A SHOT OF FALL. We’re watching the cooling trend this week with the first full day of autumn under our belt. Things get windy and chilly as we move toward a wet and cold weekend. As we do, we take stock of the various shot sizes available to hunters for certain species of game in our Outdoors Roundup.
Featured Photo: Shelled. A handful of 12-gauge shells ready to roll.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Tue 9/24 – Winds Build – Hi 67, Lo 54, Wind NW@22, G33
Tomorrow: Wed 9/25 – Chillier – Hi 62, Lo 46, Wind NW@20, G32
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
1:57AM 5:45PM 9:55AM 10:24PM
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (23% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 7:30-8:30AM. Sunrise with light winds in our Edge Hour will be your last chance at calm conditions for a few days – take advantage!
LIGHT & LITTLE. Shot in sizes 7 ½ and 8 are typically employed for small upland game, such as doves. 7 ½ can also be an effective early season load for ruffed grouse, where a spread of as many pellets as possible is needed to penetrate the forest foliage. It’ll also work for sharptails in the early season as well, when they’re flushing closer.
MIDRANGE. Size 6 shot is the jack-of-all-trades for upland game. It’ll knock down grouse and pheasants and is a good load to have when October rolls around and both birds are encountered in the field. Behind a pointing dog, with the right chokes, it can be shot throughout much of the upland season.
LATE LOADS. Size 5 and 4 loads are good choices for pheasants all season as well, but really shine in the later stretches as winter approaches, putting a little more mass into the shot pattern. As with all loads, test them out and pattern them before the season to get an idea on the impact being made.