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Question about turkey hunting!

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Parruthead, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. Parruthead

    Parruthead Member

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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My wife and I recieved an offer from a farmer at church to hunt turkeys on his land. We've never hunted turkeys and i've been reading and studying but my have one question. How much farther range does one gain by going from a 12ga 3" Shell to a 3 1/2" shell? Im looking for any advantage bein we are newbie's so if can make a farther shot i guess i'd be willing to bite the bullet and buy a gun that handles 3 1/2" shells if it makes a big difference. Currently i only have a 12 ga that handles 3" shells...Any help or pointers would be gladly accepted.

    Thanks
     
  2. john1911

    john1911 Member

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    IMO, you won't gain a lot of extra distance with the 3 1/2" shells (maybe 5-10 yards). You will get a denser pattern.

    I shoot Winchester XX #5 3 1/2" shells through a Remington 870 with a "extra full" factory choke. I find the #5 shot is the best compromise between energy and pattern density.

    I used to use 3 1/2" #6 Remington Hevi-shot in a Benelli Nova with a full choke. Hevi-shot tends to pattern through a little less tight choke. IMO, this combo was the best turkey gun I ever owned. Sadly, something else caught my eye and the Nova was sold. Bad mistake on my part.

    Truthfully, I would hold off on buying a new 3 1/2" gun strictly for turkey hunting. Several birds are bagged every year with 2 3/4" shells.
     
  3. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I had a Mossberg 835 that shot 3 1/2" shells and it would kick my ass when I shot that dude. With an extra full choke it was pretty tough. Wouldn't feed 2 3/4" shells worth a hoot out bird hunting so I got rid of it.

    Now I use an Ithaca M37 shooting 3" shells and an extra full turkey choke. Little easier on the shoulder and patterns just as well as the Mossberg.

    I've even used an Winchester 1400 with 2 3/4" shells and an extra full turkey choke to kill birds prior to both the other guns.

    Unless you need another shotgun, buy an extra full turkey choke for the one you have and get some different turkey loads in #4, 5 and 6 and see which one patterns the best at 30 yds.
     
  4. Bitmap

    Bitmap Member

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    Jun 26, 2005
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    Location:
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    When I used a shotgun I always used 2 3/4 inch loads. I probably broke some turkey hunters rule by using lead #2 or BB size shot and went for body shots.

    Now I use a handgun or a small caliber rifle like a .22WMRF. I don't know if you can use that where you are.
     
  5. Muzzy_B

    Muzzy_B Member

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    I don't shotgun hunt for turkeys anymore. Before I switched to hunting them solely with the bow, I used my old 870 with 3" shells.

    Shell length isn't going to make too much of a difference as far as range is concerned. The bigger the shell, the more shot you'll be throwing, but it only takes a couple of pellets in the noggin to make a bird flop around. Honestly, if this is going to be your first hunt, getting them into shooting range is going to be chore enough if you don't have an experienced caller working them into your decoys for you, if you can even use decoys in your area. Good look, you never forget your first big Tom.

    If you do bow hunt, I highly recommend giving it a try. Huge adrenaline rush. I rank it as high as, if not higher than, watching the birth of my daughter.
     
  6. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    OH yea, bowhunting for turkey is my favorite.
     
  7. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Member

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    I shot a turkey at about 40 yards, the thing dropped and flopped around for a little while, but died nonetheless. Just make sure if you don't think you hit them good you either shoot them again, or hold their head down with your foot. A friend of mine had one get up and fly away.
     
  8. quicktime

    quicktime Member

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    Currently in Kabul Afghanistan but usually Colorad
    I assume this will be a fall turkey hunt so the rules are a little different. A 3 inch shot shell will be fine many thousands of turkeys died prior to the arrival of the 3 1/2 inch 12 ga shotgun shell. Get a good choke and go out and pattern test your chosen load. It is the same as getting ready for big game season with the rifle you have to sight in. As for calling in turkeys in the fall it is not generally done that way. Most mornings an owl call at daybreak to find out where they are roosting. And then sneak in close and find out which way they are feeding. Circle around in front of them find a good hiding spot. And most of the farmers already know where they are headed so that makes it easier on you. Good Luck
     
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