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Posted: 11/10/2008 7:07:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2008 10:31:24 AM EDT by HoodyHoo21]
Saturday a buddy and I are going Quail hunting. It will be my first time hunting, ever.

I bought a new Mossberg 500 with a 28" barrel and plan to shoot the Remington Nitro sporting clay load (71/2 shot at 1300 fps). Is this a good choice on ammo to shoot?

We went scouting Saturday and only saw a couple. From what I understand for this area we should have seen a lot. Kind of makes me discouraged but my buddy has never gone Quail hunting and not killed so that makes me feel better. We were out in the middle of the day though and I imagine they are more active early morning and evening. Correct?

Anyway, I have been reading other threads and paying attention to the tips everyone has been giving and really appreciate it. Anyone got any tips directly for Quail? Should be a good time no matter what.


Update:

Well, we got out there at 6:30 am and didn't see a thing at our first two spots. We ended up moving north of town and we finally saw quail for the first time around 1:00 pm. They were flushing pretty early for us....probably about 15 yards. They are fast! We took several shots and I finally hit one around 3:00 pm. It was in a covey that finally flushed only about 5 yards away from us. It flushed straight away from me and I fired once hitting it but not solid. It started to climb higher so I reloaded and fired again dropping it. It fell probably 25 yards out so it was a closer shot for us today.

I know only one bird is probably bad for quail, but the season is three months long and now we know where to go. I definitely need to practice shooting. If I was a better shot I should have had probably three birds if I count the reasonable range shots that I missed. Thanks to everyone for the advise!!!!!

Mandatory Pic.

Link Posted: 11/10/2008 7:42:18 PM EDT
Have fun and bring lots of shells. Quail can be hard to hit and they will scare the shit out of you when they flush at your feet! Just remember they are small so no close shots as there will be nothing left. Do you know how to field dress one?
Link Posted: 11/10/2008 9:18:10 PM EDT
Always know where your buddy is because the those little buggers will take off in every direction. Be super safe and have fun.
Link Posted: 11/11/2008 3:26:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2008 3:43:36 PM EDT by HoodyHoo21]
Originally Posted By P08:
Have fun and bring lots of shells. Quail can be hard to hit and they will scare the shit out of you when they flush at your feet! Just remember they are small so no close shots as there will be nothing left. Do you know how to field dress one?


I have no idea how to field dress. Something I will have to be taught.


What is the typical range I will be shooting the quail at? I figured I would use a modified choke tube, but improved would also be an option. Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 11/11/2008 6:29:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By HoodyHoo21:
Originally Posted By P08:
Have fun and bring lots of shells. Quail can be hard to hit and they will scare the shit out of you when they flush at your feet! Just remember they are small so no close shots as there will be nothing left. Do you know how to field dress one?


I have no idea how to field dress. Something I will have to be taught.

Pluck the breast feathers. Stick your thumb up under the breast bone and pull the breast bone/meat off. Might need to cut some skin to get it off the rest of the bird.


What is the typical range I will be shooting the quail at? I figured I would use a modified choke tube, but improved would also be an option. Any thoughts?

I would start with IC and see how the birds are flushing. If the birds are flushing at any distance then I would switch to modified.


Link Posted: 11/12/2008 5:29:13 PM EDT
I think a modified may be too tight as they are a small bird. Try to let them got out at least 25 yards. I take a pair of pruning sheers with me. I tear the skin  below the neck and then cut the wing bones. The whole breast with the ribs then comes off easy. The legs are worthless so discard everything but the breast. For cooking I like to fry mine in an iron skillet. I dip the breast in egg then flour and cook it on medium heat. Some of the best eating in the world!
Link Posted: 11/12/2008 6:20:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/12/2008 6:23:46 PM EDT by HoodyHoo21]
Thanks for the help guys. I think I will start with the improved choke tube as you guys say. I went to the range and patterned my shotgun at somewhere around 20-25 yards. The improved seems like its did pretty good, but if the birds are flushing at farther than 25 yards I may want to switch to the modified. I also have some #8 shot if I need to get a few more pellets in the pattern using the improved. Keep in mind these patterns are a single shot off hand at a box on the ground so they are probably not the best representation.


Full-
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Improved-


Mod-
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Link Posted: 11/12/2008 6:23:47 PM EDT
With that pattern I would definatly go tighter on your choke. Not all chokes are equal, my cylinder tube for my sporting clays gun is tighter than that at 25 yards.
Link Posted: 11/12/2008 6:26:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By P08:
With that pattern I would definatly go tighter on your choke. Not all chokes are equal, my cylinder tube for my sporting clays gun is tighter than that at 25 yards.



Good point. Maybe I will try and get out again tomorrow. Like I said, these shots were offhand at around 25 yards so there is really no way to tell where my point of aim was.

If these are the real patterns, then are you thinking modified?
Link Posted: 11/15/2008 2:27:47 PM EDT
I got one! Update in first post.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 3:21:01 PM EDT
Congrats on your 1st.

Keep at it...you need a few more those little guys to make it a good meal.

Oh...those little birds a soooooo good to eat.

Might I suggest you go ahead and fully pluck those little guys and stock pile them up in your freezer. They are about the same size as a Cornish Game Hen (mini-chicken)you'd buy at the store. Once you get enough, put them in a crock pot or slow cooker with some cream of mushroom soup and chopped up onions. Slow cook until the meat falls off the bones and serve over steamed white rice with some veggies on the side. Breasting is quick and easy. However, there is a lot more meat there than most think.
There are many ways to prepare quail and other wild game other than frying. I think part the experience with working so hard to hunt wild game is to reward yourself with a first class meal. Of course, I'd never turn my nose up at pan fried quail, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 10:30:55 AM EDT
I got three more today! No pics though, I forgot my camera.

We saw them all morning but never really got a good shot. As we were leaving we scared some up with the truck so we gave chase on foot. We walked about 300 yards and finally flushed them up.

The birds flushed straight away and I took three birds with three shots!!!!

All three were DRT so I didn't have to worry about wounded birds running, but I don't know that I will ever shoot three in a row again. With the help of my hunting buddy we found all three, but it took about 20 min.

Today I used a full choke and think I am going to stick with it.
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