Choosing the right shot size for geese


We all get used to our favorite loads and shot sizes and assume they’re the best. Sometimes, however, a series of poor field results shakes your confidence in your pet’s charge.

The three geese in this photo were shot 20 meters above decoys. They were fatally injured but none collapsed in midair. All three hit the ground with their heads held high, and the one that was hit the hardest was walking. I blamed my shot and assumed I was just breaking wings until I dressed the birds. They had been hit a lot harder than I thought, two with my HeviShot 4 pet and one with a high speed steel prototype 2.

This led to a few observations:

1. HeviShot is a great product if you can afford it, and it’s deadlier than lead ever was, but I hammered two geese with it and they hit the ground alive. What this tells me is that the hunters of yesteryear who remember killing everything with pellets have selective amnesia. Without a doubt, the lead was lethal, but we also sailed with birds with lead.

2. Late season geese are big, tough birds. While Steels 2 and HeviShot 4 kill them within lure range, large projectiles penetrate deeper and kill better. B’s, BB’s, and 1’s are the way to go.

3. I reserve the right to change my opinion on the size of the shot the next time I have a day when the birds do not fall dead as they are supposed to.

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