“Oh woodcock, canny snipe!”. If woodcock hunting could be summarized with a simple sentence, the incipit of this article would be perfect. The magic of the moment blends with hunting skills, the animal's intelligence is combined with the unpredictability of its movements. How to hunt for a sure hit? It is a question that many ask themselves but which few can answer. You have to deal with the constant changes as for the flight, leading it to be the spitting image of a plant and then of another one, steadily hindering you regardless of your skills and a number of years of experience.
In these circumstances, your loyal dog can certainly be helpful. Also thanks to new technologies the latter shall be able to come up to your craved woodcock hence allowing you to move closer through the handheld display as well as the acoustic sound, so that you can reach it, approach it and get in position to try to kill the wildfowl trapped by the dog.
Besides that it is important to have a weapon fitting for snipe hunting, remove unnecessary weights on your body and move with minimal encumbrance, using short barrels and opting for internal chokes suitable to best adapt the cone of fire. In order not to dwell on explanations and to be as clear as possible, we have drawn this table that matches several aspects (gauge, barrel length, shotshells etc.) to allow you to identify the best suited chokes for this type of hunting with pointing do.
|Hunting technique||Gauge||Barrel length||Self-loading shotgun||Over and under /|
|Shotshell G.||Lead shots Nr.|
|Pointing dog||12||61 / 66||Paradox / ***** / ****||Paradox / ***** / ****||32 / 34||10 / 9 / 7|
|Pointing dog||20||61 / 66||Paradox / ***** / ****||Paradox / ***** / ****||28 / 30||10 / 9 / 7|
|Pointing dog||28||61 / 66||***** / **** / ***||***** / **** / ***||21 / 24||10 / 9 / 7|
|Pointing dog||.410||61 / 66||***** / **** / ***||***** / **** / ***||18 / 19||10 / 9 / 7|
An early selection parameter is provided in he table: to hunt in the woods, the shotgun gauge ranges among 12-, 20-, 28- and 410- sizes. Although for a long time the 20-gauge one has been preferred, as it is light to carry and easy to handle, in recent years, the 28- and 410- gauge boasted a comeback. Generally, side-by-side, over and under as well as self-loading shotguns equipped with**** and ***** Paradox chokes are excellent for this type of hunting. This will allow you to get a satisfactory cone of fire as for short distances, in addition, should the first attempt be unsuccessful, you have the opportunity to hit the woodcock within a space of 15/20 metres.
Finally we recommend you also pay attention to the type of soil and the period of year, because the most experienced woodcocks usually survive till the end of the season and they will not be easily trapped within so short distances.
Furthermore if you happen to bump into a woodcock which doesn’t give in at once… never relinquish, the charm of snipe hunting lies precisely in the incertitude. Stop, visit this page again and combine the experience, the advice of other enthusiasts like you and us, the choice of the best choke tube for your shotgun (purchase it directly on Gemini) while planning a new hunting day, galvanised by an extra session and driven by the desire to reach your goal!
You have found our advice useful and are sure that you will put what you have learned into practice on your next hunting trip? Browse beyond this article! Learn how to properly use a choke and all the guides provided by Gemini , drawn up with the help of specialists, for hunting and shooting enthusiasts like you.
Our thanks go to Professor Simone Bertini and Diego Apostoli for their availability and the precious time they devoted to us for the drafting of these guides.