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Good Turkey Shells?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ldlfh7, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    Just buy 2 3/4 inch high brass turkey loads with #4 shot. I personally like the Winchester XX Magnum. Shoot at the turkey's body, not the head & neck. I went looking for 20 guage ammo this weekend and found it kind of funny that the shelves were abundant with 3 inch turkey loads but all of the 2 3/4 inch ammo had been sold.
  2. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    The problem with using anything other than 4, 5, 6 are in most states it is illegal. I agree with the fatcs that these birds have been killed by other sizes of shot but I hope we strive for ethical hunting practices in this day and age. The indians killed buffalo with a horse and a spear but I would prefer a 45-70 any day.
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

  4. powell&hyde

    powell&hyde Well-Known Member


    I agree, I hope he got it backwards.
  5. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I know it's fashionable to shoot a standing turkey in the head at 20 yards with a 3 inch magnum 12 guage but not everyone does it that way. In the past 45 years I've taken over 100 goblers and I never intentionally shot one in the head. I have never found a gobbler to be hard to kill, and a half dozen #4 copper plated shot through the lung heart area will turn their lights out rather quickly. I use a 12 guage with a 2 3/4 inch chamber and shoot them standing, running or flying, at ranges from 20 yards to past 50 yards. Occasionally I use the wife's 20 guage lightweight and wouldn't have a problem shooting a turkey with it either. I would limit the shooting distance on the 20 guage to about 30 yards. The post was how to reduce recoil and still be effective. A novice turkey hunter is far more apt to come home with a turkey if he shoots at the bird with magnum #4 shot instead of the head. It's all about making a solid hit on the bird.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  6. Todd1700

    Todd1700 Well-Known Member


    First of all unless you plan to call turkeys in to 25 yards before you open fire forget the nonsense about using number 8 lead shot. Not even sure lead 8's are legal in most places but no matter. Just forget that horse pucky.

    Second, for the love of God don't body shoot them with 4's either. Can you kill a turkey that way? At very close range, sure. But at very close range it would be like hitting him with a slug and would destroy the edible meat. Which is the reason we are shooting him in the first place, right? And at a longer range? Well I'm sure the turkey would die......eventually. The question is where and when. Possibly close to where you shot him. Or possibly after he runs a 1/4 of a mile through a thicket and crawls up in the middle of a downed tree top with no blood trail between where you shot him and where he finally expired. Or depending on the range of the shot he might die a week later from infection. Horrible, horrible advice in my opinion.

    But back to your original question.

    Does your gun accept screw in chokes? I would not hunt turkeys with a modified choke tube unless I had to. You don't have to go out and spend 70 bucks on an after market tube either. Any extra full turkey choke out there will out shoot that internal modified choke and some of them cost less than 20 bucks. As for shells, it just depends on how much you want to spend. Hevi-13 denser than lead shells combined with a choke safe to use with denser than lead shot will give you awesome patterns but are expensive. With lead shells I have always had the best luck with Winchester Supreme shells. See what patterns best between 5's and 6's. Never been a fan of lead 4's. The individual number 4 pellets will kill way out there if they hit the right spot but I have never seen what I would call a good pattern with them at even 40 yards. And I seriously doubt you will get a good pattern with them out to 40 yards from a 20 ga using a modified choke.

    When you pattern forget the turkey head targets. Shoot at a dot in the center of a large sheet of poster paper. That way you can see what the whole pattern is doing. It will also allow you to see exactly where the center of your pattern is hitting. Trust me it is not always perfectly in line with the bead or sights. You may need and adjustable sight to get your point of aim and point of impact together. I would consider 100 pellets inside a 10 inch circle an acceptable pattern. The farthest your shotgun will give you at least that pattern density is your maximum range.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I help teach hunter safety to new hunters. When we talk about turkey hunting there are several points we try to drive home. First, always shoot at the neck/head area, avoid shots to the body....especially broadside. We also stress that you never shoot at a bird running or flying, unless you have already wounded it. I also am involved with the NWTF and the youth mentoring program. We educate young hunters on hunting turkeys and then we take them to the field for their first hunt. We also stress the same points to these hunters. The reason is, that regardless of what you claim........adult turkeys are hard to kill unless hit in the brain or other part of the CNS. They can run/fly too far and are hard to, if not impossible to retrieve when hit only in the body. One reason many states have banned hunting turkeys with rifles is for this reason, not just for safety as many think. Even with half their chest blown off,they are able to run and hide....and die, without being able to be recovered.

    Shooting a turkey in the head/neck is not fashionable......it is being responsible and ethical. Shooting instead for the body is being irresponsible and unethical. Same with shooting at a running or flying birds. You wish to hunt turkeys this way cause it works for you and it's legal, go for it. But don't suggest others do the same. I wonder how many birds that you shot in the body while running or flying, ran or flew off only to die a long lingering death or became coyote bait. I wonder how many of those birds you thought were clean misses were mortally wounded birds you never even went and looked for. I suppose your next post will be you never have missed or never lost a wounded bird, eh?
  8. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine who was a bench shooter said he shot gobblers using his superaccurate 2506 caliber hunting rifle that shoots dimesized at 100 yds. Of course , this is off topic .
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    "Same with shooting at a running or flying birds."

    Some people are good enough wing shots to consistently kill flying turkeys. Some people can even learn to walk up close on feeding turkeys and kill 2 with 2 shots when they take wing between the trees. My father even did it with a 20 ga. Model 12 and #6 shot in front of witnesses. The turkeys loved roaming the edges of my grandparents' huge apple orchard.

    Can everybody do it? No.

  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I know folks that claim they shoot at a brown blur in the woods and they occasionally get a deer. I certainly wouldn't suggest that to a new deer hunter. I know folks that claim they shoot at geese 70 yards over their head. They occasionally get a bird. Would I suggest that to a new waterfowl-er? No, would you? I've seen folks post all kinds of stories about their hunting prowess on the internet, but I don't believe everything I read. Some folks may be good enough shots that they consistently hit flying turkeys, odds are, just as many that they hit fly away to die somewhere else as fall DRT. We as responsible hunters owe it to our quarry to make quick clean kills using high percentage shots. While all of us have taken a shot or two that we ain't proud of or would rather have back......to recommend these to a new hunter looking for the correct and ethical way to hunt is just plain foolish, to brag about them is something else all together. Shooting at a running/flying turkey is a low percentage shot, regardless of who you are.
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Now, now, what did I say?

    "Can everybody do it? No." - me

    "Some folks may be good enough shots that they consistently hit flying turkeys"

    May be? Do you think I am lying? It sounds like it to me.

  12. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    What I got out of this thread is that there are a lot of turkey hunters who aren't confident in their ability or anyone's ability to shoot a shotgun. These same hunters also don't realize the penetrating power of a charge of #4 shot at long range. I think that any good wingshot can confidently kill a flying turkey because they are much easier to hit than a flying quail or duck. If you read this thread you would think that good wingshooters are a dieing breed and I think this opinion depends on the region of the country where the comments originate. When I grew up it was easy for a good wingshot to take a limit of 10 quail in about an hour. Those days are gone but my shooting ability hasn't. With a full choke shotgun I wouldn't shoot a turkey at 20 yards if I had the opportunity to shoot him at 30 yards or further. I hold a big tom turkey in high regard and I'm lucky to live in a part of the country where turkeys are abundant, in fact where I hunt they are considered a nusence by some of the farmers because they crap on the round bales of hay that are used for livestock feed and it makes the animals sick.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  13. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    "#4 shot at long range"

    Used to work just fine on Mallards and small geese and some of them seemed to be armored.

    You can actually kill an angry black bear with #6 shot. My father, uncle and grandfather had an encounter with one while climbing a logging trail next to a creek one afternoon. They were on their way to bird hunt a high pasture when the bear came down the track. Using two 12s and my dad's 20 ga., it took 30 to 35 shots to kill it at contact distance. It was unfortunate, but there just wasn't any passing room on the path and my grandfather's little dog stirred things up some and lived up to his name - Sparky.

  14. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Well-Known Member

    Now this thread has officially jumped the shark. How do you justify self defense when three people had to empty and reload their shotguns at least 3 times. Posting stuff like this does nothing to help our cause as hunters. I hope the new hunter who started this thread disregards your posts or looks at them as an example of "what not to do".

    To the OP: Shoot standing turkeys in the head at a reasonable range with a shotgun you've patterned.
  15. ldlfh7

    ldlfh7 Well-Known Member

    I don't see the problem. A bear was in their way and they did what they had to do. Were they supposed to let the bear attack them?

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