Turkey Hunting Equipment
There are only four days left to get yourself a turkey before the season is over. Do you have the right equipment to make the last days of the season successful? Proper equipment can make the difference between an enjoyable or miserable hunt.
Shotgun selection is the first concern of most new turkey hunters. Most turkey hunters use a 12 gauge shot gun because using a smaller gauge may increase the chance of crippling. Although, using a smaller gauge has its advantages because more pellets can be delivered and could possibly make a cleaner kill. But, a smaller gauge will not substantially increase your effective range. Shooting at a turkey at more than 40 yards in not recommended, regardless of which gauge shotgun is used.
The choice of choke may make the difference between a crippled bird and a clean kill. The trendiest is an extra-full choke, which gives the tightest pattern. It is important to have a tight pattern to ensure a strike at the head-and-neck area. Research has shown that after 18 inches, the length of the barrel does not affect the shot pattern. Consequently, many hunters now use shorter-barreled shotguns that are lighter and easier to maneuver. The most common shot sizes are No. 6 and No. 4. Missouri regulations prohibit the use of shot size larger than No. 4 for turkey hunting.
An additional technique of hunting turkeys in Missouri is with a bow. Only some hunters are successful with this technique because it can be difficult. However, with practice and patience you can get the kill. While aiming at a turkey with your bow, you should focus on the junction of neck and body. If a turkey is hit at this spot, it will break the backbone. You want to use the sharpest arrow possible to make certain you get a clean kill.
A turkey call is another important piece of equipment that you will need. There is a wide range of turkey calls but they basically fall into two categories, air- operated and friction calls. Friction calls are the easiest to use, two surfaces are rubbed together and create friction that produces sound. Slate and box calls are examples of friction calls. The three basic air operated calls are the yelper, tube call, and the diaphragm call. The air operated calls create sound when air is passed through the call.
All turkey calls require practice to become proficient. There are audio and video tapes that are available to demonstrate calls and can be a big help for a beginner. Still, listening to a wild turkey or learning from an experienced caller is the best method.
Some other equipment you may need consist of: a knife, compass, maps, first aid kit, insect repellent, rain gear, and turkey-hunting permit. Your camouflage clothing and blaze orange vest is recommended when moving through the woods.
Turkey hunting in Missouri can be physically trying. You should plan for long walks, steep hills, and weather conditions, be prepared for the unexpected.