Shotgun Shell Shot Size for Grouse, Quail, and Pheasant
When choosing shot size for grouse, quail, an pheasant, there is a huge variety out there to choose from.
For quail and grouse, 7 ½ or 8 shot will work. I like 1 oz. loads in 20 gauge, or 1 1/8 oz. in 12 gauge. Sometimes I’ll shoot 7/8 oz of 7 ½ shot on early birds, depending on the thickness of cover.
Now pheasants, on the other hand, take a bigger shot size and charge to knock down. I still shoot 1 oz of five or six shot over pointing dogs and early in the season out of my 20 gauge, and 1 ¼ oz out of my 12 gauge.
Quail and grouse can be hard to find after being shot, but a rooster pheasant can sometimes take you on a chase. So I would rather go too big on shot and change than to lose birds. Always try to match the shot, choke, and charge to the gun you are shooting. You won’t want to shoot 3 inch shells out of grandpa’s old model 21, and you don’t shoot quail loads out of your gas operated goose gun. Everyone has a preference, but these are the shot sizes that I like to shoot.
Written By Professional Dog Breeder & Trainer Ed Hall