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Hello All,
I know this isn't exactly about ballistics and chokes,, and that there's a forum for geese; however, I'm not getting responses to this post in the goose forum and I know that many of you in this forum, have quite a bit of experience with honkers. So, here goes:

I've read that some hunters target the head and use smaller shot, like #2's; while others talk "boiler room" shots and breaking wings with larger shot.
I do have dogs and I do reload steel and already have #2,B,BB. Maybe I should get some #1's?
I'll mostly be decoying large Canadas and/or pass shooting on the river at 20-50 yds.

I'd like to hear your recommendations and reasoning on shot placement and steel shot size. I'm not interested in other non-toxic shot, or the days of lead.....

Thanks, All!...... Ken
 

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kenner said:
Hello All,
I know this isn't exactly about ballistics and chokes,, and that there's a forum for geese; however, I'm not getting responses to this post in the goose forum and I know that many of you in this forum, have quite a bit of experience with honkers. So, here goes:

I've read that some hunters target the head and use smaller shot, like #2's; while others talk "boiler room" shots and breaking wings with larger shot.
I do have dogs and I do reload steel and already have #2,B,BB. Maybe I should get some #1's?
I'll mostly be decoying large Canadas and/or pass shooting on the river at 20-50 yds.

I'd like to hear your recommendations and reasoning on shot placement and steel shot size. I'm not interested in other non-toxic shot, or the days of lead.....

Thanks, All!...... Ken
If only shooting big Canadas I would use BBs. You best bet is to use pellets with sufficient energy to penetrate vital organs in the body as well as the head and neck. BB's will do great out to 50 yd or a little more, B's a little less distance.
 

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I agree. At 40+ yards, it doesn't matter whether you're targeting the head or not -- there's just no way you can center a pattern on a goose's head at 45 yards and confine your pattern to that area exclusively, unless you've got a goose with a neck longer than 15 inches and you're an elite shooter sportin' an extremely tight pattern. Even then, a head shot means a target that's about 3" square, and you've got a great probability of missing the head with a hole in your pattern at that yardage. Either way, BB's or BBB's would be the way I'd go if targeting dark geese exclusively, and while I'm all for shootin' 'em in the lips, at 45 yards I'm goin for center mass.
 

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I always aim at the white cheek patch. Also I shoot mostly 7/8 oz of B's at 1724 to 1824 fps. At 1724 fps, sea level and 32 F they will penetrate to kill to 67 yds. This is a Lightning Steel load. I also shoot 7/8 oz of BB's in Alliants 7/8 oz load using the MM shotcup, Another excellent load is RSI 75 a 1 3/16 oz load at 1550 fps with BB's which will penetrate to kill to 65+ yds. I have used 2's and 1's also in the fast 7/8 oz loads, 2's will penetrate to kill to 59 yds, 1's to about 63 yds at this velocity. It only takes 23 pellets fairly evenly spaced to put 5 pellets in a 12 lb goose. I get 90% patterns with the Mossy 935 Mod choke at 40 yds. That's 68/75 pellets with B's. Good luck. Ned S
 

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Ned S said:
It only takes 23 pellets fairly evenly spaced to put 5 pellets in a 12 lb goose. Good luck. Ned S
Good luck is right.
A pattern of 23 pellets in a 30 inch circle is much too thin for a certain kill of any bird. BS like that a does a huge disservice to both uninformed hunters and their quarry. Shame on you ned.
I've seen you disperse this kind of crap over and over again and its time for you to put a stop to it.
(and I'll start calling you on it every time until you do)

mud"The Bully" pack
 

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I've had to do a lot of pass shooting of geese these last couple of years. They've learned where it's safe to roost and feed and both are within the city limits, offering no opportunities (most of the time) to decoy them. While I will hunt stubble fields when the birds are going to them, I have found myself in the company of a couple other fellows who pass shoot at one spot exclusively. I use a 10ga with BBB's. But, they use 12ga. guns and were forced by a lack of ammo choice from the area retailers to use 1550 fps. BB's. The performance they got with that load was so bad they were contemplating driving 200 miles (round trip) to the nearest Cabelas for the last week of the season to pick up some similar velocity BBB loads, ones they had successfully used in the past.

At this particular location, we were pass shooting geese that had to clear high trees. With the trees being somewhere close to 90 feet tall, the geese were normally in the 40 to 50 yard range as they passed over head. Of course, we preferred to pass on the 50 yard birds and wait for the 40 yarders, when feasible. Because of the location of this spot, we could not afford to wound birds. They had to be killed in the air, or so incapacitated that they couldn't run off after they hit the ground. Fast loads of BBB's could do the job ..... similarly fast BB's were coming up short in terms of performance.

I use fast BBB's in my 12ga. for goose hunting out of a layout blind, too. If it can kill a goose effectively at 50 yards, it can kill a goose at 20 yards, avoiding the need to switch shells depending on how close the birds are willing to come.
 

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Kenner,
My train of thought is a little different than most. I use the smallest shot size capable of the task at hand. Why? because I want every pellet I can get flying in the air. If choked properly, more pellets equals denser patterns. For shots 50 yards and closer #1 steel can kill any goose or duck. I typically focus on the head of the bird which makes me force myself to focus on a tighter concentration point. If I am a little behind I still hit the front of the bird, neck, wings etc. and will still bring the bird down. Pattern density is open to different views but as Ned said 23 pellets evenly dispersed is a minimum pattern for geese. Ned doesn't mean you only want that many pellets in your pattern, but this is a minimum. I would say 70% patterns on up are the minimum for a patterning session. Of course many pellets will not be evenly dispersed and some wasted outside the typical 30 inch circle. I personally don't pattern 30 inch circles, I pattern 48 inch because I want to know where every pellet is hitting. This gives me a better idea of what my gun and choke are doing. Afterall, nobody aims perfect everytime and hits the 30inch area on a bird in flight everytime. This is how I look at things and they are not the industry norm, however it works for me. I hope this helps your endeavors.
 

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I hammered the geese this year with 7/8oz load of 1's and B's LS2 loads # 10, 14 and 35. I had no problem killing geese past 50 yards. I have my snow goose hunt already booked in NE ark. for next year and it will be 7/8 oz loads of steel 2's and 1's. As I relflected on the geese that my partners and I killed this year the light loads killed them better than the bigger low number payload, slower steel. I also like BBB's T's and F's but the IMO they killed no better in the applications I hunt in. I like the large lettered steel for long range pass shooting, however I crippled alot of birds that needed to be finished off with large lettered steel. After my last trip to the range Im starting to see the advantage of a little smaller steel, faster. 7/8 oz of 2's have 108 pellets, 7/8oz. of 1's have 90 pellets and 1 1/2 oz of BBB's have 92 pellets and need to be shot in a 3.5 hull. I tried a bunch of choke, gun combos and a variety of these shells (3.5) inchers all patterned like garbage, incomparison to the 7/8 oz loads of 1's and 2's in a 2 3/4 hull.
scott
 

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Using your 50 yard limit, I would go with #1s, no doubt about it. I have used 1s in 3" 12ga and 3.5" 10ga for years on greater honkers. Using that shot size, I have never wanted for anything better. Only if you are extending your range over 50 will you need the bigger pellets. Having use of a dog will take care of any marginal hits if you have any. I am speaking about hitting the bird with the edge of your pattern. If you have never used #1s, you owe it to yourself to atleast try them.

Chris
 

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1 1/2 BBB @ 1350, Terror .720, 10 Gauge knocked the smile off more than a few last year. Many farther than 50 yards. I do not think much of any shot smaller than 2 for geese. Crossing or flying away birds need bigger steel. Feet down in the decoys you don't need much. Shoot patterns at 60 plus yards and see how your pattern is.
 

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Mudpack just can't comprehend that 23 pellets fairly evenly spaced in the 30" circle will put 5 pellets in the 12 lb goose and that excludes the wings and legs. "Aint no" science to it just plain ole math. Mudpack is great at criticising but never posts anything useful. His two posts above are typical.
 

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Ned S said:
It only takes 23 pellets fairly evenly spaced to put 5 pellets in a 12 lb goose.

Using 34 sq inches as the vital area of a 12 lb goose from this paper
http://www.waterfowler.com/inportal...ticle-:l-1-1-:bb-4-1-1-1-1:n-2-1-641:s-3:m-1-, assuming a pattern with a Gaussian distribution which is much more likely than an evenly spaced pattern, and using Shotshell Ballistics, here are the chances of 0 hits in the vital area. This is for a load with a pattern percentage in a 30 inch circle of 89% so that the central core will be pretty tight.

vital area centered in pattern 7% chance of no hits in vital area
3" off 9%
6" off 18%
9" off 29%
12" off 50%
15" off 71%
This is a very unrealistic load because it only has 26 pellets in it but there are 23 pellets in the 30" circle. If the % in the 30" circle is say 50% (23 pellets in circle and 46 pellets in load), then there is a 16% chance of no hits if the vital area is centered in the 30" circle.
 

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Great info, JJ.

The problem I have with ned's posts is this: "23 pellets evenly spaced".
I see a new hunter taking a box of shells to the back 40 after reading ned's posts about "penetrate to kill at 83 yards" and the aforementioned "23 pellet" statement. He sets up a sheet of patterning paper at 80 yards and takes a shot. Well, guess what; there are 24 pellets evenly scattered about the 30" circle (no hot core), the result of a choke that is too open and maybe a load that is too light (he also bought into ned's "fast fast fast, light light light" theory...). He looks at this way-too-thin pattern and says "I guess this here is a goose-killer at 80 yards.".....and proceeds to shoot three boxes of these shells at what he thinks are 80 yard geese (but may be closer to 100 yards if they are big 'uns) the next time he goes goose hunting at the refuge.
The probable result: educated geese, annoyed hunters for a quarter mile around him, and probably a few geese that fly off with one or two pellets in their gut....and maybe a cripple that glides 200 yards and is then run down by said hunter who now believes he is a goose killer and can continue to shoot this way for the duration.
Can you see why I'm concerned?
I think it is unethical to state or even imply that very thin patterns and long range shots are acceptable ...even desireable in order to obtain excessive muzzle velocity?... when hunting wild game.
As Nash Buckingham once said, "hit 'em hard, with lots of big shot"....not with marginal shots and thin patterns. The birds deserve more than being the objects of experimenting with seeing how light/thin a load will bring one down. They deserve to be taken at close range with patterns as dense as you can achieve. I.e. hit 'em hard, not marginally.
If it theoretically takes 5 pellets to bring down a goose or duck, I want to hit him with 8 or 10. Every time.
 

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Again mudpack does not read all of my posts where I say with the 7/8 oz load of B's I lose pattern densiaty after 50 yds. Also with 1 1/16 oz of 1's at 1730 fps I can kill geese to 60 yds. The bigger the goose the less pellets required in the pattern circle to put 5 pellets in it. Also reloaders are smarter than trying to kill to 80 yds with a 7/8 oz load. Per usual he treats all reloaders as dummies. Maybe that is why he doesn't relkoad!!! :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
 

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inthebox30lbs said:
I have my snow goose hunt already booked in NE ark. for next year
Good! Get all of 'em you can. I live in NE Ark (Jonesboro, to be exact). Snow geese are like cottonmouths down here: the only ones we like are the ones lying tits-up in the water. We're not terribly worried about crippling snows. We want 'em to die, and it doesn't really matter if they die near my blind or 3 miles away from it. Those dirty birds are a menace to society!

I'm a big fan of 3" 1 3/8 or 1 5/16 oz BB's for snows. You can break 'em down at 80 yards, and like I said, crippling snows doesn't bother me at all. Conservation of the wheat crop and damage prevention in the fields is a major concern when they're in town. Ethical treatment of light geese, on the other hand, not so much.
 

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Ned S said:
Again mudpack does not read all of my posts where I say with the 7/8 oz load of B's I lose pattern densiaty after 50 yds. Also with 1 1/16 oz of 1's at 1730 fps I can kill geese to 60 yds. The bigger the goose the less pellets required in the pattern circle to put 5 pellets in it. Also reloaders are smarter than trying to kill to 80 yds with a 7/8 oz load. Per usual he treats all reloaders as dummies. Maybe that is why he doesn't relkoad!!! :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
Are you suggesting that you possess consistent 50-60 yard shooting skills?
 

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10gaOkie said:
Using your 50 yard limit, I would go with #1s, no doubt about it. I have used 1s in 3" 12ga and 3.5" 10ga for years on greater honkers. Using that shot size, I have never wanted for anything better. Only if you are extending your range over 50 will you need the bigger pellets. Having use of a dog will take care of any marginal hits if you have any. I am speaking about hitting the bird with the edge of your pattern. If you have never used #1s, you owe it to yourself to atleast try them.

Chris
your not wrong there chris,no1 is a great all round pellet probably the best choice of all shot sizes for payload/pellet count with velocity afforded to both 12ga and 10ga in short and long chambers,its a winner on pass shot geese and duck.
shouldnt we all use a good dog for waterfowling regardless of land or water?-beats chasing them round in circles by foot :lol3:
 
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