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Grouse season is starting up and I am thinking of using a 20ga for a change this year. What chokes would be a good combination for ruffed grouse in thick cover with a 20ga? I usually use a Ithaca/SKB SxS in 12ga with 26" barrels and it is choked MOD and IC but when measured with a mic the MOD is between MOD and IMD and the IC measures between SK and IC. Would SK and LT. MOD be good for a 20ga going after grouse?
 

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In my neck of the woods Grouse have a magical ability to put a tree between you and them in the blink of an eye. So I'd use LS and IS. That's .003 and .007 in a 20b.
 

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Shot grouse and woodcock for 15+ years in Minnesota with Browning Supreposed 20 ga choked Sk/Mod. 90% of the birds were killed with that first barrel. Seldom get a second shot on them in most coverts. Favorite load was 7/8 oz #9 early season and 1 oz of # 7 1/2 toward the end. Woodcock were 7/8 oz #9 always.

Hunted over Brittanies, Setters and English Pointers over that period. All were good. Best combo was a Brit and Setter or Pointer on the ground.
 

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Yukon 870,

I hunted ruffed grouse throughout Wisconsin for the better part of 25 years. Early in the season, with or without dogs, with heavy foliage, you are best to use Skeet and IC and #8 shot. As the season progresses the foliage will decrease and the shots will be further out (sometimes). Then I switched to IC and #8 shot in barrel #1 and Mod choke and # 7 and 1/2's in barrel 2. Of course, there are no guarantees!

It doesn't take much shot to bring down Mr. Ruff and often times a slightly crippled grouse will remain where it goes down. Consequently, I would favor smaller shot sizes (8's) vs.larger shot sizes (71/2's) on the theory that you're more apt to hit them with more shot/smaller size.

Good luck!

Steve Dotson, Carefree, AZ
 

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I used an IC/MOD choked gun for years and there were times a CYL/IC would have served much better. Sometimes in those heavy tangles the dogs would point two or more grouse! At those very close distances, my mod choke was way too tight for a second shot on another bird without occasionally destroying the bird!! Occasionally means about one time in 50 years of hunting grouse!

Hap
 

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I would choose cylinder, improved cylinder for a two barrel shotgun, and nothing more than skeet for a slide or semi-auto. Be sure and use large enough pellets as you will be shooting thru the trees. I love 7's.

I use cylinder/improved cylinder a lot when hunting wild Gambel's quail here in Arizona, But use improved cylinder for my semi-auto's. Much different deal here though, usually dog has them pointed and first shot is around 20 to 30 FEET, not yards.

Happy hunting.


Tom Strunk
 

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I also hunt grouse with a 20 ga, IC, Rem. 1100 Special Field. However, I have always had a good setter pointing them. Randy Ross
 

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I use a big stick and clunk Spruce Hens on the head when they walk up to me.

(This was a joke so don't be calling the official powers on me)
 
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