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Here are some examples for matching the choke to the quarry. Someone hunting small, fast birds would generally use an Improved Cylinder or Modified choke, which creates a broad shot pattern that spreads quickly at close ranges. Conversely, someone hunting a larger, less mobile bird that is usually farther away, such as a turkey, would select a Full choke, which concentrates the shot in a smaller area. Pellet size also varies based on the size of the game.

The chart below suggests choke and shot sizes for a variety of game. It is intended only as a guide—choice of choke and shot size may vary depending on ammunition, target distance, and hunting conditions.

Quarry Suggested Choke Suggested Shot Size
Goose Modified or Full Steel 2, 1, BB (over decoys)
Steel BB, BBB, T (pass shooting)
Duck Modified or Full Steel 6, 4, 3 (over decoys)
Steel 3, 2 (pass shooting)
Turkey Full or Extra Full Lead 4, 5, 6
Pheasant Improved Cylinder or Modified
Modified or Full
Lead 6, 7 1/2 (over dogs in heavy cover)
Lead 4, 5, 6 (in corn fields, long range)
Grouse Improved Cylinder or Modified Lead 7 1/2 or 8
Woodcock, rail, or snipe Improved Cylinder or Modified Lead 8 (in heavy cover)
Lead 7 1/2 (open areas)
Dove Improved Cylinder or Modified Lead 7 1/2 or 8
Steel 6 (in waterfowl areas)
Quail Improved Cylinder or Modified Lead 7 1/2 or 8
Rabbit Improved Cylinder or Modified Lead 5 or 6
Squirrel Modified or Full Lead 5 or 6
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