View Full Version : Turkey hunting wtih .22LR

October 24, 2001, 07:17 AM
I usually hunt spring and fall turkeys with a shotgun. Thinking of using a .22 rifle this fall season. Where is the "best" area to hit a turkey with a .22? I have heard that a shot in the back is recommended if a head or neck shot is not viable. What's the scoop?

October 24, 2001, 08:26 AM
With a .22 LR I'd only take a head shot. Turkey are very though, and the feathers won't let even one 3" 12 ga #4 pellet through at 20-30 yds, usually. So it is very likely to stop a normal .22 lead bullet too, Or step up to a center fire .22

October 24, 2001, 08:30 AM
I have personally witnessed a turkey take 3-5++ upper body shots with CCI mini mags at under 20 feet. Turkey didn't like it, but it sure didn't "break 'em down." The bird/s were never recovered. :mad:

Best area would most assuredly be center head. Even as skinny as their necks are, I'd bet that only 1/2 that thickness is immediately lethal. A straight away shot through the spine should cut body function, but side to side, that's just as small a target as the head.

CO's got a min rifle/pistol caliber which works out to .22mag in a 6" bbl & I'd say that's pretty much on the money. I did take my first turkey with a 6"er at ~60 yards - dropped right there.

I would have thought that a solid upper body shot with a .22LR would do 'em right in, but "experience" certainly shows a much different picture.

& I"ve carried a .22LR pistol for CCW. :rolleyes:

October 24, 2001, 08:58 AM
scouter 27 and labgrade thaks for your replys! I now remember that the "back" shot was in reference to bow hunting turkeys.
I think that I will stick to my trusty shotgun this fall base on your inputs. The .22 I was thinking of using is not scoped. I am very competent with open sights but would not take a head shot with the .22 unless it was within 30 to 40 yards, and I know what my shotgun does at that range. I have been looking for more of a challange hunting turkeys and want to eventually bag one with a bow. I am looking into a muzzle loading shotgun for turkey and plan on buying one and patterning it. While I'm doing that I might as well prectice with the .22 with a good turkey target and practice head shots. Variety is the spice of life!

Mad Max
October 24, 2001, 11:15 AM
Hey Toshmo
You may want to check the legality of taking turkeys with a rimfire. I think I remember reading in the Texas regulations book it was illegal, but I dont have one with me so I cant be sure. Maybe its different in your state, though.

Long Path
October 24, 2001, 11:36 AM
It's legal in TX, but don't do it.

I've seen turkeys rolled by several shots with a 10-.22, then get up, run, and fly away!

Not advised. Even going up to a .22 WMR would be better. Use a handgun caliber if you want to keep the shot power lower and don't want to use a shotgun.

October 24, 2001, 11:58 AM
Mad Max and Long Path,
Up here in Maryland it is legal to hunt fall turkeys with a .22. The hunting regulations do not specify caliber and only refer to it as"rifle". In spring you can only use shotgun loaded with shot no larger tha #4 and no smaller than #6. It does not specify and shot or rifle caliber for fall. Looks like the concensus is to stay with the scattergun. I thank you Texans for your replys.

October 24, 2001, 02:56 PM
I've shot one with a 22 magnum in the base of the neck. I had to finish it with a friends shotgun. The head is honestly too hard of a target to hit, as it bobs too much. For a body shot, I'd stick to a .223 or bigger for long range. For less than 50yds, a 12 gauge with 1-5/8+oz of shot would be a better combo.

Steve in PA
October 24, 2001, 03:34 PM
I'd go with a .22mag. I've taken several fall turkeys here in PA with my.22mag....its a Marlin 882 with a 4x scope. All have been shot right where the neck meets the body......and all have been imobilized........only one required a finishing shot. I'd say the distances were from 60....to about 100 yards. I use Winchester HP's in my gun.

October 25, 2001, 02:47 AM
we can't use a rifle on turkeys here in NY.
thats too bad cuz I have a model 24 o/u in 222 over 12ga, this seems like the perfect turkey gun.....

Long Path
October 25, 2001, 09:44 AM
No doubt! Sounds like a SUPERB turkle gun.

Wish I had one... ;)


October 25, 2001, 10:07 AM
i have personally witnessed turkeys getting up and flying away after my precision application of the double bit wood axe...
theres a whole lot o spine powered redundant back up in mr turkey

you really have to convince them of their mortality

12 gauge / 22 hornet drilling would be a nice field piece

October 25, 2001, 10:45 PM
That is illegal in Alabama.

October 27, 2001, 07:53 PM
I have a savage O/U, 30-30/20g, I have always refered to it as a turkey gun.

The 20g does shoot the 3" shells.

the 30-30 is very accurate, the only down side to this gun is it is a single shot...both barrels.


October 28, 2001, 11:11 AM
thats NOT the downside its the UPSIDE! it makes you a better marksman!!!!

October 28, 2001, 11:32 AM
if its such a downside send it to me :) lol-been wanting one forever lol