The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 7, 2014

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: A bit of turkey history

(Continued)

  • When sighting-in and testing loads, use a steady rest.
  • Wear your hunting clothes to make sure the gun fits the same way it does in the field.
  • Try a few shots from a sitting position with the gun propped on your knee to make sure our eye and your rear sight, are lining up the same as it did from the shooting bench.
  • If your turkey gun has bead sights, remember to press your face tight to the stock for every shot, keep the beads in perfect alignment, and your shooting eye focused on the front sight, which should slightly blur the target.



To camo or not?

Camouflage is another consideration in choosing a firearm this spring. We all know that turkeys have keen eyesight and getting a shotgun with functional camouflage could give you that added advantage.

Practice pays off

The trick is, you probably have the right shotgun for harvesting that trophy gobbler this spring. It may just require some experimentation and practice to determine the optimal choke constriction, load, shot size and distance. If you are in the market for something new, just about every manufacturer is now producing shotguns made specifically for turkey hunters. They all perform well, however, the same considerations must be considered before carrying one on a hunt.

Best for last

The best advice for making sure that you have the best shotgun this season is to know the limitations of your firearm. Patterning, experimenting with different loads and chokes and practicing real hunting situations on the range will help you learn when to shoot and when the shot may be risky. If using a 20 gauge, you may need to be within 25 yards of your target for your shot. The same distance could be used as a rule of thumb for very young hunters. Making sure you are aware of the capabilities of the hunter, as well as the firearm, can be the difference between success and disappointment.

Remember, pass it on or it will surely pass on.

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