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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh what it could of been without Mother Natures (left jab and right hook) snow and hard freeze. I feel the weather and pressure pushed birds back into the city. If we would of had a slight thaw it could of been a total blood bath. I can't complain I had some fun hunts. The weather probably saved the lives of more geese especially breeding pairs than we could ever guess. So now that the season is over I'm hoping it snows like hell!!

I was able to hit my personal goal of shooting limits with 12, 20 and 28 gauges. The 20 and 28 hunt were very rewarding and the most memorable. On the 20 hunt the wind was horrible. We had to have the birds at our feet or they would catch a wing and they were gone.

Next year the big 12's will be seeing more shelf time lol. Anybody looking for a well loved SBE or a warhorse 3.5" Citori? All the misses have been shot out both guns. lol
 

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Still looks like a very good extended season. Mine started off with a bang and ended with a thud only being able to take a single goose the last week of the hunt. The few shots I had last week were tough as the geese were very skittish and I ended up taking that final goose with a 12ga. Already working on a little better 20ga TSS goose load.
 

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Anybody looking for a well loved SBE or a warhorse 3.5" Citori? All the misses have been shot out both guns. lol
I'd buy the Citori off you if I felt I could afford it. And if it's the camo model, I would find a way to afford it. A Citori or something similar is definitely on the long-term wish list.

I have to agree with you on the weather. It seemed like the geese were starting to move a bit more before the snow and cold came back in. I can't complain about how my late season went, but I do think future seasons have the potential to be pretty amazing if the weather cooperates.
 

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Man Jerry it looks like you had some fun to finish it out!!!

Better tell those 12's to get use the safe, as you seen, once you go small bore it's hard to go back;):mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On the 20 hunt I was using HW13 #4 shot and my buddy was shooting Remington (Rebate) Nitro #2 steel shot. Actually both loads stoned the birds. We were being patient and picking our shots. But we had to because of the strong wind that day.

Having taken a 20ga to Canada the last 2 years and the number of geese we have shot with them was eye opening to say the least. The 20 will be tucked safely in the truck every year going forward. Specks & Snows fear the big 20!! They will have to pry the (Wal-Mart version - KSL impulse buy) Beretta 390 out of my cold dead hands! Best money I've ever spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey R

What 20 loads are you guys using? And why? You made the switch a few years ago and have liked the results?

I've tried Kent's 3" 7/8oz they work well but are to expensive for the payload. I've tried Federal 2.75" 3/4oz #4 steel on ducks and it worked just fine. I bought a case of the cheap Winchester #6 steel from Wal-Mart and it worked well on ducks. I've always overlooked Remington ammo but bought a case of 3" 1oz #2 steel Nitro's for the annual trip 2 years ago and was pleasantly surprised how well it worked on geese. This year with the fall and black Friday rebate programs I picked up 3 cases of the Remington 3" loads. It was to good of a price to pass up. I've bought 2 boxes of Heavy Metal to try out. They did not perform any better than other 20ga shells I've bought. I cut one open to check the contents and was not impressed with the pellet count or the lack of roundness of the Heavy Shot. And $27 is to expensive to pay for Flax seed.
 

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I have been using Estates 3" 4 1oz shot all season, and have been more than impressed. killed many popcorn eaters and chinstraps with this load.

did shoot some heavy shot at geese also, was really not impressed.

20 is the new 12 :)
 

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For ducks I shot 20 ga. Estate 2 3/4" #4 until I ran out. The rest of the season I shot 20 ga. Estate 3" #4 for ducks and geese. I also used 3" #3 Hevimetal for geese and it seemed to work good for me, but Eric didn't like the patterns it threw out of his Benelli (I shoot a Franchi). We only shoot at geese in range, so the 3" 20 gauge in #4 worked quite well for geese too. Also... I use an Improved choke. I was using a Modified, but found that the Improved killed birds cleanly.
R
 

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I have a question for you guys that are using the lighter loads and smaller shot for geese-are you consciously going for head shots? I have body-shot geese with #4's at close range and they usually require either a finisher or being chased down. That was #4 steel though, I'm sure that #4 tungsten or HW would be a different story. Awesome job you guys, you are proving that the big guns and huge shot aren't necessary for bringing down the big birds.
 
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For ducks I shot 20 ga. Estate 2 3/4" #4 until I ran out. The rest of the season I shot 20 ga. Estate 3" #4 for ducks and geese. I also used 3" #3 Hevimetal for geese and it seemed to work good for me, but Eric didn't like the patterns it threw out of his Benelli (I shoot a Franchi). We only shoot at geese in range, so the 3" 20 gauge in #4 worked quite well for geese too. Also... I use an Improved choke. I was using a Modified, but found that the Improved killed birds cleanly.
R
This report is amazing to me. In range for you must mean 20 yards or less. I shot steel for many years at geese and had horrible performance. That was the reason I wrote KPY Shotshell Ballistics program and started to load and shoot tungsten. I had to understand why my hevishot #4 load was so much superior to any steel shell I could buy or load. The difference is night and day and I do not consider hevimetal tungsten (it only contains about 30% of tungsten pellets and they are only about 10g/cc density). Nothing close in performance to real hevishot.
 

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we are very conscious about our shots. 30 yards would be max, (most were 20 yards) on both ducks and geese. i feel it has made me a better shot and a better, ethical hunter. we lost very few birds this year... now on to the 28!

also moved to improved cylinder half way thru the year, and was even more deadly
than Mod.
E
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've had 10 gauges in the past. I thought 12ga 3.5" T shot was the answer for a while. Then 3.5" BB was what seemed to be the best combo until I tried #1 shot. That worked well but still gave me a wringing headache. Then I cut down all my 3.5" hulls to 3" and loaded them with #1 steel. That worked good until I saw my buddy smashing geese with #2 steel so I down sized to #2 steel in the 12ga and it works great. Lighter load and no more headaches. If you pattern a standard load of #1 or #2 steel at 35 yards you will be impressed with the pattern density compared to larger sized shot with a bigger payload. Now what I think when a goose is in range compared to 15 or 20 years ago is like comparing apples to oranges. What I thought were decoying shots then are now shots that I pass up. The hunt for me is fooling the birds not just shooting them.

Pumpgunner
During down time I think of shooting them in the lips. But what actually happens when I'm shooting is swinging through the bird a pulling the trigger. Hitting the bird is the only thing that I think of. lol Oh and keeping my cheek on the stock

Toasty
Any #8.5 TSS in stock? I want give the 410 a go. It will be HUMBLING but fun. lol

Stimmy
If you need more coaxing on the 28 give me a shout. I got data from Toasty & HammernHonkers. I also bought the BPI Advantages Manual.
 

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Jerry,

Still have a few lbs of TSS #8.5 is stock to sell. I liked the #8.5 better than the #9s in the 28ga this year. The #9s did the job, but I felt like I had fewer cripples with the #8.5 and it didn't put as many holes through the breasts.
 

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I have a question for you guys that are using the lighter loads and smaller shot for geese-are you consciously going for head shots? I have body-shot geese with #4's at close range and they usually require either a finisher or being chased down. That was #4 steel though, I'm sure that #4 tungsten or HW would be a different story. Awesome job you guys, you are proving that the big guns and huge shot aren't necessary for bringing down the big birds.
Pump I have had the same experience overall with the steel 4 shot and even 3 shot on geese, around 20 yards with a body hit only, the geese just don't stay down.

When I switched to the 20 about 9 years ago I killed a lot of geese with hevi shot 4's as I was targeting geese but every now and then I would be in a situation where I was loaded with 3 or 4 shot shooting ducks and learned very quickly that if I a goose come by in range I needed to get out on the front end of him and hit the head or break a wing because if I didn't they would just keep going or sail a long way's crippled.

Now with HW or TSS, this stuff even in the small shot sizes like Toasty likes (the TSS) due to it's density will easily penetrate even a large bird like a goose out to some scary ranges.

With what I have used i have settled on the following shot sizes as a minimum for my goose hunting situations no matter what I am doing, pass shooting, jump shooting or landing them in the decoy's because even if I make a bad shot and hit a bird middle back I know I will have enough penetration to make sure the shot gets into the vitals or breaks a wing. With hevi/hw13 4 shot, hw15 6 shot and TSS 7 shot. So far this seems to be working very well for me.
 

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With what I have used i have settled on the following shot sizes as a minimum for my goose hunting situations no matter what I am doing, pass shooting, jump shooting or landing them in the decoy's because even if I make a bad shot and hit a bird middle back I know I will have enough penetration to make sure the shot gets into the vitals or breaks a wing. With hevi/hw13 4 shot, hw15 6 shot and TSS 7 shot. So far this seems to be working very well for me.
Good information, matches my personal minimums very well for geese which are Hevishot #4, HW13 #4, HW15 #5s, and TSS #7s. With the penetration for these shot sizes and densities, there really isn't a reason to go any bigger shot size for geese inside of 60 yards.
 

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Last year I took Federal 20 gauge 2 3/4" 4s to Canada and they were very effective with a skeet choke tube. One year the case of shells I put in the truck to go to Canada was 12 gauge B&P 1 1/8 ounce of 4s instead of 3s. I was nervous at first, but we had no problem. I have never shot anything larger than 2 3/4" 3s for geese.

I think 2 3/4" 4s are okay for geese to about 30 yards. Like Jerry, I bought a few cases of the Remington 3" 20 gauge shells, 2 of the 4s and one of the 2s. I think the 2s will be good to 35-40 yards, the 4s again to maybe 30 yards.

Too bad they don't load 28 gauge 4s and 5s at a reasonable price. They would be fun in Canada, eh?
 

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Pump I have had the same experience overall with the steel 4 shot and even 3 shot on geese, around 20 yards with a body hit only, the geese just don't stay down.

When I switched to the 20 about 9 years ago I killed a lot of geese with hevi shot 4's as I was targeting geese but every now and then I would be in a situation where I was loaded with 3 or 4 shot shooting ducks and learned very quickly that if I a goose come by in range I needed to get out on the front end of him and hit the head or break a wing because if I didn't they would just keep going or sail a long way's crippled.

Now with HW or TSS, this stuff even in the small shot sizes like Toasty likes (the TSS) due to it's density will easily penetrate even a large bird like a goose out to some scary ranges.

With what I have used i have settled on the following shot sizes as a minimum for my goose hunting situations no matter what I am doing, pass shooting, jump shooting or landing them in the decoy's because even if I make a bad shot and hit a bird middle back I know I will have enough penetration to make sure the shot gets into the vitals or breaks a wing. With hevi/hw13 4 shot, hw15 6 shot and TSS 7 shot. So far this seems to be working very well for me.
Thanks for the info Honk. I'm having a hard time getting my mind around shooting #7's at geese but from all that I've heard online #7 TSS is more than enough for geese, that stuff is incredible! I would like to try some out someday. Have you done much loading with ITX? I'm curious how it would compare as a lower-cost heavyweight goose load.
 

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Pump, I'm sitting on 14 lbs of ITX-10 but I still have not loaded any yet. Due to it's softness I am looking at it more for loading source for my 32 and 410 for ducks as I think I should be able to use nice shot data with it allowing me to use standard lead wads. Toasty has messed with it a bit and could chime in on it's effectiveness.

My opinion on cost vs effectiveness vs range, ITX-10 would not be my first choice. The itx-10 is closer to 10g/cm3 and comes in at $154 per 7 lbs of shot or $22 a lb before shipping. The ITX-13 is a better choice and the same density as HW13 from RSI and comes in at $24 lb before shipping. The HW13 is my choice due to cost and density and if you get it when they offer free shipping and on a sale can be anywhere from $22 to $23 a lb.

The nice part with going with high density loads is that you can drop down shot sizes from what you would use with steel shot and use a lighter load but achieve higher pellet counts and better more uniform patterns to longer ranges.

My pet load right now is only 7/8 oz of HW13 4 shot moving at about 1450 fps. This load is basically equivalent in both pellet count and penetration of a 1 1/2oz load of BBB shot from a 10 bore, yet patterns far better then I could ever get that load to pattern out of my 10 bores.
 

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Last year I took Federal 20 gauge 2 3/4" 4s to Canada and they were very effective with a skeet choke tube. One year the case of shells I put in the truck to go to Canada was 12 gauge B&P 1 1/8 ounce of 4s instead of 3s. I was nervous at first, but we had no problem. I have never shot anything larger than 2 3/4" 3s for geese.

I think 2 3/4" 4s are okay for geese to about 30 yards. Like Jerry, I bought a few cases of the Remington 3" 20 gauge shells, 2 of the 4s and one of the 2s. I think the 2s will be good to 35-40 yards, the 4s again to maybe 30 yards.

Too bad they don't load 28 gauge 4s and 5s at a reasonable price. They would be fun in Canada, eh?
Paddler I think your numbers for an effective distance are a little long for our interior geese. I'll give 3 of my most recent experiences where the exact range the birds were shot were known. Where I am hunting now I have two very small fields that I have access to. One of these fields I used a range finder to get an exact distance from road on the east end to where our blind was on the west side and it's only 280 yards. We have only a very small window of about 40 degrees to shoot due to houses on both sides and the shots have to be on the ground only due to the road being our block on the east side. I set my furthest decoy at 35 yards trying to keep it out far enough from the edge to not spook the geese but close enough to ensure the geese are in range. The first day we set up we had 3 geese set exactly 2 yards to the south of the middle decoy's which were exactly 33 yards out. I was shooting my 28 with HW13 4 shot and my buddy was shooting a 12 with a 1 1/4 oz load of steel 2 shot. Two of the geese were to the left (my side) and the 3rd on the right (his side). I lined the two birds up on my side and he the single, I called the shot and both geese I shot rolled dead and his (hit solid) flew all the way back to the road 200+ yards away before expiring. Upon necropsy of the birds the two I shot had complete pass through of almost all the hw13 pellets while the bird he shot with the number 2 steel only made into the lungs on a side shot with nothing passing through. Granted this was a standing shot with the wing feathers for added protection, those steel 2's at only 33 yards did not make it very far into the goose.

Two day's later similar field and similar requirements having to land the geese due to safety concerns. I set the geese again at 35 yards to my last decoy. This time we had a pair come in and they landed right in the front of the decoy's which were only 30 yards and started feeding while standing inside the decoy's. While waiting for them to walk out of the decoy's for a clear shot two more came in and lit with them. 4 geese at 30 yards total, me shooting the 28 with hw13 4 shot and him shooting steel 2 shot again. As soon as all 4 birds finally feed to the side out of the decoy's I again called the shot. My two shots putting the two geese on my side down dead, the two geese on his side, one dead and one crippled and running. As we were trying to run the cripple down the second bird that looked to be for sure dead got up and flew off back to the safety of a rest area where we couldn't access. Again doing necropsy on the birds, the hw13 4 shot went clean through while the steel 2 shot had penetrated the goose a way's and broke a wing but never made it to any vital areas to kill it. The bird that got up and flew off??? Best guess was a glancing blow to the head nocking it out temporarily and when it came to was able to fly off. This field we could shoot in the air as we had a wide open lane with nothing behind it for a safety concern.

I have a third recent example but it will have to wait as I have to get my kids to school. Just something to think about, steel 2 shot at those close ranges only doing that but yet thinking that steel 4 shot will be good to 30 for a honker???? Probably not the best advice to be giving out on the internet;-)
 
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