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SD Pheasants Which Gun?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Shipbuilder, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    Getting ready for a South Dakota pheasant hunting trip and trying to decide which gun to take. Plan to shoot good quality # 4 shot. Choices are:

    12 GA choked IC/Full and
    20 Ga 3" choked IC/Mod

    Jim
     
  2. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    I was out there a couple weeks ago and I ended up switching from 20 to 12 because the birds were really flushing wild.

    Now I was shooting 6 shot out of the 20 so maybe the 4 shot will still do the job.
     
  3. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    Flushing Dog.
     
  4. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    You can always take the 20 gauge with a box of hevishot for any long shots you might encounter. Put in a 6 lead followed by a no. 5 heavier than lead shot, pick the brand.
     
  5. dward

    dward Member

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    I was just out near Winner for a 2 day hunt and the birds were running and the blockers got most of the shooting. Dogs were pretty much there for retrieving, except for one particular damn dog that would get way ahead and bust all the birds. I'd used a 12 and although I had a mod in my 391 I probably would have been better off with the full. So if it were me I'd definitely use the 12 gauge. A lot of pass shooting and depending on how hard it's blowing it can be more like pass duck hunting than what I'm used to for pheasants.

    There is still a lot of standing corn, but it is starting to get combined with the drier weather of late.

    Good Luck - Dan
     
  6. Jawari2000

    Jawari2000 Member

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    Do yourself and the birds a favor and take the 12 ga. Lots of standing corn and cover made it a real hunt for us but we did get a number of them.
     
  7. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    20 ga with 3" # 4's but use a mod choke or full. IC will not handle the birds that get up too far in front
     
  8. sdhunter

    sdhunter TS Member

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    I would recommend the 12 with a mod or full. I live in SD and the birds are getting on the wild side. Would consider using a 2 3/4 mag.

    Steve
     
  9. deercreek

    deercreek Well-Known Member

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    Just drove across I-90 yesterday from Murdo to Sioux Falls, I have never before observed as many birds as I saw yesterday. I would say about 80% of what we saw were cocks.
     
  10. tomlsoe

    tomlsoe Member

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    Leave the 20 ga. home in the safe. I've hunted SD for many years. All you'll end up with is a bunch of crippled runners that you can't find, with or without a dog. This is kind of a sore spot with me. We had a guy a few years back insist on shooting 20ga. I don't think he found one bird in 10. Take the 12 ga. and have fun!!!! More birds this year than ever before. And for some reason many more roosters than hens. BE SAFE Tom
     
  11. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    12 gauge
     
  12. BIGbill

    BIGbill TS Member

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    I took a 12 ga, started with 6 shoot copper plated/buffered; but switched to #4 lead after the first hour. Didn't have any #5 shot to try. My buddy had nickel plated #5 Fiocchi that he liked.

    Used Mod/Imp Mod in Browning O/U.

    I can't wait to go back.

    Bill Payne
     
  13. BIGbill

    BIGbill TS Member

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    I took a 12 ga, started with 6 shoot copper plated/buffered; but switched to #4 lead after the first hour. Didn't have any #5 shot to try. My buddy had nickel plated #5 Fiocchi that he liked.

    Used Mod/Imp Mod in Browning O/U.

    I can't wait to go back.

    Bill Payne
     
  14. gold40

    gold40 Member

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    I hunted pheasants near Draper S.D. a week ago, with a 12 ga. Remington SxS choked IC & FULL, using handloads with 1-1/4 oz. of #5's. That combo worked fine for me.

    We limited each day, but had to hunt harder and longer than last year, due to unharvested crops.

    gold40
     
  15. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    Overland Park KS
    A light 12 or 16 ga. (Remington 31L - lightweight alloy receiver) with modified or full choke, #5 shot (1 1/4 oz.) Best Regards, Ed
     
  16. Sky Buster

    Sky Buster Sky Buster TS Supporters

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    12 gauge 3 1/2" #4. Your better off being over-gunned. Those South
    Dakota pheasants are tough. South Dakota is where "men are men" and
    women think they are.
     
  17. Eric Mirosavich

    Eric Mirosavich Member

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    Just remember, non-tox shot has to be used in many public areas in SoDak. I used Winchester Xpert Steel 3" 1 1/8oz 2's out of a Rhino Modified.

    Hit em hard, wild pheasants are no joke.
     
  18. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    We have one of the larger hunting areas in SD near Plankinton.

    We all use 12 gauges, but it really depends on (1) where you hunt, (2) wild or pen raised birds (we don't like pen raised), (3) weather & temp, (4) time into the season, and (5) crops left in the fields.

    They are now taking out the corn, but it's been too wet until lately.

    We use 6's opening week-end and then 8's rest of season. Forget about copper plated shot... it's a waste. Lead is just fine. We've been hunting this way for fifty years.

    I'd recommend no full chokes, but max dram loads in 2.75" anyway. None of us shoot 3", just a waste.

    We used to host Browning Arms folks, but now we only hunt with friends on our farming operation. Our op is the largest in Aurora county, I believe.

    The later you go into the season and the cold/snow sees lots of spooky birds, but they will congregate in clusters particularly when there is no crop cover. The birds are getting smarter because we're killing off the dumb ones. It is not uncommon for the birds to run back through the corn rows a row or two on either side of you. When we walk corn we meander left and right 4-5 rows each side of center to get them to flush.

    Last week the combines finally got to some of the corn after finishing off the beans. At coffee yesterday the brother told us that in one field probably 300-400 birds flushed as the 4-5 combines finished off the field. He said a good majority were roosters, and mentioned that it was great to see so many take off, especially becasue the first two week-ends we hunted it was tough hunting due to the large amount of cover.

    Skybuster: I like your analogy... the birds are tought, but that makes it a great sport, otherwise we'd be calling it "pheasant shooting."

    Whiz
     
  19. just-an-ace

    just-an-ace TS Member

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    I went last year and took my 686 20 ga. and 303 12 ga. The guide talked me
    into the auto which was a wise choice on wild birds on the windy prairie.
    The Beretta 303 with 28" mod. and Kent 1 1/4 5's did a good job - no cripples.

    Safe hunting, good luck, and enjoy!
     
  20. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    Several of us are going back again Fridy of this week-end since they are getting the corn it.

    Whiz
     
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