What size shot for Quail?

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What size shot for Quail?

Postby tstrong » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:27 pm

Going quail hunting and the guys keep telling me to get #6 shot? Shot everything but quail and can't see the difference between dove and quail.
Quail seem to be a lot closer too.
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Postby hood » Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:11 am

shoot #8 or #7 1/2. Anything bigger will tear the birds up pretty bad. Trust me!
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Postby gsphunter » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:14 am

Definitely don't need six shot. I do a lot of dog training with quail and we are only allowed to shoot 8 shot or smaller on the land we train on. The birds drop like a rock with no problem.

Also, they are fast flying birds and they are small. I would want that extra lead in the air that you'll get using a smaller shot size. Easier to hit them.
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Postby harvey1b » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:41 pm

:withstupid:

Those little buggers are quick and pretty thin skinned. You want as many pellets in the air as possible. The ones that hit will be enough to drop the bird. A bigger pattern is what you're looking for.
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Postby Mr. 16 gauge » Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:52 pm

7 1/2
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Postby tstrong » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:52 pm

Thanks, that's the way I was thinking but you never know.
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Postby lillusk3 » Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:33 pm

ya i agree with 8's.. i was duck hunting once.. and we decided to do some quail hunting.. and all i had was my full choke with 2's.. i'm suprised i even hit the birds.. and well you can pretty much figure out how they looked once hit with a full choke and #2's from 20 yards.... ouch..
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Postby ActionPoint » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:30 pm

Don't get caught up in the more pellets means a better chance at hitting the bird or that larger shot will tear up the birds. What works for one doesn't necessarily work the best for another. The best thing to do is try different loads and different chokes and pattern them at your most probable shooting distances. Some guns, tend to hold denser patterns with smaller shot. You will have more pellets shooting 7 1/2 or 8's but that doesn't mean you'll have the open spread you want for quail. Each gun is unique and has it's own shooting characteristics. Pattern is more important than pellet size when you are talking quail and 6, 7 1/2, and 8 shot.
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Postby duckplucker » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:30 pm

hmmmm... hardly seems worth buying 10 different boxes of shells and 5 chokes to try out to get the right pattern... might just be me though... but i like 7 1/2's. they aren't near as quick as a dove, but are built quite similarly so whatever you'd use with dove is a great load for quail. the only thing i like about using 6's is that if i am mainly pheasant hunting, its not too big of an overkill on quail, but you get the little extra power for taking down a larger pheasant.
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Postby ActionPoint » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:45 am

hmmmm... three boxes of shells and a couple chokes. Six shots doesn't seem like too much work to be prepared and know what your gun is actually doing. All of us should have an idea of what patterns we're achieving with the basic shot sizes. Anyway, tstrong, you failed to mention what type of quail you would be hunting. If your hunting in the Southwest, your buddies are probably using 6 shot because of the increased size of the birds. Gambel's quail are a little harder to knock down than Bobwhites. And depending on the guns and distance the denser 7 1/2, and 8 shot pattern might not be opening up fast enough for the ranges you will be shooting at. If the guys that hunt around there are using #6 then there is probably experience and good reason behind it. It's hard to recommend a shot size without knowing what type of gun you have or what chokes if any you have. But let us know how you do.
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Postby yellowlab » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:21 pm

plucker, not everyone is a good as shot as you. they need every edge they can get on takeing down a bird like a quail. pattern is a big deal...action has a very good point ... there is nothing wrong with patterning your gun
duckplucker wrote:hmmmm... hardly seems worth buying 10 different boxes of shells and 5 chokes to try out to get the right pattern... might just be me though... but i like 7 1/2's. they aren't near as quick as a dove, but are built quite similarly so whatever you'd use with dove is a great load for quail. the only thing i like about using 6's is that if i am mainly pheasant hunting, its not too big of an overkill on quail, but you get the little extra power for taking down a larger pheasant.

:withstupid: plucker could be a national jr. campion trap competitor if he wanted to be... he is one of those kids that likes using a 28 gauge over a 12 becasue it makes it harder - (last time we went quail hunting, he took a single shot 410 and and a box of 20 shells was limited out (15) by his 16th shell)
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usually 71/2

Postby arizonaduckhunter13 » Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:58 am

im only 13 and i manage to get my limit in dove and quail with 71/2 shot without bangin the bird up to much and i even manage to get a few rabbits out by golden valley :thumbsup:
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Postby shrpshtr » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:23 pm

hood wrote:shoot #8 or #7 1/2. Anything bigger will tear the birds up pretty bad. Trust me!


:withstupid: that is more than enough.
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Postby firebird » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:07 pm

All the above make good points. I've killed the main 6 species of quail in roughly 8 states with several different guns. If it were me (and I wish it was!) I would shoot 71/2 or 8s. The only thing I would add is that some companies make a heavy load or premium load. Usually identifiable by high brass on the shell. Quail will be in brush, even in the desert and the heavier loads are more effective than the light loads you could get away with on doves. The only exception from my experience is Mountain quail which really are a couple ounces bigger and tend to be killed at longer ranges, we did better with 6's...
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Postby cinrds » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:47 pm

When hunting only quail I would use 71/2 or 8 which ever you like better. The only time I use 6 on quail is when I know we will also see pheasant.
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Postby Sagebrush » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:46 pm

In close : use #9 shot and skeet choke out to 30 yards
# 8 shot with a I/C choke is great for 25 - 40 yards.
7 1/2 shot can be used all the time with a modified choke.
I don't use a full choke with 7 1/2's ; if you "center" one, there is nothing left but feathers!
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Postby LIGHT12 » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:37 pm

Sagebrush wrote:In close : use #9 shot and skeet choke out to 30 yards
# 8 shot with a I/C choke is great for 25 - 40 yards.
7 1/2 shot can be used all the time with a modified choke.
I don't use a full choke with 7 1/2's ; if you "center" one, there is nothing left but feathers!


I hear you on that one. Nothing like a pillow exploding in your face. I popped a gambles at about 15 feet last year, don't do that. I promise you its uggly.

my .02

Use 71/2s early in the season. As the season wears on I will start carrying 6s because of the added plumage, and they have been hunted and start jumping farther out. And as was stated earlier stay away from the cheapo low brass stuff. I started using only Kent ammo for quail and haven't been disappointed.
Have you ever woke up one day and said. Damn when does the season start.
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Postby pointimgdogs » Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:44 pm

Yes Sir Light 12, I hunted Gambles and Blues for about six weeks back in 2000, Used #6 shot and a mod. I think those things are harder to kill than pheasants. Those deserts in NM are mighty tough on the pointing dogs. Quite different from grouse and pheasant in Minnesota. :salude:
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Postby LIGHT12 » Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:54 am

I get crap from friends for shooting birds on the ground late in the season, but they are wiley critters. They run like a pheasant and when they fly they have a knack for ducking towards bushes and cacti like nothing else. I'd kill them with a stick, a rock, a car. Whatever it takes.

I don't work a dog in the areas I hunt. The amount of cholla cactus is crazy, and I don't want to be pulling cholla balls out of a dogs mouth all day long. Just walk slow and learn there tendencies and you can do just fine. I do better than anyone I know.
Have you ever woke up one day and said. Damn when does the season start.
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Dog boots

Postby pointimgdogs » Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:41 pm

I used those Lewis dog boots they are made in your state. I first wrapped a layer of vet wrap around their legs then duck taped the rubber boots on. They work great. I have a Brittany and an English Setter. It did not take them very long to get use to the boots but it does take some time to put them on the dogs. I am planning another trip back to New Mexico someday to try to find some Mearns Quail. Sorry but I do not believe in ground swatting (shooting birds on the ground ) it is very unsafe around dogs . Any impute on Mearns Quail would be appreciated. :getdown:
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Re: Dog boots

Postby LIGHT12 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:52 pm

pointimgdogs wrote:I used those Lewis dog boots they are made in your state. I first wrapped a layer of vet wrap around their legs then duck taped the rubber boots on. They work great. I have a Brittany and an English Setter. It did not take them very long to get use to the boots but it does take some time to put them on the dogs. I am planning another trip back to New Mexico someday to try to find some Mearns Quail. Sorry but I do not believe in ground swatting (shooting birds on the ground ) it is very unsafe around dogs . Any impute on Mearns Quail would be appreciated. :getdown:



I missed your post earlier. I have not hunted mearns yet. They are high on my list. But I need a dog and am dogless at the moment. I have a condo with to little space for one. Next summer We will be buying a house so the next purchase is a dog. Haven't decided what breed yet.

So since I have not dog I don't have to worry about ground shots. Just so ya know I'm not irresponsible.
Have you ever woke up one day and said. Damn when does the season start.
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Postby pointimgdogs » Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:49 pm

Cool keep in touch. :thumbsup:
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Postby LIGHT12 » Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:12 pm

pointimgdogs wrote:Cool keep in touch. :thumbsup:


From minnesota ehh....

I'm from LaCrosse Wi, went to school at Winona State in the SE corner by lacrosse.
Have you ever woke up one day and said. Damn when does the season start.
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Postby GSP1 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:39 pm

Whe I go quail hunting in Oklahoma I use a 20ga, improved choke. I like shooting 7 1/2 or 8 but in 1oz loads... A little better in windy conditions and it is always windy in Oklahoma.
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Postby cinrds » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:36 am

Hay GSP1 where in Ok do you hunt and did you go the last season?
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