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And after 62 years of wild pheasant hunting, let me tell you, to use the 12 gage! Period! Unless you are an expert and don't mind severely limiting your range and number of shots. (You already admitted that your are not, or at least are not experienced!) Otherwise figure on losing lots of wounded birds because you didn't!

Last year at this time, I had 9 or 10 birds in the bag. Carrying a 20 gage, in my old age! Shame on me, I knew better! Both the wife's and my 20 gages went on the sale block, right after we got back from the yearly trip to ND and NE.

Replaced with Benelli Ultra Light 12 gages. 6 pounds, light as most 20 gages and can be loaded to match the 28, and 20 gage, and yet handle 3 inch 12 gage ammo. Yes, the hunting was a bit better this year, in numbers of birds seen, but vastly better in the bag and in sharply less cripples! So far, 33 pheasants, two turkeys and a couple of little birds.

First days take.



And a little interesting note about one of those. The very first one was taken about 20 minutes AFTER legal shooting hours, still 10 minutes to sun up. It was taken in the truck headlights, the fog was so thick, that if it had made it out of the lights, it would have been gone. Now, that was a 20 gage shot, or could have been!

Clyde
 

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And for the life of me, why oh why would one buy a 20 gage, only to shoot 3 inch shells out of it????????????????

Totally defeats the concept of a light gun! Kicks even harder than the 12, unless it is a very heavy 20 gage gun.

The beauty of the 12 gage I carry, is it can be used with 3/4 oz. 28 gage type loads, 7/8 oz. 20 gage loads, and right on up to 1 7/8 or even 2 oz. 3 inch loads! Take your pick!

Clyde
 

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And this guy is new to pheasant hunting. Personally I think it pretty shortsighted for a bunch of experienced hunters to be giving him advice that he just might find, does not work work well for him!

In my 62 years of hunting pheasants, I have killed untold thousands, with all the gages, and most of the types and brands of guns as well. In my old age, at 70, last year, I went back to the 20 gage, as I said, I knew better! Shame on me, I lost at least 3 times the birds as I did this year with a 12 gage. (I too walk those many, many miles, and that is after 3 knee replacements and 5 by-passes!)

The guy has to make up his own mind and I personally hope he makes the right one! He will be way more successful. After that he can take the plunge, into the small bores for a tough bird! Been there, done that! Numerous times, I just forgot why I stopped, and tried it again last year! I also don't think it fair to the game! They are not clay pigeons, where a chip counts! Take every advantage, that you can, especially just starting out! (Or when finishing up, as in my case! I don't know just how much longer I will be able to do it! But I am not quiting until, I just can't go on any longer!)

There is another guy on here, new to pheasants and wondering why they don't fall for him like the grouse he is used to! And that is with a 12 gage!

Clyde
 

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Chaco1 said:
I have made a decision this small game season to hunt exclusivly with a 20 gauge. I'm having a pretty good season so far with a couple of birds and rabbits and a bunch of squirrels. I have (2) 20. Wingmasters I've owned for years (fixed full & fixed modified).
I think you misread his post he is not a beginner and has obviously been shooting these 20 ga guns for years. He just never used them for Pheasants. His question was do people think he can be sucessful with the 20 and the answer is yes you can.
Sounds like a pretty much newbie hunter to me! But then, what would one expect, never having even seen a wild rooster? No put down to him, but a couple of birds and rabbits, and a bunch of squirrels? Squirrels are .22 targets! Again, no put down, but that to me is almost a kid with a BB gun!

WHO misread?

Then define successful. Be that one for two? One for ten? Some success in both!

Basically the 20 can never equal the 12, with the same level of ammo being used in each. Just a fact of life! Yeah, I sometimes even handicap myself and carry a muzzle loader. BUT, in that case, it is a 10 gage! So each to his own!

I am sure he likely has read enough by now, and will make his own decision and have to live with it, whatever it may be.

Clyde
 
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