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Just a quick question for all of you. What size shot and choke do you use for pheasant? I had my first experience with pen raised birds yesterday using number 8's and a modified choke and i couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. i don't think any of the shots i took were over 25 yds. any help/suggestions? bigger shot? different choke?

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For pen raised birds at short distances, 8's will kill them, but I'd be more inclined to go with 7-1/2 or 6 shot as tucker noted.


And like tucker said, at that distance a skeet choke is plenty.


But I submit: If you're missing pheasants at 25 yards....well...it isn't because of the choke or the shot size you were using. The problem is the nut behind the trigger.


My advice to you is practice, practice, practice on clays until you're smoking them with regularity. Trap, skeet, sporting clays all help.


Like a wise man once said, "The more I shoot clay targets, the luckier I get shooting pheasants and quail." OK, actually, I just made that up...but I stole parts of it from a Lee Trevino quote about practicing golf.


If practice doesn't work (if you keep shooting at clay targets without getting any better) try this:


Take some wingshooting lessons from an NSCA instructor, and have someone (who knows what they're doing...not the local gun club know-it-all) take a look at your gun fit.


Guys won't think twice about taking lessons to improve their golf swing and having golf clubs custom fit to them, but seem to think they should naturally be able to pick up a gun, any gun, and shoot it proficiently.


I think its an ego thing.

Edited by timb99
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You really never do know what range your birds are going to flush, but considering they are pen raised birds a more open choke and smaller shot is ok. Number 6 the smallest shot size I personally would use.


Like Timb99 said the misses you are seeing have nothing to do with your selection of shot size and choke tube, its all about the practice. Even after I completed a whole fall skeet league I still had a tough time killing birds this weekend, got my limit but had to walk a lot further to do it.


Practice make perfect.

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