The Perfect Turkey Gun

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by werewolf won, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I don’t believe there is a perfect shotgun for turkey, nor a bad one. I will admit there are features that certainly can help a hunter.

    This time of year I usually look around You Tube with the search words Turkey calling, Turkey hunting mainly to see if there is anything thing new, and to listen to other callers. Invariably there is some guy telling the world what the best Turkey gun is. If he’s sponsored you can bet your bottom dollar that will be the gun or ammo if that happens to be the sponsor. This sells guns it doesn't necessarily kill more turkeys

    In my opinion a sling is very nice to have, not as a shooting aid like a rifle sling, just an easier way to handle the gun when you have a big old tom over one shoulder, a decoy, maybe a chair, or blind so slinging the shotgun sure makes for a safer more comfortable carry out. I also like a sighting system beyond just a bead. Turkey are taken with a aimed shot usually from a very tightly choked shotgun, clean misses do happen. A set of rifle sights or a scope sure helps especially if a turkey comes in from somewhere you were not expecting and you end up in some strange position to get the shot. Head and shoulder alignment with just a bead and rib can be hard—a set of sights shows miss alignment.

    After that, as long as you know where your gun hits, it does not matter what gauge it is, what shot size you send, what stock configuration, barrel length, number of barrels or type of action.

    My choice, for what it’s worth, is a 20 gauge pump, a youth model (20” barrel) with an aftermarket adult length thumbhole stock all in natural wood and bluing. I shoot a Primos "Jelly Head" choke, with Hevi-shot shells, and a Leupold 1-4 power scope.

    My second gun is an Over/Under 20 gauge, the top barrel is choked modified, the bottom has a TSS specific XF choke. The shotgun sports a zero magnification red dot sight. I shoot TSS 9’s from the bottom and plated number 5’s from the top barrel.

    The two guns have the same overall length but the O/U barrels are 26”. I usually end up calling birds right into my lap and the TSS, and even Hevi shot is really overkill so I’m using the O/U with a milder load incase I again get a bird on top of me, but keeping the option open for a long shot with the mello kicking TSS load. I’m still suffering from my head injury and the easier kicking options are my main reason Hazel the 870 will get the season off.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  2. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    I have Williams FireSights on my 12 gauge 870. They have served me well out to a measured 70 yards with Indian Creek choke and Hevi Shot 3" #5s. Second furthest shot was a bit over 50 yards. Both gobblers dropped and made no effort to get back up. Not bad for a sub $300 shotgun. This one was an NWTF "banquet gun" that someone won and traded off. Not sure if it had even been fired before I bought it. It is marked NWTF 30th Anniversary. I believe that would have been 2009.
    A shot at 30 yards or less would give you clear understanding of the term "jelly head".

    Same setup with cylinder bore choke tube and Federal Tru-Ball slugs will do a number on feral hogs as well.
     
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  3. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a set of Tru-glow adjustable sights on my 870 as backups to the scope, they are very nice, easy to remove if your turkey gun is also your upland gun off season and inexpensive insurance.

    I have heard really nice things about those Indian Creek chokes.
     
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  4. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    savage 24 w/ 223 over 20ga
     
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  5. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    I sorry but turkeys aren't armor plated rocket scientists that gun and ammunition manufacturers want you to think they are. I have killed 5 turkeys with 4 shots with a 12 ga. single shot muzzle loader. If you can't kill a turkey with a 12 or 20 ga. and standard 2 3/4 in "high brass " shells you need to work on your hunting and calling skills
     
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  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Spot on! These You Tube videos would have you believe turkeys are indeed bullet proof. They do take an accurate head shot so they will not run off and die where they cannot be recovered, but one pellet to the brain box leaves them flopping in their tracks. And most any shotgun with a good shooter using it can do that.
     
  7. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40

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    I'm still a noob at turkey hunting but have gone 3 for 3 so far. One of the things I really like about turkey hunting is how simple it is. I like to keep my turkey hunting gear simple and light. Lightweight single shot 12ga full choke, leafy suite for camo pad to sit on, small day pack with water, snacks and something to brush shooting lanes. I take 4 shells and only hope to use one. I take one slate call in the pack that I was gifted from a friend and I use my voice to make most of my calls.

    I watch videos of people turkey hunting and they just seem to make it so damn complicated and technical. Giant shotgun with optic that looks like you could raid a drug house with it, a whole flock of decoys some of which a remote controlled, a vest with 100 pockets each crammed with 2 calls. Obviously some of what I said is an exaggeration, but it's not too far from the truth. I like going simple and light for turkeys...just seems to be more fun for me that way.

    My simple CVA single shot has done well so far, but I can see an advantage of having a pistol grip shotgun even though I mocked them above. I was once froze in place by a sneaky tom and could not move for about 10 minutes (which felt like hours) If I had a pistol grip shotgun that awkward hold would have been a lot more comfortable for that duration of time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 11:36 AM
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  8. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I have several, but many years ago I had an old gun smith make me one. It is made of an old action with a different barrel and a different stock. It is a single shot 3" 12Ga that folds in half. Sling swivels. It can be carried in your bag on the back of your vest if so desired. It has a vented barrel sight with a Tru Glo bead on the front and a Tru Glo Strutt stopper screw in choke. Back bored and a funky grip. It is very light and therefore kicks like hell. But in 20 years now it has ever missed. Some days ai carry my Benelli but most days "Old Nellie" gets to go. You better have your eye on the front sight and the cheek welded to the stock because it shoots tight, too tight really, more than needed......at 40 yards it puts all pellets in a basketball. At 20 yards it just takes his head off completely.
     
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  9. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There was a trend toward tighter and tighter chokes, and I have one of the worst of that trend. At 20 yards the wad makes a bigger hole in the paper than the shot does. Even Will Primos admitted that they had taken chokes too far, and he was trying to sell them at the time. People have been killing turkeys with modified chokes and regular bird loads, in Carhart jeans and barn coats for ages.

    I have a nice mature sounding hen box and a tiny really hot young hen sounding box with me when I hunt. I do most of my calling with three slates: one slate, one glass, and one copper surfaced. I rarely carry a decoy anymore. I have been using a chair the last three seasons—as much for comfort as for tick defense; being a few inches off the ground really helps keep those beasties at bay.
     
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  10. JeffG

    JeffG Scout

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    I shoot a 54 cal/28ga flintlock smoothbore. I shoot a specialty #6 shot load for turkey, and it's effective. 25 yards is my designated limit.
    68930BCA-AF3F-44E7-BE7D-BD6F068A713A_zps7bog3s9i.jpg 10410103_679258958845889_6990202988209670884_n.jpg
     
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  11. bumma

    bumma I'm not lost. Just a bit confused. Supporter

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    H&R 12 Ga single shot with a full choke barrel and a inexpensive 2.5x scope.
    I use two calls. A box for range and a mouth call when set up.
    A decoy comes along and probably used 50% of the time.
    With 3" mag, #5 shot she's gonna kick like an angry mule...Good times!

    You gotta bring them in close (20 - 25 yds) otherwise it just ain't fun.
     
  12. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    My 70 yard shot was on a bird in a cut corn field in KS. We had called this bird along with a hen and 4 jakes from over 300 yards. Running one of my anodized aluminum surfaced pot calls, my buddy started laughing as he watched the group of birds at 300 (estimated) yards. All I could see were dark dots in the long field. He said every time I called, the bird would stop, stick his neck out, strut and begin moving again. He was far enough away that you could not hear him gobble. We were in a blind in a nook on the field edge. We had 3 decoys set out at 20 yards. The group of birds came in to check out the decoys. The wary gobbler kept his distance and never came closer than a ranged 55 yards. The hen and jakes came straight to the decoys. They repeatedly put their chest against the DSD decoys and pushed them around in circles on the single metal stake under the decoy. The gobbler stayed at 70 yards most of the time. The jakes wandered out to where the gobbler was. He chased them around for 10-15 minutes. My buddy spotted a bobcat coming into the cut field about 150 yards out. You could see the gobbler getting nervous. Head up, neck extended, short, paused paces. My buddy checked the range again and said "70 yards, but if you're going to shoot, you better do it now." The bird dropped like a rock. Just a few days prior, I had gotten my left index and middle fingers into a router in my shop. Both were bandaged about the size round of a shovel handle or larger. They throbbed when I fired the shot. The side/tip of my index finger closest to my thumb was left with a distinct angle. When I got to the gobbler and looked him over, I found that he was missing half of a toe, which was a healed over nub. I thought, "God has a sense of humor". Not sure if I kept a copy, but took a picture of my bandaged hand holding the foot with the missing toe. That gobbler had a 12" "paint brush" beard and a second 8" wavy beard. I get to look at him every day as he is mounted in a gobbling pose on a limb mount on the wall towards the foot of my bed.

    Hunt with what you have. Nothing like feeling a gobble go through your body from 20-30 yards away.
     
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  13. 556mp

    556mp Bushwhacker Vendor Bushclass I

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    I always wanted a 20ga pump but have never got around to it.

    My favorite shotgun is this NEF Pump 12ga that I adapted to take rem870 barrels
    (https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/thre...-to-accept-870rm-barrels-and-a-remake.168097/ )

    28" barrel, extra full standard type flush choke, 3" shells whoop ya with the hard buttpad, but it's part of the experience :)
    I've taken them as far as 45yd, which is plenty far for me.

    I use a box call sometimes but mostly a slate/glass with a wood stylus for most calling, and a carbon for super soft quiet purrs.

    I love turkey time!
     
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  14. NVRDONE

    NVRDONE Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    My usual setup is my 870 with a 26" barrel and a Kicks Gobblin Thunder choke, Winchester Supreme 3" 6 shot shells, and a Quaker boy box call. No special sights just the bead. But that shotgun is also my squirrel and buckshot gun, I just swap out the chokes. I think its being comfortable with whatever gun your using. So thats my perfect turkey gun.
     
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