Small game shot selection

spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
Gonna hit it equally hard for game season.  Although I'm gonna go a few times with the 22 for squirrel only, this is my game plan otherwise.  Mostly I'm targeting boar but through the end of the month, I'm hoping for some wood ducks too.
I'm using my mossberg 535 with a 22" smooth bore barrel.  Mossberg says I can shoot slugs with everything but a super restricted turkey choke.  They recommend the improved for accuracy of slugs. 
So my plan, atm, is to keep a slug chambered for pig, and backed up with 2x 3" #4 for jumping wood ducks and squirrel.  Prob carry some 7 1/2 if I turn up rabbits or doves somewhere. 
Sound solid?  Or would I be better off with a mod or full choke and find the accuracy of the slug still acceptable?  Or should I be using different loads all together?  I will definitely play around with patterning when I get an opportunity but I plan on hitting the woods before I get a chance to do that thoroughly.
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Replies

  • wayviswayvis FloridaPosts: 86 Greenhorn
    I would go with some #6's. Good for all small game. Also I would use buckshot for hogs. I've killed plenty of hog with #1 buckshot out of a 20ga. With the 12ga I would shoot single ought or double ought. Hunting hogs you will have moving shots a lot of times or in thick cover, so buckshot is a better choice than a slug. I would carry a couple of slugs incase you run up on a really big boar.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,176 Officer
    Spangler - remember that ducks have diff regulations than small game - steel shot only (#4 steel is good for any small game) and you can not have lead shot on you at that time.  Need duck stamp, etc.  LOTS of wood ducks around right now.  

    I've shot slugs thru modified without any real effects to gun or accuracy. 

    00 buck works good on hogs too.  I'd probably use buck if my shotgun did not have sights for accurate slug shooting.  Test fire a round or two and see how it patterns and you'll be good to go.  Buck shot should be good to 40 yards.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    Have to admit.  I forgot about the steel shot for ducks.
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,075 Officer
    There are a few companies making non lead slugs now.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    So, if I'm hunting ducks at all, I can't even have a lead slug on me?!  Like I would use that for a duck?  I assumed the rule just meant shells with shot in it.  Dang, guess I'm off to buy some more ammo.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    Also, what do you all like for putting your harvest in?  I'm thinking of just using a pillow case that I can tie off to my pack.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 829 Officer
    get a real small pillow case
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,075 Officer
    When I duck hunted outside the boat, or walking for snipe I always used a game vest. Has pockets in the front for shells , birds go in the back..... couldn’t imagine walking around with a pillow case. Another thing to carry.👎
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,710 Captain
    Definitely a light cheap gun vest for shells and game.  Also a lot of WMAs require an orange vest for safety so check the regs.
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,679 Captain
    edited January 14 #11

    Very difficult to be ready (and loaded up) for whatever opportunity might come up.  Especially when you throw steel shot and ducks into the mix.

    I go in with targeted game in mind - Wood Ducks early since that is when they are most active, then jump some Snipe with low brass steel. Might do the same thing with Hogs and Dove/Quail/Squirrel.

    If the WMA you are hunting allows a handgun for Hogs during Small Game you can Wood Duck hunt with a .357 on your hip and be legal to shoot a Duck or a Hog.

  • ChonggChongg Posts: 594 Officer
    Get to the swamp really early a few mornings and figure out the woodies’ AM flight routes. Watch the horizon and listen for the distinct whistle of their wings.

    Find a place where you can intercept them. It’s a pass shoot hunt, and the flight doesn’t last long. But it’s a ton of action.

    In the right spot and with some decent marksmanship, you’ll have a limit by sunrise. Then you can focus on the other small game.

    Same goes for their PM flight. Just be mindful of legal shooting times for waterfowl.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 1,106 Officer
    edited January 14 #13
    One of the old regulars on here hunted wild hogs with only bird shot. You can get really close to hogs if you play the wind. I walk up on them all the time turkey hunting. 

    Just take 3” #4,5, or 6 shot in steel and you can kill everything you might come across. Modern steel is very deadly stuff compared to when it first came out. 

    Many ofnthe ducks ive shot this year are with a 20 guage shooting 2-3/4” #6 dove loads. It will crush them. 

    And when hunting ducks you cant have any lead shot of any kind on you. 
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,477 AG
    Pinman and chongg gave you solid  advice.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Longbow14Longbow14 Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    do all the WMA's permit use of slugs in "small game season"? 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,176 Officer
    There are bird hunting vests that have a pouch built in to the back.  Usually pretty cheap at end of season - the back pouch is good for a bottle or two of water, lunch, etc.  and birds/small game if you get on them.

    You can get Hevi Shot Dead Coyote buck shot in 00 for about $30 from bass pro.  That would solve that issue.  Think there are 10 shells in a box - pricey but non toxic if you are shooting ducks.  Wood ducks are a lot of fun.

    Pin had a good idea with carrying a handgun if you have one for hogs.  
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 81 Greenhorn
    if your gonna hunt everything during small game ,  like i do just use steel   nothing worse than walking up to a flag pond hoping to jump a snipe and 10 teal pop up and gun has lead shot . just carry couple slugs or buckshot in your pocket incase you see a hog, switched to steel for everything this year no problems     last thing you wanna have happen is you get stopped with 2 ducks couple snipe or rabbits and both steel and lead shot in your backpack or truck. 
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,679 Captain
    Longbow14 said:
    do all the WMA's permit use of slugs in "small game season"? 

    Cant speak for all WMAs because all are different, but I have only seen limitations of types of weapons such as "No centerfire rifles" which would mean everything else is legal, or "only shotguns, bows and crossbows" which would mean anything you can shoot out of those (except poison, explosives, etc prohibited across the board anyways).  Have seen limitation on shot size for Dove Fields and Turkey.
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 1,911 Captain
    Too many **** regulations!
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,176 Officer
    The majority of the regulations were probably requested by hunters.

  • gladesmangladesman Posts: 1,146 Officer
    edited January 15 #21
    Hunters like rules that they like but don't like the others. Sooner or later many new rules burn you - better to seriously scrutinize who or what special interest group/organization is behind EVERY new rule proposal and profusely vett them and their motives (financial; political; agency back scratching for a handout down the road etc.) and expose your findings publicly at meetings on said rules.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 1,106 Officer
    Rich M said:
    The majority of the regulations were probably requested by hunters.

    In reality, especially with duck hunting as an example, these are people who think themselves hunters who haven’t a clue how to hunt and wish to hinder the success of others to (in their minds) improve their chances of success. 

    Sadly, that doesn’t help them either.  
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    Do the majority of regulations reflect the wishes of the majority of hunters?  What I've noticed, since I began paying attention more closely, is that too frequently... a minority can influence changes that are entirely self serving.  And they can be very clever about making it sound like they have some greater good in mind. 

    And to those, like me, tryin to follow ridiculous rules, good luck finding non toxic buckshot or slugs.  Not exactly something they keep stocked on the shelves.  Went to BP and they may have had some at some point, but not by the time small game rolls around.  Shelves empty.  They'll prob restock the shelves next fall so, I guess I'll get some then or hope I can find some at the next gun show.
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 81 Greenhorn
    you hit the nail on the head      lotta rules get changed cause a few people complain      fwc lost a ton of money which could have been used for check stations, more officers, prescribed burns, the list is a mile long but they listened to the minority , a few guys who probably only hunt 4 or 5 days a year changed the whole quota hunt system and cost fwc a boatload of money.    i wont name the wma but went as a guest for gen gun hunt this year  45 permits awarded only 31 hunters showed up.
  • ChonggChongg Posts: 594 Officer
    Not defending FWC, but the nontoxic shot requirement is a federal rule. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,176 Officer
    H20dad said:
    Rich M said:
    The majority of the regulations were probably requested by hunters.

    In reality, especially with duck hunting as an example, these are people who think themselves hunters who haven’t a clue how to hunt and wish to hinder the success of others to (in their minds) improve their chances of success. 

    Sadly, that doesn’t help them either.  
    That is a great quote.  I wish it was as easy as that.  Duck hunters are whiners and complainers - no getting away from that.  Many have trouble playing well with others.

    IMO, it is mostly the aggressive guys who don't play well.  Maybe it is few birds, limited access, restricted hunt days, or just a mix of boating and hunting causing the upheaval.  We'll never know.  I not had issues with a newbie or a casual hunter being a jerk.  

    I don't see a lot of it as folks trying to hinder other's success as much as folks trying to tailor things to help them succeed.  There is a post about guides blocking off marshes and folks sleeping in boats in WMAs - no enforcement.  Will that cause a new law?  Possibly, if enough folks complain.  A lot of WMAs do allow 24/7 access during small game for **** hunters and such.  So might be 100% legal for folks to be there. 

    Spangler - you can order online from BPS...  Or just skip the ducks and stick with hogs.  More meat on a pig by far.

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,399 Admiral
    spangler said:
    Do the majority of regulations reflect the wishes of the majority of hunters?  What I've noticed, since I began paying attention more closely, is that too frequently... a minority can influence changes that are entirely self serving.  And they can be very clever about making it sound like they have some greater good in mind. 

    And to those, like me, tryin to follow ridiculous rules, good luck finding non toxic buckshot or slugs.  Not exactly something they keep stocked on the shelves.  Went to BP and they may have had some at some point, but not by the time small game rolls around.  Shelves empty.  They'll prob restock the shelves next fall so, I guess I'll get some then or hope I can find some at the next gun show.
    Why don't you go online and order some?
    Cabelas, Midway, Natchez, etc
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    Hadn't even considered online.. Done!
  • RiverRat22RiverRat22 Posts: 59 Greenhorn
    I think you're fine with lead slugs. A slug is not shot.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 996 Officer
    And I think I'll just argue that point.. if I ever have to..
    Actually wasn't that easy to find them online either.  And at $30+ a box (5 shells), for non toxic slugs or buckshot, I'll take my chances.  geez... that's more than I paid for my 'special' turkey loads lol
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,679 Captain
    edited January 17 #31
    H20dad said:
    In reality, especially with duck hunting as an example, these are people who think themselves hunters who haven’t a clue how to hunt and wish to hinder the success of others to (in their minds) improve their chances of success. 

    Sadly, that doesn’t help them either.  


    I call them "Restrictionists"

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