However, most wildfowlers shoot from the land and walk out on to the wetlands or Marshes. Many wildfowlers who shoot on the coast like to use at least a 3 inch chambered 12 gauge. This is due to needing to use a larger shot size than the normal 6 and 7 shot used by the game shooters. Most wildfowl are shot at longer ranges and therefore the larger pellets carry the required energy further. As a young man I always used BB as this was the only shot to bring down a goose! As I became more experienced and spoke with other wildfowlers, I learned an important lesson. One night in a public House I had the privilege to meet the late Mackenzie Thorpe “The Wild Goose Man” That night, one or two men from the London area, were plying him with whisky, (it was an expensive night) to find out the best places and what shot size was best for geese. After quite a few whiskies he told them his secrets. Find out where the geese are going and get underneath them. As to the cartridges, “Well, I have always found the ones that go bang and lead comes out the end are the best!”
What a very wise man. Do your field craft, find out were they are flying and if they are in range for the cartridge you have in you gun, it should bring them down. I got to know Makenzie in the next few years and I was so pleased to have known him. He taught me how to call Pink Footed Geese with out a call using only my voice and it is very effective.
Today, I only use No 3 Bismuth shot for all my wild fowling. It is better in terms of foot pounds shock impact, to hit a large bird with several No. 3 that one BB. Unless the BB hits the head or a vital part of the birds anatomy, it can fly on possibly mortally wounded. As you may be aware, netted geese have even been found with .30 cal rifle rounds in the bodies.