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Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Wing Shooting Articles

Beeper Collar - Buyers Guide

While many sportsmen love the sound of a traditional dog bell while hunting over their favorite upland dog, few can argue that the latest beeper collar technology has many advantages over a bell when hunting. The largest disadvantage of hunting over a pointing dog wearing a bell is that the bell is silent when your dog is locked in on a bird, making it difficult to locate your dog at this critical time. Beeper collars have addressed this limitation and many others. In this article, I will discuss the features which have made beeper collars become the number one choice while upland bird hunting.

Grouse, Pheasants and Old Glass

We worked our way through the ancient apple orchard without flushing a single grouse. The cool October morning was giving way to the warmth of the sun, as my female English springer spaniel "Bess" and I climbed over a rock wall and stepped into a field of overgrown broom straw and fescue grass. The sun warmed my face and I stopped for a moment to enjoy the sensation. Rising steam from my shirt collar began to fog my glasses. Removing them, I wiped away the sweat from my brow, whistled to "Bess" and continued along through the field.

Different Kind of Shooting

As certain as sunrise tomorrow, someone is going to come along and tell you that your pals are going out shooting and why not grab your shotgun and join in the fun. Why not indeed? Shooting with buddies is a zero sum game. There are winners and losers; yet to be designated, that's true; but chances are you already have a suspicion of which class for which you'll be nominated. Loser, right?

Mossberg Argentina - Torture Testing

Argentina, the land of great scenery and food, and it is a fact that it is about the world’s greatest location in terms of offering up warm targets for sport shooting. This fact did not fall unnoticed regarding O.F. Mossberg when it was time to test their new line of 2006 field guns. When Mossberg decided to test their new gun by way of a group of writers, engineers, and buyer agents in Argentina it was the logical choice, being the country can send countless numbers of birds over a gunners head. In effect, it holds an endless supply of feathered targets (dove).

You and the 12-Yard Bird - Part II

Help! Help! . . . you're choking me! The fact is that we're shooting guns that are too tightly choked. In the pre-choke tube years -- say fifty years ago -- the problem could be dealt with simply by taking your trusty hack saw in hand and removing two or three inches off the muzzle of the offending, too-tightly choked shotgun. Viola! . . . you and your cylinder-bored shotgun are ready to take on the world. But times change.

Fueling Your Passion for the 28 Gauge

Sporting clays’ shooters are writing the book on hitting small, fast-moving targets -- so here's your chance to go to school on their dime. And the first lesson is that clays’ shooters use the smallest pellet they can get away with. It's a judgment call, of course, with wind and target distance factored in, but they get to choose from No. 9, No. 8-1/2, No. 8 and, rarely, No. 7-1/2 shot sizes. Generally, No. 9 shot gives "the biggest bang for the buck." There are 439 pellets in a 3/4 oz. load that works well on close targets -- 18 to 25 yards. The compact shot string of the 28 gauge load offers bird hunters chances for multiple hits on soft targets like grouse and quail, as well as dead-in-the-air head/neck shots on close range dove and pheasant.

Hevi-Steel Review

In a previous issue of Gundogs Online, I wrote about the lack luster performance of Hevi-Steel shotshell ammunition as applied to South Dakota ring necks. I indicated at that time that Hevi-Steel in a #4 pellet size just didn’t have the needed punch required when taking on tough old ring neck pheasants. Well folks, I think I overstated the situation to some degree, and now I need to set the record straight.

Understanding Payload vs. Gauge Size

Over the years, and that adds up to quite a few, I have observed the game harvesting phenomena that reflects on both shotgun gauge, and the overall shotshell payload sent aloft. This past early fall I got the chance to set up a detailed experiment that involved gauge offerings from 410 bore through heavy 12 gauge as applied to South Dakota dove shooting.

While dove are not waterfowl they need not be as applied to this observed ballistic exercise. Because I was hunting an area that retained targets that were consistent in numbers day by day, and always flew the same general patterns overhead, I had a ready made test base to work from. All that was required was to change the gauge used afield day by day, watch and record the payload of each shotshell chambered.

You and me and the LOP - Length of Pull

With a world awash in acronyms, society allows us to speak in this kind of verbal shorthand, hence the title of this column. In the hunting biz LOP refers length of pull -- the measurement, in inches, between the curve of the trigger and the edge of the butt stock. The "standard" length of pull for most American-made shotguns was 14" for many years. But, times are a' changing and the foreign-made shotguns now on dealers' shelves often offer LOP's -- seemingly at the whim of the maker -- all the way up to 14-7/8". This suggests two questions for the birdhunter:

Understanding Payload vs Gauge Size

Over the years, and that adds up to quite a few, I have observed the game harvesting phenomena that reflects on both shotgun gauge, and the overall shotshell payload sent aloft. This past early fall I got the chance to set up a detailed experiment that involved gauge offerings from 410 bore through heavy 12 gauge as applied to South Dakota dove shooting.