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For example, someone who is hunting small, close birds, such as quail, woodcock, chuckers, or grouse, or who has quick reflexes would generally use a cylinder or improved cylinder choke, which creates a broad shot pattern that spreads quickly at close ranges. Conversely, someone hunting larger, less mobile birds, such as pheasants and ducks, or birds that are flushing farther away from the hunter may select a modified, improved modified, or 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, hunting conditions, and your abilities. Always pattern your shotgun for the game you are hunting, the ammunition you are using, and the distances from which you can effectively and cleanly take game.

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 Cylinder, Improved Cylinder or Modified
Dove Improved Cylinder or Modified
Quail Cylinder, Improved Cylinder or Modified
Rabbit Improved Cylinder or Modified
Squirrel Modified or Full