Spring is in the air, and you are thinking of chasing a few birds with a gun this season. There are several steps you can take that will aid you in the perfect setup.
With the 410-to-10-gauge shotgun options the list of guns that would serve a turkey hunter well all season long is a lengthy one. You could spend thousands of dollars getting it all dolled up or grab Grandpa’s old trusty and spend a couple hundred. There is no right or wrong in this situation and both could lead to a heck of a turkey setup. Find the gun that fits both your pocketbook and your personal preference and build from it.
You have taken the time to choose the perfect gun. It is now time to choose the choke that would perform alongside it. The list of chokes can be long as well but ideally, you will want to fall into the full or extra full category. With this setup being strictly for turkey, I would lean towards the turkey-specific extra full lineup. If Grandpa’s old trusty doesn't allow a choke option, you could reach out to a gunsmith and have them thread your barrel and keep some cash in your pocket.
You now have your platform. It is time to get picky. Are you looking to keep it clean on top with the old BB sight or fancy it up a bit and give you a little more edge above the birds? You could simply add the tried-and-true Tru Glo clip-on and head to the range or throw a red dot on and have color and reticles to choose from. All these options are lethal while chasing after birds throughout the season.
One of the smallest but most important accessories on a turkey gun is a sling. Being mobile throughout the turkey’s range is a necessity and having that gun hands-free for calling and setting up is a must. When deciding on a sling be sure to choose comfort over looks. If your shotgun of choice is a single shot, you may have options with ammo slots for that unlucky chance you need a follow-up shot.
This is where we test and tune your shotgun. With a wide array of turkey loads on the market, you need to be sure you choose one that is first and foremost legal in the state or states you will be hunting in. After following the legal route, you will want to choose between a few to bring to the range. I always tend to grab three, if available, so I know I have high odds of getting at least one of them to throw a good pattern down range. Now you are ready to grab some paper turkey targets, that box the mailman just delivered (make sure it’s empty) and head to the range.
Knowing your down-range accuracy is key when chasing gobblers. This is where the range time comes in. I would recommend starting at around 20 yards with three shots from each load of choice. I would then repeat each step in 10-yard increments until I failed to keep at least 10 pellets in the turkey’s head or reached my goal in distance. For example, if I kept 10 plus pellets in at 40 but failed at 50, my maximum distance would be 40 yards!
In conclusion, start early on your adventure to the ultimate turkey gun. Be precise in your decision-making and have fun with the process. As mentioned above, you can go as big or as small as you want, but in the end, the goal is to ethically harvest a beautiful turkey this spring.