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I've heard several opinions and read several about what steel load to use on pheasants. The most recent and most believable for northern pheasants was 2 3/4 #2 1 1/8 oz. Is this too much? Last year I used 2 3/4 #6 1 1/8 oz with very poor luck. Just wondering what to try this year. Thanks
 

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The Minnesota Fish and Wildlife (or whatever they call it) did a study a couple of years ago that found that there were FAR less cripples when #2 steel shot was used. I wouldn't have guessed that but the published data is there for all to see. 300 birds were shot during the study.

Use hevi-shot and you can use #6 or #7. It's not like your taking a ton of shots for 2 or 3 bird limit and I'll guarantee you'll get better patterns.

Here is a link to the study.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fwt/article5.html
 

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Why use steel on pheastants at all? Where are you hunting that steel is required?

Steel or non-toxic shot has been required for ducks and geese for the last 10 years or so, but this is the fiirst I've heard about it on upland birds!

-- Quackster
 

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Use Bismuth, Hevi-shot or Kent Impact. With the amount of cripples that steel yields, you will actually be SAVING money in the long run (I did the numbers trust me) but if you have to shoot steel go with Kent Fasteel #4's in your first barrel and #2's in your second barrel. Or if your shooting an auto or a pump go #4's then finish your last two shots off with #2's.
But I highly reccomend Hevi-shot, Bismuth, etc.
And quackster for the past few years alot of places are starting to require non-toxic shot. I'm surprised you didn't know that many states are starting to require the use of no-tox for pheasants. But it's usually only on public land.
 

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quackster said:
Why use steel on pheastants at all? Where are you hunting that steel is required?

Steel or non-toxic shot has been required for ducks and geese for the last 10 years or so, but this is the fiirst I've heard about it on upland birds!

-- Quackster
No Tox shot is required on all public land in South Dakota with other states heading in that direction
 

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When I'm not in the mood to drop $15+/box of Hevi, etc., I grab 3" steel #1,2, or 3's for our no-tox pheasant hunts. This larger shot really tends to push the feathers deep into the meat, but the birds fall better than using shot any smaller. I go with Kent Fasteel or Winchester X at 1550fps, #3's for the 20g gun, and #1's for the 12g gun to try and maximize the # of bigger shot used. Unfortunately, most closer in birds get the skin torn right off them due to steel's poorer penetrance, leaving a very wet carcass to stink up your vest.
 
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