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I think I am losing it. I have been hunting birds my whole life. Dove, pheasant, geese, but never ducks. I am having a really hard time when it comes to ducks. I am using a 12 ga. 28in barrel and #2 shot. I have hit a few, but am not hitting the ones that are a further out or up high. I am watching other guys hit, so I know they are withing range. Do you have to leed these further or closer? I am finishing through with my shot. How far are you leading the bird(1,2,3 body lengths)? Is my shot size correct?
 

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My guess is that you are using the new and improved super fast hyper velocity shot that is going 1550 fps and faster. (I know, because that is what I shoot.) The lead that is programed in to your head is for lead shot at 1150 or 1200 fps. (I know, because that is what mine is.) So, chances are is that you are leading too much. The best solution is to decoy them in and shoot them when they look like they aren't moving. (That's what I had to do so that I could hit one.) Good luck, and have fun.
 

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I use a 30 inch barrell and for ducks prefer shot size 4 or 6 in either 2 3/4 or 3 inch shells. I like the larger shot size for larger birds (geese, swan). Leading ducks all depends on the species, generally smaller ducks tend to fly faster than larger ones. It also depends on the wind whether they are flying with it or against it. As a general rule if I'm leading a duck flying overhead I start at the tail then follow through the body, along the neck, then past the head. After that it is just a guess to how fast, size of the bird, distance, etc., for how much of a lead to give them.
I'm not as good a shot as I used to be, but I seldom go home empty handed.
 

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Ahh the Duck Shot

My recommendation is pretty simple: Hit the clay range and shoot some skeet or sporting clays with steel shot. Remember that it flies faster than lead, and experienced gunners often shoot in front of ducks because of this. It's good to pattern your gun with steel and experiment with chokes also. Improved Cylinder is probably the most common standard waterfowl choke, equivalent to modified w/ steel.

I was surprised the first time I shot crossing clays with steel. Ducks move fast and I was expecting more lead being required. Putting a few boxes through my gun on crossing clays helped me adjust.
 

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it could be the kind of shells you use. my gun seems to pattern better with a certain brands. i use shot size 3 3in. i've had those days where i couldn't hit the broad side of barn. good luck.
 

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Before you do anything else take your gun and pattern it with the loads and choke you are shooting.
 

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Threshershark, when I went out just to burn some shells and get my shot figured out, thats what I found also.... I was just leading them too far. I closed up that distance and voila.... I had ducks hitting the water. I was shooting just Remi Nitro Steel and Kent Fasteel but the FPS difference didn't seem to matter... I just came off their bill a tad and nosedived em into the Salt Lake where before I'd been just turning them out of the dekes. :lol: Granted, it was windy as hell so that same situation won't hold true on a calm day in the marsh but I do think that we give the ducks too much credit with respect to how far we should lead them. I think also that the small ducks are faster thing is not entirely correct. I think the size of the ducks appear to make them faster than they really are..... ever try pointing right at a canvasback or a goose to kill it instead of leading it a bit on a passing shot?? :lol: It doesn't work out so well....speaking from experience. A LITTLE BIT of lead (LEED, not lead as in lead shot) and a follow through instead of stopping the barrel will do wonders for your shooting percentage.... at least it worked for me.
 
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