Favorite Choke Setup

Thread starter #1
What choke do y’all typically use hunting over decoys?

I’m figuring IM would get the job done, wasn’t sure if something a little more open would help or if most folks just go with a full.
IC factory. But having Decoys out doesn’t mean I’m shooting birds in my face. Decoys on open water may require longer shots than birds in flooded timber or wood ducks on a stick pond . Hunting open waters with hundreds of decoys is different


Senior Member
What choke do y’all typically use hunting over decoys?

I’m figuring IM would get the job done, wasn’t sure if something a little more open would help or if most folks just go with a full.
Modified in every situation LOL. I haven't taken a choke tube out of a gun in years...I have shot the same 2 guns for 30 years....a Citorri and a Benelli Super Vinci (the Benelli almost never gets out of the safe LOL). Both have modified choke tubes and I use them for all situations and I would say I am at least as good as the average wing shooter. I don't pass shoot at all....birds must have at least looked at the spread before I take a shot...if they are merely flying by in range but not aware or not caring that there are dekes set up for their consideration I let them pass.

I also shoot exactly the same load for ducks, geese and cranes.... Winchester Super-X 3" #2's. 1-1/8 oz loads and 1550 FPS. They will knock any waterfowl down if the shot was reasonable to begin with. Again, I do not pass shoot (I just aint that mad at ducks). There on the heavy side for teal and the light side for geese and cranes but if you ain't pass shooting they do very well on both. I have used this load for about 20 years as well....I have friends that will have several different loads on hand at all times and they are convinced there is a reason to change depending on conditions. There may well be but at the end of the day when we are picking up they have shot about the same as I have and had the added stress of picking the right load. They also carry choke tubes to the blind. I don't even know if I have any other than the 3 modified tubes that are in those 2 guns now.

There could be a reason to change tubes and loads and wear $1200 Sitka waders but in my experience none of those reasons has anything to do with shooting waterfowl....cause you can shoot a load of waterfowl with a modified pump gun and a pair of $100 hodgeman waders....its more about over thinking what is, at the end of the day, a pretty simple idea.....
I’ve posted this a number of times, it honestly makes a difference.

Each shotgun brand patterns differently. Take your shotgun with a box each of 23/4 inch 2’s and 4’s and a box each of 3 inch BB’s, 2’s and 4’s. Measure off 30 yards, 40 yards and 50 yards. Using a solid frame for support, take a number of 40x40 pieces of butcher paper, paint a 3 inch “dot” in the center of each sheet of paper.

Fire two rounds for each shell length and shot size at a sheet of paper with improved, modified, improved modified chokes at each range. Mark your paper with brand, length, load, distance, and choke for that paper.

It takes a little effort to do this but you’ll have great idea of what your scattergun will do. I found that my gun produced a great pattern at 40 to 50 yards using a BRiley improved modified firing 3 inch 2’s and BB’s. I was hunting geese, mallards, pintails and widgets over decoys with shooting at 20 to 30 yards.
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Mad Hillbilly Sluicer
Factory Modified
I modified and full depending on what and where I’m hunting. Modified for woodies and teal or hunting in timber. Full for fields or goose hunting. I purchased some boss shells for this season so I am interested to see if I can shoot a modified while hunting fields and geese with the same results and a full.


I've always shot a citori with a modified in the bottom and a full in the top, close or far I shoot the full better (as illogical as that seems) with it on top or on the bottom, first or second shot. Debated getting another full just never have. Honestly think it's a confidence thing for me, got a buddy that shoots an ole 1100 or 1187 with an improved cylinder and consistently kills birds in the ranges we hunt but it's all he's shot for the last 20 years at everything but turkeys
If your shooting a Beretta or newer Browning put you Improved cylinder or Skeet choke and there and forget about it. Steel needs a loose choke and the old shotguns with a bigger bore and chokes might work better with Light Mod and etc. New guns are slimmer and with steel you need open and maybe even cylinder bore.