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Turkey and 20ga

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by noway, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Anybody ever used a 20ga on wild turkeys? If so what load and choke did you use?

    This Feb I 'm going with a friend of mine to rid his new property of some wild turkeys that are crossing his land. He is thinking about buying a Nova in a 20ga configuration. I never heard of anybody using a 20ga for turkeys but these bird aren't very big and are kinda tame ( some what ) and we figure we can get within 20-30yrds before they spook and run or try to fly.

    any suggestions?
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    The first shotgun I used was an old 20ga High Standard Supermatic (mod choke) and it killed plenty. I took one turkey with that gun, my first one ever. I'm not sure what the load was but it went down with one shot. Which was a good thing because my dad only let me keep one shell in the gun at a time. ;f

    A 3" 20ga is about the same as a 2.75" 12ga. Any 3" #6 shot "turkey load" by the big ammo companies should do a number on Mr. Tom.

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Hey man! YES!

    We have seen almost as many big gobblers brought down 'hard', with the 20ga. as we have the 12ga; with all its magnums and this and that loads etc. (not knocking anything here :)

    Got a picture here of a huge tom i killed with a 410, yes sir a 410.
    I hesatate to tell the story for concern all my buds here will think i'm not quite telling the truth... :) If someone ask, i'll give the details, but it was a "3 FT. shot!" And 'no,' i do not use that gun for turkeys, it was a experiment thing etc; (just wanted to see if i could).

    Noway, we have, plenty of times used, or guided hunters with a 20ga. for turkey hunts. Even modified choke worked well out to 30 yards.
    Full choke is better if you can though.. My son shot his first bird i called up for him when he was just a real little guy, and used a H & R single shot 20ga. dropped the gobbler like a rock at about 33 yards.
    it was a full choke.

    I/We 'recommend the 12ga.' But, i never, ever, worry with the 20ga. And we just used #6 shot loads. "NEVER," a problem yet under the 30/33 yard mark!

    Go for it man!
    Have fun Hoss!


  4. thanks for the info. The reason I ask, is my friend is most likely not going to spend anytime patterning and/or testing loads. Yep, he is far away from being a real hunter but that's just him & his style.

    He is buying this shotgun for his wife and possible kids to use for chasing rabbits and other smaller 4 leg game and turkeys was just something extra.;)
  5. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    Consider yourself asked. ;f
  6. In my teen years I use to hunt turkey with my Ithaca Model 37 20 gauge. Now my kid uses it.

    Merry Christmas ;H ;8
  7. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Said.. ( Quote ).."Consider yourself asked". end Quote ).

    I had a feeling one of you wise guys were going to do this to me! :)
    Well i don't want to write a novel, although i am known for that.. but here goes the story.. i thought it was pretty cool at least.

    ok, i went out of the house one day for a gobbler, ( for the table ).
    No guiding, no one with me, just finally by myself on this one.
    I told my wife i was going to take the little Savage over/under, .22/410 which i got when i was a 'real little kid', and at the time of "this story," i was about 40.

    i put i few 22 long rifles in my pocket, and a few 410 shells as well.
    Then placed one of each in the barrels, and headed out behind the house. On the ranch there in Oklahoma we get some pretty heavy winds at times, (this is important to remember). I went out into the wheat field, which at the time (was just winter wheat), a few inches high.
    Understand, that in this pasture, as well as a good deal of N.W.Okla. is sandy ground, real sandy. (which is very quiet to walk in, even if it is dead still out.

    Well, there was no place to hide in the wheat field, except one little ditch, very shallow. this ditch was about 75 yards from a row of "round bales," there were probably about 15 of them stacked end to end, like a long tootsie roll, up against the fence line.

    I figured that the birds would stop there and scratch around and get up on the bales and hang out for a few minutes, (as they usually did), before they headed off through another big open field, on their way to a tree row where they roosted. (and that tree row was an imposible place for ambush), "trust me!"

    So the plan was to "pop" one of these guys up on top of a bale, with the .22. That would not be much of story though. (but i was not thinking about a 'story' at the time, just wanted to enjoy the 'old gun i had as a kid).

    Well here we go. "one" lone tom, a very big tom, over 10" beard, came up by himself, jumped up on a bale. I prepared to fire, and he jumped off on the 'back side', where i could no longer see him. (the others had went way around the other way to the trees). I waited for what seemed to be an eternity, could not take it any longer, and got out of the ditch. The wind was blowing "hard," "toward me," (so i did not figure with that , and the sand, he could here me, if he was still around). so i crouched down, and proceeded to ease my way toward the "end" of the row of round bales, that were 'closest' to me.

    I thought i would ease up and peer over the bales, and probably see the gobbler walking way off through the field on the other side, and toward the trees, and perhaps still have a .22 shot. Well, he was no where to be seen! So, where the heck did he go? My only thought, was that sucker was on the ground on the "other end" of the long row of bales. ( the opposite end i was on).

    So, i set the latch on the hammer of the gun to the "shotgun mode."
    I cocked the hammer back, and 'faced the bales,' and started walking sideways, ( taking side way strides), and all the time, having the barrel pointing low, and right at the bales, just a few "inches" away from the bales. i continued to do this very slow, and as i worked my way toward the far end, the ole heart started pumping hard, when i got 'two bales' from the far end, (where i thought he 'might be'), i had the rifle stuck out from the hip and pointing about 3 feet from the ground.

    Now i am at the 'first bale' in the row, i was realy 'pumped up,' and as i stepped out from the end....... "THERE HE WAS!"

    i just went "BANG" and shot that dude right in the head!
    Happened in a split second... all i remember is he loked at me, i looked at him, and the gun went off, BOOM!

    He dropped like a steer in a slaughter house!
    The muzzle was 3 feet, one yardstick, from his head!

    I would have to say without a doubt, that was the most heavy turkey hunt i have ever had, out of all my years of private hunting, and guiding others. We were both "freaked out to the max."
    Not really knowing he would be there built the 'suspense' for me, and the sudden 'muzzle blast' i am sure, was a 'real trip' for him as well!

    It all happened so fast when i stepped out from behind that bale, but i swear that turkey looked at me, (for a split second), as though i had a ground to air missle launcher!!

    Well, end of story..... except for all the 'Ah Um', boasting i did in town, and having to take a whole bunch of cracks from the boys at home. Like, "yeh right!" etc..

    As they say in field and stream mag. "THIS HAPPENED TO ME! :)

    Hope i entertained ya!
    Don't try this at home!

  8. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    Good thing you hit the head. That'd be a lot of pellets to pull out. ;f
  9. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002