(2) Pick Sensible Loads The same hunters who bring guns with Full chokes often chamber magnum loads of No. 4 shot, which kick far too much in any gun light enough for serious pheasant chasing. Stick with the classic duck and pheasant load of 11/4 ounces at 1330 fps. If you choose ammunition loaded with high-quality hard, round pellets, duck and pheasant loads of 5 or 6 shot will kill birds as far away as anyone should shoot at them. **(3) Know Your Range **Plenty of pheasants flush wild, tempting you to take 40-yard pokes. An outbound pheasant, however, presents a target area about the size of your two fists held together. The heavy backbone shields the vitals from the top, and the gizzard, essentially a hard muscle full of rocks, forms a sort of firewall protecting the heart and lungs from behind. Drop a wounded bird in chest-high grass where neither you nor the dog can mark its fall, and it will be almost impossible to track.