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  #1  
Old 02-09-2017, 05:19 AM
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tower shoot and the right shells


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Thought I'd relate an experience I had a couple weeks ago.
Been a pheasant hunter from the Midwest since I was 12. Now at 61, I have used high brass 4 and 5s for late season pheasants for many years.

At a tower shoot (my first ever) they toss 300 hens in the air (they fly better than old fat roosters) and 22 people at locations around a circle (think numbers on a clock face) shoot at them as they fly over. You move stations every 20 min or so. One bird, a black rooster, the money bird worth 420 dollars is tossed sometime during the shoot.

I did not know which gun to use, lots of dressed up people in tweed use doubles. Being from WI and used to hunting in blue jeans for meat, I picked a Benelli Montefeltro with the plug out. I used a modified chock,. To open, no. I used Prairie Storm shells (#6) 2/3/4 inch and they recommend IC or mod. Turns out I shot some 19 birds with about 14 one shot kills. One at 65+ yards which turned out to be the money bird. I have never seen a shotgun shell kill pheasants at distance like these shells did. People around me and my partner were also amazed. I am a good shot, but the PS shells make me seem great cause they don't just hit the bird, they knock them from the sky. The penetration and impact on viscera is amazing. Yes if you shoot at them when they are too close you'll pay the price - but that is not what they are designed for. Over dogs you would only load a PS for the last shot or two depending on how the birds are holding.

Don't know if it is the pellets or shell cup which associates with the pellets longer for better patterns down range. 70% of the pellets are copper coated lead and 30% are lead that looks like the planet Saturn: rings around the equator.

I know you can knock down pheasants with Federal high brass or Fiochi golden pheasant. Nothing hits as hard as PS which lists 1500 fps for velocity.

Try em.......................
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2017, 05:41 AM
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Was at a 300 bird tower shoot on saturday in Florida. great time.

I usually use modified choke, 12 ga, with 2 3/4 inch with 1 1/4 oz of#6s. Some days the birbs are higher??? and then I go full.

Never saw a reason to take the plug out.

We rotate stations every 5 birds; so regardless of how the birds fly (into sun, into wind,etc) everyone gets the same chance.
I'll try some Prairie Storm shells (#6) 2/3/4 inch next time out.

Been marinating 4 birds for dinner right now.

Last edited by HarrySS; 02-09-2017 at 05:45 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2017, 07:05 AM
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plugs and tower shooots

Had never been to a tower shoot so did not know how many flew over head and if it lead to issues of reloading. I remember reading of gun boys handing loaded shotguns to those at driven shoots in England.

Given my experience with the rate of birds and chance for shots, the removal of the plug is not necessary, especially if you are using the PS shells. One shot kills. My peg partner had a double and I killed several of his wounded birds. He was shooting low brass and obviously hitting birds, but they kept flying as the penetration was not good enough to kill the birds.

Pheasant marsala sounds good to me.

The other good part of the tower shoots here in NE at NE Uplands, is they have professional dog handlers with their non-slip retrievers. Also you can walk up birds in the afternoon and next day. There were some 100 birds on the ground. Wonder how many were dead after they made it out of the ring of fire.

Sheepherder
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2017, 07:18 AM
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More shot, denser pattern and pen raised birds don't take much killing.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2017, 08:24 AM
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pen raised birds compared to wild pheasants

It is clearly true pen raised pheasants die easier than wild ones.

It is also clear that longer shots of in-coming birds is not what most pheasant hunters shoot unless they are blocking a line.

It is also clear that the PS shells out performed all other shells at the tower shoot I was at. Just ask the dog handlers.

I saw plenty of pheasants hit and many did not fold. All the pheasants hit with PS folded instantly if there is such a thing as instantaneous reaction in the universe.
Sheepherder
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2017, 08:50 AM
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We had 9 dogs and handlers. All cripples were retrieved; but still we had buzzards circling all day.

I've been doing this shoot every February for 14 years, fun day out.

Birds are all incoming, more like hunting ducks. Incoming birds die easier, as the head and wing bones are exposed to shooter.

Wondering, do the 'saturn' shaped shot ruin more meat??
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:25 AM
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Shouldn't this be in the target shooting area instead of 'hunting' ?
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:34 AM
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Saturn shaped pellets and effect on meat

I did not see the birds being cleaned. I heard the % 'damaged' birds was in the typical range you see for that type of shooting.

I tried to not shoot birds closer than 30-40 yards. I have read that frontal shots especially, 20 yards is too close for PS. I would use them over point dogs in a semi but only as a last shot. Many birds in late season NE over pointing dogs were with big birds, lots of feathers and going away. I would not worry about those birds. I think that is what they designed the PS for late season pheasants going away. They don't fly and die, they just die when hit.


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  #9  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:36 AM
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the Britisher should know better

If we are being proper, it is wing shooting. Clay targets don't have feathers and most don't eat them.
The post was not about the type of shooting, rather the efficacy of the shells.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2017, 10:16 AM
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I shoot real wild birds with 19grms of 7s very efficiently.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2017, 10:50 AM
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?'s

What gauge Sheep, 12? Are not pheasants still considered a migratory bird here in the US, whether wild or pen raised, hunted up or chucked off a tower, & subject to the 3 shot limit? One place where we hunted pheasants on LI had a 3 bird paid/planted minimum per hunter with any wild birds taken free. Over dogs, the 12 ga's tore them up too much. My buddy went to 20ga & me to 28 with high brass 7 1/2's first, followed by six shot. Anyone try that square shot? Not judging, but it is called a tower shoot, not a tower hunt, hunting would imply having to find them, IMO.
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Last edited by nachogrande; 02-09-2017 at 11:00 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2017, 10:54 AM
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Pheasants are "upland game" not migratory.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:15 AM
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Whatever they are classified as

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Pheasants are "upland game" not migratory.
Wouldn't the 3 shot limit still apply. Just read a FL WMA reg & noticed woodcock as being migratory. No mention of pheasants at all on this WMA pamphlet. I've never seen a pheasant or woodcock in FL, but I've never seen a panther either. Google may not be my friend on this one. I found links that referred to pheasants as being both migratory and upland game. I would think migratory would cover the whole USA, more confused than when I first googled them.

Last edited by nachogrande; 02-09-2017 at 11:27 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:28 AM
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It depends on the state. Many of the states I hunt don't require a plug for upland game.

I've shot Woodcock in N. Fla. and LOTS of Snipe on the east coast around Sarasota. They're migratory for sure!
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:33 AM
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3 shot limit

Granted only a few states experience, but everywhere I hunted pheasants a 3 shot limit was in place. SO back to the original ? It's OK to shoot pheasants from a tower with no mag limit, but NOT OK from the ground???
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:16 PM
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game laws and tower shoots

The game laws of NH are not in effect for tower shoots. For this one in Jan., it way past the upland season. Two the bag limit for released birds in NH is 2/day. On preserves where you tower shoots occur, there are no limits. During the upland season, some places will give you a receipt to differentiate preserve birds from released or native state birds. In tower shoots you shoot hens. Some states that release pheasants let you shoot hens, but where they are wild hens are not typically shot legally unless they are pheasant farm birds.

A reason to use no plug it to increase the number of shots. We had several stations where some 8 birds or more appeared in rapid succession. 300 birds were released - some 25 or 30 at a time/peg. I know my partner and I had pegs were we shot 8 or more birds. The group shot pretty well at 55% or so.

After lunch you could clean up birds that made it through using whatever shot you wanted. For the tower shoot you were limited to #6 or higher and shells under 3 inches.

There were some people shooting 28 ga. which will kill wild and pen-raised birds. It will also cripple many birds past 30 yards with a #6 limit. Not enough mass.

I recommend tower shooting for dead of winter fun. The bar was open for those who did not go on the clean up hunt. I also recommend hunting frozen slough in WI with a Gunsmoke bred English pointer. NE roosters in October is good too. If it cackles and tastes like pheasant - its all good for me.

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  #17  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:24 PM
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ga and ruined meat

Nachogrande
Realized I did not address all the points you asked about.
Yes it was a 12 gauge - a Benneli Montefeltro with a modified choke

Any gauge can blow to many holes in a bird. All depends on how close you are and how center the bird is.
Some like to use #4 to keep the pellet count down. When I was younger and a better shot, I used to purposely wing shoot birds to be able to shoot them faster over my pointer.

When I shot a semi all the time, I would load 7s or 8s followed by 6s and then 5 or 4s. Later in the year mostly 5 and 4. If you shoot over pointing dogs the shots are closer so smaller pellets carry more killing potential. Passing shots at distance or long crossers, the heavier shots carry more energy.

As with everything, it depends. For me if it includes shooting pheasants it is better than not shooting them or listening to medical student tell me what I don't know.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:25 PM
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Thumbs up Good shooting!

The most important thing I've learned afters years of bird hunting and shooting preserve birds is that no matter what the bird or guage or shell, if you shoot them in the lips they usually die very quickly! Keep your head down and the gun moving and you'll shoot more birds in the front and they'll die quickly.
Good shells and the right chokes definitely help but you got to do your part which you, the original poster, obviously must have been doing!
Good shooting!

When you fiqure out how to do that 100% of the time please don't let me know how, it would ruin the rest of my bird hunting days!
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Last edited by Mike Buchanan; 02-09-2017 at 12:28 PM. Reason: Missed one thing
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:55 PM
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The more i read the less sense it makes?

It appears pheasants are indeed upland birds, so why the so often found 3 shot limit? There is also the upland/migratory sub species including dove & woodcock. I don't recall any mag limits on grouse or quail upland birds, so why pheasants? & what about the square shot, any users? IDK, Mongo just pawn in game of life.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2017, 07:51 PM
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Pheasants are just an invasive species, like boa constrictors, python, Russian boar, and collared doves.

Contrary to what someone said....Woodcock in N. Fla. and LOTS of Snipe on the east coast around Sarasota. Is illegal.

State laws are not a question. The Federal Migratory Bird Statute makes that a Federal Crime.

YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY ALLOWED TO : "Hunt with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells
(magazines must be “plugged” to hold two shells)."
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