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View Full Version : Son wants to duck hunt, how do I teach him?



Dad and son
12-20-2004, 01:42 AM
I would appreciate some help from some of you experienced waterfowl hunters. I live in Vancouver and am an experienced big game hunter, but have never hunted ducks before. My 11 year old son this year has really gotten into hunting and guns. He came with me moose hunting this fall. He has talked lots about wanting to duck hunt. For Christmas he is getting a youth 20 gauge Remington 870. He is an accurate shot with his 30-06, shooting managed recoil shells.
1)How do I teach him to shoot clay pigeons?

2)Should I do it at a range (I have only been to Burke Mtn) or in the woods?
He is comfortable at the range shooting his 30-06, but I think he will have a slower learner curve with a shotgun and worry about him being intimidated by other shooters. Because he has never shot a shotgun before I plan to have him become accurate with a fixed target before going to a moving target.

3)Any advice or suggestions you want to give me.

This is a great forum only been here a short time, but love it and have learnt a lot.

Marc
12-20-2004, 07:25 AM
In my opinion the best place to bring him is somewhere they have trap and skeet. Most skeet shooters are more then willing to lend a hand to someone that is new to the sport of shot gunning. I'll warn you now skeet is addictive. I used to shoot skeet quite often on the off-season when I lived back in Nova Scotia. If he started shooting two rounds of skeet every two weeks before ducks opened next fall he'd be a seasoned shot gunner in my opinion.

Now on to the subject of the 20 gauge for ducks and geese; since the introduction of steel shot for waterfowl the 20 gauge has been a little under gunned for ducks and geese in my opinion unless you go to alternative non-toxic shot like tungsten matrix, bismuth, or heavy-shot which isnít cheap. Heíll have to keep his shots close like less then 30 yards with #2 steel to ensure a good solid hit on ducks. Your best bet is to move him up to a 12 gauge as soon as he can handle it if heís serious about hunting ducks. Donít get me wrong the 20 gauges is an excellent shotgun but itís more suited for upland bird with lead. Since they changed the regulations to non-toxic shot, steel is so much lighter and just doesnít have the penetration of lead.

Welcome to the site, and good luck with the duck hunting.


Marc.

Dano
12-21-2004, 05:38 PM
In my opinion the best place to bring him is somewhere they have trap and skeet. Most skeet shooters are more then willing to lend a hand to someone that is new to the sport of shot gunning. I'll warn you now skeet is addictive. I used to shoot skeet quite often on the off-season when I lived back in Nova Scotia. If he started shooting two rounds of skeet every two weeks before ducks opened next fall he'd be a seasoned shot gunner in my opinion.

Now on to the subject of the 20 gauge for ducks and geese; since the introduction of steel shot for waterfowl the 20 gauge has been a little under gunned for ducks and geese in my opinion unless you go to alternative non-toxic shot like tungsten matrix, bismuth, or heavy-shot which isnít cheap. Heíll have to keep his shots close like less then 30 yards with #2 steel to ensure a good solid hit on ducks. Your best bet is to move him up to a 12 gauge as soon as he can handle it if heís serious about hunting ducks. Donít get me wrong the 20 gauges is an excellent shotgun but itís more suited for upland bird with lead. Since they changed the regulations to non-toxic shot, steel is so much lighter and just doesnít have the penetration of lead.

Welcome to the site, and good luck with the duck hunting.


Marc.

I agree with Marc,
Trap and skeet will make him more familiar and confident when afield. I plan on doing some shooting this year at Pitt Meadows and Pt. Coquitlam clubs as I used to do a lot of trap/skeet but amoung other things, it was costly. Now it appears trap loads can be bought for $25 per 100 rounds, don't know what the fee is per round but it looks appealing to me.
The 20 ga. ? When I was 13 1/2, I got one for christmas. A remington 870 wingmaster with modified choke, no vent rib. It was a great gun but even then, shells were expensive. Within 3 years I was shooting my father's 12 gauge and he used the 20. The 20 was a bit small for me and I had a good fit with dad's remington 870 12ga.. A good point to raise here is safety. I made a big mistake when out with my dad, I was using the 20 and wanted to switch guns with him (it was when I first started switching to his gun). We fired at a flock and dad turned to me and said, "what did you re-load with?" I'm embarrassed to say I put the 20 shells into the 12ga (I was 15 mind you). Good thing dad was on the ball, as all hunters should be when out with anyone, especially newbies.
I had that 20ga. for almost 30 years but for the last 25, it rarely came out. It was a little small for me and as I'm sure you know, fit is very important in a gun. I sold it to a friend for his son to use. They are in Prince George and will do more grouse hunting than I ever did (his son has already bagged a couple and is on his way to a lifetime of hunting, I'm sure).
I had no problem with the 20ga. shooting over decoys, but I admit I was at times wondering if a higher pellet count per load would be better but I'm sure poor marksmanship was more of the problem.
Duck hunting can be as simple as heading out onto a dyke or into a field and shooting at passing birds to as big a production as you can imagine. Decoys, waders, boats/motors, building blinds, a dog.... There can be a lot involved!
There is a youth hunt in the fall about a week before the main duck season, it's for hunter's under 18 (or 16), I think. Keep in touch and I'll take you guys out then. It'll be a good tune-up for my dog and it's not every day you get to see a young man bag his first bird!

Dad and son
12-22-2004, 11:13 PM
Thanks Marc and Dano for your feedback, that is great. Dano the safety reminder is great, because i plan to be shooting a 12 guage just like your dad. That would be great if you could take us out for the youth season. I will work with my son on being comfortable with his gun and will touch base with you in the summer. My son is very excited about Christmas he keeps looking under the tree for any present that looks like a gun box.

Dano
12-23-2004, 04:10 PM
Your son looking under the tree brings back a funny memory. I did the same thing and was hoping for either my own shotgun or my father to get a new one and I would get the old 870.
Well, on christmas morning there wasn't a likely looking present for me or my father,.... I was even a little disappointed with what I recieved and I remember my older brother getting an electric guitar. Then my father said to my brother, "check around the tree again, maybe something fell in behind or sliped behind the curtain!" (Yeah, it was just like the scene in the movie where the boy gets the Red Rider BB gun).
So I got my 20ga remington 870 wingmaster, it was an awesome moment I'll never forget and the beginning of many more memories. We went out the next day and on our way to the pond we hunted, a duck came whizzing by and I nailed it with my first shot from the gun. It was a goldeneye, the only one I've ever shot. A great shot though and another memory that I'll always have clear as the day it happened.
Let's hope you and your son have similar experiences!

Dad and son
12-24-2004, 02:23 AM
Great idea Dano, I might do the same thing and hide his gun well under the tree. Merry Christmas to you and all those of you on HBC.
Glenn

Ulsterman
12-30-2004, 12:40 AM
I hope you all had a great Christmas, I'm kind of in the same boat as you, my son got his first buck this year and has become a hunting nut. We go to Boundry bay, park on 112th and ride our bikes to the dike,then ride along the dike to the bushes, ditch the bikes, and walk out to the waters edge. Don't park at the end of 112th by the dike, they will tow you . My son is 10 and is shooting a Remington 1100 12 ga. I bought a cheap stock on ebay and cut it down.We go to Langley Rod & Gun to shoot trap for practise, lots of good people to help them there, as with any gun club. Kids pay $3.00 for 25 birds, good luck...

Dad and son
12-30-2004, 10:18 PM
Thanks Ulsterman. We have relatives in Langley and are often out there so I will check out the club. thanks for the info on Boundary bay as well.
Glenn