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As posted in the Utah forum...

Okay pro waterfowl hunters... How on earth do you determine the distance of birds when you first started out? I hate to say it but I think I may be skybusting without even knowing it?!? The last thing I want is to be a skybuster. Also what is a good all around shot size to use for duck and goose in a 2 3/4 or 3" shell?
 

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I'm not the best at determining distances myself. I've just had lots of hunting experience and I can just tell if a bird is too far for me to shoot. My advice to you is practice shooting alot. If you can, go shoot skeets, start at with closer ones and then work your way out. After a while, you'll learn where your limitations are and about how far you can actually make a shot. Before you know it, you'll be able to judge if the birds are close enough to shoot. Another thing to do is mark off distances where you hunt. I do this bowhunting, but I guess it could work for duck hunting as well. Put a decoy at a certain distance, 20 yds. for example, and if the birds are within it or pretty close to the distance of the decoy, then shoot.

I usually use 3 or 3 1/2" in 2 shot, works great for me!

The main thing about the shooting though is just to practice, you'll learn eventually and it will come natural to you! my .02
 

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I like to use a decoy at a paced off distance from the blind so I know the distance pretty close. Practice some to get comfortable shooting different distances. Also read something real recent where they took a flying duck mount and put it on a pole and measured off distances then sighted on it to get the feel how a mallard looks over the rib of the gun at 20 yards, 30 yards etc.

I also like using 3 shot and sometimes 4's if we are decoying them in to 15 yards or so.
 

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i am like ken i put a dek out so i know my range...

as for shot size if you are hunting ducks and geese and the same time #1's woudl be great ... just ducks i use 2's (but are also work for bringing down geese for a second place in the more versitale shell size for waterfowl) geesse BB and up depending on what type of hunting it is (it being laying under a decoy spread or crawing your way out to get some snows) also if the wind is really wiping i perfer a large size shot becasue it have mroe net force behind it therefor not being attect as much by wind friction
 

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just practicing will help you to judge the distance. The decoy idea is fairly common to put it a close estimate distance out so that you can have something to go by. Also shooting clays will help you know how far you can shoot accuratly and consistantly. GOOD LUCK
 

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NS39340 said:
if youre just starting out, use hevi shot #4, its the closest to lead there is, plus skybusting with steel is not always skybusting with hevishot
Oh, its still skybusting. If you ain't gonna work them in close don't buy decoys, cause there ain't no need for them at long ranges. No need to show them what should be happening. Hevi shot is the worst invention for duck hunting yet. It promotes alot of skybusting. When the new stuff that comes out is here, I can only imagine the shots the idiots around here will take.
 
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