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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Made a trip out to the HC this afternoon and had a blast! I was able to harvest my first decoying swan - it was amazing! Now off to the smoke house with them! If anyone cares, the swan was killed with one shot from a 3" Federal Blue Box 1-1/4 #2. It was dead before falling the ten feet to the water.
 

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Congratulations!!
 

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Now that is the ultimate mixed bag. Nice going
 
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If anyone cares, the swan was killed with one shot from a 3" Federal Blue Box 1-1/4 #2. It was dead before falling the ten feet to the water.
Of course we care! ;-) I shoot those as well, and all I can say is my hits are way up and my cripples are way down this season. I am shooting far less shells too!
 

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Of course we care! ;-) I shoot those as well, and all I can say is my hits are way up and my cripples are way down this season. I am shooting far less shells too!
I probably should edit the op and take that out. I don't want others finding out for themselves that they don't need the 3.5" super amazing stuff that rattles fillings loose and knocks you 3 inches deeper in the mud with every shot!:mrgreen:
 

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Of course we care! ;-) I shoot those as well, and all I can say is my hits are way up and my cripples are way down this season. I am shooting far less shells too!
We're shooting the same but #3 shot and our cripples are minimal as well. I would say 10% at most but more likely less. I try to "autopsy" each bird and most birds show that the #3 shot at 1550 fps is penetrating well into the innards cavity. If a bird appears to be crippled we have a rule that you must shoot it again on the way down before shooting another bird. That's just the way I am teaching my son and grandson. Make sure they're DOA when they hit the ground or water.
 

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I probably should edit the op and take that out. I don't want others finding out for themselves that they don't need the 3.5" super amazing stuff that rattles fillings loose and knocks you 3 inches deeper in the mud with every shot!:mrgreen:
I'm done buying 3.5's. I've dropped a swan 2 years ago, and 8 geese this year with 3 inch #2 Xperts on a full choke. I'm almost out of them, so I'll be opening my Federal blue boxes next. All you need is a proper choke and an ethical shot to kill swan, ducks, and geese.
 

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I'm done buying 3.5's. I've dropped a swan 2 years ago, and 8 geese this year with 3 inch #2 Xperts on a full choke. I'm almost out of them, so I'll be opening my Federal blue boxes next. All you need is a proper choke and an ethical shot to kill swan, ducks, and geese.
I have a bunch of 2 3/4" hulls I am going to reload and see if I get good enough kill percent out of them. If I do I am going to drop down to 2 3/4" loads from 3". It may require a different choke but I am going to see. I had a 3.5" for two seasons and sold it, not worth the expense or beating you get from them. When most of my kills are first shot kills and the rest are 2nd shot kills I see no need for artillery anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm done buying 3.5's. I've dropped a swan 2 years ago, and 8 geese this year with 3 inch #2 Xperts on a full choke. I'm almost out of them, so I'll be opening my Federal blue boxes next. All you need is a proper choke and an ethical shot to kill swan, ducks, and geese.
Completely agree! I love it when I hear, "I am bringing these ..... along in case I get into the geese or swans, then I can hurry and switch loads." I know my limitations and don't have a problem passing on birds that are outside those limitations. I like paying $10 a box and using 7-10 shells per hunt instead of paying $25+ a box for shells that don't shoot well out of my gun.
 

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Made a trip out to the HC this afternoon and had a blast! I was able to harvest my first decoying swan - it was amazing! Now off to the smoke house with them! If anyone cares, the swan was killed with one shot from a 3" Federal Blue Box 1-1/4 #2. It was dead before falling the ten feet to the water.
Jeff, congratulations and good job! My buddy and I drew swan tags as well. I'd love have some decoy. Would you mind if I pick your brain?
 

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Jeff, congratulations and good job! My buddy and I drew swan tags as well. I'd love have some decoy. Would you mind if I pick your brain?
just use white trash bags. or find some old goose field decoys and paint them white. you will just have to put foam under them to make them float. you can also decoy swans in with just goose decoys.
 

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just use white trash bags. or find some old goose field decoys and paint them white. you will just have to put foam under them to make them float. you can also decoy swans in with just goose decoys.
In your opinion, how many decoys are needed to be effective?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Jeff, congratulations and good job! My buddy and I drew swan tags as well. I'd love have some decoy. Would you mind if I pick your brain?
Thanks! I don't know much about decoying swans, since I have only done it one time, but I will tell you what I know!

I ordered tyvek aprons off the internet (I tried the builders tyvek, but it has coloring on it and it won't cover up with paint). I went to a buddy's house and drew a template off a giant goose shell decoy and cut the aprons out using that template. Then, I shocked my wife when I asked if I could use her sewing machine and put two cutouts together. I used some political signs for the stake and also to add something on the inside of the rag to help keep it open. I set 5 swan rags on the downwind side of my spread and the one that I killed would have landed within 15 yards of my layout boat had I not shot it. About 15 minutes after shooting mine, a flock of 20 swans landed next to the rags and swam/walked around for a couple of minutes before heading out. My rags aren't pretty, but they take up almost no room and are super light. As you can tell from the picture of the rag set in the mud, my sewing skills suck!

I hope this helps!
 

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