It seems like every year something happens and there I am the night before opening day scrambling around collecting all my calls, looking for my vest, wondering what I did with my shells, where’s my boots, etc., etc., etc. With turkey season fast approaching, maybe you, and I, ought to start getting ready now instead of waiting until the last moment. Here’s a few must-haves for trailing toms on opening day and throughout the season for that matter.
Not just any camo, either. You need to remember you’re down on ground level and that boss gobbler might be looking you straight in the eye.
You sure don’t want to look like a big gob of leftover forest matter from the dinosaur age hunkered up next to a tree. Find a pattern that matches the terrain or time of season you’ll be hunting. Browns and grays for early season, greens for late spring. Don’t forget the required accessories:
n A hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and cover light-colored hair or in my case that big shinny spot.
n A facemask, preferably a mesh 3/4 mask that can be pulled down around your neck. I myself like the type of hats that have a full facemask attached to the inside of the brim or the headband and it drops down as soon as you take it off and give it a shake.
n Lightweight gloves and green or camo socks to keep your lower legs or long underwear concealed when you sit.
Today’s “A” typical turkey gun is a semi auto (now just because it’s a semi auto doesn’t mean it’s an assault “weapon”) or pump, usually a 12-gauge, camo-coated and for some reason a short barreled with an extra-full screw-in choke tube and fiber optic or red dot sights.
Now, my firearm of choice is a little different. It is a semi auto, 12 gauge, 3” mags, camo coated. But sight wise I use a H.S. Strut open sigh gadget which when the turkey fill the sighting area it is within 35 yards and boom you hammer him. It hasn’t failed me yet.
As for a barrel, mine is long, in fact it’s 30 inches long. I’m from the old school where the belief is that the longer the barrel the tighter the pattern. Now, when it comes to chokes mine is a Remington Super Full Turkey choke right from the factory. Why? Because over the years, I researched it to the max and no one and I do mean no one makes a tighter choke for my gun than the manufacturer.
Shotgun differences as to semi autos and pumps are that of a semi-auto offers less kick, while pumps are less likely to hang up. Also a semi auto offers you a second shot more quickly that a pump.
Depending on you age, stature and physical health though it may limit your maximum range you might want to consider going to a 20-gauge. They are effective up to 30 yards, offer less recoil and are lighter to tote. Pack the chamber with magnum turkey loads in No. 4, 5 or 6 shot and you’re good to go.