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Spike100

Late season pheasant hunts in SD… opinions on shot size, loads, and chokes?

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Hi… I’ve reserved a farm in SD for a late season pheasant hunt (mid-December). Hopefully there isn’t a blizzard or heavy snowfall that ruins this trip.

 

We are advised that the birds will be very wild. I’ve seen this before after doing a few late season hunts over the last 50 years. The land-owner says we should expect very wild birds and we will have 35-50 yard shots at best.

 

My typical pheasant setup is a Benelli Montefeltro with a modified choke and 1 ¼ ounce 6’s.

 

I’m considering an improved-modified choke and #4 shot for this hunt.

 

Any advice or opinions are welcome. I’ve tried various loads for late season hunts (even 3 inch magnum 2’s), but would like to hear from others who have done long-range late-season upland bird shooting.

 

--Spike

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"I’m considering an improved-modified choke and #4 shot for this hunt."

 

Sounds as if you have it under control.:)

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"I’m considering an improved-modified choke and #4 shot for this hunt."

 

I agree with hattles. That's a good choice.

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I shoot 1 1/4 oz 5 shot out of a o/u with modified and full barrels. Never have had problems with those distances.

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^^ Good point… That’s the advantage of a two barrel gun. You have a tighter choke for your second (and presumably longer) shot.

 

With an autoloader (e.g., my Montefeltro), I was considering improved-modified as a good compromise between a potentially closer shot (inside 30 yards) and the more common long shots you get late-season. I do like having that extra (third) cartridge for longer range shots. Bagging long range pheasants (>40 yards) seems to require multiple hits.

 

--Spike

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^^ Good point… That’s the advantage of a two barrel gun. You have a tighter choke for your second (and presumably longer) shot.

 

With an autoloader (e.g., my Montefeltro), I was considering improved-modified as a good compromise between a potentially closer shot (inside 30 yards) and the more common long shots you get late-season. I do like having that extra (third) cartridge for longer range shots. Bagging long range pheasants (>40 yards) seems to require multiple hits.

 

--Spike

 

 

 

You could do oz 1/4 5 shot, oz 1/4 4 shot, and a 3 inch 4 shot

 

When I hunt with my nova I use a modified choke with 2 oz 1/4 5 shot and 1 3 1/2 turkey 5 shot. The turkey load is mostly only if I see a yote that I want it get rid of.

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Interesting you mention that (using different loads) since that is something I also do and believe it is an effective configuration. Even for “normal-range” pheasants when I see the second shot becoming longer, I’ll load #6’s in the chamber of my autoloader, and put #4’s in the magazine.

 

Of course a two barrel gun is a natural for this type of control in shot selection, but it really isn’t that big a hassle with a semi automatic gun. Even if you get the shells confused it isn’t as though # 4 won’t be lethal at 25 yards.

 

--Spike

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