THAT IS AN OPEN QUESTION. MOST WOULD SAY 40 YARDS OR CLOSER.
AS FOR MYSELF I LIKE EM CLOSE CLOSE CLOSE. NOTHING WORSE THAT HAVING TO CHASE A CRIPPLE HALF THE MORNING.
ONE OF THE WORSE THINGS TO COME ALONG, IN MY OPINION, IS THIS IDEA THAT YOU NEED A 3 1/2 12 OR 10 GAUGE TO SHOOT DUCKS. IF YOU ARE PROPERLY SET UP A 2 3/4 12 GAUGE IS ALL YOU WILL NEED. WHY SO MANY THINK THEY HAVE TO SHOOT 3 1/2 2'S OR 3'S AT THESE BIRDS IS BEYOND ME. 2 3/4 OR 3 INCH 6'S IS ALL YOU NEED. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT......TRY IT. STOP SHOOTING AT THESE BIRDS 50-60 YARDS AWAY WITH THESE CANNONS THAT COST YOU TWO WEEKS PAY.
It really depends on the duck. I shot two woody's a few weeks back with 3.5 T's at 15-20 yards. Both hit the water alive I finished off one and the other took off while I was reloading. The one I got was hit clean right in front of the wing and behind the head. Some duck are just tougher than others. :wink:
I'll go along with LeadHead... I shoot birds at less than 40 yards, in fact most are within twenty. I use 2 3/4" shells, usually #2's and get clean kills consistently.
Yardage is a tough one......I usually mis-judge thinking some birds are too far when in reality they are well within range of 40 yards. I rarely take 40 yard shots, although when I do I connect on about two thirds of the shots. Unfortunately not always "in the air" kills.
I was out on Sunday afternoon and took a couple of 35 - 40 yard shots and hit the birds in the body - not dead right away, but dead by the time the dog got them in.
Tip - if at all possible, leave one drake out at 35 yards so you have a mark of distance. It is tough to concentrate on flying birds and use a reference point for distance, but it is an efffective tool.
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