Home > The Great Outdoors > Hunting, Fishing & Camping > pheasant hunting

pheasant hunting

  1. I think I am going pheasant hunting this year (first time hunting ever) but I need to get a new barrel for my 870. Can anyone tell me what barrel I need? I saw some online that are 26 inches with the vent rib sight. I don't know what kind of choke I need to get.

    Can anyone give me any suggestions?
  2. First, what barrel do you currently have on your gun? Length? Choke? Plain round barrel or vent rib? The the length and choke should be printed on the side of the barrel (it'll say something like "26 inch Full choke"). If there is no choke listed, then...

    Second, look at the end of the barrel; do you see a threaded choke tube with small notches in the end? If so, all you have to do is buy a new choke tube (or two or three) and a choke tube wrench, not a new barrel.

    If you do decide to get a new barrel, get one with choke tubes and a set of tubes to go with it, and you'll be set to hunt everything that's "huntable" with a shotgun.

    Finally, you can hunt birds with almost any type of shotgun, barrel length, and choke, if you're willing to accept some limitations. For open chokes (Skeet, Cylinder, Improved Cylinder), you'll have to get on the birds quickly and shoot, before the bird gets too far away and your pattern opens up too much. If you have a Modified barrel, you are probably okay for early season birds, or hunting over dogs. If you have a Full choked gun, take your time and let the birds get a bit farther away before shooting; the larger pattern will make hitting easier.

    Heck, we hunted EVERYTHING with Full-choked guns when I was a kid; if it was far away, you were all set, and if it was up-close, you just waited a bit until it was far away. The only time this doesn't work is if you are in very thick cover; by the time the bird gets far enough away, you won't be able to see him any more. :)
  3. When I hunted pheasants we typically had a number of hunters. Some stood at the edge of the field and were blockers. The rest were drivers and went to the far side of the field and walked towards the blockers. The birds would typically get up while the drivers and blockers were fairly far apart. Everyone mostly used a modified choke. Here is some info on chokes.

    The pattern percentage is typically taken at 40 yards with 30 inch circle as a target. The percentage can be drastically changed by changing ammo. You should try patterning several loads. That would be educational to say the least.

    I would talk to the people you will be hunting with assuming you are going with some more experienced hunters in that area. Their conditions may be different. The birds may stick tighter giving you closer shots or they may take off much farther away. I would take their advice on both choke and ammo. If you can't get any good info out of them then a modified choke will probably be a good bet.

    I would also recommend a barrel with interchangeable tubes. Make sure you get the improved cyl., modified, and full so you will have your bases covered.

    I would probably get the vent rib but in the end what matters is how well you shoot it.
  4. Oops, completely forgot to reply and say thank you for the replies. Sad news though, I found out I can't go hunting this year because I have to attend a hunter safety class in order to get a license, and all the classes are filled up :sad:

    Oh well, maybe next year