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Load Size For Pheasant and Quail?

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Load Size For Pheasant and Quail?

Old 11-11-2010, 11:39 PM
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Fork Horn
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Default Load Size For Pheasant and Quail?

Last year was a great year for pheasant and quail on my hunting grounds--both private and public--and I am hearing plenty of roosters crow in my tree stand. One problem I noticed last year was that although no. 5 shot is great on pheasants, it tends to dress, defeather and cook quail in less than a second--especially when most of them are flushing from 10 yards away. The pheasant, on the other hand, have been flushing at much longer distances. I was wondering if #6 shot in a 12 gauge (I'm thinking about trying those new federal Prairie Storms) would be enough to put down a pheasant at the 30 yard-plus range or if I should opt for the blended loads?
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:44 AM
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I've had real decent luck using target loads...7 or 7 1/2 shot.
Typically, they flush within 20-30', and usually are in close groups, at least where we hunt.
One shot takes 2-4 birds if you get it off quick enough.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:27 AM
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I use 71/2 shot most of the time. We usually hunt quail but the small shot works great on pheasants to.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:59 AM
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I've always used 6,7, or 7 1/2 low brass for all of my quail and pheasant hunting. Have yet to have an issue dropping birds. You can put a pheasant on the ground with 6 or 7 at 30 yards no problem. I have not shot one with 7 1/2 at that distance but I would assume it would do just fine.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:23 AM
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71/2 works very well on pheasants, however at closer range you tend to shred meat. sixes are a little better working well on both quail and pheasant. Fives are my personal choice for pheasants and also ducks before the epa was born. once met an older gentlemen who had a case,(20 boxes when a case was still a case) of 16 gauge high brass no. 9's for sale he used on quail. Cannot imagine using that much shot on quail, but he was in Texas where the birds were in unbelieveably large and numerous coveys. I passed on the shells as I could imagine what the recoil on a lite 16 was like.
Actualy, when after pheasants and a covey popped up I found that fives work just as well on the occasional quail.

Last edited by Teddee5; 11-12-2010 at 08:26 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:40 AM
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I shoot #6's
-Jake
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:18 PM
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Yeah, Teddee, 5's are definitely my preference when it comes to pheasant. It can take them down easily at 40 yards and there always seems to be less shot in the meat. But I never would have thought 7's or even 7 1/2 would do the job. I may try the 6's first and if I"m still mauling quail I may move down to 7's.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:45 PM
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i like 6 for pheasants
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:40 AM
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It all depends on you shooting abilities and if you hunting over dogs and range of the flush. There is no one load that is the magic load. Over dogs when flushes occur 20 yards or so 7 1/2's will do the job. Overall 6&5's will be a good choice for those facing wild flushes and longer shots. Just pic what is right for you and your situation.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:57 AM
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Hey Ruddy,

I am hunting with a friend with 2 dogs but I wouldn't say they are the most experienced. The GSP will only be about 2 years old this year, so he is still learning but apart from being a more and more willful as the season went along he was staying in at 5 to 20 yards, however the birds were jumping much farther out. The black lab, on the other hand, was impossible to keep close and would sometimes flush birds from 50 yards out. However, one time he did run 200 yards away and flushed a half-dozen roosters right to us, but that was more of a fluke than the norm). I am fairly confident in my shooting abilities, but I could probably do with a bit of practice bore the season starts. My big issue was trying to find a load that would still put down a pheasant at 40+ yards while not liquefying a quail at 10 yards. The unpredictable variable, however, is going to be how well the dogs do this year. They're both growing up, but I'm not sure how much more mature they have gotten in that time.
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