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Thread: How much ammo do you use in a season, on average?

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    Default How much ammo do you use in a season, on average?

    Hey you guys,

    As you go through this season, and reflecting on seasons past, I'd like to hear about how much ammo you go through in a season.

    The reason I ask is, as many of you may already know, all of my guns are vintage Winchesters, in which I can't shoot steel. I know that, eventually (and probably sooner than later) the special, non-steel, non-toxic ammo I buy for them to stay in compliance with the laws regarding non toxic ammo for waterfowl hunting, will eventually disappear from production entirely.

    I recently did a count of my stores of that ammo, and I'm trying to decide how much more of it to buy, so I'm trying to get an idea of "x rounds per season" to get an idea of how many more seasons worth of ammo I have. Obviously, I'm not an avid, go every weekend duck hunter; if I were, I wouldn't be asking this question, but I figure if I stockpile based on a heavier use than my own, I'll be in good stead. My ultimate goal is to leave these shotguns to my son with enough ammo to supply at least his lifetime (or his son's life given that my son isn't, at least currently, interested in hunting.) Because, once this ammo is gone, these guns essentally become "wall-hangers."

    Obviously, I can't afford to pour every available dollar into ammo purchases, but I would like to put together an intelligent plan based on useful, valid info. (In other words, my plan can't be "The sky is falling; buy every round on the shelf.")

    Thanks.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Eight or nine thousand rounds....

    I think the ducks might one day get "rust poisoning".
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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I hunt every chance I get, so I'm out more than most guys, I go through about 2 cases in a season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    I hunt every chance I get, so I'm out more than most guys, I go through about 2 cases in a season.
    100 rds per case?

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    250 rounds per case
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    I hunt every chance I get, so I'm out more than most guys, I go through about 2 cases in a season
    I would agree 1.5 to 2 cases of steel shot a year for me also. Buying it by the case is usually cheaper than by the box
    100 rds per case?
    If your buying other than steel shot yes it would be 100 rds a case so 5 cases a season for us, If we chose to shoot those shells. I personally cant justify the money for the designer non steel rds. If it was like in your case with vintage guns then I could see doing so.
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    So, wow, about 500 rounds per season, give or take. That's quite a bit higher (two or three times) as much as I thought I'd hear.

    I've got a long way to go. Looong way to go.

    Other question is I have guns in 2-3/4" AND 3" (12 ga) plus 20 ga. Should I focus my efforts on one chamber length over another one gauge over another, or try to distribute my purchases evenly over the whole lot? Here I'm thinking just buy everything 12 ga in 2-3/4 as it it will shoot in both. Thus far I've bought a little more in 2-3/4 than I have in 3 and about twice as much 12 as I have 20.

    It's odd (to me) that I'm really starting to see this not so much as pre-buying for next year's season, but more like estate planning.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    2 3/4 works just fine for duck hunting, all you are getting out of a 3 or 3 1/2 inch shell is a few more pelets. 1/4 inch difference between a 2 3/4 and 3 inch shell using size 2 shoot, and you are only looking at like 8 extra pelets, it's not worth the extra couple bucks per box for and extra 8 pelets to me. Plus hunting over decoys the birds are in close so your patterns aren't very big anyway. It's just my opinion, and I'm sure other guys have different logic, but I won't waste my money on 3 or 3 1/2.

    I've seen a kid shoot a mallard dead center with his 20 gauge, even saw feathers fly out the back of the duck, and it didn't even seem to slow that bird down. It was all the evidence I needed to not use 20 gauges for ducks. I've seen the same kid shoot other ducks, and they just keep on going with that gun. I have been telling his dad to maybe upgrade him up to a 16 or 12 gauge for some time, but he likes the kid to shoot the 20, and it's his kid, so I stay out of it. You can probably get away with it a lot more with early season birds, or smaller birds such as teal or widgeon, but too many cripples for me.

    My philosophy on duck hunting, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), 12 gauge, 2 3/4 with a modified choke, you can't go wrong.
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    Remind me to bring the S/S 20 when we go next week..
    It will help with your opinion on the 20 for ducks.. You will enjoy shooting it as well..

    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    2 3/4 works just fine for duck hunting, all you are getting out of a 3 or 3 1/2 inch shell is a few more pelets. 1/4 inch difference between a 2 3/4 and 3 inch shell using size 2 shoot, and you are only looking at like 8 extra pelets, it's not worth the extra couple bucks per box for and extra 8 pelets to me. Plus hunting over decoys the birds are in close so your patterns aren't very big anyway. It's just my opinion, and I'm sure other guys have different logic, but I won't waste my money on 3 or 3 1/2.

    I've seen a kid shoot a mallard dead center with his 20 gauge, even saw feathers fly out the back of the duck, and it didn't even seem to slow that bird down. It was all the evidence I needed to not use 20 gauges for ducks. I've seen the same kid shoot other ducks, and they just keep on going with that gun. I have been telling his dad to maybe upgrade him up to a 16 or 12 gauge for some time, but he likes the kid to shoot the 20, and it's his kid, so I stay out of it. You can probably get away with it a lot more with early season birds, or smaller birds such as teal or widgeon, but too many cripples for me.

    My philosophy on duck hunting, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), 12 gauge, 2 3/4 with a modified choke, you can't go wrong.
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    Must be the sky bustin'... opps, I mean optimism!

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    Average Alaska wildfowl hunter kills 5 Alaska birds a season, so...not so hard to figure...a case I would think? California hunters kill 11 Alaska birds a season...so they need a pick-up load.

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    I go threw a prolly a case a year and maybe a box of BB 3 1/2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Remind me to bring the S/S 20 when we go next week..
    It will help with your opinion on the 20 for ducks.. You will enjoy shooting it as well..
    I need to figure out how to stow away on some of these trips.

    So yeah, even if I reduce you guys' estimates by half, I still have barely five seasons worth of ammo. I'm planning another trip to FL later this year and another big ammo buy (at least big by my definition-about $300 or so) but that's barely 1-2 seasons' worth.

    Maybe I will start focusing entirely on 12 ga and buy lead for the 20 ga (no 6 and 7-1/2) for upland birds. (I figure, the lead will go away someday, too. I hear some states have already banned it for upland hunting.)

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    If I see 2 ducks a season and shoot at only one I will use about 3 boxes... I suck at hitting ducks though
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    About a case for me per hunting season.
    2 3/4 and 3 for me.
    But I go through more for training purposes.

  16. #16

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    about 100 shells max ive put out a ton of time. but at maybe 3 shots a bird. you either need to go to the range or your wasteing meat if your talking cases. unless you have a family to feed. I am me and a wife and a kid on the way and the wife don't eat duck. so for food for one and a picanic as the bear mite say a few times a year that would be my guess but this is only my 3rd year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by troutslayer View Post
    about 100 shells max ive put out a ton of time. but at maybe 3 shots a bird. you either need to go to the range or your wasteing meat if your talking cases. unless you have a family to feed. I am me and a wife and a kid on the way and the wife don't eat duck. so for food for one and a picanic as the bear mite say a few times a year that would be my guess but this is only my 3rd year.
    Some of us just like to eat duck more than a few times a year. No wasted duck meat around my place, I actually ran out about a month ago. I wish I could go to town on refilling the freezer with some duck meat, but with the military moving me to MD for who knows how long, I got to control myself. Hopefully I can get into some good hunting on the Chesapeake.
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    I know I don't do near as much shooting as some folks. I don't skybust, and do very little pass shooting, passing up a lot of "in range" shots, hoping the birds will come back around with cupped wings. While I average 2-3 trips hunting per week from Sept 1 to near the end of Oct, I enjoy the hunt as much as the actual shooting and let the birds work in, and so end up missing out on taking many shots others would have. I only used a half a box opening morning, but then i missed the first hour. Bud
    Wasilla

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    my uncle has a few pro golfer buds in md that make him mad during duck season due to the fact there on the Chesapeake and wont swing a club, only scatter guns. so im sure you can find your self a very nice spot. me myself don't shoot at a lot of birds unless my dog is with as I hate kicking grass looking for a downed bird for half an hour. today was one of those days that they were in range but over very thick grass at about max range. just couldn't get them to come into the decoys but I am a horrible caller. mite just be better off screaming! one day ill figure it out as I don't know a single duck hunter to help teach me just myself.

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    A lot of things could be contributing. Maybe you had your decoys set up on the wrong side of the pond, they may have been seeing you or the dog. Or maybe your spot has been hunted the last few days, and the birds are getting educated. This time of year, you shouldn't need to do much calling, maybe a quack or two to let them know you are there. One thing I have found that helps when you just can't get the birds to commit is a jerk string. A couple tugs on that to get some ripples in the water, and they dump right in.

    The best place I have found to practice my duck calling is in the truck on my drive to work. You just got to keep after it, and you'll figure it out. There are few cd's out there that can help you out. Buck Gardner has an instructional one that he sells with his calls. Zink has a cd that is just duck sounds, and I've found that one to be really helpful. It's all real ducks, so you hear their cadence, pitch, and volume. I would highly reccommend it. They had some duck calling classes earlier this year, and maybe they will start them up again next spring.

    Maybe AWA could put on a duck calling clinic
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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