There are few things more exciting than the challenges that come with taking down a turkey in the open field. Unlike domesticated turkeys, wild turkeys are one of the smartest birds around. Taking one down can be a challenge for even seasoned hunters thanks to their natural cunning and wiliness. Making sure you bring the right equipment will go a long way towards helping you to bring a turkey home.
We love talking about turkey shooting on this blog, and so we thought we’d rustle up a list of what you’ll want to bring with you in the field.
The Right Guns
There are several shotgun options you can choose from if you’re planning on taking down a turkey, but making sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re shooting is the most important factor to take into account. With some experimentation, you’ll find out what the right combination of choke, load, and gauge is for you. There are some general rules you can follow, however.
10- or 12-gauge shotgun: These are good for shooting turkeys from far distances. If you know you’ll be hunting turkeys in a place that will have little cover, and if you know you won’t be able to get up close to your turkeys, a 10- or 12-gauge shotgun is a good place to start. However, you’ll have to deal with more recoil as a trade-off.
20-gauge shotgun: With a 20 gauge, you’ll be experiencing less recoil compared to a 10- or 12-gauge shotgun. While it may not take down a turkey at the same ranges, this may not be something you need to worry about; barring some circumstances, you likely won’t be taking a turkey down from farther than 25 yards away.
The Right Ammo
Choosing the right shotgun cartridge will also increase your chances of successfully taking down a turkey. You’ll want to consider factors like pellet penetration, and you’ll want to make sure you’re using a legal alternative to lead birdshot. In this case, choosing tungsten super shot for your next turkey hunt is one of the best options available.
Tungsten alloy is simply the best alternative to lead you can find, and as a leader in tungsten ammunition manufacturing, Agescan International has been supplying distributors, retailers — and ultimately hunters — with tungsten shot shells for many years.
Why Should I Buy Tungsten Shotgun Cartridges?
Many turkey hunters prefer tungsten shot despite its relatively higher price. Tungsten shot shells have high penetrating power, since they don’t lose momentum after exiting the barrel of the gun. This means that a 20-gauge shotgun, when loaded with tungsten super shot, can potentially perform just as well as a 10- or 12-gauge shotgun at similar ranges.
What Are the Benefits of Tungsten Shot?
The penetrative power of tungsten super shot allows for the shotgun cartridge to hold a greater number of smaller pellets without losing overall density. This means shot patterns from tungsten shot shells are denser, and have a higher pellet count, making it easier for tungsten shot shells to nab a clean kill.
As well, unlike lead shot, tungsten shot can be legally used to shoot wild turkeys. Since lead shot was made illegal in the US due to medical and environmental effects, many enthusiasts have been turning to tungsten shot as a safe alternative.
Wear the Right Clothes
Turkeys have extremely good eyesight, so it’s a good idea to get clothes that will help you blend in with your surroundings. Choose something like a turkey vest with a camo pattern; this will help you hide in vegetation. A turkey vest with pockets also allows you to keep many items on you, and to access them quickly. When you see a turkey, you’ll likely have to make a snap decision, so you want to make sure you can grab what you need fast.
Make sure not to neglect camouflaging your hands, face, and head! To a turkey, the color of your skin against vegetation sticks out like a sore thumb. Wear gloves with a camouflage pattern, but make sure that it’s flexible enough that you can pull your trigger quickly. For your face, you can use mesh netting. Alternatively, you can wear face paint instead. The camouflage principle goes for your hat as well, but just make sure to wear a hat that makes sense for the weather.
Don’t Forget Your Side Equipment!
A turkey call is absolutely essential during a turkey hunt. Turkeys communicate through sound and are extremely vocal, so having a turkey call with you can help you lure in some unsuspecting birds. There are many calls you can buy, and they all work best for specific situations. To start though, get a box call and a double-reed mouth call, which should cover a wide range of pitches and volume.
Make Sure to Be Prepared
Much of a successful turkey hunt depends on your prep work beforehand. Be sure to bring all the right guns, ammo, clothing, and side equipment before you begin your turkey hunt. Turkeys may be smart and have a keen sense of danger, but with planning on your side, you’ll increase your chances of taking one down.
Good luck out there!