Hungarian Vizsla Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a few questions as a complete beginner in the bird hunting world. I am looking to get a Vizsla in about a year or so but I would like to familiarize myself with hunting birds in general. A little background...I lived in TX most of my life and we did a good amount of deer hunting but I'm not sure what kind of gun I could handle shooting birds. I'm 5'1" and 100 lbs and I want to get some suggestions on a gun to start out with. Any thoughts or preferences?

Also, any literature recommendations on getting your dog acquainted with hunting? What I am looking for is step by step and illustrations for the complete novice. I know that a mentor from a local Vizsla club would probably be the best option once I have my dog but for the time being I am just trying to prepare myself for the future so I don't go into it completely blind. I already have The Vizsla by B.C. Boggs and Winning Ways by Jack Sharkey.

Thanks!!
Jen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
Jen,

You are doing a great job getting yourself ready for a Vizsla and wanting to get into hunting is perfect for you and your future red partner.

You have a couple good books already. There are many good books out there.

I've been blogging now for over 28 months at http://redbirddog.blogspot.com

I started at 55 years old as a perfect novice with not only bird dogs, but bird hunting.

Can you get to a field trial any time this fall? Don't know where you live, but pointing breed field trials happen all over the US and Canada.

You can go to:

http://www.akc.org/events/search/index.cfm?action=refresh_index&active_tab_row=2&active_tab_col=2&fixed_tab=7

Here you can click on FIELD TRIAL and then choose your state and find one near you. Near you might mean 150 miles away.

Hunting behind pointing breeds is a completely different experience than hunting behind other types, such as retrievers and hounds.

On my blog, there is a list of books about dogs that might help. Also the 300+ posts on my blog might give you a feel for how a rookie learned how to hunt and field trial.

Good times ahead.

As far as a good bird shotgun. I love my 20 gauge over/under CZ. About $750. new.

Vizslas are not dogs. They are lifestyles.

Rod a.k.a. redbirddog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
To be honest I have really enjoyed reading your blog so far, I haven't gotten through all the posts of course but it has been so helpful! I will look for the list of books you posted on your blog and go from there...of course I'm sure you will be answering plenty of questions from me soon! :)

I checked out the field trials "in the area" and there are few that I may make the trip for within about 3 hrs. You weren't kidding about the distance but I'm sure well worth the effort.

Now for the 20 gauge over/under...I worry more about being able to get an accurate shot with the recoil of the gun more than anything else. Do you think it would be a problem? I have seen consistently that people tend to like the over/under the best but I just want to make sure it will also work for me before I go out and purchase one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
Jen,

You can go to any trap shooting or rifle range that is in your area. There will be an old timer that will take you under his wing and give you a few test fires.

A 20 gauge has not much of a kick compared to a 12 gauge and if you are hunting behind a quality pointing bird dog, you will be shooting from close range. Unlike a flushing dog, a pointer will hold the bird until you or a partner flush it.

For pheasant, I wouldn't think you'd want smaller. For dove or quail a .410 would be fine.

You have many great adventures ahead. Enjoy yourself and if I can be of assistance, I'll be around.

Rod a.k.a redbirddog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
jclaw

Redbirddog gave you a lot of really good advice. So I'm just going to chime in with my $.02.

Shotguns are very personal choices, and a lot depends on hunting terrain and species being hunted. I think I have 5 shotguns and each is a little different.

I have a Winchester O/U 101 in 12 gauge and 28 gauge. The 12 gauge is Improved Cylinder and Modified. The 28 gauge is skeet/skeet.
The 12 gauge is used on pheasant in heavier brush and open fields simply because the difference in chokes gives me a wide range of applicability. The 28 gauge is used on woodcoack and quail in tight shooting areas. The skeet/skeet pattern opens up nicely in short, fast situation.
I have a Browning Citori 20 gauge in Improved cylinder and Modified. It's a very nice shotgun to carry. It doesn't have quite the spread and punch of my 12 gauge, but it's more than enough for any upland bird species.
I also have an Remington 1100 with a Modified choke. This is a gas operated, auto loading shotgun.
It is very good in the open fields and on ducks from a shore blind. It is also the shotgun I loan to people shooting for the first time. The gas operated slide has to use some of the escape gasses to operated the slide, so there is less recoil. The longer barrel is also more stable.
At 6'3" 200lbs. I use a recoil pad on my shotguns, or I'm wearing a PST recoil pad.
The recoil pad(s) give me a longer length of trigger, which due to my chimp like long arms I need, and there's no reason to have a shotgun beat you up.

You're going to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from me. At 5'1" your arms are going to be much shorter than mine. Which may bring a different set of obstacle to deal with.
"Over the counter" shotguns come with a standard set of dimensions aimed at the typical market. Neither of us are in that spectrum.
The critical dimensions are going to be;
Length of Pull. This is the length from the trigger to the shotgun Buttpad. You will need a much shorter length of pull than I would use.
Drop at Heel. This is the shotgun as measured from the sight plane to the top of the buttpad. It determines where your cheek and eye will rest when the shotgun is brought to bear properly. Along with "comb height". This determines how the shotgun will come up and fit your shoulder, cheek, eye.
There is also "cast" but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

What does all of this mean? If you were to hand me a shotgun fitted to you, I would probably punch my self in the nose with my right hand as It would be too close to my face. If I were to hand you a shotgun fitted to me, you would probably "bobble it" on the way up, and it would not fit your shoulder well and bruise your chest/armpit area.
Your weight is of little concern. There are plenty of youth and junior shotgunners that weigh less than you, and shoot very well.
A 20 gauge O/U with a modified stock, due to your height and length of arm, would be good purchase. You may also find a 12 or 20 gauge autoloader that had already been modified used. In either case it is only the stock that get's modified, and there are after market "systems" available that allow you do do it your self, and tune the shotgun to you.
A properly fit shotgun will go a long way to reducing percieved recoil.

For "most" upland bird hunting, a normal load, in size 5-7 shot, is more than enough. There is no reason to use high pressure loads. Birds just don't fly that fast, except for maybe Canvasbacks in open water. Stay away from the "magnum" loads.

If I had to recommend one book. It would be Gun Dog, by Richard Wolters. It's dated, kinda quirky, but it gives a beginner a day by day, week by week, plan. It's not perfect, but it works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Gunnr,

I had to laugh out loud at your comparison of what would happen if I shot your shotgun and vise versa! ;D

Thank you for the insight and there are some considerations that I didn't even think about like length of pull. I have seen the Remington 1100 mentioned some although I have been thinking about getting a Youth model since I would probably have a better fit with it. I know I am going to have to get out and do what redbirddog said and just try a few out before I make a decision.

Gunnr said:
A 20 gauge O/U with a modified stock, due to your height and length of arm, would be good purchase. You may also find a 12 or 20 gauge autoloader that had already been modified used. In either case it is only the stock that get's modified, and there are after market "systems" available that allow you do do it your self, and tune the shotgun to you.
Any ideas on where I can look for some used modified options? It would be cheaper and probably an easier option if I could find one that fit correctly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
jclaw

Depending on the firearms regulations in your area, a "gun store" would be the first place to check out. Here in CT., I can go to a number of shops, Cabela's, drive to Maine and Go to LL Bean, or Kittery. In a weekend I could probably look at 2-300 shotguns if I needed too.
Local Gun Clubs and skeet clubs are a good source, as are any sporting clays clubs.

I can probably make some good guesses on what may suit you.
You will probably end up with a lightweight, 24" barrel, straight stock shotgun, with an Improved Cylinder choke
All of my shotguns are "dated". I have no screw in choke systems which are now the norm. If you can find a used shotgun without a screw in choke system, it may save you some $$$.
Look around and see what is available. In this economy (US) there should be a wealth of used firearms available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I also think you are being very responsible doing all your research before getting a dog I know I did mine and I could not be happier. To be honest I really don't think it matters which ever works for you! Leave to dog to get the bird. Oh and one more suggestion I wouldn't put to much pressure one getting the dog to hunt until its at least 1 to 2 years old. I know I made that mistake shes all most 16 months and I was expecting to much oh her but I hope when shes older she will be as good as what you want your future pup to be. Have Fun!!! :D
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top