Major shotgun preparedness faux pas

Bailey Boat

Twelve Pointer
The chokes that @dc bigdaddy refers to were done by Mike Orlen. He's very good and very fast on turn around. Check this......


He has done several for me (all thinwalls) and I've been completely satisfied.
 

Dead Eye-NC

Eight Pointer
The chokes that @dc bigdaddy refers to were done by Mike Orlen. He's very good and very fast on turn around. Check this......


He has done several for me (all thinwalls) and I've been completely satisfied.
yep, he is very good. sent a couple of old rem 1100 and he lengthened forcing cone and put in thin wall tru locks for me. very satisfied
 

Dead Eye-NC

Eight Pointer
@Bailey Boat @Dead Eye-NC , not sure if & when I could send it out, but what's his turn around time like?

I looked over his specs for work, and the size and thickness of my gun fall within his limits.

i sent mine to him about 7-8 years ago it seemed like 3-4 weeks, which included my shipping time. so I would email him and ask him. no telling what his turn around time is today.
 

Bailey Boat

Twelve Pointer
Don't waste time emailing or PM'ing, he'll never answer, CALL. That's the best way to get to talk to him and I'd say around 9:30 (EST) would be the best time. I have had turn around times from as short as ONE week and as long as 3 weeks.....
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I wouldn't fool with expensive aftermarket chokes. Shoot what you've got or buy a new gun, unless you're really attached to it.

Light Modified is my favorite. I know people say more open chokes are more effective, but I hate to see feathers fall and the bird keep flying. I'd rather fold them up or miss completely.
 

darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
Doves are no different than ducks. Shoot’em when they’re supposed to be shot and choke don’t really matter. I reckon to some it’s about burning powder and having a good time but my definition of a good time is a limit with as few shells as possible. It’s not a contest because my place is only big enough for me and maybe one more later in the season but even by myself, I’m still competing.
 

stiab

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I know people say more open chokes are more effective, but I hate to see feathers fall and the bird keep flying. I'd rather fold them up or miss completely.
I have retired from dove hunting now, and sold my Sizemaster and O/U, but for me dove hunting was never a casual hobby or something I did just a few times each year. It was as an obsession for 45 years. After dove hunting hundreds of times since 1963, limiting out when it was 24 a day, and then 18 a day, and then 12 a day, hunting both morning and evenings whenever I could, hunting during the 2 or 3 seasons, by myself and with small and large groups, organizing large hunts with up to 40 participants, hunting daily thru the life spans of 3 different retrievers, there are 3 dove hunting truths I will share with the readers of this thread. You can take these to the bank:

(1) If your 12, 16, or 20 gauge gun fits you but you are still 'dusting' birds, it is not because your choke is too open, it's because you are shooting behind them. (2) If you want to kill doves at longer distances, you don't have move to tighter chokes, or heaver shot, just lead them more (more than you think you should, and then more after that) and out to 40 or 45 yards you can routinely kill them dead as a hammer. Most doves that get away are because you shot behind them. (3) If you are using a full or modified choke, your hunting will improve dramatically when you move to more open chokes. Good luck!
 

shurshot

Eight Pointer
Staib, very good post! For someone who was as passionate about it as you were, the question begs…why did you hang it up? I hope it’s was not because of health reasons but certainly know that can and will be a possible consideration once it comes time for me to retire my lot.

Agree, vast majority of misses are behind the target. 40-45 yards is a very killable distance for doves, even with a 28ga. Right shell, right pattern, right lead equals one towards the limit.
 

stiab

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
…why did you hang it up?
Thanks for asking, but I'm doing pretty good for my age. It was a combination of things: moving from rural Edgecombe County to Wake County, my sons starting their families and moving away, and the passing of our last retriever all hit about the same time. I don't want to create a novel here, so folks can stop reading at this point and hopefully not get bored, but I'll add a couple more things below that may help explain...

In Edgecombe County my hunting partners and I knew every local grain farmer, and invited them to pig pickings so they could get to know us. We learned when they planted, which fields would have which crops, and even provided them with sunflower seeds to plant some unused fields and borders. We knew when they would pick the corn, and planned our hunts in advance with that info. They recognized my vehicle and never questioned when they saw me scouting their land. This was a lot of trouble, but made for great hunting, even for large groups. Having to give up that close rural contact and start hunting public land around Wake County was a major letdown.

On the subject of being obsessed, I even took my shotgun when I went off to college and hid it in my dorm room closet. When I didn't get busted, several other guys did the same thing, including a group from Dunn, and we got local permission to hunt in Pitt County, and did most days of the season.

That gun in my dorm room was a Winchester 1200 with 30" full choke. An OK gun, but not great for dove hunting I learned. A few years later I had it cut off at 26" OAL with Poly Choke installed, and that's when I first learned that the more open the choke the more doves fell from the sky. And not just on the short shots, but the long ones too. Dial that thing down to C or IC and it became a dove killing machine. Hope this helps some!
 

surveyor

Twelve Pointer
@stiab , it's a good treatise on the effort needed, preseason and planning wise, for non land owners to prep a productive season, of any sort.

Also to not take opportunity for granted. Things change.
 

shurshot

Eight Pointer
Wow, that’s the way you do it …if you can. Good to be proactive, you reaped the fruits of your efforts no doubt.

I can understand the circumstance as to why you hung it up. Moving from rural to in essence urban is a night and day scenario. Kids moving away and loosing a best friend in your retriever hurts. Took me 2.5 years to get over the passing of my last one before I decided to do it at least one more time (this one’s #5).

Love your college experience. I too kept my shotgun in my room and vehicle. Also kept my first retriever on the third floor of my dorm. Interesting cat and mouse game with the RA hiding the dog. Never got caught …

Wish I had a lot of place to do what you did but as you said it was a monumental effort. Fortunate enough to have a few private places to hunt and shoot birds but still knock on doors when I find some. And yes, opening your chokes up works great for doves at almost any distance hunters can consistently kill at. 👍
 

Steelshot

Six Pointer
Try some larger shot. I shoot 6 and 7 shot at doves. Mostly high speed steel. I switched a couple years back and won’t shoot anything else.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Skeet #2 is my favorite for dove,,,,
I hunted with a modified for years. Got caught with an imp. cyl. as the only thing I had years ago at an impromptu hunt. Had my best day of shooting I ever had. Figured out that unless I was in a late season or scenario where I was batting cleanup after everyone had blasted at them and they were GTFOOH at high altitude that was my go to choke.

I usually have a supply of chokes in the truck but that was what I started with in the gun when I was still dove hunting regular and seldom ever changed.
 

NCbowjunkie

Six Pointer
I had a Franchi 48 12 gauge with the nickel engraved receiver had 26” skeet 2 barrel. It was one wicked wing shooter. Kicked myself in the arse many times for letting that one go
Surveyor. Pick up a Stouger 12 auto new for around $500 they come with chokes and shoots good
 

surveyor

Twelve Pointer
I had a Franchi 48 12 gauge with the nickel engraved receiver had 26” skeet 2 barrel. It was one wicked wing shooter. Kicked myself in the arse many times for letting that one go
Surveyor. Pick up a Stouger 12 auto new for around $500 they come with chokes and shoots good
When I think of missing out on that 20 gauge Franchi, I want to track down the salesman and kick him in the ween.
 

Steelshot

Six Pointer
I am fast approaching switching to all sub gauges and reloading. I can make what I want and not worry about shooting generic stuff
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I have retired from dove hunting now, and sold my Sizemaster and O/U, but for me dove hunting was never a casual hobby or something I did just a few times each year. It was as an obsession for 45 years. After dove hunting hundreds of times since 1963, limiting out when it was 24 a day, and then 18 a day, and then 12 a day, hunting both morning and evenings whenever I could, hunting during the 2 or 3 seasons, by myself and with small and large groups, organizing large hunts with up to 40 participants, hunting daily thru the life spans of 3 different retrievers, there are 3 dove hunting truths I will share with the readers of this thread. You can take these to the bank:

(1) If your 12, 16, or 20 gauge gun fits you but you are still 'dusting' birds, it is not because your choke is too open, it's because you are shooting behind them. (2) If you want to kill doves at longer distances, you don't have move to tighter chokes, or heaver shot, just lead them more (more than you think you should, and then more after that) and out to 40 or 45 yards you can routinely kill them dead as a hammer. Most doves that get away are because you shot behind them. (3) If you are using a full or modified choke, your hunting will improve dramatically when you move to more open chokes. Good luck!
I have shot a few doves. Enough to know that shooting conditions vary considerably. I was referring to the guys who claim you never need more than a skeet choke in the dove field. I may reach that conclusion one day, but I haven't yet.

While not as old as you, like you I have spent a considerable amount of time, money, and effort on hunting doves. I won't attempt to build a dove hunting resume here, but I have developed some preferences over the years, and it's not because I never thought to try something different. Thank you for the advice. I never pass on considering the wisdom of experienced hunters.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
I was referring to the guys who claim you never need more than a skeet choke in the dove field.


well since I'm one of the folks that mentioned skeet choke,,,

didn't see anyone say "never need more",,,, said it's my favorite,,, as did others

but then I dove hunt different than most,,, my anti-social attitude,,, I like loner dove hunts more than the crowds of most "dove fields",,,

plus tighter chokes don't mean you "miss completely" ,,,, most chokes have flyers as well,,, and when you put 200-500 pellets in the air you never know if you "missed completely" or not,,,
 

surveyor

Twelve Pointer
I got two fields that are my favorite quail and woodcock field. They are 5 year old planted pines, in rows, that I rotate bush hogging different lanes.

It's grown well enough now that I can run the tractor through all the lanes, and it has sufficient cover between pines to still maintain critters.

My dad cut some of the easy lanes earlier last week. I had to go back and get the ones that had sweet gums and poplars that shot up in the last two years.

Despite the close quarters, there were dove in the lanes my dad cut, eating poke berries.

Never figured them to go to ground in that type of field. Always thought they were more of an open area bird.

Nevertheless I got an app for that...
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
well since I'm one of the folks that mentioned skeet choke,,,

didn't see anyone say "never need more",,,, said it's my favorite,,, as did others

but then I dove hunt different than most,,, my anti-social attitude,,, I like loner dove hunts more than the crowds of most "dove fields",,,

plus tighter chokes don't mean you "miss completely" ,,,, most chokes have flyers as well,,, and when you put 200-500 pellets in the air you never know if you "missed completely" or not,,,
I understand. I wasn't referencing you in particular. There is just some pervasive generalizations, that I do not believe are universal.

I have killed birds with a skeet choke, and wished I had one more open than that, as they were ticking the top of the standing corn on their way to landing in my lap. I have also found that same skeet choke to be less than optimal in other situations.

I may not know if a "flyer" hit a bird, but I certainly know when I get a broken wing and the bird continues 100 yards into cover. In those cases, I'd like to have a couple more pellets to hit home. There are a range of chokes for a reason, and patterning them will show their limitations.
 

v8stang289

Eight Pointer
I'd run what you have.
For the last several years I've used an 870 with an IC choke. But last year I used my SXS 20ga with IC and Mod, and honestly I'm thinking of going C, IC this year.
I typically only hunt opening weekend. It's become a sort of tradition for the past 10 years or so that my dad, me, my son, and my brother will go on the opening Saturday and/or Labor Day, and then grill whatever we bag.
Looking back, I think my most successful year was using my 870 with cyl choke. The bird were flying low and fast, and I was knocking them down.
I certainly wouldn't feel under gunned with your current setup.
 
Top