Hunting & Fishing goose hunting questions - again

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Gunny Sergeant
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ok i'm definately going goose hunting this year.

i have a mossberg 835 3.5" mag 12ga 28" barrel. i use it for turkey and coyote, should be able to do geese good. as i'm trying to do it on the cheap for my first year doing it, i got a few questions:

steel shot, what is the all around size? (so far some research is telling me BBB or BB)

chokes: the 835 has 2 steel chokes, a modified and a full. which one should i use with what sized shot?

3.5", 3", 2 3/4" shells?

get ammo with fps of 1450 and above, correct?

what sized steel shot can i run through a full choke without causing damage to the gun?

i know i have to go out and pattern it, just wondering where i should start. i don't have enough budget for black cloud, hevishot, or an aftermarket choke, so tell me what would be a good "standard" ammo / choke combo for 50 yards.
 

Call Turner

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Re: goose hunting questions - again

First of all steel shoots full through a mod choke. Don't try the full unless it says full steel!!! Are you field shooting or over water? You will get higher velocities from 3" vs 3.5" which is what you want shooting steel, speed kill's. BB's are good goose killers. Do you load your own shells? I can point you to some awesom handloads if you do. Mike
 

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Re: goose hunting questions - again

i don't reload shotgun, yet. i've found some affordable steel factory loads to start with, and if i get addicted, i'll probably go with hevi short or black cloud eventually

i'll be in fields, have a dozen decoys on order, i'm guessing i'm ok with the calls as i have them turning around while they are flying (calling while woodchuck hunting, no decoys deployed)

the chokes i have read:

xtra full T & F steel
full 2 & bb steel, then it says "all lead" below it
mod 2 & bb steel, then it says "all lead" below it

first in foremost is safety, i don't want to blow it up or get myself injured.

second would be to put out a pattern that is effective to harvest geese and not cripple geese.

what i'm getting as far as steel shot size goes, from largest to smallest is:

F
TT
T
BBB
BB
B
1
2

so i'm gathering that the extra full choke is labeled T & F, that it should be safe to use BB in it also. and since mod and full is less constricting than the xtra full, i should be ok on that end, right?
 

High Binder

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Re: goose hunting questions - again

I use 3" Blackcloud BBB for goose and 3" Blackcloud 2 for ducks both out of a Blackcloud Pattern Master full choke.
 

kurt

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Re: goose hunting questions - again

When shooting geese over decoys i like 2 shot in what ever fast load i can get and usally 2 3/4 if i am pass shooting then i use bb in 3 inch. Pretty much all i do is field hunt and 2 shot takes care of both ducks and geese because they are close and it patterns the best out of the 1978 wingmaster 870 that my dad gave to me.

i hope you have better luck with the mossberg than the one i had for a week. I still have nightmares of the couple times i used that thing.
 

cmh2007

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Re: goose hunting questions - again

I use BB 3 inch, and kill plenty. before that when it was more cost effective to buy 2.75 inch BB I killed just as many with that as I do now with 3 inchers...
 

coldboremiracle

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: seaaggie</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I use BB 3 inch, and kill plenty. before that when it was more cost effective to buy 2.75 inch BB I killed just as many with that as I do now with 3 inchers... </div></div>

    Same here, we kill em with 2.75 and 2shot.
     

    Jerry m

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    I have found BB and BBB do better in killing geese although I have killed them with smaller size. DO NOT cheap on the shells! Cheap shells are shit. They are not manufactured the same way as premium shells are made. IMHO shells are the cheapest part of the hunt. Look at Remington Nitro Magnum or Black cloud. Not need to go to Busmuth or HeavyShot.

    Good luck

    Jerry
     

    264win

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    i have tried most of the goose loads that are avail . win . rem fed. black cl. hevi shot ,bismuth , etc, etc. would recomend a decent 3" mag bbb or t .doesnt have to be anything fancy . yes you can kill geese with # 2 or even 4 s but its like deer hunting with a 223 . does the job , but not the best tool .sucks to watch a goose fly off wounded to die later . i like an ic choke for early season and mod for late . most factory full chkoes are not ok for steel . be sure to check
     

    kurt

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    When the geese are 10 to 15 yards i like to have more pellets on the birds and 2 shot has a denser patern(in my gun) than the bigger shot just not enough pellets in the big stuff. In the past 10 years of serious decoy hunting have not lost a goose shooting over decoys. Pass shooting that is a whole different story thats where the heavy shot really shines and the bigger pellets are needed to carry that energy farther distances.
     

    SuperSeal110

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Black Cloud BBB and BB is excellent for goose.

    I've ran both 3" and 3.5" and it kills them well.
     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    first off hello all! Newbie here. I cant comment on performance on geese cause the ones i see most the time have their goggles and little red bandanas on but i strongly recomend black clouds. I shoot 3" #3 out of my 12ga o/u and 3 1/2" #2 in my 10 ga bps with modified factory choke. Im not gonna knock cheap steel cause i teal hunt with rem sportsman #4s and do just fine. But big ducks there is no comparison for me they definately do more damage prolly due to the tighter patterns from their special wad and should slam geese within reasonable distances or with bb. My cripples went down tremendously with cheap steel seemed like it took 2 shots for 4 out of 5 birds with the black clouds id say 1 in 5 are drt. Just a country boys experience nothin more. Good luck!
     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    oh yeah! One more recomendation try a carlsons extended steel choke in mod. Had an 835 my wife hunted with with the carlsons and patterned nicely.
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    well i went to the local gander mtn., they had some winchester and federal 3" bb steel that was 1550 fps and at a price that was reasonable enough to try 3" and 3.5" both bb and bbb. i think it'll be good enough to get an idea of what shot size / choke combo will give me a good pattern and range, and then invest in the more premium shells

    i have a feeling that 3" bb and mod choke is going to be the answer, but wront know until i get to the range.

    thanks for the direction.
     

    djtjr

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    some good advise here #2 steel or bigger but get yourself a Mdoified choke.
     

    MikeeBooshay

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Dude, you got some real good advice here, I'd like to agree and reinforce. I hunt ducks/geese 45-50 days a year in Cameron Parish, so you know I am putting some birds down.

    1. Modified choke is your friend - either steel or Heavishot or Blackcloud. Full is too much and if you get close shots, bird is ruined.

    2. Shells are cheap compared to everything else. Don't sweat the velocity, that is just marketing. If shooting steel, Winchester Supremes, if not, then Blackcloud. I shoot SEVERAL cases a year of that stuff, counting goose season, backing up sports that can't shoot. Many timesI let them shoot empty, then mop up, at longer ranges, and BC works. One drawback on close shots, shoot for the beak, or ruin the bird, it holds a tight pattern.

    3. should be 3.5!!!! I shoot 3 1/2, becuz as Shaughnessy says, THEY DON'T SELL A FOUR!!!! The extra payload makes the difference - when three guys guys in the blind shoot and only one is consistently killing geese, you better not believe it is just the shooter.

    4. And good luck with the MOssy, seen a couple of them come apart, where the fwd end of the mag has a thread to hold the barrel. The thread thingy pops out of the mag end and the spring jumps into the marsh, hunt over. 870's are a bit more rugged, Benelli Nova more so. Get infected with the duck disease, and you'll own a Black eagle or Extrema eventually.

    5. number 2, 3 and 4 for ducks, BB or bigger for Geese. If they made Black cloud in T or F size for Geese, I'd buy it, right now shooting bismuth or tungsten T&F. Have used BB BC and it was OK, hard to find.

    More than halfway thru till it all starts again!!!!!
     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    u could always get a 10ga.
    smile.gif
     

    MikeeBooshay

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Yeah, but I'd have to carry the big heavy SOB. MY brother has one, but he shoots my extra SBE when he hunts with me, that or an old 870 he likes..... to use for a paddle sometimes!!!!LOL. Them are some rugged ole guns!

    Not as much a selection of shells in the 10 ga either. Hell, just break down and buy a case of Blackcloud and be done with it.... it is not that much more expensive.
     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Mikee Booshay</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yeah, but I'd have to carry the big heavy SOB.

    Not as much a selection of shells in the 10 ga either. Hell, just break down and buy a case of Blackcloud and be done with it.... it is not that much more expensive. </div></div>

    Yeah its a couple pounds heavier than a 12 but its great for a few curls to work my arms and bulk up for the ladies.

    And yeah theres not a lot of selection but with a 1 5/8 oz of black cloud #2s what else could you need.

    Just messin with ya and wish you luck.
     

    chad3

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Use 2 3/4 and #2. Works fine for both the geese and the ducks (and I don't have to try swapping the loads out depending on what comes in).
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    UPDATE:

    thanks for all the tips and advice, i got out to test the loads and choke i have.

    i shot at 25 yards with both 3" and 3.5" cheap assed winchester Xpert steel shot in BB, both loads and chokes did a fine job at 25, not worth posting the pics.

    at 50 yards:
    08-14-2010005.jpg

    3" BB mod choke:
    08-14-2010011.jpg

    3.5" bb mod choke;
    08-14-2010012.jpg

    3" bb full choke:
    08-14-2010009.jpg

    3.5" bb full choke:
    08-14-2010010.jpg


    i know i'll probably get better results with more high shelf shells and choke, but to me it looks like the 3.5" and the full is the best out of the lot.

    i'll invest further in shells and chokes in the future if i like the whole goose hunting thing, but as for now, the question is:

    do the results of the 3.5" bb full choke target look good enough for geese at 50 yards?
     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    that's a nice set up you got. never have used a pistol grip for wing shooting though. Did you just shoot once at 50 with the full? take an average of 3-5 shots and see what you get.
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    yeah i shot at that distance and ammo / choke combo multiple times, it was about the same each time, the ones i have posted up are the average single shot patterns with this ammo / choke combo.

    i've grown attached to the pistol grip CQB shooting / training with the AR and my combat shotgun, so it went on my hunting shotgun as well.

    using this shotgun for turkey / coyote hunting (and even though that would be a dead bird at 50 with the 3.5" and full choke), i'd like to see a few more pellets in the area. i'm used to having much more there with the heavy shot and extra full chokes i use with them. but i hope on average, that will be good enough for geese with this shotgun and ammo.

    what do you think, will it put them down at 50 yards or am i goin to cripple more than kill?

    will 50 yards be doable or pass on the 50 yard shot until i get some goose field time under my belt?

     

    bigtater80

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    +1 on the better shells. I prefer to do the biggest part of my shooting at less than 30 yards and just ain't big on the 50+yd shooting. I prolly took 2 shots last year at over 40yds with my 10ga as kind of a hey yall watch this type of thing. I connected and killed both birds and could prolly do it fairly regularly but its not my style. I feel a lot of people arent familiar enough with their combo to be shooting at this distance. I call em sky busters. Instead I'd work more on my calling, proper camo, decoys and shoot for closer shots. Also if you keep your shots closer you could shoot #2s and have better pattern density than bb. Long range is for rifles. Keep it up close and personal. Take all this as just a ol country boys opinion. And take a hacksaw to that pistol grip they don't belong in the blind.lol
     

    rcnpthfndr

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    +1 on what priogue joe said;

    i use 2.75 #2 shot, 24" rem 1100 and rely on my crappy calling skills, decoys, flags and concealment to bring them in close. sky busting isnt goose hunting in my opinion, seen it alot in meyerstown, pa when i was there.
     

    shotgunner1526

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    3" Kent Faststeel 1 1/4oz BB and a Patternmaster choke tube is a good inexpensive way to go. Killed alot of ducks and geese with them. I have switched to HeviShot and it is very impressive.
    If I ever have to start buying shells again though I would save the money and buy Kent.
     

    EricM40

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Dunno about y'all, but $34 for 10 rounds of heavy shot is too much for my blood. I like the black cloud though, very consistent.
     

    LngRngShtr

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    Just read in WILDFOWL magazine Black Cloud SNOW GOOSE load...supposed to be better than 'cloud

    we shall see,..

    Me I use Hevi Metal #3's and successfully pass shot (treetop level) 2 last year if I can see the whites of their cheeks it isn't skybusting in my book but some folks around here think they have rifles instead of shotguns...

    Year before I snuck up using a kayak flushed them and got one on the wing with Winchester Hi Speed steel BB

    Just a stack barrel Stoeger Condor with Carlson ext. chokes

    John
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    today's "first time out goose hunting" update:

    coyote stood 40 yards away, jumped my goose decoy.....position and camo works well

    flock comes over, actually veered in my direction once i started "honking".....guess my calling is good.

    placed most of the decoys facing into the wind, and the geese approached into the wind, as i found out on a goose hunting site. GOOD TIP in case any other goose newbies are following along.

    the geese seemed to put on the brakes, i fired, missed twice.

    so obviously i suck. either they were too far out (didn't appear to be), perhaps i over led them (they were barely moving strainght over me), or the ammo i'm using bounced off them, the one i aimed at didn't seemed phased.

    i could use the heavy winds left over from hurricane earl blowing the shot off target as an excuse, as it's blowing like hell out there, but we all know it was the moron behind the trigger.

    heading back out in about 30 min.


     

    Highground

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    I tried some of the new Remington HyperVelocity 3" BB (1700 FPS) this week. It did NOT pattern well through a Patternmaster Ext. Range choke.
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    the end of my first trip out, only got off 2 rounds missed both. it's the resident goose season, so i have to practically hunt a city park to get close enough to them.

    i did have 2 coyotes come in today, with another coming in last saturday. perhaps my new coyote setup will be using goose decoys
    crazy.gif


    so dejected, but not discouraged, ends my week off to go goose hunting.

    i'm sure it will be better once the crops get harvested and there are leftovers in the fields and the last hayings are collected. i'd like to do the "on the water" type of hunt in the future, but for now am going to stick to farms and such as i don't have a water craft for recovery or the energy anymore to go forward with hunting on the water.

    i have about 50 of them fly over the house each morning and night, coming and going to the resivoirs that flank me. about 20 flew over yesterday around 1400 while i was sealing the drive, and 8 flew over as i pulled in today.

    <span style="font-weight: bold">i was just going from sunrise to about 1000, the back out from 1700 to sunset, should i be hunting the afternoons more in this early season?</span>

    lessons learned:

    1. ammo + choke combos is as important as turkey hunting.
    2. geese tend to approach into the wind before landing to graze zone of fire and eyes in that direction.
    3. crops must be harvested / grass cut low enough for them to be attracted to the fields consistantly.
    4. found some good spots as far as visibility and set up goes pertaining to #2 and prevailing winds.
    5. coyotes seem to like geese more than i thought.
    6. next year, take my vacation later when there is more migratory traffic.
    7. a seperate large expandable back pack is nice to keep decoys, calls, ammo together / compact and ready to go at a moments notice.

    i'm going to tone it down until those migratories start coming in or fields get harvested, hopefully will have some goose pictures to post.
     

    beretta_man11

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    I agree with most of these guys. I will buy a case of BB and shoot ducks and geese all day. In a perfect world, if I could buy 2 cases at a time, I would get 2's and shoot ducks with that but where I hunt in Canada, you never know what flock is coming in next and BB's kill them all just as good for me as the rest. I have shot a few of the hevi-shots, it's not for me. too expensive. I have shot cheap steel (experts-kent-estate-sportsman steel) and all shoot ok BUT if you hunt where there is the slightest possibility of your shells getting wet, do not use kent or estate!
    Chokes- I shoot a patternmaster xtended range all the way down to a cylinder choke. all depends on what and where you are trying to kill. FYI-a full choke with steel does not shoot as tight as a modified with steel. (try it) steel does not compress like lead does so it basically pushes off of eachother instead of constricting down as the choke is trying to make it.
    Gun-All of my duck hunting shotguns are 3.5 capable. I don't always shoot 3.5s but most of the time i do. You always have the option if you want to shoot the mule kickers.
    10ga-I have a Gold 10 and it is a boat or field gun, not timber or anywhere i have to walk a long way, WAY too heavy.
     

    kurt

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    29 geese fell to kent 2 3/4 2 shot last sunday. Unless pass shooting i dont need any more.
     

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    Re: goose hunting questions - again

    UPDATE 11-19-2010 - SUCCESS!!! thanks for all the posted tips and PMs of tips, they did help.

    now i have to do it consistantly...

    it was a pretty interesting morning, a new flock about every 45min, i missed 4 times. they are tough to bring down and i wasn't leading them properly. but then i got it right, or at least got lucky!

    GOOSEWALKINGMOD-Copy.jpg

    GOOSESITTING-Copy.jpg


    for any other goose newbies some more tips i've learned:

    1. Patience - wait for those birds to circle around, they seem to usually so to check out the situation

    2. what really seemed to work is to set up further away 50- 60 yards from the decoys and dowm wind from the decoys - seems to put you underneath the real geese as they circle.

    3. GEESE ARE NOT TURKEYS - a whole lot harder to hit. a bit different in the dressing department, and a whole lot more fat on them - tougher to skin, thighs are smaller, wings are different, along with the breast bone area and hip section. definately (anatomically) a different bird, take your time dressing out your first.


    Question to the experienced, am i supposed to get rid of all that fat, or leave it on? does it give it more flavor or a nasty taste? i did get rid of it on this one.

    is 11lbs 8oz an average goose, small, or big?