cold, or the birds flushing early, then the choice would change to 6 shot in both barrels. For wild birds, I would substitue one shot size heavier (7.5=>6 and 6=>5) for the above. Shoot Safe and have a great day.
 

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I've used a 28 gauge with 8s while hunting quail behind pointing dogs on a preserve. A few ringnecks jumped up, and were promptly dispatched with the 28 in IC I was carrying. But I do not recommend this as a general practice.

For general preserve hunting, BEHIND POINTING DOGS, I would prefer to take either my SXS or O/U in 28 and use the Winchester 1 oz. 6s or 5s, as both guns pattern these well. I would have an IC and Mod choke selection in the barrels, and this is what I generally use for that purpose.

In the 20 (which I also dearly love), I would use the same selection of chokes and shot sizes in both my SXS or O/U. (I like using the SXS guns).

BOTH of these lighter gauges have served me well in the past.

But for FLUSHING dogs, and longer flushes, or "walking 'em up", I would want a 16 or a 12, same shot sizes, and would prefer a Light Mod and Improved Mod chokes with 1 1/8 (16 ga.) or 1 1/4 oz. (12 ga.) loads JUST TO BE SURE they drop and don't move!

BobK
 

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I'm not an expert at anything or shotshell guru by any means but when I'm shooting (hunting) with sub-gauge (20 gauge vs. 12 *****) I've been keeping things very simple with my shells. This year I've been small game hunting almost exclusivly with a 20 Ga.

For years I've been very successful with shooting the Remington 20 ga, Long range Expresses. Pretty much the only shells I shoot for 12 or 20 ga. hunting.
20 Gauge
2 3/4"
1 oz. shot
approx 1200 fps (? I think, close)
Shot szs. #'s 4, 5, 6 (If property owner says #6's max. don't shoot larger)

On occasion I've shot the 20 ga. Nitro Pheasant and 20 ga. Nitro Turkey but, that was for turkeys.
 

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On the stocked pheasants here in Pa i just use remington game loads or remington Express. I would say express with 6 shot would be enough to handle and pen raised bird with ease. To me even the cheapo one ounce game loads out of an i/c choke get the job done for 30 yard shots and under.
 

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It depends [of course]. I've shot a couple hundred plus farm chickens training dogs over the past couple months. If they flush underfoot, pointing dog and dizzy birds, I use a single shot .410 or 28 with 7.5/8/9. Just hit em.

Over flushing dog the birds have to be "up and around" or the dogs will catch em I use a 12 w/7.5 M/IM. A flusher putting up a bird on a windy day [working 25 yards ahead of you] with the bird 5-7 yards ahead of the dog, may give you a challenging shot @35-40 yards.

My local chicken ranch breeds two different type of birds. A very large [roosters won't fit in a release trap] that are slow and take off like C-130s. Their "K" bird is small and very fast. The females aren't much bigger then a grouse.

Tame birds fly slower and die easier then wild ones but a broken wing farm chicken and still run pretty darn fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It looks like standard #6 field loads will do the trick. Thanks for the advice!

Stackman, I probably shouldn't take the bait, but here goes. The reason I'm considering a "canned" pheasant hunt in South East Kansas is probably the same reason you would in Florida. We have NO pheasants here. No pheasants even close. Not even a pheasant season.
I just want a fun experience hunting pheasants with my family and friends. The farm/resort is 25 miles away and "doable" with everyone's schedule. Loading up and driving 6+ hours to western Kansas (most local hunters prefer Nebraska) is not on the radar for SEVERAL reasons.
 

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It looks like standard #6 field loads will do the trick.
I've been shooting pheasants all my life, and you can't go wrong with that conclusion. These forums are subject to paralysis by analysis - people with too much time on their hands speculate endlessly about something that isn't all that difficult.

The worst purchase I ever made was four boxes of brand-name super-premium pheasant loads. A few shots at pheasants and rabbits brought curiously bad results, so I patterned a few shells on paper, and then cut one of the shells open. I found a shell cup wad of extremely stiff plastic that was slit only half way down to the base. This contained much of the shot for quite a distance downrange and had resulted in me killing one rabbit, at 30 yards, with what amounted to a 1/2 oz slug.

For your purposes you'll do best with open choke guns and standard load 1 1/4oz #6's. Enjoy your family outing.
 
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