View Full Version : Turkey Hunt Questions

January 27, 2002, 08:59 PM
I'm in need of some assistance regarding turkey hunting. Virginia Spring Gobbler season begins in April and this will be my first turkey hunt. I need a new shotgun and other stuff:

1) Which pump shotgun would you recommend that would serve well for both turkey hunting and deer? I may use it in those regions where rifles can't be used for deer.

2) Which ammo and shot size should I use?

3) Effective range?

January 28, 2002, 12:44 AM

January 28, 2002, 09:49 AM
I forgot to ask for your input regarding barrel length and choke selection.

I was looking through the CDNN catalog and they have listed a new 12 ga Mossberg 835, woodland camo, 24" ported barrel, shoots 2.75, 3, and 3.5" shells, comes with 1 ultra full extended choke, and receiver drilled & tapped for scope mount -- all for $249.

January 28, 2002, 12:43 PM
My son and I just bought a couple of those 835s and realy like them. Use a full or extra full choke. Remember turkeys are not color blind like most other critters camo could realy help out.

Hope you are succesfull.

good shootin

January 28, 2002, 07:01 PM
Hi Roadrunner,
Another VA turkey hunter here. I don't know that you need a new shotgun per-say. I hunt with a regular synthetic stocked Mossberg 500. That said, the 835 is a great shotgun for VA, because it's only drawback-inability to accurately shoot slugs from the smoothbore- is a nonproblem in buckshot obsessed VA.
Personally I use rifle, when I can, to hunt turkeys. Partly this is for the range, but also because I tend to stalk and move a lot more. Doesn't get me as many birds, but, then again, I saw almost 30 of them last year during various deer seasons so I must be doing something right!
1. Mossberg 500,835;Winchester 1300 Black Shadow;remington 870
2. For a rifle, use a 6mm or less with hp or sp. For shotgun, there are 2 methods of thought-more shot, or more speed. Go with a 3 or 3.5" magnum using 1.5-2.25oz of #4,#5 or#6 shot, preferably nickel or copper plated. I use some old ACTIV 2.25oz 3" magnums with nickel plated #5's.
3.) with a scoped rifle-skies the limit. Aim for the base of the neck. With a shotgun, 50yds tops. Aim for the head and neck, using a full choke.
If I could give one piece of advice-stay completely covered-face,hands,neck, everything. Any hint of skin color and they WILL spook. The weapon camo doesn't matter near as much,IMHO

Art Eatman
January 28, 2002, 09:35 PM
Inside that thimble-sized head is a brain that is absolutely the best at what's called "pattern recognition".

A turkey's attitude is that if that "stump" wasn't there, yesterday, it's a Bad Thing. It takes maybe three nano-seconds for a turkey to decide, "I think I'll practice not being here!"--and there is no time lag between thought and action. Turkeys do not believe in the benevolence of Bad Things.

Which is the "why" of full camo and an absence of motion--even though you're snuggled in behind some sort of cover. Your success rate is enhanced if you project an aura of "I've been right here for 300 years."

:D, Art

January 29, 2002, 12:59 AM
I'm wondering why you "need another shotgun." Got one already? It'll probably do just fine, but any excuse for another shooter is fine by any acount. ;)

Best advise is to get some rather hefty loads (shot, not necessarily powder) & pattern them with your prefered choke (& I agree with a full/extra-full choke). Many do good with a 2-3/4" shell with #6s, I prefer a 3", 2oz Federal Premium #4s in an extra-full - patterns wonderfully in mine - YMMV & should find out what yours does regards patterning & at what range.

Suggest doing an honest pattern on a turkey target at 40 yards & see what you come up with. Aim for the head/neck & count lethals in that area.

Far as shotguns, I think I've fired maybe a half-dozen other than 870s - a bit biased. I picked up a nifty 21" bb", double-bead w/an extra full choke 870 a while back as my turky shooter & has done all I could ask. Others will do as well (I suppose ;) )

Far as slugs ... don't rule out the smooth-bore as an accuate shooter of the Brenneke-style slugs. I'm getting about 3" (center-to-center) 3-shot groups with PMC's 2-3/4" 1oz B-slugs (@1600fps!) at 50 yards w/an imp cylinder iron sighted bbl. Shoot a few varieties, see what your shotgun/choke like best, note the POA/POI & buy a few boxes.

Nice double-duty shooter those scatter guns ....

Camo is important, not moving is moreso. Turkeys see color, aren't birdbrains ....

CO turkey hunting is more like going after elk sometimes - wish I could try the "easy back east" birds sometime ... ;)

January 29, 2002, 11:28 PM
I've have one shotgun, a 12 ga Beretta 686 o/u, which I don't think would be appropriate for turkey hunting. Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Something like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 835 would be a nice gun for turkeys and deer.

January 30, 2002, 01:17 PM
Far as slugs ... don't rule out the smooth-bore as an accuate shooter of the Brenneke-style slugs. I'm getting about 3" (center-to-center) 3-shot groups with PMC's 2-3/4" 1oz B-slugs (@1600fps!) at 50 yards w/an imp cylinder iron sighted bbl. Shoot a few varieties, see what your shotgun/choke like best, note the POA/POI & buy a few boxes.
Labgrade: we have an odd situation in our state. Deer weapons laws are county by county. Every county in Virginia either:
A. Allows rifles
B. Only allows the use of buckshot for hunting deer

Unless you only have a shotgun, there isn't much use for slugs here in VA.
Moving here from MD was a great idea, but I don't have much use for my rifled slug barrel anymore :(
Luckily, my Mossberg took on a third role as a combat shotgun with a cylinder bore 18.5" bbl....

January 30, 2002, 01:27 PM
That's kind of a drag, PD.

Still think it's a good idea to try out some slugs just to have the extra capability that a shotgun can provide.

Even when bird hunting, I'll throw a couple slugs in a different pocket just to have that versitility. Never know ...

February 1, 2002, 08:19 AM
Roadrunner: Check out the Remington Guide to Turkey Hunting. Sure, it promotes Remington products, but there's a lot of good links and info about turkey hunting in general. Even has a downloadable turkey target for patterning your shotgun.