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Hi everybody, ı'm a turkish hunter from west of turkey.Could you please give me names of the loads,that you are using for woodcock.and of course which guns do you prefer that suits these loads better.THANK YOU.
 

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Where I come from they generally use .410 bore and #7.5 or #8 shot on woodcock. I haven't shot any myself, they normally migrate out of northern Minnesota before I get around to hunting the woods for ruffed grouse. But looks like fun to try, maybe next year I'll take a weekend off from hunting September goose and give a woodcock a chance to wind up on my dinner plate. :wink:

-Dave
 

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Never anything smaller than a 20 ga. unles you are an expert with a shotgun. Shot sizes are 6-8's field loads are sufficient. The gun should have a short quick swinging barrel imp. or mod. cyl. as most shots (in the US anyway) will be in close heavy cover.
 

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I have no idea about the woodcock where you hunt. I understand European Woodcock are much larger than the ones we hunt in the eastern United States. For ours, my personal choice is for a 20 or 28 gauge side by side or over/under weighing 6 pounds or less, but any gauge will work. I want barrels from 24-28 inches, one barrel choked cylinder or skeet and the other choked improved cylinder. I have usually used 7/8 or 1 oz loads of number 8 shot in 20 gauge.
 

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The woodcock loads I use are 28 gauge Winchester AA target loads, #9 shot, 3/4 oz of shot. This is plenty for these birds. I use Skeet 1 snf Skeet 2 or cylinder and imp. cyl. My thought is that light loads in any thing from 28 to 12 gauge are fine. A good pointing dog is a must for maximum enjoymnet for most of us woodcock fiends.

Good luck.
 

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Absolutely a good pointing dog is a necessity to enjoy taking woodcock. Also, the gauge should be the one you shoot most accurately, not the fad to go smaller to impress your campfire pals. In other words, shoot your best. Too many birds are out there winged lightly from "expert shots" who over-estimate their shooting capability.

7 - 9 1/2 AA, Game Load, Feds ... they all do fine.

Shoot larger shot with more leaves and cover.
 

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I agree that hunters with 28 ga. or .410, either deserve our admiration, or only talk about their good shots (and forget about the misses and the crippled birds, not to mention the totally destroyed birds). For european woodcocks, in europe they have a full range of shots just for that matter. The shot size range from no 10 early in season, to no 8 ( i never saw a european hunter with greater size shot for woodcock). Also you have the "discos":the shots are disc shaped, to move sideways in the air and open the pattern. They spread for the first 10 yards but after reaching their flat side, they go straight. They offer excellent penetration, but the pattern is very erratic, just like the cubic shots, wich perform the same. Another kind of shot that is excellent for close up shots is the spreader shot, with a 4 compartment wad.Some european companies even advertise that their wad is built to spin like a sabot slug, to spread the shot more. At 15 yards, they increase substantially the pattern, but the best part is that you wont have that "sweet spot" in the center where you can hit a woodcock with 30 shots!!! A group of members from The Québec woodcock association experimented hunting with no 11 shots, 1 oz. with 20 ga. guns this fall, and had x rays of 8 birds. The mean no of shots in the birds was around 13 (a lot). You must know they were shot at a mean distance of 12 yards, with rifled barrels. They concluded that 3/4 OR 7/8 OZ. is plenty (another thing with tiny shots, they noticed that they never felt any shots in their food, probably too small, gulp!
 

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I agree that hunters with 28 ga. or .410, either deserve our admiration, or only talk about their good shots (and forget about the misses and the crippled birds, not to mention the totally destroyed birds).
Ok, I won't buy a .410 then!

I had a woodcock hunt this fall, but the leaves were still on and the cover was just too thick for me. I got off one or two shots, but they were guesswork based on where the birds had been going when I lost them in the trees. :oops: None of these shots was over 15 yards. Cyl (no-choke) should be tight enough (I was using fixed mod since that's what's on my single-shot 12 ga. light carry gun, which I use for upland work). My goose-trained reflexes are going to have to get a lot faster. :shock:

-Dave
 

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My over/under 12 gauge with 27" barrels and 1 oz. loads of #6 shot has worked well for me. I use the skeet and improved cylinder choke tubes as the shots are almost always close.
 

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I agree about the 410 but as far as the 28 it actually performs as well if not a hair better than a 20 at ranges to around 30-32 yards. The shorter shot colume in the 28 throws a better pattern than a 20 in most instances.
For woodcock go with 7 1/2 or 8's. Pick the one that patterns best and stick with it.
 

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I beg to differ regarding the .410 as a woodcock gun, at least in the U.S. (this is a pretty old thread). Until a decade ago or thereabouts, the woodcock season opened on September 1 which was a couple of weeks before the grouse season opened and I found a .410 to be very effective at that time. With the leaves still being thick and green, the distance one could see and shoot a woodcock would be measured in feet rather than yards. A half to three quarters of an ounce of 8s was pure poison on woodcock. It also tended to cause many fewer destroyed birds than a much larger amound of shot through a 12 or even 20 *****. I do not use the .410 nearly as much today as I did then since the woodcock season now opens the week after the grouse season starts and I feel the .410 is a a bit marginal for grouse. If not for the presence of grouse I would use a .410 for most of the woodcock season as they typically hold well for a point. I seldom flush a woodcock much over 15 yards from me and shots are well within the 25 yard effective range of a .410. At this range even 7/8 oz of 8s from a cylinder choked 20 ga can tear up a bird pretty good if centered.
Today, I mostly use a cylinder bore 16 ga with an ounce of 8 or 7 1/2 shot as that is my main grouse gun. For timberdoodles I try to fringe them so as to not shred them to pieces but sometimes one "shoots poorly" and one pockets a ruined bird. Occasionally, I'll use a 20 or 28 ga but those are mainly sporting clays models and are at least as heavy to carry as my 16 ga field gun.
 

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uglydog said:
I beg to differ regarding the .410 as a woodcock gun, at least in the U.S. (this is a pretty old thread). Until a decade ago or thereabouts, the woodcock season opened on September 1 which was a couple of weeks before the grouse season opened and I found a .410 to be very effective at that time. With the leaves still being thick and green, the distance one could see and shoot a woodcock would be measured in feet rather than yards. A half to three quarters of an ounce of 8s was pure poison on woodcock. It also tended to cause many fewer destroyed birds than a much larger amound of shot through a 12 or even 20 *****.
Ah-ha! I thought so. Uglydog, you're from Minnesota, if I recall correctly. Maybe there's a bit of regionalism at work sometimes. Growing up, though I never got to hunt much, it seemed like I would overhear the occassional convo about what gun to use on what animal and .410 was mentioned a time or two in conjunction with woodcock. Might be a leaves-on issue too as these birds tend to migrate early and I'm from wayyyy up in the north woods country.

I think one problem with .410 is the fixed full choke most of them seem to come with today. Saw that choke off & load up with some #8s and you've got a legitimate 20-yard gun. :D

-Dave
 

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To each his own, but I have found that #6 shot doesn't grind them up as much as 7 1/2s and 8s. Yes, the 6s are larger but fewer shot are put in the bird, and it only takes two or three to bring them down cleanly.
 

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.410s are pretty fickle beasts, there often isn't much of a pattern difference between skeet and full chokes with many loads. The most common constriction for the .410 for skeet shooting is .009" with .005" being a close second, which is roughly a tight modified choke in this bore size for the former and a loose light modified or tight improvced cylinder in the latter. With such a small bore diameter, much less constriction is needed to attain a given choke. Even with a full choke, a .410 is pretty much limited to the 25 yard range regardless of shell length.
I tried the larger shot size idea for a bit but found there to be just as much loss with it as with the smaller sizes. Trying to fringe the bird was harder as there were fewer pellets out there. Since it only takes one or two #8 pellets to bring down a mudbat, I found it easier to do this with 8s. As it was so aptly stated, to each their own: an individual will find what works best for them.
 

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southpawnot said:
Any folks ever tried hunting woodcock with a rifled barrel? Would like to hear you version.
When you say rifled do you mean as in a rifled spreader barrel or a slug barrel ?

Leeboy
 

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From what I know there is not much difference. In europe they 've been using them (rifled barrels) for almost 100 years. They noticed shooting shot with rifled barrels increases the "harvesting" at close range with such birds as woodcocks. The deer barrels made for Remington are produced by Verney Carron in St-Étienne, France. I'm told that their twist is 1/895 mm. That means 1 twist every 33 inches. They also have 6 grooves. Some people call it Paradox, probably because they were originally made for long distance precision shots, and people were using them as spreader shots. Nowadays, in europe there isn't a lot of deep and rough forest left, so the Paradox barrel's twist ranges from what they call supreme (1/33 inches) to more common 1/60 inches. I bought a Beretta Ultralight SR gun last year. The twist in the lower barrel seemed to be more like 1/70 inches. Result?: at 10 yards it patterned 24 inches diam., but without any sweetspot. A 1/33 inches twist would pattern 36 inches diameter at 10 yards. It's all a matter of the mean distance you shoot your birds from. But if a guy has a 870 combo and wants to try woodcock hunting, i say put your rifled barrel, go right in front of your dog's nose and boom! Bird down, with 3 to 5 pellets in it. No suffering. Perfect to eat.
 

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They are supposed to be very effective in the right conditions i.e real close up in the woods and specifically targeting woodcock. I would imagine though that it would reduce your chances of taking other game that you might get the opportunity to shoot at while you are after your woodcock.

An o/u with a rifled bottom barrel would be perfect in a situation where you could encounter other game or you are hunting in the woods and out in more open areas.

Leeboy
 

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I couldn't agree more with you leeboy. I would add: - Have your gun fitted with double trigger and practice practice practice shooting with it in different situations so you can instantly (I wean without having to think about it) choose wich barrel you want to shoot. Up in north east america we have a lot of woodcock but we also have a lot of ruffed grouse too. They often are seen in the same spots. You can see by the behavior of your dog what will be flying out , well, most of the time.Another thing with double barrels (o/u or sxs)is you can choose different types of shots. If you don't have a rifled barrel, you can put a spreader shot in the first barrel, or a fibre wad shot. Either ways, it'll cover any distance shot from 5 yards to 30 or 40 yards, depending on the *****, with a decent pattern. You can have a standard double barrel machined in St-Etienne, France for 250 Euros or a bit more if you want them chromed, either in 12ga. or 20 ga.Some companies have rifled, or what they call diffusion chokes, but they work from 15 yards up, so better say they don't work. Better use a spreader load. But the ONLY no compromise solution with really close up shots, to my belief, is fully rifled barrel.
 
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