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Just about three weeks to go until the dove opener. Doves are one bird I just can't seem to hit with regularity. Tough, tough, tough to hit. I will burn at least 15 shells for every bird bagged. I do much better on pheasant, chukar, and quail.

I have two guns I've used for dove; my usual dove gun is one I inherited from my dad, an A-5 20 gauge Belgian. 26" improved cylinder. Love it.

My other choice is my Citori 425 20 gauge, just to have another choke option. Obviously only two shots instead of three. I usually shoot 7/8 or 1 ounce loads of 7-1/2 or 8 shot. Both guns fit me well. No difference there.

What do you guys think?
 

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Best thing I ever did to hit more doves was to shoot skeet and the right sporting clays targets. When I did that, my averages on doves improved greatly no matter what gun I chose. Either of the guns you have will serve you well.
 

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Agree with what others say. You have the right guns and ammo.
They are tougher to hit than most. I shot in a sporting clays league for a number of years, and I still shoot them on a fairly regular basis. That helped my hunting success a lot.
 

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Vette Jockey said:
Your guns and choice of chokes is not the problem. You just need to learn to shoot or.............you need to learn when birds are in range.
That's me! After I found sporting clays I figured out I was shooting at birds too far away. Wait for them to get to you and do better at setting up in the beginning of the hunt so they fly closer. Wear camo. Be still until ready to shoot. I did everything wrong. My most valuable lesson learned? Clays don't care what you wear, when you show up or how loud you are. They will still fly in the same place and come when you call. I quit hunting! Hahahahaha
 

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To me, it depends entirely on what type field you hunt, and how many other shooters (and what type) there are. All that dictates what gun/choke/loads I use.

Worst-case scenario:......12ga 32" Broadway rib F/IM with 19gr Green Dot and 1-1/8oz hard 7-1/2's and 8's. This is for the 250ac cut corn field with shooters every 75yds apart around the edge, and a few brave souls scattered-out in the middle who are proponents of 'spray and pray' using IC chokes and 3-3/4dram 1-1/4oz #9's at birds up to 80yds (and greater) and don't even go looking for tipped birds that glide 100yds and fall in the least bit of cover.

Best-case: If there's 3 or 4 of us that know each other well, have a small 5ac field and birds are concentrated and aren't scrambling for their lives before the shooting begins, I'll use a 28ga m/ic, a 410 f/m, or 20ga m/ic or screw chokes. No loads over 1200fps and no shot size smaller than 7-1/2 (you can feel them with your tongue, better :mrgreen: ).

Short answer: Pick your shots based on the game, target flight, equipment, and your ability.
 

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I agree with the wisdom set forth above. Shoot whatever Browning suits you.

I grew up in central Arizona shooting high-flying doves in the citrus orchards using a 16ga with a 30in full-choked barrel (my great-grandfather's 'ol Winchester Model '97) (which, of course, is a Browning patent!!!). For high-flying doves, the longer the barrel(s), and the tighter the choke, the better.

Now, ask me about Gambles quail . . .! :s :)

CFB
 

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CBF
Your remark about "now ask me about gambles brought back lots of happy memories. I read through thispost and thought back 45 years or so in central New Mexico. I'd done no shotguning and found my new father in law was a old country boy who had grown up bird hunting and fortunately took a liking to me and I became his hunting partner. I would get so damn frustrated and tired of missing doves while he was cussing cus he had trouble finding all the birds he'd knocked down. He let me miss till I was about ready to wrap that gun around somebodys neck then explain to me that if i was gonna keep shooting at birds that far away i was gonna need to put a scope on that shotgun. Taught me to not waste ammo on anything farther than 40 yards or so and ill be damn if he wasn't right! I had a nice BSS 12ga that i was sure wasn't enough gun to kill those doves while he shot a old worn out model 11 20 gauge that a horse had layed down on during a turkey hunt and bent the barrel. We straightened it out well enough in a forked tree that he got his turkey. Got home and he had to saw a few inches off of it cus behind the polychoke the barrel had kinked. I couldn't figure out how that cyl bore 20ga could kill something my mod choke 12 wouldn't. Same thing on quail! That damn 12 with 7.5 or 8 shot would roll them around when I was lucky enough to catch em coveyed around a bush early on a cold morning but for knocking them outta the sky when they were getting up in ones or twos they would fly right thru my pattern? He made me get a 12ga H&R single shot skeet choke so id quite wasting our beer money on ammo and we would go down on the cap rock around Hobbs NMex where there was lots of birds and he'd let each of us have 1 box of shells and when we got back to the truck we would see how many birds each had. A few times I'd beat him back to the truck cus he would have missed one and he would spend hours until he was able to get a double. 25 shells and he was gonna come back with 25 birds! I'd be lucky to have 6 or 8. He told me one time that the best way to sneak up on a gamble quail is in a dead run! I certainly understand stand getting frustrated dove hunting. My biggest problem was shooting at every bird i saw instead of the ones I should have been shooting at. I bet the ammo manufacturers love the people that make 5 shot semiautos and young beginners like i was that spray and pray instead of using a little common sense. I wound up with his model 11 when he quit hunting and carried it in the back of a supercub for 30 years hunting and guiding in Alaska. Have no idea how many birds that thing has killed. Many are the nights it provided supper for the camp. One day it even sank a boat!! Gonna go get a few green heads for supper and a client somehow discharged it stumbling around trying to get in the boat and shot a hole in the bottom of the boat and sank us right there at the dock!
 

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nikko12 said:
Decoys, and if legal in your state, a Mojo dove spinner. Put 'em about 15yards out and you'll do fine.
That's the truth right there! My son and I were hunting last year on a field that belongs to a friend of mine. Since we were the only two out there hunting I set up my Mojo dove. Those birds went nuts over that decoy and would practically swarm it.
 
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