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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be hunting swan for the first time this year and would like to get some ideas on a taxidermist if I actually kill one.
Any tips on killing one would be great too but I completely understand the time and effort it takes to find a great spot and am not asking anyone to give up that kind of info but any general help would be appreciated.
 

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In my experience, a good swan hunt depends to a great extent on timing. If you're able to hunt right before the first major freeze of the season then there will be a lot flying, and you won't have much trouble filling a tag.

If you're hunting earlier in the year or if the weather is calm, pick two consecutive days to hunt. On the first day, find which routes the swans are flying, and then come back the next day and make sure you're underneath them. You can usually rely on them using the same flight paths unless hunting pressure is too heavy or the weather changes.

Scouting out a good location really is the key to a successful swan hunt, unless you happen to be out when thousands are moving. The places they like to hang out vary from year to year (depending on summer water levels), but they consistently use the Bear River Bird Refuge, which is a popular place to hunt them. Most of them hang out there (or north of there in the closed zone) until things start to freeze up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the help. I appreciate it.
What kind of shells would you recommend? Brand or loads like BBB or BB? I have a Browning pump that shoots 3 1/2" mags.
 

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Thanks for all the help. I appreciate it.
What kind of shells would you recommend? Brand or loads like BBB or BB? I have a Browning pump that shoots 3 1/2" mags.
How far do you want to shoot them at? If you want good knockdown power out to 40 yards or so, I'd probably recommend a 3 1/2" BB or BBB. 3" will work fine, but IMO it helps to get a few more pellets in the air.

I personally use 3 1/2" B Hevi shot goose. I bought a box of 10 about 5 years ago because I really don't ever want to cripple and lose a swan (far too many are wounded and never retrieved). I still have 7 of them, but when they're gone I'll probably just use steel.

Just be sure you wait until you get a bird in range - remember that they're a very large bird, and tend to look much closer than they actually are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
40 yards seems like a long ways away for a shot gun. Can you really shoot that far and be effective?
I need to go out and see what my gun does at different ranges i guess. I dont have a lot of experience with shot guns as you can probably already tell. How do I know what choke tube to use? my gun came with 3 but I think only 2 can shoot steel shot.
 

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40 yards seems like a long ways away for a shot gun. Can you really shoot that far and be effective?
I need to go out and see what my gun does at different ranges i guess. I dont have a lot of experience with shot guns as you can probably already tell. How do I know what choke tube to use? my gun came with 3 but I think only 2 can shoot steel shot.
40 yards for a swan does seem pretty far. But when you do shoot them, be sure and lead them enough to hit them in the head. Rarely will you drop one if you shoot them in the chest. You'll knock out some feathers, but that's usually about it. For chokes, I bought an aftermarket full choke for tighter patterns.
 

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Thanks for all the help. I appreciate it.
What kind of shells would you recommend? Brand or loads like BBB or BB? I have a Browning pump that shoots 3 1/2" mags.
You do not need 3 1/2" loads for ANY waterfowl hunt. I have shot many swans over the years and never used anything larger than 3" #2's.
Swan hunting is really one of the easiest hunts there is once you find their flight paths. You do not need a guide or a boat. Most guys pass shoot them, but if you get a chance to hunt them over decoys I think you will enjoy that more. Good luck!
 

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Thanks for all the help. I appreciate it.
What kind of shells would you recommend? Brand or loads like BBB or BB? I have a Browning pump that shoots 3 1/2" mags.
I agree with Fm. i like shooting my swans with 3 1/2 number 2s. That just me and that how i have hunted them for years. I love decoying them. like said before they are easy bird to hunt. find where they are flying and have at it just dont sky bust. If you want a wall hange wait tell thanksgiving week before hunting them. good luck
 

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You do not need 3 1/2" loads for ANY waterfowl hunt. I have shot many swans over the years and never used anything larger than 3" #2's.
Swan hunting is really one of the easiest hunts there is once you find their flight paths. You do not need a guide or a boat. Most guys pass shoot them, but if you get a chance to hunt them over decoys I think you will enjoy that more. Good luck!
I dropped my last one with 3 inch #2's. I usually don't pass shoot, and I usually use BB shot, but his one came right into me maybe 25 feet above my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again for all your help. Good to know about waiting until after Thanksgiving. The main reason I want to hunt a swan is for the mount. my neighbor makes duck fajitas. cant wait to try swan fajitas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for that Utmuddguy I may PM you when it gets closer. I think I will be ok I just have never hunted in any of the areas that are swan areas and needed some advice. I wish I could hunt them in Salt Creek. I have hunted ducks there a few times and have had them come really close.
Is it possible to spot and stalk swans? I love hunting ducks on a river like that but all I ever hear is guys setting up decoys or pass shooting. Not against either one I just like spot and stock hunting. May be real tuff in a marsh though.
 
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