Show Notes:

A bigger turkey hunting shotgun means more power, more shot, and more range, so bigger must always be better right? Truth be told, a bigger shotgun often results in less effectiveness and less turkey hunting success (especially among newer hunters).  On this episode I talk about the pros, cons, and rarely discussed nuances of big turkey guns.

Take Aways:

  • More power does not directly translate to more effectiveness.
  • Few people truly understand the nature of recoil and how it effects accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The ability to endure heavy recoil without whimpering does not in any way translate to the ability to shoot a big gun well.
  • To help manage recoil, more powerful guns are heavier, which makes then harder to carry and shoot.
  • The anticipation of recoil is the enemy of accuracy. Being able to “take it” does not mean you are effective with it.
  • The best gun you can use is the one you can shoot well, accurately, and pleasantly. 
  • The number one factor to effectively killing gobblers is getting close to them. The least expensive guns and shells will perform well enough at the right distances.
  • Being able to throw shot out to long distances does not mean you have the accuracy to use that shot effectively.
  • The more powerful the gun, the less accurate many hunters tend to be. 
  • A turkey’s most vulnerable areas are its head and neck, their robust feathers limit the effectiveness of body shots with any gauge shotgun.
  • Even a .410 shotgun can effectively take a turkey at close range with good aim. Pattern trumps power. 
  • Turkey hunting is about fun. If a particular shotgun is not fun to use, it is a hindrance, not an asset.