Good shell for swans

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Good shell for swans

Postby MNkid7 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:14 pm

Well I got a tag this year, and was wondering whats a good shell for swans? I was thinking hevi shot 3" #2 and just aim for the head. So if someone has some info on shot shells for swans that would be great if you could share.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hamernhonkers » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm

MNkid7 wrote:Well I got a tag this year, and was wondering whats a good shell for swans? I was thinking hevi shot 3" #2 and just aim for the head. So if someone has some info on shot shells for swans that would be great if you could share.



Two options,

#1 body punch them - steel BBB, Hevi 2 shot - HW 6 shot.

#2 head shoot them - steel 2 or 3 shot (thick skull on a swan) Hevi 6 or 7 shot - HW 7 shot and TSS 9 shot.

I took my first few swans with a 10 bore loaded with BBB then 2 years ago shot my bird with a 20 and hevi 4 shot at 40 yards over decoy's with a body punch and last year shot my swan with a 28 ga loaded with 3/4 oz load of tungsten poly #6 shot at 20 yards in the head over decoy's.

If you are head shooting them remember they are very deceptive due to their size on just how fast they are moving. Make sure you are visually and mentally locked only the birds eye when you pull the trigger :thumbsup:
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby mojo coot » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:28 pm

They will work fine i like to use BB on bigger birds but #2will work fine thats all my friend shoots at ducks geese or swan when he draws out
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hawglips » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:41 pm

hamernhonkers wrote:Two options,

#1 body punch them - steel BBB, Hevi 2 shot - HW 6 shot.


Here's those three compared, 1450 MV, showing distance that achieves 2" gel penetration:

Steel BBB: 60 pellets per oz; 60 yds

Hevi 2: 81 pellets per oz; 91 yds

HWT 6: 165 pellets per oz; 76 yds

I recently suggested 1 oz of TSS 8s for swans, which will get you: 250/oz and 72 yds
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby woollybugger » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:54 pm

Most important thing in shooting a swan is to shoot at birds that are in range. Don't underestimate how big these birds look at 40 yards. The difference in shooting at swans at 40 yards versus 50 yards is significant; the difference between 50 and 60, enormous. Do the birds and yourself a favor, shoot at birds 40 yards and less. A good pattern of steel #1 (1 1/4 oz at 1450 fps) placed on the head and neck of a swan is a downed bird. Range is a more significant factor in swan hunting than what shell you use. I would rather shoot at a swan at 25 yards with 1 oz of steel #4 than at 60 yards with a 1 9/16 oz load of BBB.

Good luck on your hunt. I'm crossing my fingers for a tag this year. Coming off of a 3 year dry spell for a swan tag here.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby skybusterbob » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:02 pm

Swans are easy to kill. I just use whatever is in my gun because you can decoy them very easily to 20 yards.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby MNkid7 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:11 am

Thanks for all the help guys! But I have one question about the TSS, I've never really had any experience with it so could I get it at a place like cabelas? Or is it just shot for people who load their own shells?
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby grnhd » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:24 am

TSS cant be bought from stores,hand load only.
I've shot 2 swans in my life,the first was with steel 2's,it snuck in and I had duck loads in, and the other was with hevi B's. The one I shot with 2's I uglied down and had to finish up with a swatter but the one with hevi B's. DEAD. Myself, since you'll only be shooting once I'd make that one shot count and buy some kind of tungsten based product like hevi shot to make sure that shot counts. Swans are huge and they don't always decoy perfectly. The one I shot with steel 2's did it about as good as you could ask and I shot it at about 30 yards but the other one came in as a pair and long lit the decoys at about 50. Hevi B's took care of that! My buddy that day was using HW 4's. I yelled out" KILL 'EM",it sounded like one shot and both birds hit the water stone dead.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby rebelcj7 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:42 am

They are some big bad birds and as said don't always decoy perfectly. Thick skull, and just plain tough to bring down. Sure you can "hope" for a head shot or to body punch em but the fact remains until that time comes you can't say exactly how its going to go down. With that said I would roll with Hevi Shot Goose 3" B's. The stuff is wicked amazing and will rock a swans world regardless of head shot, body punch, wing... Hevi Shot Goose...
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby MNkid7 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:12 pm

rebelcj7 wrote:They are some big bad birds and as said don't always decoy perfectly. Thick skull, and just plain tough to bring down. Sure you can "hope" for a head shot or to body punch em but the fact remains until that time comes you can't say exactly how its going to go down. With that said I would roll with Hevi Shot Goose 3" B's. The stuff is wicked amazing and will rock a swans world regardless of head shot, body punch, wing... Hevi Shot Goose...

Thanks for the advice, thats what I was actually leaning towards after hearing a few responses.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby kenner » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:38 pm

Okay,, I'll admit I'm clueless.... We have very few swans in the Northwest,, and they're rare... Do you really shoot the big, white swans????

I really don't know,, but maybe if your states cut back on the take/bag limit,, they might migrate this way??? :beer:
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby Jim Atlas » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:31 pm

kenner wrote:Okay,, I'll admit I'm clueless.... We have very few swans in the Northwest,, and their rare... Do you really shoot the big, white swans????

I really don't know,, but maybe if your states cut back on the take/bag limit,, they might migrate this way??? :beer:

They're not that rare here. We could have a draw for a tag if they wanted to. Hell, how many goats do think there are in this state?
It's only sky busting if you miss...
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby baltz526 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:38 pm

I see thousands of swans every season in Oregon. The problem is some are trumpeters. They are why the pacific flyway has no swan hunts. As far as I know.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby kenner » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:41 pm

.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:40 am

steel #2 going 1550fps work fine over here...cant see any goose load being not good enough for a long neck :huh:
Ive twice seen them dropped with lead #4 from a wee .410. treat the head like a quail when aiming and you should be good to go. :thumbsup:
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby kenner » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:37 am

Okay,, like I said,, I'm clueless. Thanks Baltz for the info!
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hamernhonkers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:44 pm

baltz526 wrote:I see thousands of swans every season in Oregon. The problem is some are trumpeters. They are why the pacific flyway has no swan hunts. As far as I know.


Utah 2500 tags a year and nevada has a bunch. Montana also but I think its the central flyway portion of the state.

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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hamernhonkers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:46 pm

kenner wrote:Okay,, I'll admit I'm clueless.... We have very few swans in the Northwest,, and they're rare... Do you really shoot the big, white swans????

I really don't know,, but maybe if your states cut back on the take/bag limit,, they might migrate this way??? :beer:


Swans migrate to the same wintering grounds year after year. They are not known for using new areas.

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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hamernhonkers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:50 pm

rebelcj7 wrote:They are some big bad birds and as said don't always decoy perfectly. Thick skull, and just plain tough to bring down. Sure you can "hope" for a head shot or to body punch em but the fact remains until that time comes you can't say exactly how its going to go down. With that said I would roll with Hevi Shot Goose 3" B's. The stuff is wicked amazing and will rock a swans world regardless of head shot, body punch, wing... Hevi Shot Goose...


Good hell he's not hunting teradactyl's man :lol3:

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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby rainingmallards » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:21 pm

Are swans hard to decoy? I have never even seen a Swan in flight. I am not sure
I would use the Hevishot #2 but rather a BB.....
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hamernhonkers » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:53 pm

rainingmallards wrote:Are swans hard to decoy? I have never even seen a Swan in flight. I am not sure
I would use the Hevishot #2 but rather a BB.....



Swans are dumb. When they commit, they commit.

Last year my father in law shot this bird at 20 yards with a 12 bore loaded with 2 shot steel.

Image

I shot my bird with a 28 bore and a 3/4 oz load of tungsten poly 6 shot in the head.

Image

They are a big bird but not that big. Be patient and be where the birds want to be and he will have no problem getting a close range shot. It's like everything else duck hunting. You get out of it the effort you put into it.

It looks like I didn't draw a tag this year but I plan on trying to get a trip in just photographing decoying birds. They are a sight to watch when they lock up :thumbsup:

Image
Image
Image
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby kenner » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:02 pm

Gorgeous birds!
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby woollybugger » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:31 pm

Looks like my son and I drew tags this year! He will be shooting a mighty 20 gauge. I'm going to use my 28 gauge loaded with #7 hevi-shot(13 gm/cm3). There is a lot of head and neck to soak up pellets on a swan. You don't need BBB or T shot to kill a swan. Geese are a much tougher bird than swans. I think it's appropriate that swans are white; they are just big marshmallows! I shot my first couple of swans with #4 lead back in the day and saw a lot of birds drop to guys shooting #6 lead out of sub gauge guns (this was back in the 80's, mind you). I have used # 1 steel most often to harvest swans. I have killed 1 with steel BB, and one with #2 steel. Shoot responsibly and you will have success.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby Shurshot » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:35 am

Woollybugger,

Where did you find your recipe for the Hevi 28ga load? I've loaded some #6 ITX13 rounds (BPI) specifically for ducks and a swan but always am looking for other non-tox loads for the 28. Thanks.
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Re: Good shell for swans

Postby hawglips » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:07 pm

Wooly, where'd you get 13g/cc Hevi?
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