Preparing for Turkey Hunting
Turkey hunting requires a full or extra full choke with a shot at the head and neck. Many experts recommend a pattern which delivers 100 pellets within a 10 inch circle at the aim point. Turkey loads are typically 5 shot lead or 6 shot tungsten alloy. If you are not well sighted in, you will have serious problems using a full choke.
1. Identify your point of impact (POI) from a bench rest. With a full choke you need to make sure you are aiming well. Average 3 shots at 3 targets to determine your POI offset from your aim point. Three targets is normally enough, but if you see inconsistency or a significant offset, you should figure it out and shoot again. If you are shooting more than 3 inches of offset at 40 yards, you should seriously consider a sight adjustment.
2. Pattern – For turkey, you are looking for 100 pellets within the 10 inch circle surrounding the POI at your longest shooting distance. If you are not close to this your chances of missing or wounding a turkey, even with a good shot, will increase. You may either need to shoot at a closer distance for your “ethical range”, higher quality shells (buffered loads from some manufacturers are impressive), shells with more pellets, or a different choke.
3. Practice – Most shots will not be made from a bench rest. When you know your offset and pattern, you can practice on either the pattern targets or the smaller (and less expensive) KillZone targets. When practicing, you want to see 100 pellets within a 10 inch circle at the aim point. Return to large targets when your pellet numbers fall off. Good luck.