Shotguns For ... Vultures?

If anyone thinks the 12-gauge shotgun is not the most versatile firearm on the face of the planet, well, I'll take that argument. Take these two news stories, for instance.

An Illinois state lawmaker has introduced a bill to wean back out-of-control Asian carp populations using—what else—shotguns. The bill has made for much talk show fodder, but thus far nobody has given serious thought to the tactics. My personal preferred load for shooting non-barreled fish is 12-gauge, 1 1/8 ounces of No. 8s with a cylinder choke. For fish in a barrel I just choke it a little tighter.

Then there's a story out of Staunton, VA, in which officers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Division shot nuisance vultures for the second year in a row. Officers bagged about 20 of the carrion-scavengers, which are federally protected but pose health and safety risks when they congregate in large numbers. Oh, shotguns, is there anything you can't do?

By the way, I've never actually shot a jumping fish, and if you decide to do so where legal, be sure to follow NRA Gun Safety Rules.

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