Turkey chokes...are they really necessary?

Discussion in 'Big Game' started by 270 shooter, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. 270 shooter

    270 shooter Guest

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    Folks here in Iowa say your chances of bagging a turkey without the use of a turkey choke in your shotgun are slim. I used my full choke 12 ga, with #4 Federal shot; but the bird flew away. I know I hit the bird cause I saw him get thrown back a little. The distance was 30 yds. So, are these Iowans right?
     
  2. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    270,

    Folks didn't have "turkey chokes" til just recently.Granted,some folks had a gun that had a tighter choke or shot a certain load extremely well. Turkeys have been killed since waaaaaay back,with out them(turkey chokes) and can be killed today. the ket to getting the turkey home,is to have patterned your gun with as many different loads as possible. One load,say of #4s,may shoot so-so, while another blows the center from your target. I prefer #6s over 4s. They have always seemed to just do better in my guns. The 1st turkey I ever killed was while squill hunting. I killed it with a #6 game load out of an old H&R Topper single shot with a 36" full choke barrel.SOB killed from both ends if you weren't paying real close attention!

    One other thing...if you have a range finder,check the distances to certain ponts around your set up area. I've made plenty of mistakes,on distances, in the heat of the moment, when a big ole tom comes strolling in looking for some lovin. More than once that "30yds" turned out to be more like 50-60yds(my bad !!!).

    Hope this helps some and good luck.

    HWD
     

  3. 270 shooter

    270 shooter Guest

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    I kinda thought that was the case. I did pattern the gun. As difficult as it might be for me to believe I missed the bird, it is a possibility. 23 pellets went to the head/ neck area of a turkey target at 35 yds. with my full choke. A borrowed turkey choke in the same gun put only 17 pellets on the target, so for obvious reasons I used my full choke. My bird was strolling down a deer path at about 30 yards when I thought I slammed him. At first he was thrown backwards, raised up his wings, and before i had a thought to pump another round off, he took 4 steps and was airborne. So sure was I that he was hit, I searched a 1/2 mile area looking for him. Guess I'll just have to try again.
     
  4. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    270,
    Sometimes, with turkeys in particular, A good technique to practice is shoot and run! Pull the trigger and take off. I remember reading an article in a magazine a few years ago,where the writer said," more turkeys get killed with #8s,9s and 10s than get killed with 4s,5s or 6s". He started doing this after having turkeys come back to "life" just as he got to them.



    HWD
     
  5. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Thats true HWD,when I was young and could not afford any thing other than a single shot H&R Topper model 12 guage with full choke and I have killed many many many turkeys with field loads #6 shot.I could seldum afford a whole box of shells,I would buy 5 at a time at a nickel each.I never heard of shooting turkeys at 40 or 50 yards in those days.I shot from 1 feet to 20 yards and killed most of the days I hunted them.Field load # 6.Turkey hunting has come a long way and so have the guns.On my 870 I have a turkey choke,but you have to be on,the pattern is so tight you could shoot over them if you wern't carefull,you can however shoot alot farther with a tight choke.Your call mabe they will work for you too.Drop-Shot
     
  6. 270 shooter

    270 shooter Guest

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    I now know what happenend. I grabbed the wrong shell that day. See, that's what I get for being so disorganized. That shell doesn't pattern worth a sh-t. Anyway, I went into the field once more, this time armed with #8 dove loads and a 12 gauge turkey choke. This combination left me with 65 hits to the head/neck area @ 30 yards on a standard turkey target. I was confident!!! Next morning, the birds were sounding off, but not near my stand. I thought I was screwed, until I noticed a hen already out in the field, picking her way around the edges of the soy beans. A Tom was with her, doing his very best fanning and being ignored. I ducked into the trees, and luckily for me there were several hay bales there for me to hide by. I proped my shotgun on top of one of the bales and let out several yelps with my box call. To my amazement, the love sick Tom left the stuck-up hen, and made his way across the field towards me. Everyone tells me how well Turkeys can hear, so I just knew this Tom could hear my heart pounding through my chest. At one point, he started to run, then stopped some 40 yards out. The look on his face was saying," O.K. girl, where are ya? My heart still pounding, only louder, but I remained focused. I couldn't move...I couldn't blink. The moment of truth was close now, but how much closer would this bird come? He's looking around. He's not seeing a familar face. He's getting nervous. The rush for me is almost unbearable. If he'll only take one more step..... then Bam! In a flash, it was all over. I had scored my first Turkey. Turned out to be a young bird, perhaps just under 2 years old. No matter. He found his way into the oven that night. What a sweet meal it was.
     
  7. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Great story 270shooter,I've taken jakes,toms and hens when there was nothing at home to eat and 7 hungry mouths to feed.I've seen folks that shook so much the tom caught it and ran,you did good.Drop-Shot
     
  8. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    270shooter I forgot to say you told that story so well my heart started pounding just waiting to read the next line.Where I live there arn't many turkeys,I have to drive 4 hours to get a good turkey hunting spot.They can be the most difficult and frustrating bird but the most rewarding.Save the wing bones to make a turkey caller.I knew a fellow that sells all he could make.Drop-Shot
     
  9. mike .308

    mike .308 Well-Known Member

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    I would use a turkey choke just so I can get a tighter pattern especially on the 40-50yd shots.

    Every BB counts.
     
  10. danurve

    danurve Guest

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    No but once you get used to one try going back to without it.
    When I started hunting Turkeys all I had was an x-full at the end of a 500 barrel. I tried Winchester supremes, Federal premiums, etc., and settled on what patterned up best @ 25 yards. These days I use a goble stopper choke (.665) & Federal mag-shok flight control premuim max loads. Yeah sounds real fancy but they slam a great pattern out to 40 yards and still 1/2 the price of hevi-shot.
     
  11. danurve

    danurve Guest

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    Speaking of hevi-shot, I don't use it but reports from those that do and from Fed., Rem., etc., indicate it patterns better out of a slightly less restriction then a choke designed for lead shot.