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Zkight89

Beginning Waterfowl Necessities?

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WyomingArt

A pee can for boating w/ little kids, or old guys who don't have good balance. No need to ask how I know this.

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Zkight89
6 hours ago, WyomingArt said:

A pee can for boating w/ little kids, or old guys who don't have good balance. No need to ask how I know this.

My boys are fourth generation born Floridians, peeing out of a swaying boat is second nature! Definitely have a pee can on board for my older buddy ( too many post hunt or fishing beers more than age) and the little lady though! 

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MAArcher

Full choke and #5 heavy shot.  Waterfowl always seem closer than they are and I don't see enough birds to only shoot at the ones intent on settling into the decoys, so I try and prepare for long shots.  Plus I like the thumps a trio of geese shot 60 yards straight up over your head make when they land right in the blind and send your hunting partners scrambling for cover.  

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Rick Hall
15 hours ago, bmeador said:

... cans and bluebills...

 

That explains it.

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Rick Hall
8 hours ago, MAArcher said:

Full choke...

 

Grrr...  I'd bet something nice "extended range" chokes have helped save a heck of a lot more birds than they've helped kill, even without including the ones sky-busting whackers have taught to fly higher and be harder to work.  Just not a lot of guys with the skill for reasonably consistent extended range hitting - or close range hitting with tight patterns.

 

MAArcher may be one of the exceptional shots who can, but an overwhelming percentage of the fellows through my blinds haven't been. 

 

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Zkight89
7 minutes ago, Rick Hall said:

 

 

 

 an overwhelming percentage of the fellows through my blinds haven't been. 

 

I'm definitely one of the overwhelming percentage that can't make long shots. I'll be using factory Modified or Improved Cylinder choke and 30 ish yards is my personal limit. 

  Around that range I can hold my own on any type of wingshooting, beyond that I'm absolutely terrible.  

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Jazz4Brazo

Knowing the limits of your skills is the key to be successful in any endeavor in life...but knowing when and how to push your limits to enhance those skills is just as important...time and a place for everything and the field likely isn't that place. 

 

J4B

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Treerooster
5 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

Grrr...  I'd bet something nice "extended range" chokes have helped save a heck of a lot more birds than they've helped kill, even without including the ones sky-busting whackers have taught to fly higher and be harder to work.  Just not a lot of guys with the skill for reasonably consistent extended range hitting - or close range hitting with tight patterns.

 

MAArcher may be one of the exceptional shots who can, but an overwhelming percentage of the fellows through my blinds haven't been. 

 

 

I use to goose hunt a lot, back before the heavier than lead shot days. More than 10% of the geese I cleaned had been previously hit by skybusters, usually somewhere in the back third of the goose. I still kill a few geese now and then just not as many. I still see too many old wounds in geese, but the shot is smaller now that guys use the heavier than lead shells. I imagine those geese where hit at ranges greater than 80 yards or just poorly hit in the back end.

 

For someone to have the proper "skills" (shooting skills as skybusting does not require much hunting skill) to skybust he must not only be a darn good shot, but also must be very good at range estimation. That can be real though to do on geese when there is nothing but air around them and geese can range in size from a 3 lbs Cackler to a 15 lbs + Giant Canada. I believe a lot of skybusting "misses" aren't really a clean miss.

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Zkight89

While we're talking range, what do you Gentlemen that hunt over decoys consider " short", " medium/ average" and " long" range?

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Treerooster
33 minutes ago, Zkight89 said:

While we're talking range, what do you Gentlemen that hunt over decoys consider " short", " medium/ average" and " long" range?

Short shot is the best shot IMO...20 to 25 yards. Sometimes I have to let birds that snuck in too close get out before taking a shot...somewhat common with teal. If a flock comes in tight you can shoot a bird that's farther out first and then get on the closer ones that are flaring.

 

Medium is 30 to 35 yards.

 

Long is 40 to not much more than that. Unless I think I hit a bird and it keeps flying. Then I will throw everything I have at it until I am empty or the bird is way too far.

 

BTW...when birds are coming in there are basically two ways to shoot at them. If say a mallard is coming in real nice and would land in the dekes, I can get on him slowly just before it would land (sometimes shoot from a sitting position) and it will never know I was there until I shoot. The other way is say a flock of teal is winging in, I might stand fast to flare the flock. Timed right the flock will "put on the brakes" and give you a nice shot at good range as they flare and are slowed up a bit, usually showing you a vulnerable undercarriage.

 

 

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Rick Hall

I'd pretty much agree with Treerooster on range, and add that there's also "way the hey too short," as denoted by center-punched birds like the mallard in this duo:

image.thumb.jpeg.25d390eac7a9ab1b649338ca17490c45.jpeg

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Kemo Sabe
7 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

Grrr...  I'd bet something nice "extended range" chokes have helped save a heck of a lot more birds than they've helped kill, even without including the ones sky-busting whackers have taught to fly higher and be harder to work.  Just not a lot of guys with the skill for reasonably consistent extended range hitting - or close range hitting with tight patterns.

 

MAArcher may be one of the exceptional shots who can, but an overwhelming percentage of the fellows through my blinds haven't been. 

 

 

Excellent point, Rick.

 

The same applies to Hevi-Shot and closer range/decoying shots. It’s a disadvantage compared to steel because the pattern is so tight. And when you center the bird with HS at 20/25 yards, it’s going to be a mess. 

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mccuha

Like the past few posts.  I like shots over decoys 25 and under. You get them to hover just  over the top of the decoys you can really work on them. I will on occasions shoot birds that just want completely commit but are still no more than 30yds.  On my lease in MS we have a lot of specs and snow geese that offer opportunities most days.  Because of that I usually just shoot steel bb’s the whole time.  I really like the bigger shot, less pellets but a little more knock down 

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MAArcher
11 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

Grrr...  I'd bet something nice "extended range" chokes have helped save a heck of a lot more birds than they've helped kill, even without including the ones sky-busting whackers have taught to fly higher and be harder to work.  Just not a lot of guys with the skill for reasonably consistent extended range hitting - or close range hitting with tight patterns.

 

MAArcher may be one of the exceptional shots who can, but an overwhelming percentage of the fellows through my blinds haven't been. 

 

 

I was in the salt marsh one time, a spot where the federal wardens like to sit in the parking lot and watch me through binoculars.  One time the geese flew over and they were way up there.  I took two shots and two birds almost landed in my lap.  As I was trudging back to my car the warden, known for giving guys a hard time for wanton waste, came running up "those geese were a little high wouldn't you say?"  I just looked down at the two dead geese in the jet sled and back up at him and said "No, I'd say they weren't high enough."   

 

I've lost my share of waterfowl, almost all with steel.  High density shot sure makes a difference when shooting waterfowl, especially if you don't do a whole lot of it.  Remington Wingmaster HD (3" #6 12 gauge) was the greatest waterfowl load of all time.  Shame they don't make it any more.  If I had known they were going to discontinue it, I'd have taken a loan out to buy a lifetime supply when they closed it out.

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Rick Hall
13 hours ago, mccuha said:

Like the past few posts.  I like shots over decoys 25 and under. You get them to hover just  over the top of the decoys you can really work on them. I will on occasions shoot birds that just want completely commit but are still no more than 30yds.  On my lease in MS we have a lot of specs and snow geese that offer opportunities most days.  Because of that I usually just shoot steel bb’s the whole time.  I really like the bigger shot, less pellets but a little more knock down 

 

After big white spreads fizzled here and before moving to the marsh, I mostly ran ag land mixed-bag hunts, probably much like yours,  and "2, 1 or BB steel" was my standard advise due to the prevalence of blues/snows and specks in that mix.  Came to favor 1 1/4oz 1s, myself, wouldn't knock your choice.

 

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