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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, September 1, was the opening day for the early goose season here in Pennsylvania. I was enthusiastically awaiting a large flock of 100+ birds I knew frequented a manmade lake near my in-laws. The first two groups I called to ignored me. The third did not and I must say at this point it was the finest day of hunting I'd ever enjoyed. From over a quarter mile away I began to call this third flock of 28. I had no dekes so it was my hot air or nothing. And it worked liked I couldn't imagine! First they headed my way, then wavered. I started honking in earnest again and they turned onto final approach. Since they didn't see anything yet, they started to head off again. More calling and they came back a third time, this time for good. I simply couldn't believe I pulled it off! I stepped out from under covering apple trees with the birds less than 60 or 70 feet directly above me.

Now it gets bad, courtesy of steel. First shot I blew due to goose fever. Man, was I excited. I calmed down for my remaining two. The second was good, crumpled both wings on the bird I wanted. But he didn't even slow down! Third shot as the flock was rapidly gaining speed and altitude was at a trailing bird. Crumpled one wing and it didn't miss a beat either! I glued my eyes to these two birds as I frantically stuffed more shells into my Remington 870. Neither lost any speed or altitude compared to the rest of the flock as they moved beyond 100 yards. Both should've fallen but kept on without so much as a missed wing beat.

Here I'm using 12 gauge 3" Magnums with 1-1/4 oz. of BBB at well within such ammo's "effective range" and I come up with nothing but empty shells. Next weekend I won't make the same mistake again. By hook or by crook, regardless of cost or how far I have to drive to find it, I'm getting some Bismuth or Hevi-Shot #1's or #2's. Don't let anyone fool you, the main reason there are so fewer waterfowl hunters is because of the steel shot law. This level of frustration under perfect shooting conditions is simply intolerable.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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This is the main reason you have all the 3 1/2" 12 ga. shells and the reintroduction of the 10ga.

For steel, you'll need the new 5" 12 ga. shells. :biggrin:

I can sympathise with you, last time I hunted geese was about 12 years ago with steel and couldn't believe how ineffective it was on them.

Allowances have to be made but the fundamental problems with the lead vs. steel densities is the main culprit. Ammo manufacturers are trying to adapt cartridges originally intended for lead to steel and this is the result. If it was steel from the beginning, we'd be toting around 6, 8 and 10 ga. guns all the time.

Regards
 

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My results have been better. I shoot a 3-1/2" 12ga. Browning Citori with T's,and it hammers 'em. Some have fallen as far as 60-65 yards,but I quite shooting at going away geese years ago. Too much chance to cripple. For ducks over decoys,I shoot 1's in 2-3/4". One of the deadest geese I ever shot,was killed incoming at about 35 yards with 1's. when I didn't have time to change to a goose load. One thing,my gun seems to shoot better with a improved cyl. and mod. choke. With full choke, large holes appear in the patterns. Two things I like about big steel shot, #1- at close range,It doesn't chew up ducks like small shot. #2- it seems to penetrate clear through,no broken teeth...   Good huntin'

(Edited by Wasatch Pete at 8:34 am on Sep. 8, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I didn't realize until this past Thursday night that I had the Skeet choke in my gun when hunting those steel-proof Canadas. Not too smart for pass shooting. I would've sworn I had the Modified in the barrel. I'm sure it played a part in the dismal performance.
 

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i've got a buddy that is an outdoor writer and gets a lot of stuff from manufacturers to test--i was at the range this weekend and he was testing some shotshells called called Hevishot (i think) he showed me some 60 yard patterns that he said were better than he normally gets from lead..these shells are enviormentally friendly...if you see any you should try some.....Dick
 

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You are not alone my friend.
I went to a Browning BPS 10 gauge and T shot, and it did the job on geese and swans.  But I felt like it needed wheels, and I needed steroids, and I ain't exactly svelt at 6'-2" and 235.
Take heart.  So far I have found Hevi-Shot #4 and Impact tungsten-poly #3 both drop ducks like the good old days.  In 2-3/4" no less.  And the tungsten iron BBs are deadly on geese out to 65 yards (can't wait to try Hevi-shot on geese too).  I'm back to toting a nice light 12 gauge SxS or my old 1100 again.  Life is good once again.  Not cheap, but still good.  ####, I shoot less per bird bagged and don't get that sick feeling watching cripples escape either.
I still hate steel, and I still miss my nickel plated #3 and BB duck and goose handloads.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's good to see the old postings are still being read.

To update the situation, I did buy some Hevi-Shot no. 2's but was never able to use them on geese. The one time I was able to get out I couldn't get the birds to come in close enough for a shot. I intend to pattern these shells during the offseason and will report on the results. I'm very happy to see Remington now loads Hevi-Shot.

As an aside, I have used Bismuth no. 4's on mallards and it works just dandy.
 
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