Advice for first-time bird hunters: Part One

August 25, 2011

Over the summer at least 4 different guys, who have never waterfowl hunted before, asked Jared if they could tag along with him during goose and duck season this year. A couple of them have been around guns their whole life and are avid deer hunters, but just never had anybody to take them along during goose and duck season. And a couple are total beginners, shooting shotguns for the very first time.

Of course Jared said yes because it’s just the kinda guy he is, but he always prefaces any advice he gives with “Well I don’t know much, but I’ll tell ya what I know…”

Except that that’s not entirely true. Because he knows a lot. Or at least enough that during last season he killed 67 ducks. On public land. Mostly out of a moving  kayak. So yeah, I’d say he knows at least a little…

So I thought I’d throw out some of the most commonly asked questions people ask him when they are first starting out, and if any of you out there are curious to learn more about what Jared does and how he does it, or if you want to start goose and duck hunting, then feel free to come here for some tried and true information. And if you already know this stuff, or have no interest in waterfowl hunting, then I apologize in advance for boring you to death with the following information. Maybe you would find this story more interesting. So here we go…

Question #1: For goose and duck hunting, what kind of choke should I use in my shotgun?

Everyone that Jared has ever “taken under his wing” (yes pun intended), has asked this question at some point prior to opening day. A beginner might think they should start off with an Improved Cylinder, because it allows the bb’s to open up into a wider spread as they leave the gun and fly through the air toward the target. A wider, more dispersed spread, obviously, means there’s a greater chance that at least some of the bb’s will hit the target.

But the problem is, the wider spread also means that the bb’s might not be concentrated enough to hit the target with enough force to kill it–especially if your target is a goose because if you’ve ever hunted geese you know those suckers are tough!

So for that reason, Jared always recommends people shoot a Modified Choke. The modified will tighten up the pattern of the bb’s so that more of them are hitting the target. This also means the shooter needs to be more accurate.

But like Jared says, “I shoot to kill, and I’d rather miss the bird than hit it with only a couple bb’s and wound it.”

So his advice is to practice shooting clay pigeons all summer with a Modified Choke, build your confidence, and improve your accuracy with the tighter pattern, so that come opening day when you swing through and pull the trigger, you’ve got the full force of all your bb’s heading toward your target. And if you hit it, it’s going down. 

After all, that is the goal right? 

Well whatever he does, it must work because here’s what a typical afternoon during hunting season looks like for me:

 Duck, anyone?





One Response to “Advice for first-time bird hunters: Part One”

  1. Larry said

    I read these all the time. You really are doing a great job creating your style, branding as it were. Keep up the fun! See you for duck hunting opener.

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