Effective Wingshooting Workshops

Better Shooting, More Conservation Results—and Reduced Expenses!

Hunters have long been leaders in conservation, helping Missouri develop regulations, improve habitat and control wildlife populations. With this free training, Missouri's wingshooters can become more efficient hunters, taking fewer marginal shots and reducing the numbers of wounded game. This improvement in resource conservation can increase the breeding population. Further, learning to use nontoxic shot effectively and with confidence can save game birds and wildlife from lead poisoning, especially in wetland areas. In addition to boosting your wingshooting performance and conservation results, Effective Wingshooting for the Hunter workshops can help you save money on expenses--fewer wasted shells means more money in your pocket!

Topics covered include the following:

  • Improving shotgun-shooting skills
  • Pattern-testing procedures
  • Best loads and choke combinations for waterfowl or upland gamebird hunting
  • Estimating range and distance
  • Game recovery strategies
  • Increasing harvest rates
  • Benefits of nontoxic shot
  • Matching nontoxic shot shells with appropriate shotguns and chokes.

Free Steel Shot

Because many Effective Wingshooting for the Hunter workshops occur on wetland areas, we shoot only nontoxic and steel shot and provide it free of charge to participants. Aside from being nontoxic to wildlife, steel shot is the cheapest nontoxic shot, (many times cheaper than even lead), it holds the tightest patterns and has the shortest shot strings. If you can learn to shoot steel shot effectively, you can be more effective with lead or any other exotic nontoxic shot.

Ready to Register? Check the Events Calendar Below

Workshops are offered at various locations throughout the year. Call the Education Outreach Coordinator at 573-522-4115 ext. 3295 to find out when a workshop will be offered in your area.

Prepare for the Workshop

Participants must have some understanding of waterfowl or upland game bird hunting, shotgun shooting, chokes and ammunition.
Please prepare to bring the following:

  • The shotgun you most often use for hunting
  • Choke tubes (if applicable)
  • Nontoxic shotgun ammunition for pattern testing
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Stool or chair
  • Snack, lunch and beverage.

Clay targets and 12- & 20-gauge nontoxic practice ammunition provided.

Host a Workshop

Would your club or organization like to host one of these free workshops for your members and the public? Contact the Hunter Education Coordinator’s office at 573-522-4115 to set up a workshop.

Suggested Shot Size Selection for Waterfowl
Waterfowl Species Minimum Typical hunting conditions Minimum desired pattern density
(hits/30" circle)
Small ducks
over decoys
6 steel*
6 tungsten allow
6 – 4 steel
6 – 4 tungsten alloy
Medium ducks
over decoys
6 steel*
6 tungsten alloy
6 – 3 steel
4 – 6 tungsten alloy
Large ducks
over decoys
6 steel
6 tungsten alloy
6 – 6 steel
4 – 6 tungsten alloy
Large ducks
Pass Shooting
2 steel 2 – 1 steel 85
Small geese 2 steel
2 bismuth
4 tungsten alloy
BB – BBB steel
2 bismuth
2 tungsten alloy
Large geese 2 steel
2 bismuth
4 tungsten alloy
BB – BBB steel
1 – BB bismuth
2 – BB tungsten alloy

Close range is less than 35 yards; all shots should be limited to less than 45 yards. Velocity on all loads should be a minimum of 1,225 FPS.
* Note: Small shot (#6) is an excellent choice for close range swatter loads for finishing cripples.


Key Messages: 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.

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