Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by lobo9er, Feb 14, 2011.
what size shot do you guys use for squirrel out of a 12ga?
I prefer 4's simply because there is less shot in the meat, many use 6's.
You eat squirrel???
6 or 7 1/2. Whatever is handy
I like 00 buck, there already cleaned when you pick em up
Im with 451, 4s are preffered, but difficult to find in factory loads around here. 6s are second on the list. 7 1/2s are for targets, squirls that dont get smacked hard enough to knock them out of the tree often wont ever hit the ground.
3 1/4 - 1 1/4 -# 6 when I can find them. They pattern more evenly than magnum #6 in my gun. I hunt tall timbered river swamps so #7 1/2 are a little lacking in penetration on long shots and peppers them too much on shorter shots. The pattern on #4's thins out too quickly.
All guns do not pattern the same so buy several varieties and pattern yours. Try to balance an even pattern, density, and penetration at the ranges you shoot.
All kiddin aside, I use 4's 0r 5's with a full choke and try to catch them in the head with the edge of your guns pattern. 7 1/2's are really light this late in the season, the hides are kinda tough.
1 oz. of #6s because the cat is no longer a "mouser"
The cat is 15+ years-old and no longer keeps the field mice at bay. I now shoot the squirrels to provide an occasional tasty treat for our red foxes who now hang around and as a result eat the field mice as dessert.
Since I don't eat the tree rats I'm not concerned about the amount of pellets in 'em. If I was going to eat them I would use #4s.
Careful when you mess with Mother nature though - I was thinking of raising some quail, but with so many foxes around (As many as 7 have shown up at one time in our yard) this will now be a challenge!
NO smaller than #4,, i want to kill-them while knocking them out of tree,not give them an acupuncture treatment,,last time i used #8 on a squirrel it almost skinned him in the tree!!
I haven't hunted squirrels with scattergun in a long time, but as I recall my best results were with a mild #6 load, modified choke. This was in Kentucky in fairly dense woods.
I recall hitting one from about 10-12 ft. with a high brass #8, full choke. Not much left. Barn cats loved it.
I quit hunting squirrels with a 12 gauge a long time ago. Too much shot. A 410 with 3" number 6s and full choke will do the job without ventilating them.
I have used 7½ shot and didn't have any problems and they fell dead to the ground too. I got a mess of #5 20 gauge shells for "pheasants", so I like those, and they work just fine. Prior to that I also used #6 shot. Maybe I am getting closer to the squirrels when I shoot, than some of the other folks on this topic, but never needed #4's, and only use the #5 as they were super cheap at the time I bought them. Tops of oak trees, no worries.
Oh, yeah. Check here.
Squirrel isn't bad. I've never used my shotgun to hunt em tho. I stick to my .22 and headshots. Nothing worse than biting down on a piece of shot you missed when cleaning it.
I second the .22 idea.
My .22s have taken more squirrels than I can count.
I've used about everything to hunt them, from pellet guns and .22's to most calibers of shotguns using medium sized shot.
Heck yea they're good eating, very high in cholesterol, but good. I don't hunt nor eat them much anymore.
I 2nd eating them! Only used 22lr before but I thought end of season I might as well stack the odds might not see to meny. wasn't sure if birdshot was a good idea if eating them was part of the equation.
Third the .22 idea. At most a .410....
.22s are okay if you shoot 'em at ground level, but present a danger once the muzzle starts getiing higher...at least in my backyard.
Opening of the season in the hardwood forest of the east the leaves are usually still pretty thick. 4's or 5's, reach the upper limbs and knock 'em out a little better than 6's, which later in the season after the leaves and mast are down and Rocky's scratching through the leaves for leftovers, are fine.
This is what I use...
#5 is best #6 second best #4 third best. Availability will vary
6s mostly. Have used everything from 4s to 8s. 6s seem to be the best compromise for Eastern Greys.
#5 for me - works way better than #6 in my experience.
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