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"T" shot or Larger for Snow Geese over Decoys...Really?

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  • "T" shot or Larger for Snow Geese over Decoys...Really?

    The current issue of "Wildfowl" Magazine, starting on page 54, has several articles and interviews with guides from Arkansas, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Saskatchewan. In it they discuss decoys, blinds, and shot shells. Most seem to agree that a 3" shell with either a #2 or a BB load is sufficient for hunting over decoys. However, the guide from Texas believes in using "T" shot or bigger for the geese there. He claims that it results in fewer cripples and lost birds.

    Several things come to mind with that; (A) The Snow Geese in Texas must be the size of a small Pterodactyl or at least a Sand Hill Crane and must weight 12 pounds or more (B) Sky busting must be considered a sport there, (C) Hiding the blinds and hunters is not practiced.

    I've got nothing against anyone in Texas, but take issue with this recommendation. Your thoughts?

  • #2
    Definitely agree that 3" BB is sufficient.
    I have a hunting partner that had spent many years in Texas snow goose hunting and the style there, according to him, is straight up tall shooting and 3 1/2" T's were what worked best. Not decoying geese, more pass shooting over decoys.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I've taken input from this site and others over past few years and started using smaller shot. Mainly b/c I don't shoot long shots and prefer decoying birds. Snow geese being the one exception where my shots tend to be longer, at least for the last few shells. So in the ranges I like the smaller pellets through more open choke give a better killing percentage.

      I believe the assessment that most crippled birds are not due to lack of pellet energy, but poor pattern or poor shooting (usually behind the bird). To fix it should you pick a bigger pellet that has less pattern, to hit them in the tail feathers harder? Or get the lead right and have enough pellet density up there to hit head and neck? The latter seems more logical. And just shoot ethical ranges.

      I shoot 2's and 1's primarily on snows, with some BBs as the last few loads in the tube. I've killed ducks and snows farther than I expected with the 2s, and ballistics say they're good out towards 50 yards on snow goose sized birds.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sarge View Post
        The current issue of "Wildfowl" Magazine, starting on page 54, has several articles and interviews with guides from Arkansas, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Saskatchewan. In it they discuss decoys, blinds, and shot shells. Most seem to agree that a 3" shell with either a #2 or a BB load is sufficient for hunting over decoys. However, the guide from Texas believes in using "T" shot or bigger for the geese there. He claims that it results in fewer cripples and lost birds.

        Several things come to mind with that; (A) The Snow Geese in Texas must be the size of a small Pterodactyl or at least a Sand Hill Crane and must weight 12 pounds or more (B) Sky busting must be considered a sport there, (C) Hiding the blinds and hunters is not practiced.

        I've got nothing against anyone in Texas, but take issue with this recommendation. Your thoughts?
        A/B/C are all correct.

        A. Haven't you heard everything in Texas is bigger?
        B. Is there another method other than sky busting?
        C. Hiding, what is this?

        In general you'll find hunting here is no different than hunting elsewhere, other than a whole lot less geese. We have the same type yahoos that y'all have in other states or regions. From my experience some 15+ plus years ago T and BBB were the norm and recommended shot. Since then you see BB to 2's being the norm shot in steel. I use to shoot the 3-1/2" T and BBB because that seemed to be the thing. Now these days if shooting steel I'm shooting BB or 2's in 3" and having more success. No one that I know and hunt with uses anything in steel larger than BB. Just have to know your limitations in what you are shooting. I know how far I can kill if I'm shooting the true tungsten 12 g/cc versus shooting steel. We as in the guys I know and hunt with all use hides, either ghillies, panel blinds, natural cover, but all use some kind of hide.

        Not sure who the guide is you are referring too, but he very well may fit in the yahoo category. Don't let the guide title fool you as being a worthy source of info, if from Texas.
        Last edited by twdjr; 02-11-2020, 05:15 PM.

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        • #5
          In my opinion and experience load density on target is more important than pellet weight. I'm not saying it's the rule but seems to work. As in another thread I've used 6 and 7 shot with great success.

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          • #6
            3" # 1 Federal red box could be the best overall steel snow goose load i have shot. Run it through a TruLock Mod or IM choke and yields Really solid pattern density and energy to 45 yds in the Mod and in the IM farther with a more concentrated core and modest recoil. Iam getting 85-87% from the Mod and up to 91% from the IM at 40 yards. Fiocchi golden goose in 3 1\2" # 1 shoots even better averages but has more recoil. A max of 50 yards is more than enough for me and #1 carry enough energy and density to get it done.
            Last edited by Decoyin Drake; 02-13-2020, 08:16 PM.

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            • #7
              I'll be the a''hole that disagrees. lol I bought a case of 2s instead of BBs last time after seeing so many guys talk about the virtues of smaller shot. Can't wait for it to be gone. Snow geese just seem to be a differant animal to me. Can't believe how many fly forever and drop out dead. Also constantly notice birds when cleaning that have wrung necks yet are peppered with hard hits. At my age I prefer them to fall close and stay there. Also like the bigger shot when I'm picking them out before running thru the grinder.

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              • #8
                #1 in my experience are far and away better than #2 fore general purpose snows and for all geese in my opinion

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                • #9
                  Back in the early 90’s I started out with 2-3/4” T and BBB from my Remington 870 full choked barrel.
                  shot the BBB for a long time and then slowly switched to 2’s.
                  Now i shoot 4’s on all waterfowl and if I’m hunting by myself my first two are 6’s.

                  Hunt with a couple guys that after all these years still shoot BB.

                  Never shoot F

                  Iv seen T knock down birds well over 70 yards back in the day.
                  If you got one pellet in the bird it was was coming down and it left a big hole.

                  Comes down to what your comfortable shooting. No right or wrong answer.

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                  • #10
                    Makes my teeth hurt just thinking about shooting steel 6s...

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                    • #11
                      I had some guys shooting T's this spring and my observations were that they are devastating to snow geese. Like hitting a brick wall devastating! The down fall, is the few number of pellets you have in each shell. But I can tell you that when they connect, that bird is coming down instantly.

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