View Full Version : Any of you try turkey huntin' with a rimfire?

November 6, 2004, 12:47 AM
I was contemplating going out for the fall turkey season here in S. California. I could use the blunderbuss, but was kinda-sorta thinking of bringing the 10/22 along as backup. (Actually, the Mossberg would be the backup.)

The 10/22 is modified and easily shoots 1 MOA if the winds are kind. You guys think trying to harvest a turkey with one is a bad idea?

November 6, 2004, 03:41 AM
I heard somebody wanting to make a nice clean shot with his .17hmr, but said where he lived it was against regs. Hope you are able to hunt that way it sounds fun.

Arizona Fusilier
November 7, 2004, 06:55 PM
I brought my Marlin .22 magnum as a backup this year. It is the minumum rimfire catridge for Turkey and Javelina here in Arizona. I have not had a chance to use it, though.

I personally think you would be well served with something more powerfull than .22 long rifle for Turkey, legal or not, in California. I think the .22 magnum is the floor for this application, just my 2 cents.

November 8, 2004, 12:25 PM
Point noted, and thanks for the reply. -M

November 8, 2004, 02:58 PM
not a rimfire, but i did kill one last year with a .308 at about 250 yds. clean kill and didn't mess up any meat.

November 11, 2004, 10:35 AM
Dem turkeys are tough - you could kill it but not be able to find it with a rimfire - my buddy shot a turkey with an arrow, broadheaded, good hit, and the turkey flew off with the arrow stuck through it, and he never found it. And that's a lot more damage than a .22lr would do. I think only a CNS (head) shot would do if hunting with a rimfire, to ensure that it's DRT or DPC (dead pretty close).

Long Path
November 14, 2004, 11:22 AM
I was on a deer hunt in N Tx near the Red River when my host saw a flock of turkeys as we were driving across the ranch and bailed out of the truck with a 10-22. I took a short-barreled Mossburg 12ga loaded with 3" magnum BB loads, and we pursued on foot through the creek bottom. Finally found the flock again in a clearing in the trees, and I started to whisper to my host that we should pick a tom each and stalk up a little closer, when he dropped to one knee and began popping away at one... at 60-plus yards! He rolled it and began to shoot another bird. At the distance I was at, an open-choke shotgun just wasn't feasible. The entire flock, including the bird my host had knocked over, flew up and out of the creekbed, never to be seen again. I don't know how many hits my host made with the .22, but he hit one at least one time, with poor results. I've twice seen that man make 320 yard shots on deer, so I suspect that the hits were solid COM.

Now, would I support the use of .22LR on turkey? Depends. If the shot could be made from a better rest, from 40 yards or less, in less of a hurry? I suppose. But I'd at least want a .22 WMRF, and would prefer a .22 Hornet. Also, learn your turkey anatomy-- it's harder than you might think to know where the kill zone is on a big tom's body. Learn to limit yourself and pass up the chancy shot, when using marginal rounds.

November 17, 2004, 01:54 AM
I thought when this thread started that people were going to basically hunt turkey like they would with a shotgun. Call them in to about 40 yards and go for a clean head neck shot with a scope at 3x or 4x. The guy who I heard who wanted to hunt like that had a .17 that was accurate. I thought most .17hmr's were very accurate at 40 yds and would be able to devastate a turkey's neck at that range and totally minimize meat damage.

November 19, 2004, 11:42 AM
I'm trying my .17HMR out this fall on turkeys. I like the fact that it has little recoil, is relatively quiet, and is extremely accurate. Yes it would have to be a well-placed shot, but I hate digging pellets out, or worse yet biting down on one at Thanksgiving supper.

November 24, 2004, 02:34 AM
I live in missouri where only shotguns are legal for turkeys. :(
I could have killed several with a rifle, but they were just out of shotgun range. That always happens to me.
Do most states allow rifle hunting for turkeys?

Long Path
November 24, 2004, 01:06 PM
I can pretty much guarentee that I will see turkey in a given season, by simply neglecting to purchase a turkey stamp for my license. When I was a kid, the turkey stamp was automatically part of the Texas hunting license, but about 15 years ago, you had to purchase a separate stamp. The stamp is $5, and that's not much, but hey-- if you don't figure to see any turkeys this year, it's $5 that could be employed elsewhere. The last few years that I've bought one, I've laughed and noted that it was the most effective turkey repellant known to man. :) I have never shot a turkey. :(

Couple of years ago, I sat on a steep hill/low mountain in Uvalde County, TX with my wife just before sundown, watching a pair of toms down below compete for the attentions of a hen. They were really putting it on-- they had their fans wide open, their chests puffed out, and they strutted back and forth. My wife asked me if I could shoot one. "Maybe. I actually have a turkey stamp this year," I responded. She asked me why I didn't. I answered that a 450 yard shot was a rather difficult shot to make with a .257 Roberts, but even that mightn't deter me, but I pointed out the fenceline about 100 yards to our side of the birds. "I believe that's the property line. Those aren't my birds to harvest." They never came our way. And so it goes. ;)

Another time, I was hunting with an iron-sighted rifle during the spring gobbler season. A flock of 'em ran past me at 60 yards, running away. Without a scope or binoculars, I couldn't see beards. :( No shot.