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Duck Hunting Tips

Understanding Chokes and Loads

Hi, I am going to talk about shot size selection and reasons behind why we choose different size shots for different scenarios. We have shot sizes on average ranging from number 2 number 4 and BB. Those are going to be your most popular size shot they’re going to use hunting ducks and geese. When we look at what we’re going to be hunting, we choose what size shot we’re going to use. One of the reasons we choose different shot sizes is because of the kinetic energy that each of the pellets carries.


When you have BB size pallets, it’s going to carry more kinetic energy per pallet, but you’re going to have less pallets.


When you go down to a number 4 you’re going to have less kinetic energy per pallet, but you’ve got more pallets. So when you’re hunting in a situation like out of a layout boat or you’ve got smaller birds are there moving fast. We want to use a shot size, like a number 4. It doesn’t have the kinetic energy, but you have more shot in your pattern. It feels around the edges lot more. So if you’re off just a little bit and that duck is actually ending up in on the edge of your shot pattern. You have more of a chance of being able to hit a vital area.

shot sizes

When we hunt geese. You have a bigger bird. You need more kinetic energy behind your shot because their skin is denser, it takes a lot more to penetrate and to make a clean kill. So we use the BB. In the middle, you’ve got your number 2, Mallards in a cornfield we use number 2 you’re sacrificing the amount of kinetic energy you have with typically those shots are going to be a little bit closer.


So you can go to a number 2 shot, and you kind have the best both worlds. You’re sacrificing a little bit of the kinetic energy but also gaining lot more pallets in that shot show.


Now once you select your shot size and you want to move into determining what kind of choke tube you want to use. You have to look at your situation. If you’re in a situation where you’re in a cornfield you’re going to have birds at 15-20 yards they’re going to be close-range to mid-range shots. You want to use mid-range choke tube an improved cylinder choke tube. Where your shot pattern is going to open up a lot faster and a lot wider. But on the contrary, you would want a tiger choke in situations where those birds just kind of work the way you wanted to. You’re going to have to end up with that 40-yard shot.


So you want to leave yourself open to the option of being able to switch out to a full choke or a long-range choke tube something like that, with those Ducks which scared at the edge of the decoys. Nothing you can do about it it’s just that kind of day we’ve all been there where no matter what you do with the decoys no matter what you doing the winds the blinds and the calling and everything else you’re going to have those days where those 40 yard shots and just going to be necessary. And you might want to switch out to a full choke or an extended range choke tube something like that. That’s going to give you the advantage of being able to carry that tire pattern out just a little bit further.


These tips are just personal preference remembers to look at your situation and take into consideration your shot size you choke tube selection. Spend some time at the range pattern in your gun, see what works best for your gun and in the different situations that you’re in.

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