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Old September 20, 2012, 09:54 PM   #8
spaniel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2008
Posts: 188
On WILD pheasants, flushing at longer range on average, many years of experience taught us that a 12 gauge with 28" barrel, 3/8oz #5 shot was the ideal setup. #4 shot was too thin of a pattern at longer ranges, and #6 shot left too much shot in the breast meat.

If you hunt where birds hold for a point rather than run until forced into the air, lighter loads or lighter shot may be acceptable. We once went to a "bird ranch" where you practically had to kick the birds off the ground, and our standard loads described above were way overkill. Some birds were inedible.
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