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2 days - 2 seasons - 2 limits

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberEastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
This was an interesting year in Nebraska in that the dove and teal season openers fell on back-to-back days, respectively. It was going to take a hardcore effort to get up insanely early two days in a row to secure our spots, but my buddy, Haidar, is never one to shy away from that.

Opening day of dove was a little bit slower than expected, but we were still done by a little bit after 9 AM. The dogs got a good warm-up and we both got our 15-bird limits.

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The teal season was a different deal altogether. We had a public land spot scouted out that saw big bird movements and lots of landing birds just a few days prior. The pre-season scouting paid off big time. You know it's going to be a good day when you have to hold fire waiting for legal daylight even though flocks are landing in the decoy spread 10 yards away. This day was even shorter than the previous, with very early limits earned and plenty of fast work for the dogs. We each got our 6-bird limits and called it a day.

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It's easy to forget how incredible of a bird hunting state Nebraska is when you've been away from opening days like this for the better part of 7 years. The past two days were a sharp reminder of just how good we have it here. At one point during the teal hunt, I went from 3 birds down right up to 5 on a double. It almost made me sad the sun was still not over the horizon and the shooting was almost done. Hey, it's better than the alternative.
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Oh, and definitely pattern your gun with a specific choke/load before going afield. I broke that rule and bummed some #6 steel shells from Haidar only to discover that they shot WAY too tight through my Patternmaster choke tube. At over 20 yards, there was nothing left to breast out on this bird. You'll notice that there is one bird missing on the stringer close-up picture that I posted above. This guy was just too gross to include in an otherwise nice-looking gang pic.

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    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    steel #6 can be a dense pattern
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I can almost smell the powder and feel the cool dawn air.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    steel #6 can be a dense pattern

    Oh, yes. Next time out, I'm putting in a factory improved cylinder choke for those. I normally use #4 or even leftover #2 for just about everything including teal. The logic in switching to #6 for teal was that smaller shot would do less meat damage to these tiny ducks....yeah right.
    early wrote: »
    I can almost smell the powder and feel the cool dawn air.

    These were some refreshing and fun days for sure.

    The dove opener started out nice and cool but got warm quickly. The dogs needed a lot of water by mid-morning. Still, it beats sitting at home.

    It was just about perfect for the teal opener. Cool and a noticeable, but not punishing, south wind that made for a predictable landing direction. The only problem with this spot is that it was so deep that the dogs were swimming almost full time to keep their heads above water. I had to drown a 5 gallon bucket nearby so my dog could have something rest on once in a while. Haidar sunk a hunting chair by him for his do to do the same.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,821 Senior Member
    When I was stationed overseas my dad somehow got it in his head that I didn't like the shotgun I'd been using for years and "up-traded" it (without my knowledge) for a nice Rem 1100.

    When I got home, just in time for squirrel opener, I can't say I was displeased...the Rem was pristine except for a broken off front bead.

    First squirrel comes along, on the ground about 30 yards away. I give him a load of #6's and his whole world erupts into a cloud of dry oak leaf dust. He jumps about 5 feet but looks no worse for the experience, so I whack him again..same result. I send the third shot and while digging in my pocket for more shells, he casually ambled off.

    Later, I discovered the bead hadn't been broken off, but an inch or so of the barrel had been sawed off. At 30 yards the "pattern" was about 8 feet across, with holes you could throw a beachball through. I retired that gun on it's opening weekend.

    Until.......

    Steel shot became the law of the land for ducks. Turned out that barrel would absolutely shred a paper dinner plate at 40 yards with a load of #4 steel shot. More than a few 50 plus yard ducks landed on the dinner table. Not shabby for a ruined barrel, though I'll be quick to admit, it was truly incapable of launching any other load with better effect than a rubber band gun.

    Steel shot saved that barrel, and to this day, if waterfowl is the target, that's the rig I'm grabbing.

    As long as I can find #4 steel shot.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,821 Senior Member
    But, otoh, my dad traded off my JC Higgens pump that had been equipped with a Cutt's Compensator. That, while ugly as a mud boot, shot. I've not since owned anything like it. I'd trade every shotgun I own, plus all the interim ones, to have that one back.

    Shotguns are like 22LR's. When you find one that works, keep it.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    It's truly stunning how the world changes when you shoot that hard, steel shot through an otherwise mildly constricted choke tube. I run a factory modified for my #2, #4 and BB shot with pretty amazing downrange effect. The Patternmaster is a more of a distance goose specialist for use with #1, #2 or BB on the larger birds, but it was clearly just too tight with steel #6.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,281 Senior Member
    Many years ago I bought an 870 DU Commemorative that had been retrieved from the river where it had set for a week after the original owner flipped his canoe...finish was buggered up but after it was dried out it was still a functional duck gun...so I gave over the $80.00 and headed out....We were walking into our blind when I flushed a big old rooster pheasant...centered him up with that 28" full choke and sent a load of 3" #5s after him...it caught up with him about 30 yards out and the bird just exploded in a cloud of feathers that hung there for the longest time....nothing left worth picking up. Turned out to be a great shotgun for pass shooting but absolutely horrible for shooting over decoys..
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Jayhawker-

    My very first pheasant was destroyed like that by #2 steel through a modified choke, but mine was a t WAY to close of a range for any other outcome. I paniced at let loose at about 5 yards. The bird had a cookie cutter hole through both breasts.

    Speaking of bad holes, my buddy got a candid shot of my face when i picked up that one that was hit with the #6 steel through the Patternmaster...

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    He also got a nice one of me and Bolt leaving the marsh.

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    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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