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Huns in Montana

Huns in Montana

Postby GrayDawg » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:43 pm

If any of y'all were going to Montana to hunt Huns,
what would be your ideal shooting set up? (Shotgun gage, barrel length..... shot size?)

Thanks!
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Bedight » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:07 pm

I have successfully used a 20 gauge, 26" barrels, IC & Mod chokes early in the season and when hunting in fresh snow. Mod and full mid to late season (no snow). Always over good pointing dogs. I have no experience hunting Greys with flushing dogs so don't know what gauge and shot would be best for that scenario.

Coveys usually flush in big, fast group and land about 400 yards away. Usually you can locate the covey for a second try, afer the second flush they tend to head for Canada and a re not seen again that day.

Sometimes, not often, in mid-day a covey may be widely scattered ,allowing your dog to locate singles which will hold well and a smaller gauge and shot and more open choke could be used, but the Covey flush is more likely and the smaller gauge and shot would not be effective.

A light 20 gauge double with IC and Mod chokes 7, 7 1/2, or 8 shot is probably the best compromise.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:50 pm

I use a 20 gauge double gun with 2 3/4" Kent 1 ounce #6s - choked I/C and mod or, in my favorite fixed choke "Huns" gun, I/C and full. I hate having to chase cripples and I am careful to take one bird out of the covey at a time or you limit out too soon. In doing so, I focus on that bird and ideally drop it for an easy retrieve by my dog. I'm not a proponent of 3" anything unless waterfowling/steel.
I'm not saying you can't use anything else. I am saying it's what I have used for years on Huns (prairies) after chasing too many cripples with super-fast, plated 7 1/2s. With 6s you still have that downfield effectiveness you need.
Further-to-this, I shoot so that what I collect is table worthy. 6s with a calmer approach rarely let's me down in terms of effectiveness and table fare.
As for length of barrel, the fallacy that 2 inches off the end of a barrel will make you that much faster or serve you in dense woods is a myth. If anything, your mount will be whippy and you will miss birds you otherwise wouldn't have missed. Your height, build, arm length, etc. will play into barrel length providing a consistent, smooth, balanced swing, more than you might imagine.
I'm only 5'9" and 27 1/2" - 28" inch barrels prove deadly on a wide variety of birds.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby nevermind » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:44 am

I like using #6 shot. You could find Sharptails or Pheasants (2nd weekend Oct. opening) in some areas where there's Huns.
20ga is what I use.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Gordon Guy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:13 am

I second what Featherfinder and Nevermind recommend. I primarily hunt Huns over pointing dogs in Idaho and I shoot a 16 gauge SXS choked IC and Full. I use RST 2.5", 1200 Ft per Second, 1 oz of 6's early and 5's late in the yr. Birds flushing 25 30 yards from the dog is common. Using bigger shot would give me a few extra yards in pellet energy. I focus on one bird at a time from a covey rise, and experience fewer lost birds that way. Choice of gun really depends on what you shoot best. Where I hunt there is no second opportunity for a re-flush. They generally fly out of sight so getting shooting at tight sitting singles is not an option.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby fishvik » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:44 am

I usually run into huns when I'm hunting pheasants or sharpies so I just use those loads and gun. 870 12 ga with mod or IC and 1 1/8 of #6s.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:45 pm

Gordon Guy - 16 gauge....sweet! I used a wide variety if RST shells too (20 & 28 gauge) but not their 1 ounce 20 gauge loads. Most of what I used was lighter but also had a lighter application such as woodcock, or when dropping birds during training. RST also make 2" shells and paper hulls as well. Very nice for some of the older classic double guns (wish I had one!). "Julie" is VERY informative and provides a service that is a consistent with the classy RST brand.
Shells are a bit like dog food. Reading what is on the label or looking at the picture does not always convey the quality within.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Gordon Guy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am

FeatherFinder, "Shells are a bit like dog food. Reading what is on the label or looking at the picture does not always convey the quality within."

I agree. I'm recoil sensitive and the shells they produce are much more comfortable to shoot then the factory loads I use to use. When shooting light weight guns felt recoil is a real consideration.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:35 am

Gordon Guy, I agree 100%. With the right RST shells, you get quality over quantity. Sadly, a large number of poor shots look at quantity in the hope that it will make them decent shots. It doesn't work that way. Hence my comment about never using 3" shells (unless with 12 gauge steel for waterfowl).
When I see 1 1/8 in 20 gauge, it tells me what I need to know about the buyer's ability. Like my father use to say, "It's not about the size of the hammer...it's about the guy on the handle."
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby cjhills » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:41 am

Featherfinder wrote:Gordon Guy, I agree 100%. With the right RST shells, you get quality over quantity. Sadly, a large number of poor shots look at quantity in the hope that it will make them decent shots. It doesn't work that way. Hence my comment about never using 3" shells (unless with 12 gauge steel for waterfowl).
When I see 1 1/8 in 20 gauge, it tells me what I need to know about the buyer's ability. Like my father use to say, "It's not about the size of the hammer...it's about the guy on the handle."

Don't know a lot about shot shells. I have went to lighter loads in my 20 gauge berretta auto. But as any framer knows your dad was wrong about the hammer........CJ
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:08 am

CJ, you say you went lighter in your Beretta but you didn't mention what you actually would use on Huns?
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby cjhills » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:06 pm

Featherfinder wrote:CJ, you say you went lighter in your Beretta but you didn't mention what you actually would use on Huns?

a oz of 6 if I can find them.......Cj
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:52 am

Cj, you touched on something. We hit literally 4 Cabelas before getting to our destination! Why are 1 ounce 6s so hard to find but there are lots of 1 ounce 5s? Are they not in demand or are they so much in demand, they were already sold?
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby RyanDoolittle » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:22 pm

I am an hour north of the Montana boarder. My set up for Huns is a 5.5 pound Over Under shotgun. This is important because your doing a lot of walking. So make sure it’s light and easy to carry. The gun is a 20ga and I am shooting 1 1/8 federals. They are in a blue box and cheap, no need for that expensive junk. Practice in the off season with what your hunting with will be more help than $30 a box ammo.

The secret to Huns is big running pointing dogs and early season hunting. The birds will hold better for inexperienced dogs, Huns are an eye opener any pressure and they bust.

The next is more of a luxury item but if you can get a horse. Nothing funnier than running the prairies with big running poimtimg dogs on horseback chasing Huns and sharp tails.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:41 pm

RyanDoolittle, JMO but if you're going to use a 20 gauge with 1 1/8 ounce loads, you'd be better off shooting the same specs from a more square load (better downfield pattern integrity) in a 12 gauge, no? Your bird hunting 12 gauge is not going to be much heavier - not the right 12 gauge. Also, if you simply breast your birds you won't notice much of a difference but if you pluck them you likely will. My experience with a friend's 20 gauge 1 1/8 ounce shells was he either missed or what was left of the bird was not worth taking home!
The other salient aspect folk seem to overlook is that aside from the gun itself, the shells you carry are loaded with LEAD and that weight can be significant. Carrying X number of 1 1/8 ounce shells in 20 gauge or carrying the same number of 1 1/8 ounce shells in 12 gauge does not convey a weight difference. Considering performance and the inherent success of a nicely balanced load, if a sweet 12 gauge weighs 4-5 ounces more, you might notice a marginal weight increase even if you average 10- 12 miles per day as we did (according to Fitbit). The significant weight increase in the 12 gauge might come from the extra birds you'll be carrying. ;)
I use a 20 gauge with 1 ounce loads. Ryan, as you know, by the time you get on them, they're out there and yet Kent 1 ounce shells stone them! AND, those birds make great table fare...plucked whole!
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby RyanDoolittle » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:12 pm

I shoot a ton of birds every year and the only time there is too much lead to bother is if my hunting partner and myself double shoot a bird. Shot up birds are not a problem otherwise I wouldn’t be using the shells.
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Re: Huns in Montana

Postby Featherfinder » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:40 pm

For sure Ryan. Hey....just for the heck of it, try Kent 1 ounce 6s - not any other brand. You might be pleasantly surprised. There is also less felt recoil from the Kents which can also translate into improved shooting habits. Then again, I'm only 5'9" - 170 lbs of raw muscle. OK....I lied about the muscle. :(
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