50 yards is a long turkey shot. Back in the day, hunters could use a rifle to shoot a turkey. Any turkey in rifle range near a road was history. Spring turkey season means shotguns only.
A shotgun shot pattern begins to open up quickly as soon as the shot cup leaves the gun. The further the range, the fewer the BBs on target. Most shotgun turkey kills happen within 30 yards. To make a 50-yard kill shot, you need to be sure to have, and do, several things.
Sight in your shotgun A turkey’s head is the size of a sock on your foot. It is feather free, and the most vulnerable part of the bird. Aim at the head. 9-12 BBs need to hit the head for a kill shot. The further the head is away from you, the smaller the target becomes. Practice using your hunting loads and gun at various ranges. Once you no longer put 9-12 holes in the neck, you know the limitations and range. If you use sights, you may need to adjust them.
Special Ammo Modern Turkey loads have come a long way. Shot cups are buffered with sand or materials to hole patterns tighter. Shotgun chokes allow tighter groups. Mixed shot sizes help with denser patterns. Non lead shot offers heavier shot for further distances. Size 4 shot is a legal shot size but since they are larger, there will fewer BBs in the load.
Range Finder Mark your distances with a range finder. Birds can look bigger when in full strut but be too far for a kill shot. You do want to cripple a bird. Range rocks and bushes to know your guns kil zone.
Know your Set Up Set up where a gobbler will be. Edges, points, ridgelines… Every spot is different. Rarely will you have an open field shot. Get as close as you can, then get closer. Stay on the edges and out of the open. 50 yards is a maximum not a requirement.
I have talked with many hunters that swear that they can shoot a Gobbler at 100 yards. Once you get the whole story, several things change. They are not good at distances, its just about BS bragging, or it was pure luck.
The BEST turkey hunters call the birds in CLOSE!!!
For more Montana Grant, get close at www.montangrantfishing.com.