Pheasant hunting has been considered a tradition in the U.S. ever since the common pheasant was introduced to North America in 1881. To participate, you can either join a hunting club or travel to common-pheasant breeding grounds with a shotgun. Most hunters also bring along their dogs to flush out the pheasants to make finding and shooting a much easier task. If you're interested in participating in this type of sport, the first thing you'll need to do is to buy a suitable shotgun to take with you on the trip. There are many different models and options you can choose from. This article will look at three of the top factors that you need to consider when on the market for a shotgun that will be used specifically when you're hunting pheasants.
The Weight of the Shotgun
Unlike when you're hunting other types of wildlife, there is a tremendous amount of walking when you're pheasant hunting. You can expect to walk several hundred if not thousands of yards through fields and other rough terrain, so make sure that the shotgun you choose is still relatively light. Having to lug around a heavy shotgun can not only slow you and your team down but can also cut your pheasant-hunting experience short. The lighter the gun, the better, and pheasant hunting with a six-pound shotgun will be much more fun than it would be with an eight-pound shotgun.
Before you buy a shotgun, lug it around the store for a while and see how you feel. If you're already tired from just the short amount of time that you spend at the gun store, then the shotgun is probably too heavy for you.
The Length of the Barrel
The length of the shotgun barrel is also something that you should spend some time pondering about. While a longer shotgun barrel tends to be more accurate and will better ensure that you hit the mark, a longer shotgun barrel is a tad more inconvenient to use. It's also heavier and chunkier, so it might not be convenient if you plan on spending several hours hunting. On the other hand, while a shorter shotgun barrel will be lighter, it will also not be as accurate, and there's a higher likelihood that you're going to miss your mark.
The length of the shotgun barrel most suitable for you will depend on how good of a hunter you are as well as your ability to lug around a heavy shotgun for long periods of time. In general, most experts recommend choosing a shotgun barrel no less than 28 inches long, as this is the shortest practical barrel length for hitting targets.
The Gauge of the Shotgun
The gauge of the shotgun will really depend on whether you're going to be bringing a dog along for the trip. Man's best friend can be a lot of help. If you're going to be receiving additional help, a 20-gauge shotgun should be more than sufficient for you to hit the target. It's also a great choice because it's lightweight, which makes it ideal for those who are planning on travelling long distances and hunting for quite some time. Twenty-gauge shotguns are also more suitable for hunters with smaller statures, including many women.
If you have quite a bit of muscle on you and don't mind lugging around a shotgun that's a bit heavier, try a 12-gauge shotgun. A 12-gauge shotgun is generally the most recommended and preferred choice for hunting pheasants.
When you are looking at guns for sale, it's important that you know what the gun will be used for. If you plan on using the gun for pheasant hunting, you should ideally choose a model that will be easy to carry around. Most gun stores will allow you to try out the guns they have so that you end up with something that you're happy with.