How To Pick Shot Size For Ducks And Geese

It’s undeniable that using proper shot size for ducks, geese, or any animal plays a part in every hunt. You could knock down the target rapidly and precisely, the meat is also not ruined from using oversized shells.

We would take pleasure in handing you a guideline for picking shells. Follow us, and you’ll have a memorable and cheerful hunt. Though nothing comes with ease initially, you will indeed find our instructions worth reading for your first adventure. 

How To Choose Shot Size For Ducks

We highly recommend that you only apply the round that is big enough to knock down the animal. Using a round that is too big or tiny will bring no result.

Since every hunter wants the animal he shoots to be injured as little as possible, they want the bullet size to be as small as possible. There are several pieces of advice for shot sizes while hunting ducks. But the answer still depends most on the duck you’re hunting. 

Continue reading the analysis below to gain an understanding of choosing shot sizes better. 

Get Small

More often than not, many experienced hunters encourage you to choose the smallest shot size to kill a waterfowl or bird far away from you. Small shots mean using more pellets and using more bullets in the pattern. You can nail it with an instant fatal neck or headshot. 

Moreover, using more pellets can help you fill out your pattern fringes, which enables you to bag more birds in case you do not hit them with the pattern’s center. Besides, it’s likely better for a neck or headshot if you use denser patterns.

Smaller shots will do wonders with the high-velocity loads. The ideal loads ought to range from 1.675 to 1.700 fps in case you stand the recoil

Velocity helps generate lower energy, making small pellets work well within a range of about 40 yards.

Medium Ducks

There are some kinds of mid-size medium ducks, consisting of  Wigeon, Wood Ducks, Scaup, and Gadwalls. They possess thicker tissue than tiny ducks’, so you must apply bigger rounds, and the best round size, in this case, is No. 4’s. 

No.4’s is regarded as the proper round size because it is large enough to cleanly kill the midsize ducks yet too large to damage it. 

Many people think that the 4-legged number is a perfect circle for hunting ducks. They could be used on teals, capable of knocking down mallards and medium ducks.

Go Big

While small bullets have many benefits, large shots also have their strengths. Big blows will be applied to large birds or when birds flare. Especially on days when it’s windy, there’s a lot of distance between you and your target – the ducks.

When using larger bullets, you will need to use tighter inductors. What’s more, denser patterns will help you put enough pellets on the target and hit the bird consistently. It can be said that this mechanism is quite effective with flying marks.

In particular, the 3 1/2-inch 12- and 10-gauge guns with the oversized barrel handle the case of huge and strong geese.

Pattern First

Your gun needs the patterning board before you make any decision. Also, be mindful that the pellet counts could provide a better approach to measuring the pattern’s effectiveness rather than percentages. 

More often than not, you will have a better look in each 30-inch circle for 60 or more hits to shoot geese and 90-100 hits for ducks (in the same loop),… So your best choice is a pellet-choke combo that hits those figures without being excessively dense in the middle and sparse on the edges.

By and large, the patterning process enables you to get the best load for hunting needs and gives you the best shot


Image by Kevin Squeak

The gauge will play a particular role while shooting the target. Therefore, you will need large ammo in case you are using it at a more critical level.

Experts say a 12-gauge shotgun would work well for ducks because its energy is balanced – neither too weak nor too much power.  In addition, it’s an outstanding balance between specified ring size and force.

Ar-10 Rifle with best scope also is good choice for duck hunting.

Our Final Thoughts

This article gives the best answer for shot size for ducks, adapting to each case through trial and error. Learning from experience will give you chances to succeed after failures. I highly recommend beginners abide by the directions carefully. You may figure out the effectiveness and be more proud of what you do.

You should spend time testing various kinds of shot sizes and shells before you go hunting. Practice is the key factor in your hunting result. 

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