Finding a Good Shotgun and Accessories for Hunting Wild Turkeys
Choose the right turkey gun to fit the budget and experience of the hunter.
Spring turkey hunts are a great experience. First-time hunters, as well as experienced hunters, anticipate going out there each year. Look in any turkey hunting magazine, or visit hunting, fishing, camping, and outdoor gear outfitter, and options for hunting gear abound. The most basic item required for a turkey hunt is the turkey gun.
Types of Turkey Guns
Check the state laws of the hunt location to find specific regulations regarding what is and is not allowed before you purchase, since laws vary from state to state.
The 12 gauge shotgun is the most dominant turkey gun. Modern turkey shotguns come in an almost staggering array of choices.
Pump-action shotguns will cost less than a similar model semi-automatic. Usually, a follow-up shot won’t be an option, but a semi-automatic makes another shot available more quickly.
Turkey guns need camo on them. A wild turkey is extremely visually aware, and while people made do in the past without camo, it’s an added benefit to have it.
Modern shotguns are made lighter with the use of synthetic materials. Walking to a location with a heavy gun is a quick way to get tired of going out. Women and young hunters may want to opt for a 20 gauge shotgun to gain an additional weight reduction, though be aware that also comes with a slightly reduced range for a good shot. Most turkey hunters call in the gobblers close, so this usually isn’t much of a problem.
Some models have pistol grip stocks or thumbhole options. Shooting a gun comfortably will lend itself to being accurate with it. Hunters should feel the fit of the gun in the position they will hunt from, to check it’s comfort. This is even much more important for turkey hunters that are not hunting from an enclosed blind, due to the long time being still in one position with the gun at the ready.
Barrel lengths are shorter on modern guns which also reduces weight and increases maneuverability. Hunters that might not be able to dedicate a gun to only being for turkey and would like to hunt other game, such as waterfowl, might want to get a standard longer 28″ barrel.
Turkey Shotgun Accessories
Myriad options are available for turkey guns. Guns that don’t have fiber optic sights, could benefit from this inexpensive addition for low light conditions. Many chokes are available for tightening the shot group. Shotgun ammunition also comes in many varieties.
Hunters that don’t hunt from an enclosed blind would greatly appreciate an inexpensive pad that straps around the leg. Sitting in one position, on the ground, holding a shotgun in a somewhat ready position is very tiring. The pad allows the weight of the gun to rest easily on the leg.
Shoulder straps for the gun make a great addition for carrying and for steadying the shot when around the forearm.
Preparing for the Turkey Hunt
Pattern turkey guns before the season starts. Take the gun with a selection of ammunition and chokes to a gun range and see what the pattern looks like at 40 yards. The combination of variables will show the hunter the best options. Prepared hunters are always ready for that great shot.