Turkey season is fast approaching. Do you know where your gun is shooting? Jay Langston, editor of Turkey Call magazine from the National Wild Turkey Federation, recommends patterning your shotgun before each season. What if your retriever stepped on the barrel or someone knocked it down? Mishaps, unbeknownst to you, can cause you to miss or wound that gobbler. Your next box of shells might be slightly different from last year’s in powder, shotcup or buffering. All these things can affect what happens down-range.
The kill area on a turkey is the head and neck. Put a turkey target on a box and shoot from several distances, such as 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards. You’ll be able to see if the point of impact is off and check the performance. The “rubber meets the road,” so to speak in a 10-inch circle, says Langston. “You’ve got an effective turkey gun, if your gun, choke and ammunition combination puts 100 or more pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards.”
Birchwood Casey’s self-adhesive Shoot*N* C targets show fluorescent yellow where the pellets have penetrated. This makes for easy counting of the holes even without the aid of binoculars or spotting scopes.
Ed Noonan, turkey hunter and outdoor writer, has shot over 60 birds. He swears by EOTech HOLOgraphic sights. There is no magnification, so the HOLOgraphic sight is legal in all states. Parallax makes the target appear to be in a different place depending on the shooter’s head position. The HOLOgraphic sight has no parallax, so it’s easy to target the bird.
Ade Advanced offers several options to help the hunter bring home the bird. One choice is a set of 45 degree iron sights that clamp onto the rib. Let us caution against only using a front sight. It’s tempting for the hunter to raise his/her head slightly just before the shot to see the turkey. This means turkey-1/hunter-0. The rear sight gives the shooter a reference point to stay on target. Here are other popular iron sights.
If you’re looking for a scope, have a look at Millett’s premier turkey hunting product, the REDOT scope. REDOT is a trademarked name that is often used generically, such as Xerox has become a generic name for a paper copy. REDOT has a LED red dot that can be adjusted to accommodate different lighting conditions. For instance, a bright dot in low light will flare. This makes it difficult to distinguish the target. Chuck Miller of Millett recommends a 5-minute sized dot for turkey hunting in combination with a 30 mm tube. “The 30 mm tube gives you a big field of view when you’re hunkered down against the tree calling in the gobbler,” says Miller.
The new Multidot SP offers 4 choices of dots–3, 5, 8 and 10 minute–all in one.
The REDOT scope is mounted using the trigger guard pins for a rock-solid saddle mount that fits most popular guns. There’s no parallax and the scopes are designed to be waterproof and shock proof.
HIVIZ makes high-glow light pipes and magnetic snap on/off bases for wide, medium, narrow and plain barrel guns. The sights are designed to enhance the sight picture and encourage the shooter to shoulder the gun properly and keep her/his head on the stock.
Confidence is a big factor in hunting success. You need to know you and your gun are on target BEFORE the gobbler struts into range.