View Full Version : Goose hunting

12-23-2007, 11:42 AM
I feel like a proud papa my Lab Libby made her first water retrieve on a big honker, a long one to boot. :musc:

12-23-2007, 02:11 PM
That's great Bigcat. Nice looking Lab. Still some growing to do, how old? My three year old Drake is up to 120 pounds, but he's more a family dog. Loves hunting until the guns start going off. Tried everything, but can't cure the gunshyness.

12-23-2007, 04:01 PM
She is not a pup she just turned six, and is an outstanding upland dog.
I just have not been water fowling the last few years,but we are making up for it this season :D

12-23-2007, 11:43 PM
I'll start up again after muzzleloader season. With everything freezing last week, the fields were loading up, but then the snow came and the birds moved. Now with the rain melting the snow and ice, they should be hitting the fields again. I can't wait, but I would like to get a deer first, if I can.

12-25-2007, 12:35 AM
Just got back home from the X-Mas eve thing with family and in-laws. Got out of work early Monday, no time to deer hunt so I hit the marsh for a couple hours. Got my first duck jewelry, from a blackie. An early present to myself and I was more excited than my wife and kids were about their gifts.

12-25-2007, 12:37 PM
Good going on the bling, I knocked down a black yesterday, and got to harass the honkers today:usd:

12-25-2007, 08:14 PM
No chance to get out today. I saw probably 1000 birds yesterday, mostly blacks, a few teal and mallards, and one flock of twelve honkers that were absolutely huge but never came in range.
I'll get out again New Year's eve after work and then every weekend after that. I'll concentrate on the ducks until late goose opens, then I'll hit the fields if not too much snow.
After four years, I am actually learning what to do for success. Not every time, but expect to do some shooting every time out. Major lesson of last two years is to stay with "Hevi-shot", I cannot stand steel after having birds hit the ground and then fly away. And at almost $3 per shot, you definitely make sure the birds are in range before shooting.

12-25-2007, 08:52 PM
1000 birds so that's were they all went, my spot was barren today. I did get one crack at some honkers, but just a little out of range.
I got a hunch for tomorrow. ;)

12-25-2007, 10:02 PM
I don't want to spot burn Bigcat. PM me and I'll let you know where. You probably know already anyway, you've been doing this longer than me.

12-25-2007, 11:52 PM
You guys using 12 ga w/ 3" mags, or 3.5" mags? Any of you shoot an 10 ga? Doesn't seem like many people use 10 ga much now a days. I knew one guy who shot a single shot H&R 10 ga - long barrel that was VERY heavy. Once you started to swing you just kept on going ...... momentum on that was a good thing.

12-26-2007, 04:56 AM
Me, I shoot an old Mossberg 500 chamberd 3" that I put through hell. :kewl:

12-26-2007, 10:14 PM
Mossberg 500 also. I have 24" turkey special. Need the light weight for the style hunting I do. Shoot enough skeet and trap and follow through comes naturally. Biggest deal was getting gun broken in enough to cycle smoothly. Finally this year after four years and probably 3000 rounds, and constantly cycling while at home.

I would rather shoot 2 3/4" loaded with "Hevi-Shot" than 3 1/2" with steel. My normal duck loads are 3" hevi #4. If I can't find those, I'll shoot same in steel but plan on two shots per bird minimum. I've had too many ducks crawl away before I can get to them, and be lost, and I run to the bird as soon as I see it falling. Oh, and improved cylinder works best for me. I'm an old grouse hunter, so it's still tough for me to shoot at a bird even thirty yards away, but I'm practicing and getting better.

12-27-2007, 09:05 AM
Couple of college buddies and I number of yrs back always went on opening day in CT around central CT. Shooting steel couple of times a yr made it real interesting! The scary part was the guy getting the most birds was using #4 steel out of a 20 ga Mossberg (single injector bar) and more often than not it was a single shot because he had to pull the case out of the barrel because the "claw" that was suppose to grip the rim case was so worn out! The kid and I were using 2 3/4". #3 steel or #2 steel. Use to drive us batty that the ducks that hit the water always needed another round or else they would swim off. Had to make sure it was DEAD before trying to double up.

We did get some geese. Two of use would set up and the other person would drive them. We would switch over to BB's and the guy using the 20 ga was of course only had #4, but he always downed his bird - he was a much better wing shooter than I ever could be on game.

Yup, the heavier & longer barrels keep you swinging due to the momentum for sure.

Dad and I would go for seaducks (mainly Eiders) in late Jan/Feb. NUMBING cold days were the best..... saltwater mist would freeze on us and we would sometimes get stuck to rocks ..... LOL. Man, my shotgun has taken a beating - fair amount of rust along the rib, rust inside the tube & spring for the recoil operated action. I had taken it to local gunsmith and when he saw it he knew I was a seaduck hunter! He said not to bother packerizing it, but to slather on motor oil so that was what we use to do. Pretty funny & it made a mess of things. Dad is 70 now and doesn't like freezing his nads off any more and doesn't like to be outside fishing in the dark. :(

When I got talking to a guy at local outdoor store he was saying that the 12 ga 3.5" shotguns were going to cause the 10 ga to go away. Seems like bigger bore would allow powder to burn completely rather than something narrowed down. I say that because I would always have unburned powder in the barrell at the end of the day when I was cleaning the shotguns out. I was checking out new LH shotguns - not much of a variety for semi-autos and the barrel selection is even WORSE. :( Yeah, I could go top tange safety in a pump. :P

12-27-2007, 06:47 PM
What choke were you using? Steel patterns so much better than lead that you can get by with the next looser choke and still get a good pattern. The #4's have many more pellets than #2's also. My kill ratio went up quite a bit just going from 2 to 4. "Hevi-shot" patterns real well also, as good as steel.

Do you eat the seaducks? It looks like a lot of fun, but I shot one Scoter to try. I choked it down because I killed it, but never again. I gave a piece to my dog, he loves duck, but he spit it out and tried to roll on it. He wouldn't even eat it. I'm wondering if I just prepared it wrong. I'm forty and don't like freezing my nads off anymore either.

I agree about the 10 gauge disappearing, it's too specialized. Most people are better off with just a three inch twelve gauge. Unless they're shooting a semi, they start flinching after a couple of three inch heavy duck loads. My next gun will probably be a Bennelli 3.5" semi, although all my other shotguns have had tang safeties. You can shoot 2 3/4 up to 3 1/2 without changing anything. The Remington semi's need a part changed to shoot 2 3/4. And I won't try 3 1/2 from a pump, call me a wuss. My shoulder will probably be black and blue until late March, and hunting ends Feb. 15.

I think the unburned powder is an ammo thing. When I shot a lot of skeet, (20 rounds/weekend) the barrels would be loaded with powder. With the pump, it's harder to check out the barrel. I only clean my gun about twice per year. Once before deer season so I can mount my Red-dot and sight in and usually one other time when it has gotten so muddy I feel bad for it.

Being a southpaw shooter must suck. Not much selection at all. Barrel wise doesn't seem too bad. Are you checking manufacturers catalogs or talking to store personnel who usually don't know squat? Mossberg and Bennelli both have a decent selection of barrels. I just can't find a marsh camo pattern in a turkey sized barrel (22-24").