Quail what are you seeing.

warren nelson

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Been seeing a lot of small babies the last few days. The hatch is looking pretty good hope they make to adulthood.
 

Bankrunner

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Thanks for the heads up, makes me want to do some recon this weekend.
 

jbv

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I was just up in the sierras and I was still seeing paired up birds and males looking for mates. No fuzzballs sighted up there.
 

Limited Out

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There was a excellent hatch in the Desert, from what I have seen.
 

GSP4Runner

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Hordes of them are attacking my house, it is like a zombie apocalypse movie but with quail instead of zombies. Going to be a good year.
 

MariotheBarber

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I’ve been telling everyone that with all the rain up here in the high desert is gonna make this a good year for bird hunting. I’m hoping it is, last year was the first one I got skunked.Now I gotta figure out what steel loads to use, I have no experience using steel shot.
 

Bankrunner

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We saw a few adult singles and pairs driving the forest roads @ about 4000' on Saturday afternoon. Nothing at the ranch but i didn't venture to far from the yard because time was short.
Hey Mario, they say step up a shot size when switching from lead to steel. If you were shooting #7 or 7 1/2 lead switch to #6 steel and you'll be fine. You'll want that in a high FPS like Kent Fasteel @ around 1550 FPS. Most guys will shoot a modified or improved choke with steel. Make sure your gun is ok with steel as some older guns can suffer barrel damage.
 

Bankrunner

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And try to get all the shot out when cleaning your birds. Biting down on steel shot is not pleasant.
 

jbv

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I saw my first sighting for birds of the year. nice lil covey of 12 little ones, they looked to be about 2 ish weeks old. In the same area, there were males still calling for mates.
 

MariotheBarber

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Hey Mario, they say step up a shot size when switching from lead to steel. If you were shooting #7 or 7 1/2 lead switch to #6 steel and you'll be fine. You'll want that in a high FPS like Kent Fasteel @ around 1550 FPS. Most guys will shoot a modified or improved choke with steel. Make sure your gun is ok with steel as some older guns can suffer barrel damage.

Yeah I had to order a replacement barrel for my Mossberg 12 gauge to get one that could handle steel, and the Mossberg 20 gauge I picked up last year can handle it too. I use the modified choke. What would you reccommend for dove and quail in 12 gauge if I used to use #8 in lead before? And what would you suggest in 20 gauge?
 

ChrisAMX

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I tried Steel and Bismuth for Dove on Carrizo two years ago. The only dove I got was with Bismuth. I had no idea what was going on with steel.
 

Bankrunner

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I would start with a box or two of #6 kent fasteel. Dove are easier than quail to knock down if you can get a pellet on them but the shots tend to be further away (at least for me) so i think the #6's work well for both.
There are guys on here that hunt for dove and quail a lot more than I do. A couple are Limited and SteveH, they might help out.
 

Limited Out

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171218_1630_Upland-Fasteel.jpg I pretty much reload everything I shoot, so I'm no expert on off the shelf ammo. If I were considering store bought this would be a good starting point. In #6s @1450 fps. Real close to the same pellet count as lead 7 1/2s. Keep your shots in the 30-35 yard range. The most important part is to find some time to pattern this with your gun & chokes at those ranges. I think that if I am going to take the time and expense of going why not shoot what is optimal, and not cut corners. Just my thoughts, most important is having a great day in the field.
 
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Jsloan687

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I've been using the winchester super X steel shot in #6 for the past 3 years on dove and quail and never had any problems. Also works on whatever bunnies come along.
 
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I wanted to try these also so I used the super x at a NSTRA event and they did well on planted birds over dogs. They were all close easy shots though. But all my wild quail and chukar I use Kent #6. Late season I bring # 5 for chukar. Not that I want to change but I like to have backups also

as for bird numbers been looking at some new quail spots and it’s looking real good. One spot had a pair with 8-10 chicks! Haven’t checked my honey holes yet but I’m sure they gonna be full. Haven’t scouted for chukars yet either. Been working in Arizona and gambles are running in the city so should be good there also!
 

Limited Out

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If you think your shots are going to be in the 40+ yard range I would consider using #5 steel. The trade off in using larger shot is less pattern density for more energy down range (knock down power). Some days Doves fly low and erratic, for some reason, #7 steel will work well on those days. Some days it's mostly high pass shooting with birds in the 40-50 yard range. Last year on the opener, the flyway we set up on, their were not many shots past 25-30 yards, you could shoot #7 steel all day long with good success. The analogy I think about when shooting upland game is that Mourning and Whitewing Doves are like shooting at a Wine Glass, real easy to break. Quail and Euros are like shooting at a Mason Jar. A box of each #5s thru #7s would be a good plan for the opener this year. Get a feel of what works best for you, then dial it back to the one size you like best. Anyway lets shoot a lot of birds this opener and have a fun day of it with our kids and friends. That's my plan!!!
 
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MariotheBarber

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^^^^ Good advice right here. That makes a lot of sense, and I think that was my mistake last year as I missed a few birds at a longer range.. I’ll have to find some #5 shot. I have a decent amount of Super X #7 and #6 but haven’t shot any yet, gonna have to get these shotguns patterned soon. I’m really not too happy about being forced to convert to using steel, but rumor is the ticket for using lead shot will be 500 bucks
 

Limited Out

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Me and the fellas are going tomorrow to try and finish off the last of the lead, hope we get on the birds so we can put a dent in the lead ammo inventory. We're taking our poles just in case!
 

solus

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Steel flies differently than lead or bismuth. I prefer steel over lead because i use it for waterfowl and am used to it. Pattern your gun and learn to shoot it. Dont believe people who say it flies like a wiffle ball. It doesnt. It just spreads differently. Ive shot mallards at 50 yards. You need to learn to lead them as well. As for the hatch, it should be a great one. Humidity drives better hatch rates during the last 3 days of incubation.
 


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