Preferred Shotgun Length For Grouse/Ptarmigan

TruBluTex

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This is gonna be my first year hunting grouse & ptarmigan and considering taking my Winchester 1300 Defender 18" w/ #6 shot. The reason for taking the Defender over my Savage Stevens 77 is the Defender has a tactical sling attached. I reckon it would be much more comfortable using the Defender through the woods + just easier to carry. I've been quail & dove hunting down in Texas, so the longer Savage would DEFINITELY be the choice between the two but I've heard you can walk up to grouse & ptarmigan (mainly grouse) as close as 20 feet. So I figured the Defender would be a good choice though it only has an 18" barrel and no choke capability. I would take my Ruger 10/22 but my first stop is on Ft. Richardson and shotguns are the only weapon permitted.

Thoughts & opinions from experieced grouse/ptarmigan hunters would be greatly appreciated.
 

thunder chicken1

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barrell length

barrell length

I would deffinately ****-can the sling as it will get hung up on branches and stuff, you should be carrying your shotgun as if a bird will flush any minute. The 18" barrell is ok for grouse but you may need an I/c choke if the birds are a little spooky and some 1 oz 7 1/2's would be a better choice out of that cylinder bore. I would suggest a longer barrell for ptarmigan maybe 24 to 28 inches with a I/C choke and a Mod. just in case they're spooky. I would use a 1 to 1 1/4 oz. load of 6's and maybe even have a few high brass just in case you need them for those long shots.
 

AK Bearcat

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Shotgun

Shotgun

I have used my 1300 for MANY years for bird hunting in the winter. Yes it has its limitations but that is part of the fun. I have used both # 6 and # 8 shot depending where I am hunting. If there is a chance of getting with-in range of a fox then I take the #6 shot. Hunting on snowshoes the 1300 with its short barrel is a lot easier to carry. If I am concerned about longer shots than I take my Ruger 77/22.
Use what ever you have, are comfortable with and have fun. Just do not forget your emengercy gear no matter where you plan on going.
 

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