View Full Version : Hunting pheasant/turkey

December 28, 2006, 08:51 PM
While I'm out hunting pheasant/quail I often run across turkeys. I'm thinking of purchasing a permit to take a turkey, but I'm wondering if my pheasant load will be enough. I hunt with a 12 gauge and usually have Remington Express 2 3/4 - 1 1/4 - 6 loads. I've had opportunities at approx. 30 yards out. Would my current ammo be enough? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

December 28, 2006, 08:55 PM
you can kill em with those, but a 3" load of fives takes pheasants also.

December 28, 2006, 10:13 PM
The issue here isn't so much the load as it is the choke. The shells you are using are adequate, but you'll want a very tight choke for turkeys(especially with the light loads you are using), as opposed to a IC/M/F for pheasants. If you have time to change choke tubes, by all means go for it. :)

December 28, 2006, 11:21 PM
Just remember to shoot them in the head.

December 29, 2006, 09:27 AM
Just remember to shoot them in the head.

With the loads you're using. They are heavily feathered, and light shot won't penetrate well (which is why you see guys using Magnum shells, full choke guns and #4 or #2 shot).

Shouldn't be problem, though if the range is only 30 yrds. or so.

December 29, 2006, 04:13 PM
I'm gonna elaborate a little more on my first reply. I've been hunting turkeys both in the spring and in the fall for quite a few years now and have been fortunate enough to have harvested my fair share. BILLDAVE's reply about shootin' em in the head is the first priority.....you'll never kill and recover a turkey you shoot in the body with a shotgun.Aint gonna happen. Guaranteed....if you do, there will be a BB or two in the head or neck. Choke, shot size and gauge is not near as important as patterning your shotgun with several loads to determine what works best to get 9 or more pellets in the head and neck at various ranges. Have been with several long time shotgunners who flat out missed standing turkeys at 30 yards cause they thought it wasn't neccesary to pattern their gun with turkey loads......fools. Lastly check your local game laws...someone here suggested using #2s for Turkeys.....here in Wisconsin that is illegal and will cost you dearly.

December 29, 2006, 09:30 PM
At 30 - 35 yards even with a modified choke that load will work very well. That is the same load that I use for turkeys (1 1/4 oz #6) Depending on how your gun is choked, and patterns with that load you should have very good pattern density, and no problem dropping a turkey with it. How your gun patterns the load is the only thing that matters.

For many years the only shotgun that I had, and used for everything from dove and quail to turkeys and geese, was a 2 3/4" chambered, modified choke, pump action. Only went to a 3" gun when steel shot made it necessary for waterfowl.

Anybody that tells you that that load won't work has either never shot a turkey with it, is trying to sell you a new gun and higher priced ammo - approx. $1 per shell for 2 3/4" or 3" turkey loads, or there is a very definite reason his eyes are brown.


Oh yeah, I once saw a guy miss a turkey because his gun was choked too tight and the bird was too close, that 3 1/2" gun with the xxx full extended choke and 2 1/4oz shells worked out real well.