With different shot materials, pellet shapes, and configurations available, wildfowling has become as much a science as it is a sport. Many hunters may be puzzled as to which load is best for their duck and goose hunting. Shot like Kent’s Tungsten Matrix and Environ-Metal’s Classic Doubles are for older shotguns, but then there’s Black Cloud, Blind Side, and Hevi Shot, which makes selection more difficult. These guidelines, broken down by species and size, should make shell buying easier
1. Small Ducks
Practical advice from expert shotgunners.
Whether trekking through thick woods after grouse, tramping open fields for pheasants or hunkering down in a blind and waiting for ducks, we all want to be able to shoot as well as we can when the opportunity arrives. Usually we learn through experience, but the advice of veteran hunters can provide some shortcuts to excellence. To help improve your wing-shooting this fall, Outdoor Life solicited tips from a quartet of dedicated shotgunners. Here’s their input.
Dove hunting may not be as equipment-heavy as the pursuit of other birds, like waterfowl or turkeys. But it does come with new gear options designed to make us better dove hunters and help us enjoy our time in the field. Here are some of the latest products.
BPT PERFORMANCE TARGET | Browning
As part of their return to the ammunition arena, the folks at Browning have created an excellent dual-purpose sporting shotshell in the Browning Performance Target (BPT). Available in both 12- and 20-gauge formats, the new BPT offers 1- to 1 1/8-ounce loads of No. 7 1/2 or 8 shot, perfect for the dove field, as well as the sporting clays course. MSRP, $8. Browningammo.com.
STEEL SPORTING CLAYS | Winchester
Created with the competitive shooter in mind, Winchester’s AA Super Sport Steel is the perfect choice when dove hunting requires a non-toxic alternative. These 1-ounce 12-gauge loads of either No. 7 1/2 or 8 shot clip right along at 1,450 fps. Interesting, too, are Winchesterâ€™s TrAAcker target loads that let you see why you missed. MSRP, $8-$10. Winchester.com.
BISMUTH | Kent
Kent Cartridge brings to the shooting platform their latest line of bismuth shotshells. Crafted by a proprietary manufacturing technique, the line features 12-, 16-, 20-, and 28-gauge loadings throwing from 7/8- to 11/4-ounce of No. 4, 5 or 6 non-toxic shot. MSRP, $18-$25 per 10 rounds. Kentgamebore.com.
FEATHER SLAYER BLIND | Soar No More
When the doves become schooled in the art of human avoidance, nothing says invisible better than the Feather Slayer Blind from Soar No More. Built around a comfortable camp-style folding chair, the FSB can be set up in 30 seconds and offers a full 360 degrees of unobstructed viewing. Stubble straps allow for the addition of native cover. Backpack straps make hauling it a breeze. MSRP, $140. Soarnomore.com
MODEL 1812 HUNTING STOOL | Plano
Why stand or kneel when you can sit in the dove field in comfort? Plano has a new innovative hunting stool and field box combo. It has huge pockets, a heavy-duty carry strap, integral seat cushion and Mossy Oak camouflage. It weighs only 6 pounds. MSRP, $60. Planomolding.com
DOG WATER BOWL | Browning
This interestingly designed combination food bowl-water dish looks more like a DVD case than it does a pet accessory, right down to the size and Cordura nylon construction. Unzipped, however, the unit unfolds to reveal two expandable bowls: a draw-string closure pouch on one side for food, and a wide-mouth container opposite for hydration. MSRP, $20. Browning.com
REACTOR MULTI-TOOL SOG | Knives
SOG Knives hit a homer with their Reactor Multi-Tool. Dove hunters will find 1,001 uses for the Reactor, both afield and at home. Weighing only 4 ounces, the Reactor houses 10 essential tools, including an assisted blade and rugged compound leverage geared pliers. Great for field-dressing or gathering blind materials. MSRP, $64. SOGknives.com
A5 SWEET SIXTEEN | Browning
Loved by many old-school shotgunners, the Sweet Sixteen is back! Browning reintroduces an age-old favorite in their 16-gauge Auto-5. The new SS A5 is available in 26- or 28-inch barrel versions, and tips the scales at 5.12 pounds.MSRP, $1,700. Browning.com
PRO-SERIES SPORTING | Mossberg
Designed in collaboration with renowned shootin
g instructor Gil Ash, Mossberg has introduced its Pro-Series Sporting Model. The Model 930 Pro-Series features everything the competitive sporting clays shooter would want, and then some, like an ergonomically sculpted stock incorporating Mossberg’s stock drop customization system. MSRP, $1,029. Mossberg.com
POINTER 1000 FIELD | Legacy Sports
The Pointer Field is a new line of fine over-under sporting shotguns. Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410 gauge, the Pointer line sports Turkish walnut stocks, chrome-moly lined barrels and a high-rib for quick
target acquisition. They come with five choke tubes. MSRP, $664. Legacysports.com
VOODOO DOVE | MOJO Outdoors
Known as the founding family of spinning-wing decoys, the minds at Mojo Outdoors have redesigned their dove spinner with a larger, more realistic body, and user-friendly magnetically connected wings. Four AA batteries provide up to 16 hours of continuous use. Comes with three-section, 36-inch pole. MSRP, $45. Mojooutdoors.com.
DOVE DECOYS | Flambeau Outdoors
There’s nothing fancy or high-tech when it comes to Flambeau’s dove decoys just deception. The hard-body dove sports a foot-style clip, as well as a back-mounted eyelet for treetop-hanging. The lightweight foam decoy 12 of them weigh less than a pound – fastens easily to fences, branches or low natural cover. MSRP, $35 for 12. Flambeauoutdoors.com.
The Model 110 was a collection of parts that could be produced cheaply and assembled cheaply. It was the antithesis of the “milled from a block of steel” concept. The rifle was priced at $109.95 and was offered only in .270 and .30/06. Its walnut stock had ghastly lines and awful hand checkering, and the action was cursed with a rotten trigger. But the 110 worked, and it shot well, and people could afford it. It was also made left-handed which, in those times, was nothing short of miraculous.
In 1965, the line had been expanded to include the .22/250, and so I, as a confirmed woodchuck hunter, got one. I found that some things about the 110 were too awful to live with, so I had the factory stock replaced with a Fajen, the trigger ground down to an unsafe 2 pounds, and the nonfunctional rear-sight knot milled off the barrel.
Still and all, that rifle was a shooter. Fifty-two years later I can still remember the handload I used, and its velocity, and the size of the groups. Nicholas Brewer did better than he knew (or maybe he did know). What he worked for was cheap, but in the process of getting it, he also achieved accurate.
But all was not beer and skittles at Savage. It had become a company of outmoded machinery, poor designs, and retiring skilled workers who could not be replaced. In 1972 I visited the Savage plant. There I was shown their rifling machine…which had been installed in 1898, and was a source of considerable pride. Savage passed through the hands of a number of owners, each more incompetent than the last, and by 1988 it was losing $25 million a year and was weeks away from closing its doors.
Two things saved Savage. The first was Ron Coburn, who came to the company just before it was due to go extinct. Coburn looked down the dismal roster of Savage designs and asked, “What can we make that works?” His engineers told him, “The Model 110.” And from that point forward that was all they made, and is pretty much all they now make. Coburn, and Nicholas Brewer’s collection of parts, pulled Savage back from oblivion.
(Source: BY DAVID E. PETZAL. www.fieldandstream.com)
Skinned breasts from two geese (four pieces total)
½ cup Morton’s Tender Quick
½ cup canning salt
¼ cup sugar
2 qts. Water
6 Tbsp. pickling spices, divided
12 black peppercorns
6-10 garlic cloves, mashed
1. In large pot, mix together the Tender Quick, canning salt, and sugar to the water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Pour the cooled brine over the goose breasts in a plastic, glass, or other non-reactive container. Add 3 Tbsp. peppercorns, pickling spices, and garlic cloves. You may have to weigh the goose down with a plate or board to keep the breasts submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days, stirring the brine every other day.
3. On St. Patrick’s Day, remove the goose breasts from the brine and rinse them well. Place the breasts in a large pot, cover with cold water and add remaining the 3 Tbsp. of pickling spices. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least 3 hours.
(Source: BY DAVID DRAPER. fieldandstream.com)