Sorry for the gap in posts, folks. Been really busy with manuscripts for some really exciting books coming out this spring and fall. Have recently edited a fantastic book on big-bore revolvers that everyone is going to love, even if all you’ve ever owned is a J-frame S&W snubby. Also taking time has been assembling the various pieces that go into our big Gun Digest annual. Can’t wait to get this one in your hands later this year, going to be the best annual ever! But, in the meantime, let’s get back to goose hunting guns for those late-season ganders.
Ithaca Model 37 Waterfowler
Unlike many wingshooters, I didn’t grow up with a pump shotgun in my hand. In fact, since I started shotgunning with a semi-auto, I kind of looked on with disdain at the “lowly” pump—they just looked like so much work. I still think that, but I know after shooting more than a couple Ithacas that just because ya gotta shuck one, doesn’t mean you have to break a sweat doing it.
Without question, the Model 37s have some of the silkiest, smoothest, and shortest stroke-actions to be had in a pump shotgun. Now take that bottom-eject action—which won’t freeze up in cold weather like some semi-autos I know—chamber it for 3-inch shells, slap a tough-as-nails synthetic stock on it, and apply Ithaca’s Perma-Guard protection to the mechanics and exposed metal, and you have a gun that can take on the worst late-season goose hunting conditions you can plow and suffer through. I also like that this gun doesn’t weigh a ton. Coming in at 7.4 pounds, this is a great choice if you’re humping it from open water hole to open water hole and staying mobile as the birds come and go through a morning or afternoon. Available with either a 28- or 30-inch barrel, the guns also come with Briley choke tubes.
MSRP: At $759 on the Ithaca website, you get a gun that’ll last longer than you do and still give you plenty of funds left over to work on outfitting that next duck boat you’ve been eyeing.
UVision Decoy Paint
Most waterfowl hunters wait until the season’ over or just before the next one starts to freshen up their decoy spread with new paint. But late-season geese have stayed alive by trial and fire, and there ain’t no way they’re landing in a spread of tired looking blocks. If you’re a dedicated late-season limiter, get a coat of paint on your dekes now with the UVision Decoy Paint. This paint reflects UV light, as do many real feathers on waterfowl. Birds can see these reflections—in fact, they can see reflections and make distinctions between objects when we human can’t. Since other paints absorb UV light, distorting the perception overhead birds have or your spread, (especially when they’re experienced adults heading back home from Mexico), UVision paints offer a distinct advantage.There are 34 colors to choose from individually, as well as kits (might as well knock out your duck blocks, while you’re at it). Check out www.decoypaint.com.
The Author Recommends: It takes not only skill to shoot geese at long distance, it takes the right shot loads. And while there are oodles of really fine factory loads to be had, handloading always holds the promise of pattern improvement. So check out Reloading for Shotgunners, 5th Edition and tune up your shotshell reloading, whether it’s a non-toxic load for geese or killer lead loads for all the skeet and sporting clays seasons coming up. On sale now, just $10.00! Plus, remember, buy anything through the link in this blog, and get a free exploded drawings digital download–just use code HUNTBLOG2 at checkout!
About the Author: Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.
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