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roy reali
October 27, 2007, 12:26 PM
This morning I was out with my dog trying to kick up some birds. My dog was working some brush about 20 yards off to my side. All of a sudden I heard a big swooshing sound. I wondered what the heck my dog kicked out.

It was a wild turkey. A few seconds later more launched. All together there must have been a dozen birds. All of them flew in front of me, about 20 yards out and not too high. They would have been within shotguh range.

I didn't shoot for a couple of reasons. First I don't have turkey tags and second, I was loaded with low-base 7 1/2 shot.

Then I got to thinking, a dangerous thing I know.

I know how turkeys are suppose to be hunted. But is it possible to jump shoot them? Has anyone here tried it? Would a shotgun even be capable of downing a flying turkey at more then a dozen yards away?

lockedcj7
October 27, 2007, 02:21 PM
A friend of mine and I unloaded on a flying tom one day. Neither of us cut a feather. I think it has something to do with the fact that the patterns are too tight when using turkey chokes to actually get pellets on the head/neck. Either that or we just missed him altogether. I've never tried to jump shoot them since they usually see you coming and run. They only seem to fly when you stumble into them in close cover.

buck460XVR
October 28, 2007, 08:41 AM
I know how turkeys are suppose to be hunted. But is it possible to jump shoot them? Has anyone here tried it? Would a shotgun even be capable of downing a flying turkey at more then a dozen yards away?

Matter of ethics mostly. The majority of folks in the know recomend AGAINST ever shooting at a flying turkey unless it is already wounded. The reason is because unless you head the bird in the head or spine, it will continue to fly without signs of being hit. Even with a broken wing they can continue to run for miles....and they are masters of hiding whether wounded or not...thus resulting in a crippled and lost bird. Also in most states(but not all) it is illegal to use dogs when hunting turkeys....even if you were really hunting other game.

Having witnessed the same thing with my own bird dogs, it has always amazed me how much like a huge grouse a flushing turkey resembles. How a 20# bird with a four foot wingspan can propel themselves into the air and take off like a rocket is truely amazing. Especially if you've ever witnessed how clumsily they go in and out of their roost tree.

Can it be done.....sure. But IMHO it's like taking a low percentage shot at a nice buck. We owe our quarry more respect than that.

roy reali
October 28, 2007, 08:57 AM
I was wondering about that. When I was much younger I went on a goose hunt. A goose, while a a large bird, pales in comparison to a turkey. I remember shooting at a goose at about the same range I would drop a pheasant. I heard the pellets hit the bird, but it contined to fly without even a flinch. The guy I was with then explained they need to be very close to ensure that a shotgun will drop one.

As the turkeys were flying by yesterday, the tought of weather a shotgun would even be able to drop one in flight crossed my mind. When there sitting, head shots are the norm. But it is next to impossible to aim at the head of bird crossing your path at full speed at twenty or so yards away.

You are right, them birds fly amazingly well.

I appreciate that you are an ethical hunter. Unfortunatly, you are part of a rare breed anymore.

johnbt
October 28, 2007, 04:48 PM
You're not supposed to shoot 'em in the air? ;)

My father and uncle walked up on some along the edge of the family apple orchard about 50 years ago. The birds took off and went left leaving my uncle without a shot at them. My father got two with two shots of hi-brass #6 using a full-choked Model 12 20 ga.

My uncle still talks about it. My father just smiles. He'd rather talk about the two deer he shot 10 years ago when he was 75. He fired a third shot at the second one when it didn't fall fast enough to suit him and put it about an inch from the first shot. Not bad shooting for an old guy on a cold morning. He said the hard part about making those 105 yard shots was getting up off that hard stump he'd been sitting on for an hour or so. FWIW, he used a BAR in .280.

I hope he lives long enough to teach me to shoot. He's been trying for years. :)

John

Bitmap
October 30, 2007, 07:27 AM
I haven't shot any out of the air but I see no problem with it. My dad has shot several that way. One thing to be careful of - one of the ones he shot almost fell on him. It actually landed at his feet. I suspect having a 20lb. bird land on your head or in your face would hurt.

I must be unethical. Most of the one's I've shot have been ambushed. Either just after they land after they come off the roost in the morning or while they are walking towards the roosting area in the evening.

buck460XVR
October 30, 2007, 12:49 PM
I must be unethical. Most of the one's I've shot have been ambushed. Either just after they land after they come off the roost in the morning or while they are walking towards the roosting area in the evening.

just cause your ethics are different from someone else don't necessarily make you unethical. Just makes you different. Most of the folk I've ever duck hunted with would rather go home empty than shoot a hen mallard. Does it make any difference in the overall mallard population?....probably not. But it makes a difference to them. I aint much of a duck hunter, but I reckon in those circles it can be a lively debate also. Seems funny that sportsmen don't ground swat ducks or grouse, but shy away from shooting turkeys on the fly. Maybe it's the difference between being a hunter and being a sportsman. I dunno.

What I do know tho, is that ambushing a turkey is the only way you'll ever legally take one. Whether you call him in, wait for him at roost or set a stalk and intercept.....I aint yet seen one that would actually let you shoot them.:D