North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm coming out in early October for a combo duck/pheasant/sharptail hunt and I'm wondering what to bring to shoot sharptails with. Ideally I'd like to shoot them with my Browning BSS 20 ga but it's choked IC/Mod. What's the normal flushing distance for these birds? If they get up much beyond 30yds the IC will severely handicap me. I'll have a lab with me and my buddy is telling me to practice on HEEL and only use her for the retrieves as the birds are too spooky for the flushing dogs. I can also go 20ga 2.75" auto with screw ins, 16ga IC auto, or 12ga O/U with screw ins.

What about loads? Both lead and Bismuth. 6's? 7.5's? Heavy loads??? I'm clueless on these birds.

For the pheasants I was figuring the O/U with M/IM chokes to start and backing down to IC/M if they are flushing close. Again, being used to the stocked CT birds 1-1/4oz of 6's is fine in 12 and I usually use 20ga 6's.

Thanks, Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Hi Jim,

I'm not an expert by any means but I can give you a rundown of what I've learned. First, I used a springer spaniel and he was definitely a help getting the birds up in the air. I hunted tall grass next to grain fields and he flushed them out of the grass. I might have kicked them up by myself but I was happy to have the dog there with his nose.

The same loads that work for pheasant will work for sharptail. I used 1 1/4 oz of #5 out of a 12 gauge. However after feathering a few birds, I went from IC/M to M/F. Alot of my shots were out past 30 yards and when they catch the wind that apparently never stops there the birds are moving fast out of range. I prefer a 12 gauge but that's just me. I've never hunted sharptail with a 20 gauge so I'm not qualified to comment on that.

The pheasant are alot tougher than anything you're going to run into on a game farm. 7 1/2s are too small. I'd go with 6 minimum.

How jumpy the birds are depends on how thick the cover is that they're in. It seemed like when they felt safe they stuck tight, but if they were in more open cover and could see me from a distanced they were outta there. And some coveys took off when I was still getting out of the truck. That's hunting. :wink: Hope this helps some.

Utahhunter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you UH. I asked a guy at my game club who used to live west of Chicago and he said 1oz of 6's will do it. I'm just a little leary of that IC tube. Sounds like the birds would be getting up at max range for that. Unfortunately, my BSS pre-dates screw-ins. I'll give it a go day 1 then switch to my 12 citori with M/IM if the 20 doesn't work out for me.

Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,676 Posts
I have hunted sharptails and pheasants for 35 years and the last 10 I have hunted with a 12 guage double bored cylinder in the right barrel and lite modified in the left. I routinely kill sharptails and huns with 1 ounce loads of sixes at about 1200 fps. Pheasants I would recommend 1 1/8th ounce loads of 5s same chokes. Cylinder is perfect out to about 30 yards which is farthers than most of the birds I shoot. Train your dogs to hup ( sit ) on command so she stays within 30 yards and hustle to close the distance when she gets birdy. Use high quality "not high velocity" shells with hard shot so your patterns are as uniform as possible, don't buy bargain store shells. Early season birds are usually close flushes Your old 20 guage with 3/4 ounce loads of 6's is a perfect gun for the early season.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top