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Steel shot lead distance?

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  • Steel shot lead distance?

    Any experienced duck hunters out there, i'm new to waterfowl hunting, and would like to how much distance you lead after you (paint the bird ) when hunting ? After patterning you shot gun, are there any tips you can offer? My shots are under 35 yards, 12 gauge shotguns are used, and steel shot.I hunt in salt water bays, marshes, pass shoot diffrent types of ducks sometimes over decoys along shore. Like all duck hunters i'm looking to miss as little as I can. Thanks Bill.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  • #2
    Well I'm no shooting expert, but I do seem to score about 80% on shots.
    I'm usually limited out by the time my hunting buddies are counting the last of there shells. LOL
    You might invest in a cheap off season hobby. Gather some of your buddies and go skeet throwing. Practice those shots you have the most difficulty.
    As far as leading. It depends on the speed of the bird. I use the front sight bead. If they are cupped setting into your spread I might lead by one bead. Other times if they are high and far away I might aim about a foot in front of the bird. Close range shooting when I know they are setting into the spread I will use improved cylinder. Those ducks that are decoy shy and you wind up pass shooting I'll use modified.

    If it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck.
    Feed it no. 2's.
    Baron Rea


    • #3
      Wetland, thanks sounds like you have a good system nailed down! Bill.
      ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30


      • #4
        AK F&G Steel Shot School


        Years ago I was able to take a Steel Shot Seminar from AK F&G. The instructor was from Winchester and I believe his name was Tom ?? We had 6 hrs of classroom and 8 hrs of practical on the coarse in Kenai. He taught use the art of progressive swing - were you would look at the target, shoulder your gun, swing behind and in line with the target and fire while continuing the swing. You have a 11 lb. super computor above your shoulders - teach it, train It, and you can hit anything - anywere. I went from 8 misses at the start of the test to 8 hits. If F&G still offers this course Take It. If they don't - Petition them to offer one.

        sigpic MERRY CHRISTMAS


        • #5
          What Cohodave said....and shoot them in the lips.

          Most folks are looking at the body of the bird as it passes and this will result in you shooting behind the bird, or wounding it, but missing more often than not. If you focus on the birds bill or the area just in front of its head, you will usually have a kill shot on nearly any bird that is crossing within the range of your gun/choke. This is why Goldeneyes can be really easy to hit for me since I lead the white eye patch rather than the bird's body.

          The mag waterfowl hunter is hard to find on stands, but can be found over the net (costs alot too). It only comes out with 4 issues in the winter. The last issue had a great article on how to practice shooting for duck hunting, and I believe it was written by the same guy mentioned above since there are photos of him with ADF&G people at a very "flats" like range. It was not Birchwood or Rabbit Creek so I am now guessing Kenai.


          • #6
            more then you think as it turns out 4 boxes and 3 ducks later
            I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


            • #7
              If your new to Waterfoul'n

              Then don't worry about the technical stuff - Shotgunn'n is about the feel, the lead is different in every circumstance @ every angle, and every speed esp. with wind. The "paint" thoery is just theory - there is NO WAY a human can actually spread the shot leaving the barrel, time for a myth buster's episode.

              If your shooting 35yards and Under...then 4's are more than enough....shoot until it works for you...If you get a shot along the water...your going to figure it out REAL fast how much of a lead you need!

              Enjoy the sport - go shoot a bunch of'll get the hang of it


              • #8
                Man, there is now way to tell someone how to lead a bird. You have to have experience in all kinds of weather, and the different bird presentations.

                There's that TV show that say's shoot and shoot more often.

                I have hunted fowl all of my life and have been a guide in SD and AK and haven't found one absolute method yet.

                I shoot out of boat blinds, layout blinds and pits and each one requires different techniques.

                Were having great weather go out and bust some clay!!
                Have fun..


                • #9
                  I'm with MCAT. Been hunting waterfowl for a while now (heading toward my 28th season) and hitting them has always been the challenge thats kept my interest. No way to figure a "method" for all settings. Theres a billion things that change, including wind - which has the ability to blow your shot string off. My opinion, go bust a lot of clays, get the gun mount down and learn that swing through method of shooting. Then go shoot a lot at ducks, they are the best teachers, and will teach you humility more than not. Honestly, most of the time I have no idea how far I lead, when my brain says shoot, my finger complies.....


                  • #10
                    When I was a very young impressionable lad my grandfather who may have never shot a duck in his life told me you have to lead them about 3 feet. Well after many many misses I shot at one instinctively and nailed it dead. I swung from behind and touched off as I passed and followed through on the swing. So much for grandpa. He was a very nice guy but he didn't know jack about wing shooting.


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