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Live From The Woods 2022 Turkey Edition


fasteddie

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Birds have been gobbling on wind free mornings on top of the hill, behind the house and across the street.  Groups are breaking up . Cameras show 7adult birds , 1 jake and 8 hens so far..  set out another 12 camera in known strutting zones...  

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2 hours ago, Kmartinson said:

How can you tell its a Gobbler Bill?

I will answer a experienced  Turkey Man like yourself K as if this question was sincere- but more for others here Less so.

  The middle Toe of Adult Hens are 2 to 2 1/8". Gobblers-- much bigger..

 -- The Art + Science Of Wild Turkey Hunting/ Lovett Williams-- Wild Turkey Biologist. 

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9 hours ago, wolc123 said:

You just gave me an idea Otto.  My grandpa’s old 16ga Ithaca model 37 pump has bottom eject and a tapped receiver with a Weaver 1.5x scope.  It has a cylinder bore deerslayer barrel on it now, but I also have an unused, 26” modified-choke barrel for it.  
 

Pygmy wants me to use my 12 Gauge Remington 870 for turkeys, but I wanted to try my .410 Winchester single shot.  

Maybe I will compromise, and use the 16 gauge, for the first one anyhow.  A big advantage there, is that I have a bunch of ammo for it (boxes of high-brass lead 7.5’s, 6’s, 4’s, and 2’s). 
 

I also have lots of slugs for it, so getting it sighted back in for deer after turkey season is no issue.  it’s about time to pull that slug barrel and give it a good inspection anyhow.
 

 I killed a nice buck with it, out of my new tree blind on grandpa’s old farm last year, so maybe I can kill a turkey from that same blind with it this spring.  It will be fun patterning it, with that scope, and maybe drawing some blood with the unused barrel.  Hopefully, I won’t have to clean the snow off the scope lenses first, like I had to for the buck.
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Question for Buckmaster:  What is you estimate on effective turkey kill range for scoped 26” modified-choke 16 gauge high-brass 2-3/4” lead and what shot size do you think would be best ?

My guess is 25 yards with # 4’s. 

What do you turkey experts think of a 16 ga with modified choke and 2-3/4” lead shot for turkeys ?  Ought to be about the same payload as a 20 ga 3”  which I hear some are using.  

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14 minutes ago, blackbeltbill said:

I will answer a experienced  Turkey Man like yourself K as if this question was sincere- but more for others here Less so.

  The middle Toe of Adult Hens are 2 to 2 1/8". Gobblers-- much bigger..

 -- The Art + Science Of Wild Turkey Hunting/ Lovett Williams-- Wild Turkey Biologist. 

I think you just made me carry a tape measure. Lol. Thanks. Shame Simpson just put out a video where he says 5 inch point to point was a Jake track.

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Just now, wolc123 said:

What do you turkey experts think of a 16 ga with modified choke and 2-3/4” lead shot for turkeys ?  Ought to be about the same payload as a 20 ga 3”  which I hear some are using.  

Pattern is the proof! Smaller caliber less shot, more open choke means less shot on pattern. The new ammo makes the 410 relevant so I would be surprised if you couldn't get it done. 3 1/2" 12g for me all day long.

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32 minutes ago, Kmartinson said:

Pattern is the proof! Smaller caliber less shot, more open choke means less shot on pattern. The new ammo makes the 410 relevant so I would be surprised if you couldn't get it done. 3 1/2" 12g for me all day long.

I’ll get on that as soon as the weather breaks.  There is a roll of 36” paper back in the blind on my range.  When it gets dry enough, I’ll drive back there with the Ithaca 37 and modified barrel and see what it can do at 15 to 30 yards with various loads.

 I am hoping that I won’t have to adjust the scope too much to center the pattern.  I really like the old Weaver 1.5, and that combo (with a cylinder bore deerslayer barrel and slugs) has never failed to kill a deer that I have shot it at from ranges of 15 to 120 yards. 
 


 

 

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You are on the right track now, Wolc... High brass and short mag 16 gauge loads  carry 1 1/8  and 1 1/4  oz. of shot respectively,  putting them in the category of 3"  20 gauge loads AND  12 gauge 2 3/4" loads , which have cleanly killed truckloads of turkeys.

   Some older  modified choke bbls are choked fairly tight, leaning more toward improved modified or even light full..That can only be determined by patterning your gun, as you intend to do. I would not be surprised to see a sure kill pattern at 30 yards with your 16 gauge, or perhaps even a few yards farther...I would definitely go with the smaller shot sizes ( 6 or 7.5)  rather than the coarser 2s and 4s  due to higher pellet count increasing shot density on target. Good luck...

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21 minutes ago, Pygmy said:

You are on the right track now, Wolc... High brass and short mag 16 gauge loads  carry 1 1/8  and 1 1/4  oz. of shot respectively,  putting them in the category of 3"  20 gauge loads AND  12 gauge 2 3/4" loads , which have cleanly killed truckloads of turkeys.

   Some older  modified choke bbls are choked fairly tight, leaning more toward improved modified or even light full..That can only be determined by patterning your gun, as you intend to do. I would not be surprised to see a sure kill pattern at 30 yards with your 16 gauge, or perhaps even a few yards farther...I would definitely go with the smaller shot sizes ( 6 or 7.5)  rather than the coarser 2s and 4s  due to higher pellet count increasing shot density on target. Good luck...

Thanks Pygmy,  I am glad I hung onto that barrel.  It is S/N matched to the rest of the gun.  Apparently, they were hand fitted back then, and not easily interchangeable with other recievers.  At least that’s what they told me at Johnson’s when I tried to trade it for something else that I thought I might actually use.  

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1 hour ago, wolc123 said:

What do you turkey experts think of a 16 ga with modified choke and 2-3/4” lead shot for turkeys ?  Ought to be about the same payload as a 20 ga 3”  which I hear some are using.  

Quit dicking around and use a 12 gauge with a full choke barrel. It's not rocket science.....you owe it to the turkey for a quick and humane kill. Forget the deer box blind while your at it ......get on the ground so your mobile. Your odds for success will improve tremendously. Forget using deer hunting techniques to hunt turkeys in the spring. I don't mean to sound like an expert or to insult you in any way , but it appears to me like your going at it all wrong. I don't mean to offend you ....it's just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

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17 minutes ago, Water Rat said:

Quit dicking around and use a 12 gauge with a full choke barrel. It's not rocket science.....you owe it to the turkey for a quick and humane kill. Forget the deer box blind while your at it ......get on the ground so your mobile. Your odds for success will improve tremendously. Forget using deer hunting techniques to hunt turkeys in the spring. I don't mean to sound like an expert or to insult you in any way , but it appears to me like your going at it all wrong. I don't mean to offend you ....it's just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

No expert here either- but you said it best. Most of my success has been as a Aggressive  moving Turkey Hunter. I hate to sit. 20 minutes is all,I can take and,I am up and planning the next move.

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39 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

Thanks Pygmy,  I am glad I hung onto that barrel.  It is S/N matched to the rest of the gun.  Apparently, they were hand fitted back then, and not easily interchangeable with other recievers.  At least that’s what they told me at Johnson’s when I tried to trade it for something else that I thought I might actually use.  

They told you correctly....I remember when  Ithaca Deerslayers were introduced around 1960,  guys who had older M 37s and wanted to add a Deerslayer barrel were sending them to the Ithaca factory to have the barrels installed..

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I usually go for middle of April to put in a blind or 2. I don't like turkey hunting out of a blind, but I do like 1 or 2 as "starter" spots. 

Anybody set them up earlier or later for any reason? 

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1 minute ago, Belo said:

I usually go for middle of April to put in a blind or 2. I don't like turkey hunting out of a blind, but I do like 1 or 2 as "starter" spots. 

Anybody set them up earlier or later for any reason? 

i carry a lightweight curtain blind with me for when i hunt field edges.  It weighs nothing and makes it easy to pick up and move when i want to.

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Flashback to a few days ago, As i was calling predators at first light.. There were birds gobbling in all directions on our lease. which was very reassuring.. As i was running a few prey distress calls, a bird flew out into a nearby field about 100 yards away and gobbled his head off all alone, the call didn't bother him a bit.. strutting his stuff on a high point.. Made me want to drop the rifle and grab a shotgun and setup on him.. 

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5 minutes ago, virgil said:

i carry a lightweight curtain blind with me for when i hunt field edges.  It weighs nothing and makes it easy to pick up and move when i want to.

I carry a blind/shield deal like that too. But I do like a spot or 2 where I can be shielded from weather or move a little easier. 

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3 hours ago, Water Rat said:

Quit dicking around and use a 12 gauge with a full choke barrel. It's not rocket science.....you owe it to the turkey for a quick and humane kill. Forget the deer box blind while your at it ......get on the ground so your mobile. Your odds for success will improve tremendously. Forget using deer hunting techniques to hunt turkeys in the spring. I don't mean to sound like an expert or to insult you in any way , but it appears to me like your going at it all wrong. I don't mean to offend you ....it's just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

Sometimes there’s more to it than simple math.  I think my odds of a quick clean kill would be considerably higher, with my scoped 16 gauge and modified choke, than it would be with my single bead 12 gauge, with extra full choke.  
 

I don’t really owe the turkeys anything, but they owe me for the clover they have been eating that I intend for the deer.  I don’t want to wound one though, nor do I want to spend any money on ammo, therefore the 16 gauge is what I will use.   I am sorry if your feelings get hurt by my not heeding your advice. 

 

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3 hours ago, blackbeltbill said:

No expert here either- but you said it best. Most of my success has been as a Aggressive  moving Turkey Hunter. I hate to sit. 20 minutes is all,I can take and,I am up and planning the next move.

I think we'd all agree there is no hard and fast rule. I once fell asleep on a warm spring morning in mississippi. I had basically called the morning a bust and when I awoke around 11 I had 2 birds at my decoy and I hadn't moved or even called in an hour plus. 

I think we'd all also agree that the more tools and tricks you have to hunt these birds, the more prepared you'll be for what they throw back at you, especially when you start to think about how things change on windy, rainy or foggy days vs a bright beam of sun day. So many variables and styles to be successful. 

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Sometimes there’s more to it than simple math.  I think my odds of a quick clean kill would be considerably higher, with my scoped 16 gauge and modified choke, than it would be with my single bead 12 gauge, with extra full choke.  
 
I don’t really owe the turkeys anything, but they owe me for the clover they have been eating that I intend for the deer.  I don’t want to wound one though, nor do I want to spend any money on ammo, therefore the 16 gauge is what I will use.   I am sorry if your feelings get hurt by my not heeding your advice. 

 

I like your current plan much better than the 410 idea!

Forget about the 2’s and 4’s not necessary and won’t pattern well out of the mod barrel 6’s or better yet 7.5’s and you should have a dead Turkey out to 30yds. Just make sure you don’t push it, wounded turkeys are almost impossible to find.


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I usually go for middle of April to put in a blind or 2. I don't like turkey hunting out of a blind, but I do like 1 or 2 as "starter" spots. 
Anybody set them up earlier or later for any reason? 

I put one out in april last year, first time i went to hunt it there was a spider the size of Culvers hand in it. So I zipped it back up and retrieved it after the third snowfall


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