Outdoor Skills Tips: Wild Turkey Hunting Shotgun Tips

Outdoor Skills Tips

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to take up wild turkey hunting, there are a lot of considerations that must be taken.  In this blog, I’ll discuss the basics in choosing a firearm, choke tube and shot shell before you venture out on your hunt.

turkeys

I’ll be honest and say that if you and I were to own the same model shotgun, with the same model choke tube and same shot shells, they probably will not pattern the same.  So, there lies the challenge.  What do you use?

Shotguns:

If hunting with a shotgun (rather than archery) you don’t necessarily have to have a “turkey shotgun”.  You can use basically any type of hunting shotgun.  Most people prefer 12 gauge but I use and prefer my Benelli M2 in 20 gauge with a 26” barrel (that thing is super light and patterns quite well!).

You can use about any shotgun, as long as the barrel is threaded so that you can remove and replace choke tubes in the barrel. Pictured below is a Beretta A300 with the choke tube partially out.

a300 threaded tube

Notice how you would use a choke wrench to remove your choke and install a turkey choke of your choice. Keep in mind that turkey shotguns don't have to have threaded tubes; if you have a fixed tube shotgun with a full choke that patterns well enough to do the job you can use it. I have a friend that uses the very first shotgun he ever owned, a Browning 30" barrel fixed choke, he has harvested several toms with this old gun. Threaded barrels allow you to use one gun for multiple reasons.

Here are some shotguns in our upcoming Spring Hunting Sale.

Berretta A300

stoeger

I particularly like this Turkey / Predator special by Remington. All setup and ready to go out of the box.

Remington Turkey Predator

Even an all black gun will work well, most shotgun manufacturers make these color options. The Benelli Super Vinci is a great choice.

benelli vinci

Choke Tubes:

It can be a bit overwhelming when you are looking at choke tubes to turkey hunt.  There are many manufacturers out there and they all want your business.  The cost range can be as cheap as $25 and can go up to nearly $100, even higher on custom shop choke tubes found on the internet. My advice on purchasing a coke tube is to go ahead and spend a little more and get a good quality choke.  I’ve tried turkey chokes in all parts of the price range.  I’m currently using an Indian Creek Black Diamond choke tube in my Benelli M2.

BlackDiamondChoke

It is a higher end choke tube and it has proven to be effective. If you arent looking to come off the hip with a large investment for your turkey choke, here are some great values in the upcoming Spring Hunting Sale.

Selectiontubes

Turkey Shot Shells:

When I talk to customers about what shot shell to use, I’ll be honest with them and say that it’s challenging and sometimes frustrating when it comes to choosing your shells.  There are many choices out there for turkey hunting shot shells.  There are different brands, different shell length, different shot sizes.

Brands:

Basically, all of the major shot shell manufacturers are making shells for wild turkey hunting.  Choosing a brand is part personal preference but it also has to do with what shoots best in your gun.  Note that my next blog will cover basics in how to pattern your shotgun.  Part of that discussion will have more info on brand choice.

Shell Length:

Turkey shot shells will have more recoil when fired than your standard dove/quail or target load will have.  Take recoil into consideration especially if you’re setting up a gun for a youth or a small framed individual.  A 3½ inch 12 gauge turkey shell most likely isn’t a good choice for them.  If someone small is using a 12 gauge, consider a 2¾ inch or maybe a 3 inch shell.  Better yet, consider that 20 gauge for a small framed individual.  As I stated earlier, I use a 20 gauge with much success and I use 3 inch shells.  That combination has a fairly light amount of recoil.  An even lighter recoil option is a 20 gauge with 2¾ inch shells.  Also remember that longer shells in length will have more pellets available to strike the target, but it will also increase the amount of felt recoil when shooting your gun.

Shot Size:

Traditional shot sizes for turkey hunting are #4’s, #5’s and #6’s.  There are some manufacturers that are now mixing different shot sizes together in each shell to produce a “blend” of shot sizes.  Below is a chart that shows the differences in diameters in each.

Turkey Shot Sizes

In considering what size to choose, keep in mind that #4’s will have fewer number of pellets inside each shell, BUT #4’s will have more energy, or knock down power at a further distance.  So, if you attempt to shoot a bird at 50 yards with shot size #4’s, you’ll have less pellets available to strike the bird in the kill zone, which is the neck and head but it will have more energy, or knock down power that the smaller #6’s.  On the other hand, if you shoot at a bird at 50 yards with #6’s, you’ll have more pellets available to hit the kill zone but will have less energy.  So, it comes down to preference in knock down power at further distances or more pellets at shorter distances.

pattern

To help determine what size shot to use in your gun, it’s VERY important to take the time and buy a few different brands and a few different shot sizes “pattern” your gun.  To pattern your gun, you’ll set up paper targets and shoot at different distances to determine what shoots best in the set up you’re considering in you gun. If you prefer an actual turkey to shoot at we sell these lifelike Redhead 12" targets.

turkeytarget

  • Special dual-color, flake off technology makes it easy to pattern your shotgun for turkey season
  • Flake off technology provides an explosion of color that can be seen from great distances
  • Kill area shots show florescent green behind turkey image
  • Misses show bright white behind red background
  • Self adhesive to stick to almost any backstop
  • 12'' turkey head image
  • 10 targets to a pack

 Patterning your gun can be come fairly expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run.  if you plan to take your wild turkey hunting seriously and take it to the next level.  If you’ve got a friend willing to pitch in, you can share some of the expense if you both shoot the same gauge shotgun.  You and your buddy can pitch in to buy a few different brands and different sizes of shot shells and go out and pattern your gun to see what shoots best in each or your firearms.  In my next blog, I’ll discuss tips for consideration when you go out to “pattern your shotgun”.

Happy Hunting!

~Richard Plonk

Hunting Lead

 

0 Comments »

Gearing Up For Turkey Season! The Gun You Have To Have!

Welcome Bass Pro Shop Customers!

Ok ladies and gentlemen we have a gun that once I tell you about it you're gonna want it in your gun safe!!

 

gun

This is the Remington 870 SPS Super Mag Camo Shotgun with Thumbhole Stock!

Overview:

The most dependable slide action of all time in a design that will go the distance with deadly precision, whether your target is the crease behind a buck's shoulder, a wily coyote or a big red head. The model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator w/scope is an all inclusive, all-camo package put together with devastating implications for birds at extended range and predators that close the distance. Along with the ambidextrous freedom and handling ease of our supshot pistol grip stock with grip-enhancing overmolds, it features a highly maneuverable 20" barrel and a TruGlo® red/green selectable illuminated sight mounted atop its pre-installed Weaver-style rail. It handles 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" 12-gauge rounds interchangeably. A black padded sling and Wingmaster HD™ Turkey/Predator Rem™ Choke are included.

Key Features:

  • 12 gauge, 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" chamber

  • 20" barrel Turkey/Predator Extended Rem Choke included

  • ShurShot pistol grip stock with black overmolded grip panels

  • TruGlo 30mm Red/Green Dot Scope (Model TG8030DB) pre-mounted

  • Fully Mossy Oak Obsession camo coverage

  • Includes padded, quick-attach sling

 

The Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama we were listing it for $599.97. Now it's on sale for $579.95!! What a steal! But, if you come in before March 24th...you can really get a good buy for $549.95 after mail-in rebate!! Hope you come on out and see us soon.

Thanks, Rebecca in Hunting!

 

 

0 Comments »

Your Next Turkey Or Predator Gun!!

Model 870™ SPS™ Super Mag Turkey/Predator w/Scope

 

turkey predater

 

The Remington Model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey-Predator is a pump-action hunting shotgun chambered in 12 gauge. The M870 is a family of pump-action shotguns with a variety of hunting and tactical models. The Turkey-Predator can fire magnum shells and to complement those hard-hitting loads it comes with Remington’s Wingmaster Heavy Density choke tube, which is made of steel and threads into the barrel. It has a camouflage finish that covers the short 20″ barrel and synthetic stock. The stock has a ShurShot pistol grip, which looks like a tactical grip, and a thumb groove. It comes with TruGlo sights, which are easy-to-see bright colors, but also a pre-mounted TruGlo 30mm red/green dot scope. The scope mounts to a short Picatinny rail, which allows easy mounting or removing of scopes or sights. Remington recommends it for hunting turkey and predators, of course.

Specifications

 

Model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey-Predator

Capacity:

3 (3.5) and 4 (2.75, 3)

Sights:

TruGlo sights

Features:

Fires magnum shells; comes with padded sling; and 30mm red dot scope

Gauge:

12 gauge

Stock:

Synthetic/mossy oak bottomland

Material/Finish:

Steel

Scope:

TruGlo Red Dot Scope mounted to Picatinny rail

Type:

Pump

Chokes:

Extra full

Website:

http://www.remington…

Weight:

7.125 pounds

Barrel Length:

20"

Length of Pull:

13.5"

Overall Length:

40.5"

Drop at Comb:

1.5"

Drop at Heel:

2"

Bore:

2.75"
3"
3.5"

 

0 Comments »

Turkey Ammo- Which one??

Ok, you have found the perfect spot for your Spring Turkey hunt. Your mouth call practice has paid off since you have a nice Tom strutting towards your decoys. All that is left here is to pull Mr 12 gauge up and claim your trophy. But the hunt is not finished, this is where your gear can really make or breat your outing. Your choice of choke and ammunition can be the difference between going home happy or going home hungry.

   Today we have several very good choices in 12 gauge ammunition made just for Turkey hunting. What will matter here is how to match up our barrel and choke tube with the right ammunition to get the best results. Let us start with a true Turkey shotgun.

    Most devoted Turkey shotguns have a shorter barrel length that allows better swing in tight quarters such as a hub blind or other available cover. With that short barrel it is recommended that you use an “extra full choke tube”. This will allow tighter patterns at longer shooting ranges. For this type of shotgun the best choices in ammunition are Winchester, Remington, HeavyShot and Kent. These shot shells use a conventional plastic wad that spreads at the front soon after leaving the barrel. Patterns will be very good from 30 yards out to 50 yards. You will even be able to make kills farther out then 50 yards!

    So you want to hunt Turkey, you have a shotgun, but it is not a true Turkey gun. No problem, look at both ammo and chokes to get started. Install that improved cylinder choke tube and look at two other brands of ammunition. Hornady and Federal use a different wad in their shot shells. This wad does not open at all, but rather has a cone that expands when it leaves the barrel; this cone is at the base of the wad. This allows the wad to stay with the shot load longer yielding a tighter pattern. So you need not purchase a choke tube, only correct ammunition to work with your gun. If you have a Turkey gun and want to use the Federal or Hornady loads you should buy a different choke tube, improved cylinder is best.

    Now that you have matched your gun and ammunition it’s off to the range! This part is most important; always check your patterning at your expected shooting distance. This will confirm all is ready for your hunt. Now pull the trigger on that nice Tom Turkey and start warming up the oven!