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It appears that the traditional pre-season best load for pheasant thread has begun wink
Y'all remember the fella on Shooting Sportsman Forum maybe 10-12 years ago who fashioned his-self a pheasant expert...based on his extensive experience shooting pen-raised birds on a preserve in Alaska smile He advocated 1 oz. 7s in a 20g when would "go clean through a pheasant at 40 yards!" I think he finally admitted to having never been to the Dakotas for wild birds.
Bro. Larry no doubt remembers.

To the OP, please let us know how your pattern testing turns out. I'm afraid you will find some pheasant sized holes at 40 yds. with 1 oz 5s. I limited my shots to 30 - 35 yds., and avoided the straight going away shots with only back to hit at that distance. Lots of birds flinch and drop feathers only to fix their wings and sail away...then drop in some thick stuff and not to be found by good dogs.

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Aaah, remembering Cush.
Those were the days.

Next thing you know, we’ll go fifty pages on GSP’s and the Cohanim. Lol


1300fps cartridges hit the bird harder than 1200fps cartridges. A nice confidence booster, and can marginally bridge the gap between a target shooter (slowing down) and a live animal (speeding up).

For the handful of people that maybe shoot at 5 wild birds a year, run what ya brung.
Confidence will help you more than cartridge choice.
Just follow through, and try to hit them in the front.

Ass packing pheasants is considered bad form. (Too many runners when they get raked from behind).

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Originally Posted by ClapperZapper
1300fps cartridges hit the bird harder than 1200fps cartridges. A nice confidence booster, and can marginally bridge the gap between a target shooter (slowing down) and a live animal (speeding up).

The difference in the GP line of cartridges, which is what we're talking about, is 45 FPS according to Fiocchi.

203GP5 20 3 Nickel Plated 1 1/4 1,200 5
20GP5 20 2 3/4 Nickel Plated 1 1,245 5

Time of flight and retained energy difference is negligible. I'll take the extra quarter ounce of shot (42 pellets +/-) anytime.

Originally Posted by ClapperZapper
Ass packing pheasants is considered bad form. (Too many runners when they get raked from behind).

Maybe so, but that seems to be the only view I ever have. Thus a heavy load of #5. It breaks legs and wings and we don't have to chase all over hell to recover the birds.

Real hunting is not a Bob Abbett painting.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Those raking or fundament shots are extremely difficult as you have to employ / engage the shot with the least amount of feather draw and too it is optimum to shoot low & disable their running gear.

Serbus,

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Originally Posted by Drew Hause
....... I limited my shots to 30 - 35 yds., and avoided the straight going away shots with only back to hit at that distance. Lots of birds flinch and drop feathers only to fix their wings and sail away...then drop in some thick stuff and not to be found by good dogs.

That is just a great example of Kansas pheasants. We took a few distant raking / fundament shots on a Wile E.(Wily) Kansas Pheasant & as noted above he locked his wings and sailed some 300 metres. When we got there we were very suprised to find a huge raptor sitting atop the Kansas Pheasant. We debated on what exactly to do & if the raptor chose to fly off with him, we were going to improvise. The raptor chose to vacate the premises and when he pushed down on the Kansas Pheasant to take off, the pheasant bounced up and we had to shoot him again.


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"ass-packing" on staight away fezzants??" Akin to an Airborne Texas Heart Shot perhaps? I use a load of 7&1/2 shot in the right barrel of my 12 gauge M21- and an express load of No. 6 in the left tube- 12 gauge imp. cyl. and mod. chokes 28" tubes. I try to head shoot the birds, not always possible, and you are right, a crippled and running pheasant on the ground in heavy cover or swampy cat-tails-- a real job of work for the best retrievers- RWTF


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gee foxie, once in ah while you make cents...

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Something you may aspire to, Ed!

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Originally Posted by ClapperZapper
For the handful of people that maybe shoot at 5 wild birds a year, run what ya brung.
Confidence will help you more than cartridge choice.
Just follow through, and try to hit them in the front.

Ass packing pheasants is considered bad form. (Too many runners when they get raked from behind).

Even in the glory days of ringneck pheasant hunting in the U.S., the majority of shots presented were at flushed birds who were quickly trying to fly away from the dogs or the hunters, not toward them. You could stand there in your tweeds and breeks, and wait for the beaters and drivers to send an incoming bird or crossing shot your way. But it would be a very long wait. Early in the season, or on rainy days,when the birds were more prone to holding tight and flushing up close, it wasn't a big deal to get on a departing bird at under 20-25 yards, and # 6 shot dumped even big native birds handily. At those ranges, an open choke worked very well. Later in the season, I would often switch to # 5 shot, at least for the second shot.

I do recall one hunt with a couple buddies near a local swamp. We had only walked into the field about 50 yds, when a big ringneck went up right in front of the guy in the middle of the line. He knocked it down from the rear, seemingly dead as a stone. The range was under 30 yards. We went over to admire the long plumage before resuming our hunt. We went maybe another 100 yards when I noticed him yelling, frantically jumping up and down, and swatting at the game pouch in the back of his jacket. I walked over just in time to see the bird stick his head out, very much alive. I quickly grabbed it and gave his neck a quick twist, and ended the excitement. I don't think shooting from the rear was the problem, so much as where the pattern was centered.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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October pheasants aren't particularly tough anywhere. Assuming a decent hatch, a strong majority of the roosters you'll be shooting will be birds of the year. They're not fully grown yet. You may well run into roosters that don't look like roosters, and you won't know they are unless they make a sort of juvenile squawk. If your buddy has decent dogs, you should get quite a few relatively close shots. The exception to that would be a day with very strong winds, which you do encounter in the Dakotas. Then they're going to be more jumpy and you may want to have some 3" shells along, just in case. Or a 12ga.

I've hunted pheasants in ND in mid-December, which is a very different game. I arrived at the end of the day, with a couple guys in my group just coming in with their birds. Those roosters were packing more fat than any wild pheasants I've ever seen. The only change I made was to switch from 1 1/8 oz 6's (I was shooting a 16ga) to the same load in 5's. Worked well when pattern intercepted bird. But one reason I prefer 6's rather than 5's most of the time: More shot (225/oz vs 170.) And if you don't happen to center the bird, 6's are plenty big to break legs and wings. And if you break a wing and a leg, you stand a very good chance of recovering the bird.

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