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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A shotgun IS the GUN that "Won the West." I hold a MA in History and the Hollywood Version of the Old West is not in cinc with the facts. "Gunsmoke" ran MORE years than that era in history! Ah, but I digress.

In May 1988 I bought my 60 acre farm in very rural PA. Happily, in 1996 I retired and resided full time on my land. There was much to be done and I carried a .45 on the tractor working about. I soon found out a pistol is not the best farm gun. I got a 12 gauge pump gun, put on a sleeve 5 round shell holder and never needed to look back! I have a slug, an 00Buck, 2 #4 Buck and a #6 birdshot and all is ok.

I have a few new neighbors who are afraid of the challenges of rural life. Police are only minutes , or hours away when SECONDS count, so the Pilgrims are on their own more or less. A pump 12 takes care of most problems in the country, both 2 or 4 legged!

Webley
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Out of curiosity, how to you carry this 12ga while working on the farm,
Lyman,

I am glad you asked. I have a sling on my Mossberg shotgun and a Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) just behind the tractor seat. I rigged a set up to secure the sling to the ROPS so the shotgun is both handy and available.

Next question? Be well.

Webley
 

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We do something similar - ranching / farming in WI on over 400 wooded acres. I found the ATV gun boots bungee'd to the ROPS to be fairly effective and protects the gun from branches and dirt. Critters don't mind the tractors much, and the height gives a bit of a line of sight advantage. on coyotes and other varmints..
 

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You know what? I don't want another pump action shotgun. I'm tired of doing all the work. My next shotgun, if I ever buy another shotgun, is going to be a semi-auto and very probably a bullpup because that will be handy in confined spaces. In the field, if your long gun is mounted on your truck, ATV, or tractor you can carry anything. So, why not carry a rifle instead of a shotgun? I'm prepared to be shouted down for saying so here in the shotgun forum, but I think rifles are more practical. The Mini-14 for example was introduced in 1972 with the very idea in mind that it would be the ideal farmer's companion, Bill Ruger said as much, and lever action rifles are still as popular as ever too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You know what? I don't want another pump action shotgun. I'm tired of doing all the work. My next shotgun, if I ever buy another shotgun, is going to be a semi-auto and very probably a bullpup because that will be handy in confined spaces. In the field, if your long gun is mounted on your truck, ATV, or tractor you can carry anything. So, why not carry a rifle instead of a shotgun? I'm prepared to be shouted down for saying so here in the shotgun forum, but I think rifles are more practical. The Mini-14 for example was introduced in 1972 with the very idea in mind that it would be the ideal farmer's companion, Bill Ruger said as much, and lever action rifles are still as popular as ever too.
Elmerm

I am glad you asked. I carry a pump shotgun and an SKS on my tractor. If I get an aerial (up in a tree) target., I use the shotgun, .For longer range targets, I use the SKS.

Webley..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That will work. (y)
Just today two different neighbors came by and asked to shoot their shotguns for familiarization. Both folks lamented they did not buy more acres. It is tough to legally shoot any gun on a half acre! Duh!

Can we ever educate new gun owners? In the country, I suggest 10 or more acres for gun fire.

Webley
 

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Howdy - do you recommend any particular barrel length / choke setup as a decent 12ga all around setup?

I'm starting to heavily plan for relocating to rural PA in about 5 years. I'm thinking of a small 20 acre farm somewhere between Chambersburg and Altoona as I phase into retirement, but anywhere is probably better than Maryland or New York (current and prior residence). I have an 870 Express on my list and I'd like to get a good config for the farm. I have rifles for the situations that warrant them.

Lived a couple years off grid in the Adirondacks, so I'm looking forward to getting back "out there".

Thanks!
 

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Howdy - do you recommend any particular barrel length / choke setup as a decent 12ga all around setup?

I'm starting to heavily plan for relocating to rural PA in about 5 years. I'm thinking of a small 20 acre farm somewhere between Chambersburg and Altoona as I phase into retirement, but anywhere is probably better than Maryland or New York (current and prior residence). I have an 870 Express on my list and I'd like to get a good config for the farm. I have rifles for the situations that warrant them.

Lived a couple years off grid in the Adirondacks, so I'm looking forward to getting back "out there".

Thanks!
I guess it would sort of depends what you think you need to shoot. We have four legged critters that need re-adjusment on occasion.
 

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Certainly a good question - and this is where I was hoping someone could chime in with applicable experience. While I have lived in an extremely rural setting, I didn't have much to offer critters in the past except for a pair of boots airing out on the porch. I wasn't growing anything/raising animals and was good with my trash, so the fauna and I didn't interact a whole lot except for exchanging looks at a distance. The one notable exception were squirrels which I hunted with either a pellet rifle or 22 depending on how sporting I felt.

Managing fields or livestock is quite a bit different. Rabbits, woodchucks, coyote, fox, deer, and even bear could be an issue. I don't see myself going after deer with a shotgun. While deer can certainly be a pest, I'm not going to be shooting out of season and I have rifles for deer. That leaves rabbits, woodchucks, coyote, fox and possibly an aggressive bear that is too close for comfort. Honestly I like wildlife and I'm not going to be going out of my way to shoot critters, but I know there becomes a point where they gotta go. Having something quick and versatile is what I'm looking for.

I wouldn't use a utility shotgun for upland or bird hunting. I have an older sxs in the correct config I can dust off for that.

I know this doesn't really answer the question very well, but I guess you could say smaller 4 legged varmints that are quick on their feet + aggressive and unplanned bear encounters are what I think I would use it for. However I would be interested in hearing from those with experience on the role which their 12 ga fills on the farm and the config they find best.

Thanks - Joe
 

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In PA black bears should not really be an issue. I have them in my front yard and they pretty much mind their own business - certainly nothing to shoot over. we get big bears - 500-600 lb are not uncommon. My Dogs do not like bears, and the bears avoid the dogs. Different if you were in Alaska or parts of the west . I guess my point was are you concerned with two legged or four legged critters. We have Coyotes, wolves, and the potential for 2 legged problems. Not likely but potential. In general terms a shotgun with 18-20 in barrel, cyl bore and #4-6 shot would handle most problems, anything further away is probably not a threat, and if you need to shoot a longer distance you should either bring a rifle or run. When I was back country horseback riding in MT / WY, I carried a REM 870 18 in barrel in a rifle boot and a bag of misc shells in a saddle bag.. You could ride a horse right up to deer, shoot grouse, ( or fish) and a 12 g slug works a lot better on a bear than any pistol rd you can miss with ( story there but a long one)

Ammo load is an issue with a shotgun, which is why an AR wit ha 20-30 rd mag can be handy too- I use a velcro pouch for a 12 Ga ammo that I can toss on the tractor if needed, or a spare ARE mag in a fender storage box.
 

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Thank you for the advice MG. Initially I viewed a shotgun as having two roles - pest control (rabbits, fox, coyote) and protection (bear ... and bipedal). I think the pest control is a reasonable role. The more I consider protection I feel the need is unlikely. If you are active on your property and are smart about where you leave things (trash is put away, equipment secured) there will likely be easier pickings elsewhere.

I have some friends in southern PA and bear frequent their property more an more since. They haven't had problems, but they have kids so their view on the situation is understandably different. All things considered I am happy to let everything be if at all possible. I haven't had a bad bear situation, but as a kid I had an experience that could have gone really wrong. I was lucky the bear didn't have cubs and was probably as surprised as I was.

If I found myself in a bad situation with a biped, I'd have to say I did everything wrong if I felt my only recourse was a shotgun. That is one serious move.
 
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