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Author Topic: What size shot for both ducks & geese?  (Read 1700 times)

Offline bobcat

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What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:14:41 AM »
This weekend we will probably be hunting a field that last week when I was scouting on Friday was full of widgeons. There are also lots of geese in the area and if we hunt the field with layout blinds where the widgeons were, it's also likely that geese could come in as well. I've got steel, BB's, 1's, and 3's, all 3 inch shells. I would like to use the 3's for widgeons and BB's for geese, but I also don't really want to be constantly having to change out the shells in my gun. So I'm thinking use the 1's for everything? Good idea, or not?

Offline frazierw

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 10:16:03 AM »
I like 2's for ducks and at least BB's for geese.  I use 3 1/2's for geese though.  My go to's are 3" 2's for ducks and 3 1/2 T's for geese.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 10:17:07 AM »
My personal preference is 3" #3 for everything. I would just be aware of range and pass on shots that are a stretch distance wise. If you are hunting a field, most likely there won't be as much pass shooting so #3 should work fine.
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Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 10:19:20 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I should add that my shotgun only has a 3 inch chamber.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 10:23:17 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I should add that my shotgun only has a 3 inch chamber.

After years of shooting 3 1/2" shells, I came to the conclusion that I killed just as many birds with 3" and enjoyed the reduced price and recoil. In the off season, or if you get a chance, pattern your gun with different brands and loads. Another thing to consider is adding a choke that extends your distance.
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Offline frazierw

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 10:25:52 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I should add that my shotgun only has a 3 inch chamber.

After years of shooting 3 1/2" shells, I came to the conclusion that I killed just as many birds with 3" and enjoyed the reduced price and recoil. In the off season, or if you get a chance, pattern your gun with different brands and loads. Another thing to consider is adding a choke that extends your distance.

 :yeah:

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 10:26:06 AM »
I would definitely like to do some patterning when I get a chance.

Offline Buckewe

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 10:28:13 AM »
I use 3in 3s for everything. If it's to far for them to kill it I didn't do my job right. Get them close and anything with a good pattern will kill them.
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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 10:38:47 AM »
Im a big fan for ken 3" #3.
 Additionally  hoaning the inside of your barrelnwith a scothbrite pad helps the pattern on any shotgun.

Take a pice of the green scotch brute pad 3" ish long 1" ish wide so that it fits in your shotgun patch cleaner attach rod to drill lube with some atf. Put in barrel spin it up and hoan. It it will clean and polish the barrelhelping the was travel with out resistance.

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Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 10:52:44 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. Lots to think about. First thing I've got to get done or shot size won't even matter, is my new layout blind needs to get mudded up.

Yeah I grew up hunting ducks when lead shot was legal. I know exactly what size lead shot I'd use in different scenarios. For ducks with geese a possibility I'd be using 2 3/4 inch, 1 1/4 ounce of lead 4's. Or maybe 5's, and possibly 1 3/8 ounce.

But with steel shot I'm still just not quite as confident in what works best.

Offline WSU

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 11:20:50 AM »
1's or bb for geese.  Any of the above for ducks.  Also, get an after-market choke and you'll be well served.  It makes a big, big difference.

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 11:25:00 AM »
I like #1 if I am hunting geese and ducks at the same time.  I run 3 or 4 just for ducks.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 11:40:34 AM »
12g   3 1/2 in. BB shot is what I used to use until I cracked the breech on my POS 835 Mossberg utili-mag, now the spent shot shells won't eject they're stuck tight I have to ramrod them out once I force the action open.  It needs a new barrel. 


Now I think 2 guns is the way to go

Offline Badhabit

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 11:46:00 AM »
Are you going to be pass shooting the geese or in the decoys? Pass shooting BB's for sure, in the decoys out to 40 yds 1's for both ducks and geese. Decoying ducks out to 30 yds I shoot 4's.

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 11:53:41 AM »
Not pass shooting, will only shoot if they decoy. Expecting mostly widgeons but I'll have a better idea when I'm out scouting Friday morning. Can't shoot geese until Saturday.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2017, 11:58:21 AM »
I think when I get back into waterfowl (it's been a while, kids want to go though) I'll use a 10ga for geese (fly overs) and 12g for decoy ducks


The browning BPS 10 ga looks nice

Offline KFhunter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2017, 11:59:29 AM »
I got a sibling that uses a long tom bolt action for flyover geese

« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 12:08:50 PM by KFhunter »

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 12:15:14 PM »
Like I said, I'll be in a layout blind. Don't want to bring two guns, and don't even want to switch shells if geese come in. Hence the question, what size shot to use that will work for both wigeons and geese. Let's say I'll probably limit shots to about 50 yards.

Offline Duckgtr

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2017, 12:22:06 PM »
From my 12 I use 3'' 1 shot for everything from teal to honkers. When I use the 20 I use 3'' 4 shot and it worked for snows for me. My brother use to use his 20 for honkers with 3'' 4 shot

Offline KFhunter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2017, 12:28:07 PM »
Like I said, I'll be in a layout blind. Don't want to bring two guns, and don't even want to switch shells if geese come in. Hence the question, what size shot to use that will work for both wigeons and geese. Let's say I'll probably limit shots to about 50 yards.

Oh sorry, I figured you had your answer, I was just chatting  :sry:

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2017, 12:31:43 PM »
Like I said, I'll be in a layout blind. Don't want to bring two guns, and don't even want to switch shells if geese come in. Hence the question, what size shot to use that will work for both wigeons and geese. Let's say I'll probably limit shots to about 50 yards.

Oh sorry, I figured you had your answer, I was just chatting  :sry:

No problem.

I think a 10 gauge would be great for geese.

Not sure I'll get a definitive answer. I guess this is like asking "what's better a 270 or 30/06."   :chuckle:

Offline branter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2017, 12:32:22 PM »
2 3/4 # 2 for ducks, had two Honkers come into the decoys the other day and that size shot was more than enough.

Offline WSU

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2017, 12:33:06 PM »
Shoot 1s

Offline Dan-o

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2017, 12:47:11 PM »
I often load my preferred duck load and have some goose loads really handy. 

Usually I can swap out when I hear the geese coming.   Not always. 

Ducks also usually fly earlier than geese, so I like to start with a duck load. 
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Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2017, 12:50:19 PM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Offline Duckgtr

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2017, 01:02:37 PM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Were you out there last Saturday? I was in the same zone as you are going this weekend.

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2017, 01:03:55 PM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Were you out there last Saturday? I was in the same zone as you are going this weekend.


No, I was nearby but wasn't hunting the fields.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2017, 01:23:56 PM »
Interesting. 

I didn't know there were places with staggered waterfowl shooting times. 
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Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2017, 01:30:20 PM »
Yes it's so you're better able to identify the Dusky Canada Goose, as you are not allowed to shoot them.

Offline WSU

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2017, 02:15:41 PM »
It's pretty easy to leave the shell in the chamber and just take the 2 out your tube.

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2017, 02:18:00 PM »
I shoot Kent 3" BB's  for everything, ducks and geese. I hate chasing winged birds through cattail patches and ankle grabbing mud. I prefer to hit them hard and drop them close. The only time I drop my shot size down is if I know there won't be goose opportunity, then I will go with a 3" #2 shell.
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Offline Duckgtr

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2017, 03:53:28 PM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Were you out there last Saturday? I was in the same zone as you are going this weekend.


No, I was nearby but wasn't hunting the fields.

Aight the guys on the property to the south of me weren't very happy because I kept bringing in all the geese

Offline Sneaky

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2017, 03:54:57 PM »
3" #3's for all birds and all distances. From quail to geese.

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2017, 04:15:19 PM »
3" #3's for all birds and all distances. From quail to geese.

I like that. Nice and simple.

Offline bobcat

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2017, 04:16:52 PM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Were you out there last Saturday? I was in the same zone as you are going this weekend.


No, I was nearby but wasn't hunting the fields.

Aight the guys on the property to the south of me weren't very happy because I kept bringing in all the geese

Duckgtr, let me know if you ever need a partner.    :)

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2017, 07:26:05 AM »
For years I shot BB's for everything.  I switched to 3", #2 about 2008.  Last year I picked up a few case of 3", #3 and that is now my go to for ducks.  It patterns very well out of my gun and flat smacks the ducks.  More pellets on target.  All ducks are shot under 50 yards.  Most at 30 yards or less.  All ammo I shoot is 1550 fps as well.  Unless shooting 3-1/2" it may vary slightly.  But if you stay consistent with the speed, you don't have to change your point of aim or correct your lead.

Big geese I shoot 3" or 3-1/2" BB's and for snows I still stick to 3" or 3-1/2" #2's.  Been a great round for them. 
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Offline EWUeagles

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2017, 08:00:07 AM »
If you're truly decoying birds 3" 2 shot is a great all around shell. I shoot plenty of big geese with 2's and never have a problem. I used to think you needed a 10ga and 3.5" shells to kill geese till my brother in law got a deal on  2 3/4 4 shot. He hunted geese with them for almost two years and his goose numbers never dipped with the smaller shot.

Offline Stein

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2017, 09:20:45 AM »
If you're truly decoying birds 3" 2 shot is a great all around shell. I shoot plenty of big geese with 2's and never have a problem. I used to think you needed a 10ga and 3.5" shells to kill geese till my brother in law got a deal on  2 3/4 4 shot. He hunted geese with them for almost two years and his goose numbers never dipped with the smaller shot.

I watch a Youtube channel from a guy in Canada that stacks up ducks and geese like nobody's business.  He shoots 2 3/4 and has no problem stacking snows and honkers.

I used to carry a couple of BB shells for the occasional suicidal goose but since I got a good deal on a case of 3" #2, I feel comfortable shooting anything with that.

Offline Duckgtr

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2017, 09:31:45 AM »
The area we're hunting you can't shoot geese until 30 minutes after you can shoot ducks. So I can definitely start out with some smaller shot. Probably will load up with 3's for that first half hour.

Were you out there last Saturday? I was in the same zone as you are going this weekend.


No, I was nearby but wasn't hunting the fields.

Aight the guys on the property to the south of me weren't very happy because I kept bringing in all the geese

Duckgtr, let me know if you ever need a partner.    :)

Sounds good my spread is easy to set, I'm pretty confident I'm one of the few that run a spread like it over there.

Offline krapmit

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2017, 09:40:13 AM »
3" 2's for everything for me. head shots ( :

Offline lokidog

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2017, 09:44:21 AM »
For what it's worth we shot a lot of geese with 1's (2 3/4" shells) and I've dropped a fair number with 3's. If less than 30-35 yards your 1's will be fine.  When pass shooting geese, I like BB.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2017, 09:45:59 AM »
3" 2's for everything for me. head shots ( :

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2017, 10:38:51 AM »
My favorite for geese is BB. That said, I have killed geese with authority with #4 shot all the way up to T. Just gotta bust a wing or get some shot in the head & neck...I would not worry one bit under decoys with what you have.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 07:51:52 AM by C-Money »
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Offline Whitenuckles

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2017, 05:39:02 PM »
3 in # 2
GEAUX TIGERS

Offline HaydenHunter

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Re: What size shot for both ducks & geese?
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2017, 09:14:34 AM »
If we are going out for geese only field hunts it's BBs.  If targeting close-in decoying ducks and the wind isn't savage, it's 3s.  Decoying and pass shooting ducks it's 2s.  2s will also kill a decoying or closely passing goose so if I am expecting both geese and ducks I usually load up 2s. 

It's easy on a semi-auto to switch loads for the one that is chambered but I usually don't empty all the shells out of the mag and switch.

 

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Yakama Nation Sheep Tags by running_bull
[Yesterday at 10:46:52 PM]


Any Squid Yet? by Brushcrawler
[Yesterday at 10:45:53 PM]


No Deer but Plenty of Wolves by shallowforks
[Yesterday at 10:44:36 PM]


No sight of deer for the last few miles.. by fishnfur
[Yesterday at 10:26:58 PM]


Kuiu Icon Pro 1850/3200 ++ by Bandocknr
[Yesterday at 10:23:16 PM]


Best Rat Bait? by ruttnbuck
[Yesterday at 10:19:51 PM]


Wilderness Hunt Gear by Eric M
[Yesterday at 10:15:45 PM]


Sig Sauer Rifle Scopes? by CAMPMEAT
[Yesterday at 09:57:38 PM]


2018 Waterfowl Sucess!! by King243
[Yesterday at 09:45:45 PM]