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Preferred quail load for north east state stocked birds
Unread 11-11-2022, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default Preferred quail load for north east state stocked birds

What would be the preferred quail load here in the north east (Mass) for huntin state stocked birds over bird dogs.
Ive been shooting quail with 7.5 shot at around 1150 fps. But im wondering if #8 loads would be better. Most of my shots are over Sophie my English setter so they're fairly close in.
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Unread 11-11-2022, 09:59 PM   #2
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We always used 20 gauge #9 shot on Eastern Shore wild quail back in the 80s. By doing so we avoided ripping them to shreds on closer shots. State stocked birds may be different in the flush tendencies.
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Unread 11-12-2022, 12:05 AM   #3
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I shoot #9 on pen raised Bobwhites when training my dogs. You wont give up anything using 8’s or 9 shot.
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Unread 11-12-2022, 07:15 AM   #4
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My close friend, who practices early release on flight trained birds (August release) uses 9s, but I prefer 8s. These birds, by late October, often flush wild just like native birds. And, we occasionally bump a covey that really are wild birds. I've never seen where I was handicapped with 8s. My first barrel is choked .006", and the second .016". Been using this 20 ga. Fox for three seasons, now. No extensive meat damage yet.

However, there is a school of thought about choking bobwhite guns that decries open choke for the first barrel, citing collateral damage to other birds in the covey, which may result in a cripple being lost, that the shooter may well not know was ever hit. I can respect that line of thinking, on covey birds. Indeed, the first covey rise with my little Fox resulted in a double on the first shot and another bird with the left barrel. Hard to come up with perfect answers.
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Unread 11-12-2022, 09:37 AM   #5
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Hunted wild quail in Tennessee all my life. Never could tell the difference between 7.5 and 8.
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Unread 11-12-2022, 10:55 AM   #6
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I have hunted state stocked quail in NJ for quite a number of years and have always used either a 20 ga. or a 28 ga. stoked with #7 1/2 shot moving at 1200 FPS. In the 20 ga. 7/8 oz. and in the 28 ga. 3/4 oz.
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Unread 11-12-2022, 12:27 PM   #7
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I'd use the same shells for quail as I would for mudbat. Open bbl with 1 oz of #10 or #11 shot and tighter bbl with #8 or #9.
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Unread 11-24-2022, 06:55 PM   #8
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One thing I have noticed that I like better about using larger shot than 9s on quail ........ occasionally my friend will give me his birds, and I will often find 9s in the meat, that didn't pass through and exit. There is a drastic difference between the number of shot I find that are 7 1/2s or 8s. They almost always seem to pass through and exit our birds. And, I shoot a modest velocity load out of my little Fox ....... about 1145 fps. He's shooting 9s at 1250-1300 and many shot still stay in the bird.

Just my casual observations.
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Unread 11-24-2022, 11:29 PM   #9
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Stan I am surprised, I have shot a lot of pointed wild birds with #9. I have never had a real issue. Any occasional pellet is easily seen located and removed. The white meat shows the pellet with any feathers that were pulled through. Then again I shoot a lot of birds in the back.
A friend I occasionally hunt with shoots a lot of 6’s on pointed birds. He is a great shot but his birds are beat up bad.
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Unread 11-25-2022, 08:33 AM   #10
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Just my experience, Phillip. Might have been skewed for some reason or another. I'll continue to watch for this closely this season, if opportunity arises. One thing I thought of that could influence what I see is that my friend, who is an excellent shot also, shoots quail farther out than I am willing to. Those 9s may have lost a lot of energy at the longish distances. I hate seeing a bird drop a leg and fly away so badly that I just usually refrain from long shots. I didn't think about that until this morning.

Most of ours are shot going away, too. A lot different cover, though!



Best to you, SRH
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