Bringing down a wild turkey is one of the great highs in hunting. Your adversary is cunning and fast.
In order to be successful, often you must convince a gobbler that you are a hen, pining to mate with him. Practicing your turkey calls is an important pre-season activity.
In many situations, your turkey calling expertise will mean the difference between failure and success.
There are lots of tools available to help you perfect a range of calling patterns. Pre-season (now) is a perfect time to be honing your calling skills.
Shotguns and Gobblers
Although it is true that it is legal in some states to use a center-fire rifle, most hunters prefer to use a shotgun. Although gun makers offer a variety of shotguns specifically for turkeys, you may have one that will work fine.
The goal in using a particular shotgun is to get a tight spray pattern up to 40 yards. Generally, your old, full-choke shotgun can do this well.
Aiming at a Wild Turkey
So we are all on the same page, do you know where to aim your gun? Unless you shoot a gobbler at less than 20 yards, a body shot will probably only cripple the animal.
Remember, a turkey’s feathers can absorb a lot of shot. It is better to shoot at the gobbler’s head and neck; a tight pattern will strike the vital organs and fell the animal immediately.
The Choke on Your Shotgun
If you are not getting that tight pattern with a full choke, you may be able to change out the choke tubes to an “extra-full choke.” Remember, the goal is to kill the bird quickly, not injure or cripple him.
Single, Double, Pump or Side-by-Side?
Which shotgun do you prefer? Gobblers “take their own sweet time” coming into view. While you are waiting for “just the right shot,” a heavier gun can quickly become a liability.
According to some hunting experts, today’s favorite turkey hunting shotgun is ”a 12-gauge with a three-inch chamber.” *
Come back tomorrow; this subject is too broad for a single posting.
Next time: Adapting Guns for Women and Children
Soon: Choosing the Right Load for Turkey Hunting
Soon: Archery Equipment for Turkey Hunting
Coming: Turkey Hunting Clothes and Accessories
And Several Other Items ….
* This is the conclusion of John Trout, Jr., in The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, 2000, The Lyons Press.
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