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The_King48

Tips for a beginner

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I have always hunted deer and fished both summer and winter, but I figured I would try something new this fall.... I would like to hunt grouse and maybe pheasant... My buddy has a dog so I could go with him even though its only his second year.... I have a 20 guage that my grandpa left me when he passed on... What type of shell should I be looking at??? 2 3/4???? Type of cover, time of day, and so on... Thanks in advance..... Oh ya, how do you tell what type of choke that is in the gun?

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well mornings are good because no one else has hit the trails yet and afternoons are good because the grouse come out to pick pebbles for their gizzards, but anytime is fine. I have the best luck in Pine/Poplar mix and edges of tag alder swaps. Grouse like clover, rasberry bushes, mushrooms, and later in the season treebuds after the snow.

for ammo I shoot No. 6 shot

for telling the choke it should be either stamped on the barrel or if you have interchangeable chokes the outside of it after you take it out. it will be abbreviated MOD. for modified, FULL for full. I don't know the abbreviations for SKEET, IMPROVED MODIFIED, OR IMPROVED CYCLINDER.

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Give some thought to patterning the gun before you go, and spend some time shooting clays. If you're concerned about the gun take it to a real gun shop and have them check it out and make sure if functions properly and is safe to use. A full choke, particularly with some older guns, can be a real problem if you're shooting steel shot.

What is the make of the gun and what does it say on the barrel? Any idea how old it is?

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Its a win. 1200 ( fairly cheap gun I think??) with a FULL choke.... I don't think its the best choice for a grouse gun, but I think I will shot it this year anyway.... Will it harm the barrel with steel shot??? I bought 7 or 71/2 steel shot for this weekend...

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Generally, you won't want to shoot steel shot through a full choke. Modified is plenty tight (in my opinion, anyway) for steel shot.

7 1/2 is probably all right for grouse...a 20 gauge is not likely to pattern well with anything larger than a #6 or maybe #5 anyway. 7 1/2 is probably gonna be a little light for pheasant...I'd suggest you go with a #6 there.

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You probably are looking at trouble if you use steel shot in that gun. If you're grouse hunting you can use lead in most areas except certain state lands. Hitting a grouse with a full choke pattern will also be a bit difficult. Improved cylinder is what most would use, maybe even more open this time of year when your shots are close due to the heavy cover still on the trees. But I wouldn't discourage you from getting out. Stop and get a box of lead shot and enjoy your time out in the woods.

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You can go grouse hunting any time of the day. Look for fairly heavy cover with the best beign aspen that is 3-10 years old. Try brush around wet areas as the birds probably will be attracted to the water. You probably can find books or magazine articles on line that give you more detail on tactics, locations etc. Some people just walk trails and go for the easy pickings. You'll be tempted, but a real grouse hunter doesn't pop one that's sitting on the ground or up in a tree.

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