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First time turkey hunter

1150 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bmaintz
I am 20 years old I just got into skeet/trap/sporting clays about a year ago. I have a Beretta AL391 synthetic 26" barrel and love dusting the clays. I was wanting to start getting into a little hunting I was wondering what kind of restrictions there are on the sport (I live in pittsburg Kansas) if a camo gun is the absolute neccesity and what all I absolutely have to have in order to succesfully get a tom(clothing, calls, chokes, shells or slugs, etc.). I have talked to a lot of ppl in the area but everyone says something different or is extremely vague, I was just wondering if anyone here could offer any help to make my first hunt successful (any tom will do for a first timer).

Thanks for any feedback,
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The only necessities are a shotgun and a will to hunt.

Because your a first timer and I don't know how much woodsmanship you have I'm going to make some assumptions.

To be successful in Turkey hunting the first thing you have to do is devote some time in learning where the birds are and what they do. This means getting out in the woods and watching. Read every magazine article you can get your hands on but most importantly spend time watching your quarry.
Second is get to know your shotgun. Pattern your gun with a bunch of #4 and #5 shot with at least a full choke and see which one patterns better in your gun on Turkey targets (put at least 10 pellets in the kill zone and find out max yardage for your choke and gun)

As for equipment here is a list that will help:
Box Call (easiest to use and loud for windy days)
Peg and Slate call (easy for quiet calls)
Shotgun with at least full choke
Drab Color or Camo clothing (check game laws) face mask and gloves (leave no skin to be seen) Never ever wear Red, White, Blue clothing (color of gobblers head, you'll get shot)
Decoys don't hurt but I've had them for 2 years and haven't killed a bird over them.
If there are snakes in your area wear snake gators over your boots ( i don't own any but I'm also very careful where I step)
Patience Patience Patience
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A camo gun is just one more way you can have an advantage over the turkeys. You dont need to go buy one, I am going to use camo tape ($3 from wally world), and camo my gun that way.
hi bo, welcome to the most exciting hunting in the country, turkeys are the most challenging animal in my opinion. i agree with jlptexashunter and you also need to watch all the hunting programs you can just for turkeys you can never learn to much about them . also when you watch the programs you can here how the pros call in the birds . and always remember the deer will here and smell you but the turkey will SEE you , any movement and they we be gone. here's a list of what i use :spring time, camo with some green in it.full face mask ,hat,gloves . box call (2 or 3 different kinds) , slate call(2 or 3 different kinds) ,locater call (owl or crow)once you get turkey to gobble stop using it . decoys 3 hens placed about 20 yards away in about 10 yard group. a camo blind to hide behind . turkey vest that has bunsaver cushion and a pouch to carry the bird in . 12 ga 3 1/2 in mag remington shotgun, scope on it and for shells i use winchester no 4 shot turkey loads . one more thing lots and lots of patience ,i have hunted turkeys for five years and i finally got my first one this year. i have been busted my the birds alot and missed a few .so good luck and good hunting always BE SAFE. ERROL
one thing i forgot to mention put your back to a pretty good sized tree ,reason something to lean your back against and possibly protect you from being shot by a inexperieced hunter.
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One of these little babies is worth it's weight in platinum for keeping your arse off of the ground. I've also started carrying a shooting stick (cheapo from academy or a forked tree branch[/img]
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Right on guys. Thanks for all of the help.

Most valuable piece of turkey hunting equipment after your gun and calls? Clippers! Yeah! A set of those little pruning clippers will help you get your setup just right when you're hidden in a tangle of branches and leaves.

I do like decoys, I have shot a tom over decoys but they tend to be struttin around when you have hen decoys out (and of course it's not the best shot when they are all puffed up). A decoy sometimes is useful just to keep a bird occupied and his mind off YOU when you're a little too wiggly or trying to move into position to shoot.

You can move while setting up on turkeys but you have to know when to move so they don't spot you. Turkeys are extremely perceptive in sight and hearing and you have to go overboard being careful that they don't see movement from you.
All the advise these guys are giving you is great and I would just like to add something, in your free time go out in the woods with everything you would hunt with but your gun and act exactly like your hunting it gets you used to the birds habits and lowers the buck fever effect when you actually go hunting.
What do you guys think about a scope, also I have heard of ppl slug hunting gobblers?????

You don't need a scope unless you're runnin and gunnin turkeys in the fall rifle season (legal in some areas). You're gonna be within 40 yards with a shotgun or you're probably too far away.

One other thing you will most definitely need, is some extra cash, because once you get hooked on turkeys you will be planning trips every danged where so you can stretch out that season just as long as possible. And you will become a hopeless turkey equipment gear head. It won't ever end. But you will have a ball doing it.

Hi Bo,
Nice to hear from someone else who's from Kansas....
My folks live in St. Paul near Erie...
Was up visiting last year, drove through Pittsburg....
I hunted many quail & pheasant in Kansas, lived in Salina, Junction City & Great Bend... Was raised in Wichita after family moved from St. Paul.....
I to want to BUST a turkey as I have never really hunted them...
I have an older Wingmaster 20 GA with a Mod. choke... I will be using the new Remington Hevi-Shot that shoots great from a Mod. barell... Plan on getting a B-Square saddle scope mount & a 2.5X scope (Leupold) since my eyes are going to pot (old man)...The Hevi-Shot has a killing range out to 60 yards or more... I will have to buy the duck loads since I can only shoot 2 3/4 inch shells in my older Wingmaster..... Wish I was in kansas, hard to find a good hunting spot in south Mississippi...
Let us know how it all turns out...
Hint.... Go ahead & register so the Guest disappers...
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