Jump to content


Photo

Season's Coming


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 runNgun

runNgun

    Totally Addicted

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,835 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern MN
  • Interests:Waterfowl, Deer, Ice fishing

Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:58 PM

Turkey season here is a little over a month away now, and I need to start preparing. Keep in mind this will be my first time hunting turkey, so pardon the newbie questionsPosted Image . Having almost no experience in turkey hunting, and now looking at calls, I'm a little confused. What kind of calls should I be looking for? With this being my first year, I don't really want to make a huge investment in calls (or anything else turkey related for that matter). What are one or two easy to use calls that are considered must-haves to have a decent chance to get a shot at a bird?

My next question deals with shotgun shells. I plan on using my Mossberg 535 (3.5 inch chamber). What shot sizes should I be looking at, or is it just a matter of patterning different sizes with my gun? I was planning on using 3 inch shells, or is it recommendable to step up to 3.5 inch shells for the extra wallop (at both ends, I presume) and extra pellets, providing they shoot well? Any certain brands you guys prefer over others? I know I will need to pattern my gun with different shells before I hit the woods. I'm hoping to find some good ammo for close to $10/box. What should I be looking for when I pattern?

I also have some questions about my gun. My 535's barrel has a single bead. Should I consider getting aftermarket clamp-on fiber optic sights, or are they just something nice to have? Also, I have a stock full choke that I can use. What are your opinions on extended, ported choke tubes designed for turkey hunting with super tight constrictions?

My last question involves decoys. Are they important enough to plop down the extra cash, or can I live without one?

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but I really appreciate the help.

Thanks again
EricPosted Image
-Eric

#2 Spirithawk

Spirithawk

    Never Logs Off

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,343 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:41 PM

Well bud, first congrats on your upcoming first turkey hunt. Second, never be afraid to ask questions. That just shows you have a brain bud. Besides, we love answering them. Gives us old farts a little satisfaction of being able to pass on our skills and knowledge. Eric, you're going to have fun big time. Turkey hunting gets in your blood and you'll be hooked for life. You get a big old Tom at full strut just 30 yards out and your heart will try leaping out of your chest. Few things are more awe inspiring and beautiful. Jason and I use Mossberg 835's and we're sold on the 3 1/2 inch shells. I like the extra reach and knock down. Our favorite shells, hands down, are Winchester Supreme's #5 1 3/4oz. shot. Here in Missouri it's illegal to use anything under #4's. They are deadly on turkeys. Whatever your choice be sure to pattern your gun at various ranges so you'll know how your shot spreads. Both of our shotguns have Tru Glo fiber optic sights which are very handy in low light conditions and very easy to line up period. They are well worth having. As to pattern, you want the tightest you can get at 30 to 40 yards. I've shot turkeys at 50+ but the 3 1/2" mags were a must for that and so was luck. Buy you a few paper turkey targets and count the pellets that hit the kneck. The more the better. As to chokes I like a full choke. Think mines a Tru Glo. Decoys are handy under certain situations. They can be as dangerous as handy though and I always feel nervous when using them on public hunting areas. If you use them put a strip of orange cloth, an orange hat or glove or anything orange above where you're sitting so hunters know that you're there. I whistle or yell to inform hunters that walk up on me. Too many idiots shoot at what they THINK is a turkey without really identifying their target. Decoys can bring in a stubborn tom but Jason and I have killed 3 times as many gobblers without the decoys as with. For one, we like to stay mobile. Sometimes it just pays to sneak closer to a stuborn bird. Often a wise old bird will wonder, since he's making himself known and putting on a show, why isn't that hen he's hearing coming to him? If you do get decoys, just buy the cheap ones untill you decide if you want better. Paul uses the inflatable kind and they are fairly inexspensive I think. Just a hen and a jake is enough. As to calls I'll tell you from my own exsperience. While I believe a mouth call is the best, box calls and friction calls are by far the easiest to learn how to use. Push button calls just don't do it for me. Just not verstile enough and very finicky. Never work right when needed. I prefer a slate or glass call. Don't worry if you don't sound like one of the pros from Primos either. Just call enough to keep the bird interested and keep your eyes open. Often a wise old bird will come in silent. Listen to the guys in videos and practice trying to imitate them while sitting at home. Turkeys have extremely good eyesight so have your gun up and ready when one starts coming in. The slightest wrong move and he'll disapear right before your eyes. But Eric, the most important advice of all, is simply get out there and have fun buddy. I know you can be very dedicated so I have no doubts you will succeed. Wishing you the best of luck and I hope I've been of some help.

Edited by Spirithawk, 04 March 2010 - 10:53 PM.


#3 PA RIDGE RUNNER

PA RIDGE RUNNER

    Life Member

  • Authors
  • 5,702 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 March 2010 - 08:19 AM

Here is my take. First of all turkeys are not very smart but they are just about the waryiest thing you can hunt. A turkey has outstanding eyesight and have better color vision than we do. Camo is absolutely necessary and I mean head to toe. face camo and gloves are a must. Don't worry about scent it is not needed for turkeys. You may want to consider bug control though. Now to the gun. I presume you have a gun you can change chokes on. Grab the tightest choke you have and use it. You do have to pattern your gun. Set up a turkey head/neck target at 40 yds (see Jeres target at the top of the turkey thread) and using either 3 inch or 3.5 shells in either 4, 5 or even 6 shot take a shot. The first thing you want to look at is your overall pattern and where it is centered. You then need to count the number of killing pellets are in the target. At that distance I want about 10 pellets in the kill zone more is better. If you cannot get that number then 40 yds is too far for your set up. My set up is special just for turkeys. I use a Win 1300 with a .655 restriction comp-n-choke and 3 inch with 1 7/8 oz of #6 copper coated shot. Turkey calls are a must. I really think a slate call is the easiest to learn and can produce just about all the sounds you will need. The only problem with hand held calls is they require using both hands so require movement to get ready to shoot. If you can master a mouth call to even make soft sounds it is a big plus as it does not require any hand movement. Decoys are good but are not absolutely necessary.

Believe me when you are out there sitting in the dark and a gobbler sounds off on the roost your adrenelin will start pumping and will continue to pump till it either comes to your calls or just wanders off which can happen just as easily. A tom will have your position pin pointed when you make your first call so movement or lack thereof is crucial I have sat without moving for a couple of hours and also have had situations the other way where the tom was there in a minute. Don't be surprised if the turkey circles and comes in from behind and if this happens remember not to move unless you can see the bird and its head is behind a tree or is in strut facing directly away from you.

I would suggest that you get a mouth call and start practicing. Drive the family crazy but keep at it till you can use it well. The same goes for any call you get. Practice with it till you can produce good turkey sounds. Also go out in the dark in the morning and try to locate 1 or more turkey roost sites. Do NOT take your turkey calls on a scouting trip. Instead take an owl hooter call, crow call or predator call and use that to elicit a gobble. Find several roost sites if possible so you have a choice. When you do hunt them, one day it will seem that all the turkeys in the woods will respond to a call and the next day you will swear thay all are gone. That is turkey hunting.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#4 Leo

Leo

    Hunting Resource

  • Administrators
  • 3,155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:21 AM

Many states only allow #6 to #4 size shot for turkeys so check your regulations.

With a factory full choke in a Mossberg the shell that will most likely produce the best pattern for you is Federal's MagShok Heavyweight Turkey loads in #7 size shot. The Flight Control Wad and the high number of small extra heavy pellets in this load really shine with factory guns. The Mossbergs in particular have a reputation for really producing some impressive patterns with this load. You will pay more for these shells but you will be able to save up for a turkey choke next year and still hunt ethically this year. If you can't use the #7s in your state go to the #6s. The #7s are easily lethal out to 40 yards if your pattern is good enough.

The number one goal of patterning is figuring out your point of aim. This is IMHO is the most important thing you can learn about turkey hunting when starting out. It doesn't matter if you can call them in if you can't hit them! Where the center of your pattern hits in relationship to where you are aiming is absolutely crucial knowledge. When you are shooting tight patterns you absolutely need to think of your shotgun more like shooting a rifle.

Take some three foot wide Christmas wrapping paper and tape it with the white back of the paper facing you between two poles/sticks about three feet apart. Put a piece of blue painters tape or electrical tape or any kind of bright sticky in the center of the paper. Start off with cheap dove loads NO FURTHER than 15 yards away. Use the same choke you plan on patterning with. I sit and brace off my knee like I'm hunting. Try and hit that sticky dot. Replace the paper when you can't tell how close you are getting to hitting the sticky with the center of the pattern. You need to be able to blow that sticky dot out every time at that distance. It might take you several shots and a lot of paper to get the hang of it. Many times it's just a matter of holding high or low but in some cases some shotguns shoot left or right of point of aim. If it's really off I suggest getting some adjustable fiber optic sights put on.

When your confident at 15 yards (shouldn't take too many shots unless you need sights). Keep shooting the Dove loads and move back to 30 yards. Note how much bigger the pattern gets. It should be roughly four times bigger. Make sure you still are putting the center of the pattern on the sticky dot.

Now move out to 40yards. Play time is over. Now it's time to see what the real loads will do. Tape up a new clean sheet put a new sticky dot on there and see if you can center it in your pattern at 40 yards.

Find the center of your pattern on that target and make adjustments accordingly. Draw a 10 inch diameter circle around that pattern and count the holes inside it (on the line counts). You want at least 100 hits in that circle at 40yards with the #6 and #7 heavies. With lead #4s 80 hits is the absolute minimum.
It is possible to get much higher counts and better patterns with improved chokes and loads but that will absolutely get the job done at forty yards with consistency.

Face mask, gloves, seat cushion are additional pieces of essential equipment.

Hope that helps.
Posted Image

#5 runNgun

runNgun

    Totally Addicted

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,835 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern MN
  • Interests:Waterfowl, Deer, Ice fishing

Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:44 PM

Thanks for all the great advice guys! I was looking at calls tonight and noticed box calls that were water-proof and some that were not. Are there any reasons NOT to get a water proof call?
-Eric

#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

PA RIDGE RUNNER

    Life Member

  • Authors
  • 5,702 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:36 PM

Eric it seems to me that the ones not waterproofed make the best sounds. I have my dads very old Lynch box call which is not in any way waterproofed but I just carry a ziplock bag and if it starts raining I put it in there. I have even used it inside the bag by opening it and reaching inside to work it. Practice, Practice Practice.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users