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Tips For Patterning Your Turkey Gun

Have you ever patterned your shotgun? I mean really put it through the paces with several different manufacturers’ loads and shot sizes to determine what shoots the best through your gun? I can tell you that each gun is a bit different and something is going to perform best. Don’t just shoot what your local sporting goods store has on sale. Take an hour, some butcher paper or targets, cardboard boxes, maybe a realty sign, a sharpie and go somewhere safe to shoot. 

Shooting Distance

Check out how your gun performs at 25, 35 and 45 yards. I know you’ll want to try 55 to 60 yards, but please think twice before ever shooting at a turkey at this distance. These new loads and chokes have hunters thinking they can regularly do this now, but please use caution. You don’t want to cripple an old bird. They deserve more than that.

Choke Tubes and Shells

I’ve been pleased with the Browning Full Strut Turkey choke that came with my Browning A5, but it took several different tests to decide that it liked the Winchester Extended Range #5’s the best. I have an old single shot 20 gauge that loves a “Jebs” choke. There are a number of aftermarket choke tube companies that you can experiment with to find what works for you, along with plenty of shell manufacturers and loads. Don’t leave this to chance and don’t assume your gun shoots just like your friend’s. They all are a bit different.

By knowing what your gun shoots best, you can have confidence when the moment of truth comes and you squeeze the trigger. [Read more…]

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Getting the Jump on Spring Turkeys By Gary Howey & Josh Anderson

  Turkey hunters like us are already thinking about our Spring Gobbler hunt, and it is not very long before the spring turkey season will be upon us. If you are like many of us die-hard turkey hunters like me, you probably are counting the days.

  Spring turkey hunting can be one of the most exciting sports known to man or it can be one of the most frustrating walks in the woods that you can imagine.

  A successful spring hunt requires some pre-season preparation in order to get the jump on the birds and have a plan before you head for the field.

  The first thing you are going to need to do is to know where the birds are because traipsing around in the hills, hoping to stumble across a turkey is not what turkey hunting is all about.

  If you think you know where the birds are today, because you saw them this winter, then you could be in for a truly rude awaking.

  In the winter, turkeys, much like other wild animals will head towards their food source, herding up in certain areas because of the abundance of food found there.

  Just because you saw them in the winter, I would not count on them being in that spot when the sun rises on opening day.

  They maybe in the general area, within a half to one mile away, but that is a huge area to cover when you are trying to set up on them opening morning.

  As the weather warms, these large flocks will start to break up and as the hens move out, the Toms will follow.

  The dominant Toms will start to show their authority, whipping the feathers off the younger birds, showing them whose boss and their place in the pecking order.

  This is the time of the year that you need to grab your binoculars and head for the woods to try to locate the birds.

  Once a Tom has established his territory, he will fight to keep it and found in that area through out the breeding season unless something catastrophic happens to force them out.

  Now that you have your big Gobbler spotted, you will need to figure out his routine, to make a mental map of where he roosts, travels, struts, feeds and likes to hangs out.

   Like all of us, wild critters seem to do much of the same things day in and day out, sleeping, traveling and eating in a certain place.

  By observing where they roost, fly down and eat, you can set up between these areas and get a shot at them as they go about their everyday routine.

  If the birds fly down on the east side of the trees and then wander off to feed in a field in the same direction, you are not going to get them to come to the west, no matter how good you are at calling.

  Pattern them, set up along their travel route and your success rate will increase 

  Ok, so you have got the birds figured out, know where they are heading, your decoys are set out and your calling is impeccable but the Tom still does not come within range, then what? [Read more…]