People across the USA start preparing for the dove season as the summer gets closer. Hunting enthusiasts buy new shells and make plans to kickstart the season with high-quality equipment.
Doves are not easy to hunt down. They twist and turn frequently to make you miss the shot. Therefore, newbies waste a huge number of shells just to bring down a few doves. Fields across the nation stay filled with pellets shot out of shotgun shells.
The success hugely depends on the choke people use for dove hunting. So, how to find the best choke for dove hunting ? Is there a specific choke you should try this season to be more successful than the last season ?
This post will provide answers to many questions related to dove hunting chokes.
What is a Dove Hunting Choke?
Many users know that hunters use a choke for bird hunting. Most of them have no idea about how it works and why it is crucial. Hunters may also know the type of choke they should use to target a specific game species.
However, they do not know how the choke performs and what ensures their success. Proper knowledge of shotgun chokes can make you a more successful hunter. Therefore, you must know how to find the best choke for dove hunting to be more successful than others.
Shotgun shells contain pellets. When you fire a shotgun, its pellets come out of the barrel and start spreading out in all directions. Being a constriction at the muzzle end, a choke lays down the pattern pellets will follow.
If the choke is tight, pellets will move more accurately towards the target. If the choke is loose, pellets will spread in all directions. It can reduce your efficiency and affect your performance on the field.
The coverage of the shotgun pellets depends on the choke and a particular shotgun shell number. The Pellet range of the pellets is determined by the coverage of the pellets. You can use it to understand how accurately pellets will move towards the target as you fire the shell.
How to Find the Best Choke for Tube Hunting?
You should consider the following factors to pick the best choke for dove hunting:
Types of Chokes
The entire shotgun industry uses the same set of chokes and chokes names to ensure shooters and hunters can find out the best choke for the required usage. There are mainly two types of chokes, which include:
- Common chokes
- Speciality chokes
Let’s explore these two choke categories in detail :
These are the most widely used chokes by people across the globe. You get the following options in these chokes:
Full Choke: Being the tightest among all the common choke types, a Full Choke provides a dense pattern. Pellets travel much longer due to a narrow spread of pellets. People commonly use it for waterfowl, which is a small game. This choke is also ideal for turkey hunting.
Improved Modified: Offering less muzzle constriction, the Improved modified choke is perfect to hunt short-range games. The string of pellets does not scatter when you take a shot. It is also a good choice for pheasant hunting. You should go for dove hunting with improved modified chokes if you are shooting birds located 40-45 yards away.
Modified: The muzzle constriction of this choke is slightly less than the improved modified. It is a versatile choice because it is efficient for hunting birds located at a moderate range. You can also take down small games with this choke! Remember, you need a fixed choke shotgun to use a modified choke for hunting. This multipurpose choke will ensure you hit targets more often.
Improved Cylinder: It is a more open choke than a modified one, but less open than a skeet choke. You can hunt down short-range doves, quail, squirrels, and rabbits with this choke at a close range.
Cylinder Choke: It is an open-muzzle choke and it does not have any muzzle constriction. Hunters call it the skeet choke and they use it frequently to shoot close-range games that move at a fast speed. You should buy this type of choke if you are going for bird hunting, skeet shooting, and trap shooting. This choke will provide an effective hunting experience if the game is located at a 25-yard distance.
Specialty chokes are designed for specific roles. These chokes include:
Super Full Choke : People use this choke specifically for turkey hunting. It is commonly known as the Turkey Choke because it is perfect for hunting turkeys. If compared with a full choke, a Super Full Choke is more constricted. It makes the job a bit easier when the turkey is located at extended ranges.
Goose Chokes : This specially designed choke makes goose hunting pretty simple. You can use steel or tungsten shots to take down the turkey. This type’s choke became popular because a traditional full choke cannot work with steel shots. The goose choke provides dense steel shot to take down a goose located 50-70 yards away.
Rifted Shotgun Barrel : It is not a choke in technical terms, but a specialized shotgun barrel. Users buy this type of barrel for rifted shotgun slugs. It improves accuracy and also the effective distance of the slug.
Fixed, Adjustable or Removable Choke
- Fixed Choke
Shotgun manufacturers build the fixed shotgun choke into the barrel while producing a new gun. You cannot adjust or change this choke. You need a gunsmith’s help to adjust the position of a fixed choke. The gunsmith will change it from a constricted choke to a more open one or vice versa.
Fixed choke shotguns became popular between the 70s and 90s. People started looking for other alternatives as more varieties of choke became popular among users.
- Adjustable Choke
The adjustable choke is attached where the barrel ends. The user can turn the device to change the choke. Poly-choke and vari-choke are some other popular names for the adjustable choke. Users get 3-4 options to adjust a poly choke.
- Removable Choke
The Winchester Model 59 shotgun first came with a removable choke design. The design improved according to the hunting demands of users. Today, most shotguns come with removable choke tubes.
You can easily remove and change the choke with the help of a wrench. You can easily fit aftermarket choke tubes in shotguns that come with a removable choke.
Early Season or Late Season Chokes
Dove hunting pros understand what effects early and late-season chokes can have on their performance. This bird behaves differently during the early and late dove hunting season. So, you must consider this factor when buying a choke for dove hunting.
- Early Season Chokes
The early season lasts till the 2nd week of the season. Most dove hunters go all guns blazing on an opening day to prove their dominance in the field. Everyone tries to bring down as many doves as possible. This pressure goes down after a week.
The number of hunters on the field reduces during the 2nd week of the hunting season. It is the time patient hunters get enough opportunities to prove their skills. Doves are not gun-shy during the second week of the hunting season. You can easily find and hit doves located at 25-35 yards distance. So, look for choke tubes efficient enough to shoot down doves in a 35-40 yards range
- Late Season Chokes
The late season differs in each state of the USA. Most people consider the 3rd week of the beginning of the late season. It lasts until the dove hunting season ends.
Birds, which have survived the initial two weeks of the hunting season, behave differently. They become pretty cautious and they do not usually fly in an area where feeds are spread.
Doves carefully survey the feeding area before they come anywhere near the ground. They go around feeding and watering areas and rarely get near people due to hunting. Doves move away the moment they sense a threat and they do not get close to hunters.
The flying altitude of birds increases during the late season. Erratic flight patterns make it more difficult to hunt down doves. You need long-distance shots to take down birds in the late hunting season.
You must not forget to consider the shot load or shot size of the gun you are using to hunt. Shotgun shells contain different diameter pellets. A number is assigned to those shells to determine the diameter of pellets and the number of pellets in a shell. You will get more pellets in the shell if the number is high. There will be fewer pellets if the assigned number is low. Popularly used shotshell sizes for dove hunting are 6 shots, 7 ½ shots, 8 shots, and 9 shotshells.
5 Best Chokes for Dove Hunting
Below we list down the 5 best chokes for dove hunting if you do not wish to waste time on poor-quality products available in the market :
It is the finest choke you can get for dove hunting. It is a bit long and extends out of the shotgun barrel. Thus, removing and changing the choke becomes pretty simple for users. You do not need a wrench to change the choke!
Browning has designed this choke specifically for dove hunters. They don’t usually haul a toolbox while trying to take down erratic doves. Therefore, the choke is easily removable. It is a stainless-steel choke tube that protects the muzzle. The installation is super easy and removal requires no tools. Therefore, the muzzle does not get damaged during the shooting season.
The following features make Browning Invector the best choke for dove hunting:
- Easy to install, remove, and change without tools
- Stainless steel finish
- High-resolution RMS finish along with minimum gap geometry
- Laser-etched gold accent band
- Made with invector-plus long taper choke tube technology
The Headhunter Turkey Choke is world-record-holding equipment. It can be helpful for both newbies and seasoned hunters. This choke provides extreme patterns at further distances than other tubes.
This choke ensures your victory in the woods and taking down flying birds is a piece of cake. Multi-staged interior bore designs make this choke pretty efficient. It provides more precise and dense patterns than other chokes. However, the accuracy of shots won’t be as good as our top pick.
The below-listed features make Jebs Choke Tubes perfect for dove hunting:
- These choke tubes are made of 17-4 stainless
- Heat-treated for toughness
- Heavy shot load
- It can shoot anything you want
Popularly used to hunt waterfowl, the Black Nitride 12 Gauge choke tube is famous for its tight and accurate shooting patterns. Skilled choke makers at Jebs have created this tube handle lead, steel, bismuth and other shots. You get pretty consistent shot patterns with this tube. Thus, you can deliver an extremely destructive blow to take down the game.
It is perfect to hunt doves flying away. Accurately shot pellets hit the target more often than other chokes can provide. Waterfowl hunters admire this choke for delivering the shots they need to hunt games located at a long distance. Dove hunters also try it for late-season hunting. It provides accurate long-range shots to knock-down cautious birds flying at a distance.
Features that make Jebs Choke Tube Black Nitride perfect for dove hunting:
- Suitable for both long-range and med-range hunting
- You can shoot steel, tungsten, lead, and other types of pellets
- Great accuracy
- Built to provide a long and satisfying service during the hunting season
This choke tube is designed specifically to handle Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS Turkey Loads. Nevertheless, it works perfectly with other brands’ ammunitions of shot sizes 7-9. You get shots with a high pellet count. It delivers powerful blows further than other shots.
You get a 22% heavier density than other heavy shots and 56% heavier density than regular shots. A large number of 10” diameter pellets can travel up to 40 yards. You can use 12- and 20-gauge shells to take accurate shots and bring down flying doves.
You can take down long-range shots pretty accurately with this choke tube. That’s why many hunters use it during the late dove season than the early dove season.
Key features of Carlson’s Choke Tube TSS
- Designed to support 7-9 shot size
- Ability to deliver pellets much longer than other choke tubes
- Can handle heavier density
- Effective accuracy up to 40 yards
Designed specifically to provide the hunter with a competitive edge, the Beretta Optima Choke can give the accuracy and power hunters demand. Beretta has used high-strength stainless steel to craft this choke tube. Nickle-alloy coating makes it corrosion-resistant and much tougher than other common tubes.
It can easily handle the rigors of steel shots while maintaining the accuracy every hunter needs to take down erratic and moving doves in the sky. You can interchange this choke tube on any Beretta barrels, but not with other brands’ muzzles.
The most noticeable features of the Beretta Choke Tube Optima Choke:
- Made of extremely durable steel and comes with nickel coating for corrosion resistance
- Steel shots do not cause significant damage
- Tighter steel shots
It is pretty essential to pick the right choke for dove hunting otherwise you may not be able to hunt any game. Beginners should ensure that they get the right choke for both early and late-season hunting. A multi-purpose choke should be able to provide the density and accuracy dove hunting demands!
Carefully assess all the reviewed products. These are the top-rated chokes and dove-hunting pros frequently use these chokes to have a great hunting season. Go for our top pick if you do not want to buy multiple chokes! The Browning Invector will ensure you succeed from day one and get more games than other hunters.