Your water swatter load

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Your water swatter load

Postby brokerbyduck » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:42 am

Had a great season with the exception of a little trouble with the shotgun choke getting stuck in the barrel about a month ago. This kept me from trying out the patternmaster code black I bought for it this year. I like to shoot them right in the dekes so my motivation isn't to extend my range. I bought this choke strictly for water swatting cripples.

I am anxious to pattern it once I get the gun back from Browning. Does anybody have a specific load they prefer to use that consistenty kills cripples dead at distance?
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby lunatic » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:46 am

I just break the necks on them.

Choke getting stuck eh!. I use anti seize on the threads every time I clean the gun.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby bknilvr00 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:08 pm

[quote="brokerbyduck"] Does anybody have a specific load they prefer to use that consistenty kills cripples dead at distance?[/quote
I use the same shells that I shot them out of the air with... Puddlers have a tendancy to be dead on the spot, but divers and sea ducks must be shot until they quit moving. Im not talking a little flopping or swimming in circles, I mean stone dead. I lost a few scoters this year after knocking them down, assuming them mortally crippled, then when I pursued they would jump up and fly away. I will say that shooting them with #4's at about 15 yards out of a full choke gets results...
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby Columbia Basin Local » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:30 pm

Best load I found for swatting divers in the river at 40-50 yds is Kent's 3" 1 1/8 #6 with a full choke. Kent's new teal load of #5's might work also.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby h2ofowlr » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:34 pm

#4 or #6 are good swatter loads. Great for head shots.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby greatwhite » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:37 pm

Never tried them, but I believe it is winchester that makes #7 target loads in steel. I have seen them in wal mart. They are only about $6-$7 if I remember correctly. I always hate to waste shells on cripples, but with that price I would sling them all day.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby brokerbyduck » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:17 am

CBL knows what I'm talking about. Almost everywhere I hunt the water is moving, divers, expecially golden eye, are real good about hitting the water and diving in one fluid motion if they are not stone dead. When they pop back up they are often not what you would consider "in range" for a typical set up.

To maximize the safety for the dog and limit the amount of cripples I have to chase with the boat, I'm looking for something with a lot of smackdown power on the water.

I'll see if I can pick up a few smaller shot options and try them out on the patterning board this off season when I get the gun back.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby BigBlondeBirdDog » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:41 am

CBL has seen "MaBelle" in action ... She is a Benelli 12ga Nova with a Foiles Strait Heat Ported Choke Tube, extra full. I shoot Estates 3inch #1's. Now true, inside 15yrds is either a really bad miss, or a hammer ... but at 25yrds-30yrds ... water just EXPLODES on my swats. the extra full gives me that's 10yrds more on the water swats.

Now, in NO WAY saying that's what you should get ... I just happened to find the load and shot size that works AMAZING in my shotty.

But for reasons you and I both know, divers are divers and whether you smack'em down or dead ... you always need a back up plan and I just carry a big stick to reach out and touch'em.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby Mark F. Cheney » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:42 pm

I have loved reading this thread. It confirms that I am not alone in my frustration with cripples.

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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby B_Squared » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:50 pm

So, do you bring a back up gun choked and loaded for swatting or do you perform some quick change out action? I bet if I was hurrying to change out chokes, I would probably drop one over the side of the boat given enough opportunity.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby Columbia Basin Local » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:43 am

It helps a lot on divers if you hunt with other guys in the blind and you have a routine after the shot. Murph's and mine goes something like this. Bird(s) are shot, whoever's dog were using gets out of the blind and the other(s) usually swat early and handler is responsible for tracking down the birds in the river. Having shooters using different chokes and loads helps a lot too!
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby BigBlondeBirdDog » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:06 am

: Also, another trick ... "I got left, you got right" ... split the dog, and walk out angles from the back of the dog ... 45% probably. Also, per hunt, ... tell everyone in the blind, if the head is up, another round is needed! If everyone in the blind is on the same page of music, ... ALOT less birds get away, and more in the bag.

Current and location also play a key role ... for instance. CBL and I have a shallow GE spot, where we can get out of the blind and walk out 75yrds from blind and not be past thigh high, even in high water ... Nothing leaves us in this blind. Another blind is alittle more tricky, as current plays a key role

Single biggest hint is, get them as close to the deeks as you can and plow'em in the lips. Broker, you and I hunted this year, and while we didn't bag any birds that we were after (Can's) ... The BB and Buffys were inside 20yrds.

Your a good hunter, and a great blind guy ... wish we could have gone out a couple more times brother ... Next year!
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby h2ofowlr » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:20 am

If you were hunting fast water and worried about loosing a dog, spend a few extra bucks and buy a five pack of hevi-metal turkey loads. Those will put a thump to a cripple, but they are also a few bucks per shell. :thumbsup:
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby brokerbyduck » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:56 am

h2ofowlr wrote:If you were hunting fast water and worried about loosing a dog, spend a few extra bucks and buy a five pack of hevi-metal turkey loads. Those will put a thump to a cripple, but they are also a few bucks per shell. :thumbsup:


I'm not there quite yet. But if you are burning 1-4 waterswats of hevi metal on a cripple, all of a sudden a couple bucks a shell doesn't sound quite as bad. :biggrin:

I'm hoping just the choke will do the trick but if I need to, I'll carry "swatting only" loads to get the job done.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby Duckwise » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:39 pm

Sometimes I carry some #6 steel for Swats but usually just swat them with whats in the gun. I used to carry Goose shells, swat shells, different chokes etc.. Now I just leave My Briley LM in all season and shoot #3 and #2 Steel of various brands. Killed several geese with 3s this season. If the bird is coming down head up shoot it again in the air, if its head up when it hits the water shoot it now don't fart around fumbling for different shells.
Best remedy for Cripples is to limit them by taking conservative shots on decoying birds, and staying on the same bird until its dead.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby snowsinspring » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:57 pm

Water swat what is that. Do they have white breasts for the need to swat? striped feet?
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby springsnowgooze1 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:13 pm

snowsinspring wrote:Water swat what is that. Do they have white breasts for the need to swat? striped feet?

Sh*t ducks?
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby Tealer » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:59 pm

This last year I have been shooting 3s and 4s when they are in the decoys there is no need to swat. I think with more pellets you have a better chance at a head/neck pellet.
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby flyndutchman » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:53 pm

Divers, Ringers and Buffies in particular can be very tough. They like to dive as soon as they hit the water if they aren't DRT. I had to go with a tighter choke this year. Less fresh and more educated birds. If they are head up they get shot again with what ever is in the gun, usually 2's or 3's. I will usually follow the bird down even if there are others to shoot at. When those are gone I grab for more 3's or 4's that are in the ammo box or butt stock ammo holder. The smaller pellets like 6's don't have enough energy at the longer ranges you usually need to swat at. If you are giving chase with the boat, anything will do. There is no time to change chokes. I often hunt with two guns in the boat. One with a tight choke and one with a more open one. There is no magic shell for swatters
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Re: Your water swatter load

Postby duckdogger07 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:56 am

Everytime i read a thread or post like this it only makes me think of one thing... I really miss lead...
May your birds fly low and your aim be true!


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