Here are some examples for matching the choke to the quarry. Someone hunting small, fast, close 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 selections for a variety of game. It is intended only as a guide—choice of choke may vary depending on ammunition, target distance, and hunting conditions. Always pattern your shotgun for the quarry you are hunting and the ammunition you are using.
|Quarry||Commonly Used Choke
(based on typical distance from quarry)
|Goose||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Duck||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Turkey||Full or Extra Full|
|Pheasant||Improved Cylinder, Modified, or Full|
|Grouse||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Woodcock, rail, or snipe||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Dove||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Quail||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Rabbit||Improved Cylinder or Modified|
|Squirrel||Modified or Full|