One of the most asked questions I have heard related to shotguns and predator hunting is “what shot size or load should I use?” I have heard of a few people who use bird shot and say they have fair success. Some people will swear to its effectiveness, and it will kill under the right circumstances but for those few, there will be many others that get off wounded. It will work in extremely close range but why limit yourself when you don’t need too? Along with bird shot a lot of people choose 0, 00, or 000 they are large enough and have enough energy to kill, but they don’t have enough shot to make them an ideal choice.
What you are looking for is a good compromise between shot size and pellet count. The idea is to hit them with enough pellets large enough to kill them quick. I recommend shot sizes in between # 4 BUCK and B.
The bigger the shot size the more energy it is going to have further down range but on the downside bigger also means less pellets and less pellets means less hits. The shot sizes I have recommended are between .24 – .17 cal. Those and everything in between are good choices. Just remember bigger = less and that the idea is to hit them with as many as you can especially and longer ranges. After you pass the 40 yard mark some of the smaller shot will start to loose its killing power, then the larger size shot will take the advantage.
There are a lot of choices out there. Some of these new lead alternatives are pushing the range of a shotgun further and further. When trying to pick a good load for your shotgun recommend buying as many different loads as you can and pattern them and give them a shake.
One of my favorite shotgun loads is Winchesters new Supreme Elite Xtended range HD Coyote. It is as hard hitting as they come and priced as good as anything in its class. Plus the shot is more consistently round then other shot, making it pattern more consistent. Packed with 56 .17 cal shot pellets, that’s about 15 more pellets per load then the average # 4 buckshot load, it is hard to beat! A few other perks that really throw it over the top against its competition are the fact that Its softer then comparable shot making it easier on you barrel and its Non Toxic.
If the cost of some of the non lead shot is a factor, I recommend Winchester Supreme # 4 buck shot. It is jam packed with 41 pellets that are .24 cal. A proven coyote stopper.