Which Gun Will You Be Using to Shoot Wild Turkeys?



Taking Aim at Turkey Season!


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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