School me on Turkey Hunting

unm1136

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
426
Location
Albuquerque NM
This year while scouting I saw more turkey than deer. When deer season came along I patterned dozens of birds in several flocks coming to a watering hole. While deer and turkey season coincide, they I can't hunt turkey with a centerfire or rimfire rifle or handgun, so I have to hump a shotgun along with my rifle, unless I want to hunt deer with a shotgun, using slug for deer and shot for birds. This year I had shots at five different birds at 40-60 yards (measured) and learned that the only shotgun I have in the house (Mossberg 590A1) was not up to the task with an improved cylinder choke. I believe that a Mossberg 835 barrel with a turkey choke will quickly just drop onto my shotgun, giving me a decent shotgun to hunt with.

I am a subsistence hunter, trying to fill the freezer so that I can stop buying commercial meat at the store. My state, for $50 will give me two tags in the spring (bearded birds), and one for the fall (either sex).

So, how do I find, hunt, kill, clean, proscess, and prepare them?

Thanks,

pat
 

MOcluck

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
258
Location
Missouri
Your dealing with two beast here, the fall turkey and the spring turkey, with most fall turkey seasons closed or closeing soon I would suggest preparing for the up coming spring season. Buy a few calls and an instructional video and practice cruise the web , read books ,magazines,and watch these turkey forums a little closer to spring as they will really start to blow up,and keep asking questions
 

hunthard

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
58
Location
Belgrade, Montana
U need a extrafull choke, one made especially for turkeys, I would recommend 3" shells, #4 or #5's, and again some loaded specifically for turkey would be best. Pattern your gun on paper first but you can probably kill turkeys out to 50 yards with the 835 barrel a HS strutt jelly head choke and Winchester extended range shells, I killed a huge bird at 53 yards with that exact set up. As far as cleaning a bird goes, skinning is easiest but your finished product will be much tastier if you take the time to pluck them. Dont let anybody tell you to breast them and throw away the legs and wings, there the best. They have a few more tendons running through them than a store bird but, the taste will make you never want to eat a butterball again. As far as how to find and hunt them, that can depend on what state your in. I'm from IN originally and did real well there killing a big tom every year, usually within the first three days of the spring season, but since moving to MT I haven't had the same luck, I will admit however to being distracted by all the other cool things MT has to offer that time of year.
 

Backpack Hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
3,077
Location
Some wilderness area, somewhere
I prefer turkey hunting in the spring as that is when they are most vocal and respond best to mating calls. Get you a mouth, pot, or box call (my favorite) and start practicing. Around here there is no telling where they will roost so you will need to find them and roost them. From there figure out where they want to go from the roost for the rest of the day. Setup in between those areas and call......sounds easier than it is.

For the gun....oh man a 835 with a Pure Gold choke running heavyshot Nitro straight 7's. Pure death my friend.
 

ohhiitznik

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,667
Location
Rochester Hills, MI
You can buy a DVD "So you want to be a turkey hunter?" by HS. This will teach you all you need to know. You don't need a special gun or special choke. Although I do use an expensive choke (indian creek) and some fancy gear, you don't need those things to put birds down. My dad has killed many a birds with a plastic mossberg 500 with the stock modified choke and 3 inch 4 shot. Get yourself a slate call, as they are the easiest to use and practice. You'll pick it up in no time at all. Very fun in the spring when turkeys are gobbling, fall hunting is basically patterning them like you would any other animal and set up between roost and feed.
 

justin davis

Moderator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
3,094
Location
Colorado
Turkey hunting in Colorado is like elk hunting. Just a smaller critter and the pack out isn't as tough.
 

realunlucky

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
9,060
Location
Eastern Utah
Thats how i envision my utah hunt, hear them, close the gap and set up and call them over. Guess with never hunting a western bird i really dont know how itll go
 
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