The Best Shot Size For Grouse Hunting


We often get asked what our opinion is when it comes to the best shot size for grouse hunting. While I totally understand that this is going to vary from person to person depending on the shotgun, shooting style, reaction time, & habitat they’re hunting in, you’d be hard pressed to tear me away from my favorite load.


In my opinion, the best shot size for grouse hunting is a 7 1/2 or 8. Granted I use a 12 gauge over/under Browning Citori that was given to me by my dad years ago, but that’s what I have the most luck with.

Before people get on my case for carrying a 12 gauge, I’m fully aware that a 20 gauge would be better suited for the grouse woods. I carry a 12 gauge for two reasons. First, my dad gave it to me back in college as a hand-me-down (he also got it while working 3 jobs through college) and it carries some pretty significant sentimental value to me. Second, it’s one hell of a gun and it seems pretty stupid to spend $1,500 on basically the same gun in a 20 gauge.


While I’d be lying if I said I haven’t completely shredded a grouse or woodcock with a 7 1/2 or 8 shot, I do like that I typically don’t beat them up too much. Pair that with the fact that it also has enough punch to tear through the often ridiculously thick habitat that we’re hunting, and it’s hard for me to justify using anything else.


All hunters have their own opinions on different topics, but many of them are especially passionate about their gear. When it comes down to it, if it works for you – great! Don’t be afraid to try different things & setups, and don’t be too quick to discount other’s opinions. They may just be on to something!

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