Turkey Hunting with Owen

22 04 2014

The day started with silence. My dad and I were very surprised we didn’t even hear a gobble until 7AM. We finally saw our first bird but he passed by out of range. Two more toms came within range, but I missed! I was so disappointed. I was sure we wouldn’t see another turkey all day. To my surprise, shortly after the shot we heard two more toms nearby. My dad helped call one in from 300 yards away. After some positioning and repositioning, Dad made one last call, and I took the shot. This time I bagged the bird. I hope to have successful hunts with my Wad Wizard choke for many years to come.

Owen Stephenson, age 12, Mineral Point, WI

Owen Stephenson

The Wad Wizard Performs on Callin’ The Shots TV!

2 01 2014

Sunday, January 5th it all begins!
Hunt Channel, 266 on Dish Network, Callin’ The Shots TV!

First episode will introduce you to the hosts and bring you a late season goose hunt and a spring gobbler hunt, the episode will make you laugh time and time again. Please join us as we take the runway, we hope you enjoy the show!

Callin’ The Shots TV brings you reality style outdoor programming –  no high fences, pens or even guide services are used in capturing any of the programming they are proud to call theirs. Hosted by Brian Pierog and complimented with a dedicated cadre of the most down to earth sportsmen you will find, this show is sure to be a hit.

The first episode will air on January 5, 2014 on The Hunt Channel (Dish Network Channel 266) at 7:30AM. Centered around family, youth hunts and good times full of humor, Callin’ The Shots is one of those programs that you won’t want to miss!


Spectra-Shot – A Review

19 07 2013

I recently had the opportunity to try out some new ammo called Spectra Shot. First off, I had to dissect a couple of them to view the inner workings of the load. The pellets were found to be very uniform in size and consistent in roundness. The wad is thick-walled, which offers barrel protection. The unique feature that sets it apart is the colored shot. Spectra Shot is available in green, blue, orange and yellow colored shot.  All in all, I found them to be very well loaded with nice tight crimps and the pellets being nicely stacked in the wad.Spectra Shot

My next step was to head to the range and put them through their paces.  Here is where I am a little prejudice toward the 1 1/4 oz loadings in the 3” hull.  This load leaves the barrel at 1400 fps and in the past I have found loads at this speed and payload perform extremely well in the 12 gauge.  They are what I like to refer to as a “balanced load”.

I was not disappointed; the loads performed extremely well on paper at all tested ranges (30-55 yards) with both the Wad Wizard Supreme and SWAT tubes. These wad stripping tubes delivered 95 to 98% patterns out to 55 yards plus with the pellets being very evenly distributed within the pattern.  The number 2 pellet sizes held a slightly tighter pattern than the number 4 pellet size.  One has to remember that the rule of thumb with wad stripping tubes is the larger the pellet, the tighter the pattern, as seen here.

Penetration was what I would expect from the given shot sizes tested.  I used bird carcasses for my tests and at ranges inside 40 yards most pellets passed through the birds. My test “subjects” were snow geese.  I feel the number 4 pellet would work extremely well on all sizes of ducks and the number 2 pellet would work well on most sizes of geese even in the 45 yard range.  The only suggestion I would have for Spectra shot would be to include in their lineup a BB sized pellet for those late season, heavily feathered, honkers.

I believe that Spectra Shot offers a top notch, quality product to the sportsman and sportswomen.  I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in the performance of these loadings for the 12 bore.  They pattern well, consistent from shot to shot, very manageable recoil, good penetration, all pluses when shopping for a quality load.  The colored shot is cool, too.  I know I will be adding these to my arsenal this coming season and would highly recommend them.

Dan Niles

Rig ‘Em Right Waterfowl Pro Staff
Wad Wizard Choke Tube Systems Pro Staff
Fat Lady Game Call’s Pro staff

Turkey Hunting with the Wad Wizard Supreme Choke

3 05 2013

Every spring I focus my attention on, you guessed it, turkeys. I find them one of the most fascinating game birds to pursue and spring is when I like to chase them. One of the most exciting sounds in the wild is a gobbler coming off roost with his harem of hens. Hunting turkeys has become a specialized sport, of sorts, with a vast array of equipment available to the sportsman and sportswomen to help make their trip to the woods successful.

There is a variety of specialized chokes and ammunition available to the turkey hunter and one can find themselves lost on what to use while in pursuit of that old Tom. Over the years I have become very fond of the Wad Wizard Supreme choke tube. I have found that the Supreme tube Dan Turkey 2013delivers great performance with many of today’s turkey loads. The wad stripping technology provides a much shorter shot string while providing an evenly distributed pattern downrange to the target. This is as true with lead as it is with the non-toxic loads we use for waterfowl, especially if you shoot some of the ammunition that contains a larger payload at lower speeds.

Take your gun and ammunition of choice out to the patterning range. You may be surprised at the performance attained using the Supreme tube, especially on your shot string and pattern. Patterning not only will demonstrate how well your shotgun is performing in terms of pattern but this will also help you establish confidence in its point of aim. This will also help you establish what yardages you and your shotgun are most effective. This can provide you the confidence and ability to know when you have that old bird in range. Keep in mind that many misses on turkeys are, in my opinion, from being over-choked and shooting rifle like patterns.

Good luck to all that are pursuing gobblers this spring.  We would like to hear your opinions on the chokes and loads you choose to use. As always, please share pictures of your spring hunting experience with us here at Wad Wizard.

Dan Niles

Wad Wizard Pro staff
Rig’ Em Right Waterfowl Pro Staff
Kent Cartridge Company Field Tester

Crock Pot Goose Recipe

4 11 2012

So, you’ve had a successful hunt and bring home a couple of nice birds. The family turn up their noses when you announce that’s what you’ll be eating for supper. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are tons of recipes out there, from sophisticated to super easy, that will turn that bird into a delicious meal.

Because all the meat on a duck or goose is dark, it has a stronger flavor. The key to having a delicious meal of goose or duck is to soak the meat. By soaking the meat for several days, you’ll rid it of all the extra blood and also tame the flavor of the meat.

I start off by cutting the meat for whatever dish I intend to make it; slicing for jerky, cutting into chunks for stew or leaving the breast whole, Once I have the meat ready I put it in salt water brine overnight. This typically measures out to 3 cups water and 1/4 cup salt for two goose breasts. I will continue to soak the meat in just plain water for 3 – 4 days, changing the water daily. By the end of the week the meat should be pale brown in color.

The recipe I’ll share with you today is one of our favorite ways to eat goose – crock pot goose. After the meat has soaked for several days, as explained above, I first brown it in a skillet with a little garlic powder, season salt and half an onion, chopped. Certainly feel free to flavor the meat to your liking. Once browned, I empty everything in the skillet into my crock pot. I then add several cups of baby carrots, several cups of chopped cabbage, a large sweet potato, chopped and a can of 7-Up. The sweetness of the soda and the flavor of the cabbage gives a unique flavor to this stew. Cook in your crock pot until the vegetables are soft.

Next, drain all the juice out of the crock pot into a large skillet, pouring some of the juice into a cup that can then be mixed with a few tablespoons of corn starch. Stir corn starch until dissolved and then add back to the skillet. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Pour this gravy over your meat and vegetables in the crock pot, mix together and serve.

I’ve paired this meal with a fresh spinach salad and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Bon appétit!

Lorie Rule, Owner
Inpromarketing Corp.


A Short Guide to Selecting Chokes and Shot Loads for Waterfowl

1 09 2012

“What are the best chokes and shot loads to use for waterfowl hunting?”  This is a frequently asked question. My answer is always: “The chokes and loads that produce the best clean humane kills for you”. Let me give you the short version.

To determine this for yourself, keep in mind the species and size of the bird hunted and the range at which shots will be taken with your shotgun. Is your game big Canada geese, snows, mallards or teal?  Are you shooting over decoys or pass shooting?

The “best” load for all will require (1.) a choke that throws patterns dense enough to cover the particular bird and (2.) a shot type that will produce energy sufficient to kill it.

A shotgun must be patterned to determine the “best” hunting load and choke. Patterning doesn’t have to be difficult. Set up a target at the range you will be shooting. Make sure its area is sufficient to show the “spread” of the shot pattern. Appliance boxes and news print work great for this purpose. Mark your point-of-aim on the newsprint.  Step back and fire at the target from a measured distance. Repeat this at known distances nearer and further back from the target. This will show you the distance at which your pattern becomes too tight (harder to hit-too much meat loss if you do), too sparse (wounded or missed bird), and the zone in which it is “just right”! Obviously, the pattern density needed to put multiple hit on a big goose is less than for a small teal. Then, when in the field hunting, use decoys, distance markers and landmarks at known ranges to determine when a bird is in your kill zone.  Determining your effective range and practicing in the off season will lead to more confidence, and in turn more clean kills in the field.

The shot type must also be considered. Large geese require more killing energy than smaller birds. A steel pellet weighs less and therefore delivers about half the killing energy of a lead pellet of the same diameter. Of course, we can’t use lead for waterfowl, but it is a good measure for comparison. Upping the pellet diameter, velocity, or both increases the killing power of steel. The downside of these solutions is that the patterns can suffer and effective range is limited regardless of muzzle velocity. Fast steel slows down a lot faster, too. The pricier alternative to legally improve on the poor ballistic qualities of steel shot are the various non-toxics on the market: among them are Bismuth (almost as heavy as lead), tungsten blends, and especially the heavier-than-lead Hevi Shot. They are heavier and produce more killing power (and penetration at a greater distance) than the same size steel shot. Test for penetration of your shot choice in your pattern coverage-killing zone. Shoot a steel soup can or test to see how many pages it will penetrate a catalog. You need penetration to kill.

I highly recommend the Wad Wizard SWAT tube for most of your shooting.  This tube is highly effective out to 40 yards and I have found it to produce good patterns with many loads especially when using larger pellets, BB and up, out to 45 yards. The Wad Wizard Supreme tube shines for pass shooting or spring Snows.  Wad Wizard patterns large pellets extremely well and optimizes your load. I use and recommend both to be capable of changing as the birds change. Most importantly, the shorter shot string of the Wad Wizard gives you a denser three-dimensional pattern regardless of the shot size or shot metal, meaning more hits on target. You will observe the slap-down killing power.

We owe it to our wildlife resources and each other to use the best chokes and loads in our pursuit of all game species. This article is intended as a short guide of how to do so.

Dan Niles
Wad Wizard Pro Staff
Rig’ Em Right Field Staff
Kent Cartridge


Defining Balanced Loads

25 04 2012

For our first column I would like to define what I refer to as “balanced” steel loads for the 12 gauge. You will find that I will refer back to this term often in the upcoming articles for this column. This article is centered on the 12 gauge but the same basic principles can be applied to all gauges.

When I refer to a “balanced” load I am simply referring to a load that has the right combination of bore diameter, shot charge, speed and choke that produces optimum pattern. The one thing our past generation of shooters figured out long ago was that within any given bore size you can only shove so many pellets down the barrel before it has an adverse effect on pattern. One thing I would like to emphasize here is I am a long time believer in “pattern kills”. Regardless of how large the pellet is or how much it retains its energy downrange, if it doesn’t pattern, you are going to have limited success.

Today’s manufacturers have had a tendency to “overload” the 12 gauge’s shot charge, due in part to the philosophy “more is better”, which in the case of a shot shell’s load, is not always true. The same phenomenon is also happening with the speed of loads on the current market. You can get too much of a good thing. With the transition from lead to steel for waterfowl hunting, the entire industry had to rethink how we look at shotgun ammunition. Many have had a hard time on rethinking what loads are necessary to be efficient in the field. Much of this has to do with the many misconceptions that have appeared in print. Steel can be and is very effective in harvesting waterfowl as most of the loads on the market today have sufficient energy to kill at ranges farther than the average gunner can consistently hit. Steel patterns extremely well when compared to lead due to the lack of deformation of the steel pellets. One must take into account that because steel is lighter than lead,  a 1 3/8 ounce steel load of #2 shot (172 pellets), has roughly the same pellet count as 2 ounces of #2 lead (174 pellets).

This is where I feel many run into trouble, as this is an extremely large amount of pellets to be forced down a 12 gauge barrel. This, coupled with trying to push it out the end of the barrel at supersonic speed, creates problems in terms of the patterning ability of any given 12 gauge shotgun barrel or chokes. Loads like this create longer shot strings and have a tendency to “cluster” pellets within the pattern.

Through years of testing loads, both lead and steel, I’ve found that loads of 1 1/8 to 1 5/8 ounces of lead shot produced the most consistent patterns with speeds running between 1200 to 1285 fps. This takes into account both 2 3/4” to 3” magnum loadings. Using this equation, steel shot loadings with the pellet count equivalent to their lead predecessors as well as increasing the speed to attain adequate energy of the pellet (ft.-lbs.), it would only make sense that 1 ounce to 1 1/4 ounce loadings at speeds of 1300 to 1450 fps would equate to a nice balance in steel loadings.  Again, this takes into account both 2 3/4” and 3” magnum loads.  he very best patterning loads in steel I’ve seen to date, both on paper and producing excellent field results, have been loads running at these speeds with these shot weights. This has been regardless of pellet size. This is what I like to refer to as a balanced load for the 12 gauge.

When you throw into the equation the use of a wad stripping choke tube system such as the Wad Wizard Supreme or SWAT tube, which will shorten your shot string (getting all of the pellets there at one time), and evenly distributing the pellets within the pattern (pattern performance), you’ll attain a nice combination of balance, pattern, and choke, which will improve your field performance with more kills, less shells. I would highly recommend you give some of the lighter shot loads a try along with the Wad Wizard Choke Tube System.  I believe you’ll be very surprised at the results.

Dan Niles
Wad Wizard Pro Staff