To paraphrase my favorite line in any B52’s song, WELL IT ISN’T! And remember: we’re just talking about the difficulty of actually shooting the bird. Not the difficulty of convincing her indoors that you need a little Tom-killing time. Actually, I’m not talking about hunting turkeys (much, really). It’s the mono-monikered “Myhre” writing for siouxcityjournal.com who’s gabbing (gobbling?) about it. Larry (for it is he) has some valuable words of advice on surmounting the whole “you have to shoot the bird to kill it” challenge. “The kill zone on a turkey is about the same diameter and length as a wooden pencil. That would be his spinal column. Perch on top of that pencil a large marble. That would be the brain cavity . . .
Unless you can place three or more shotgun pellets into that pencil or marble, you will not have killed your bird. That’s why you should coax that tom turkey in as close as you can.
And there I was thinking you simply shot its freakin’ head off. Anyway, getting your target as close to you as possible sounds perfectly sensible to me—although I find that “marble on a pencil” image strangely disturbing.
At the risk of getting Myrhed down in detail, the writer reveals that hunting turkeys, like everything else in life, is about making choices and compromises.
Most shotguns place the shot column high. That’s why you should aim at the base of the turkey’s neck. By patterning your gun you will learn just where it is shooting. That can help a lot in the turkey woods.
Special, screw-in turkey chokes are very popular today. These extra full chokes will tighten the pattern even more and may give you an extra 10 yards.
You will find, however, that at close-in shots, the pattern will be so tight that you could miss if you don’t aim carefully and know where your gun is shooting.
And sometimes even when you do. Like Dirty Harry says, “a man’s gotta know his limitations.”
Most of us should, however, limit our shots to that 30 to 35-yard range.
That will insure a humane kill. If you are going to shoot at longer distances, spend a lot of time patterning your gun and finding a load that it likes. If you don’t you will wound a lot of birds.
Which is, I remind both hunters and meat-eating “how could you” hypocrites, not the point of this exercise. Not that I mean to shill, but a clean kill is quite a thrill. Damn that anti-gun Dr Seuss! True story. And one of his worst, IMHO. Sorry. Where was I?