Sunday, February 21, 2010
The 12 Ga.........For Ruffed Grouse??
A standard 12 ga. load of 1 1/8 of any size shot can be a bit much for early season grouse hunting. The birds are young, cover is heavy. Close, fast shots are the norm.
Fortunately there are many factory loads available in 12 ga. that allow us to adjust shot load and speed to accommodate many shooting situations. The 12 ga. shotgun with choke tubes is the most versatile shotgun on the market and shells are available for game, from woodcock to white tail deer.
My favorite Grouse gun is a 12 gauge S x S and I adjust loads as the season changes. A few years ago Winchester introduced a 12 ga. load with 7/8 oz. of #8 shot. I loved it for early birds. It was designated a Super Speed load and was much faster than necessary but the light shot load and skeet choke worked well together. You could smack a young grouse at 20 ft. and still have enough left for dinner.
The Speed loads are now in a 1 oz. load and they do a great job too. They have 50 more pellets and are still inexpensive!
My favorite grouse load is a recipe I used for 16 yd trap. 1 oz. of #8 shot in a Win. AA hull, Windjammer wad with enough Red Dot to kick it out the muzzel at a very slow 1100 fps. I have tumbled a bunch of Ruffed Grouse with that load. I had a couple of cases of Win. Xtra Lite AA trap loads left over from a seminar and the 1 oz. of #8's pattern a bit tighter but still very usable.
I basically shoot a 16 gauge load through a 12 gauge gun and it's a fantastic combination for Ruffed Grouse. Try it, You'll like it!!! DWT