Gun and Bow Tips for the Turkey Hunter
Turkeys can be hunted with many different arms, including guns and bows. Turkeys are very wary and fast and therefore, hunting with knives or similar is just not possible. Whenever a hunter goes hunting for turkey, he has to make sure that he checks the local hunting laws and regulations in regards to arms. Generally these laws allow a shotgun with a gauge somewhere between gauge 10 to 20 and shot sizes between #4 and #6, as well as bows. Bow pulls must be similar to bows allowed for deer hunting. Some places even allow rifles and handguns as hunting gear during fall.
When turkey hunting with a shotgun, it is always important to aim for the neck or the head. Hitting the body or feathery part of the turkey might not kill to bird, but leave it wounded instead of dead. The turkey's head and neck are very small targets compared to the deer and a good aim and a good choke are essential. There are many good scopes that might help bag that turkey, but one thing that is important before going on a turkey hunt is to pattern the gun in advance. Pattern means to do some target shooting on targets the size of a turkey head and neck. Using different ranges for the target to shoot at and different ammunition will help the hunter learn which ammunition gives him the best overall aim and accuracy. It will also show him exactly how he has to aim to get his shot into the center of the target when the gun pulls a little low or high instead of dead center. Patterning the gun is like pumping up tires for a long bike ride or making sure everything necessary for a trip is packed.
A good tip, especially for new hunters is to not to shoot a turkey when it is in mating or attack posture. A turkey that is all puffed up generally pulls the neck in and down into the feather dress and shields the target area the hunter is looking for. Therefore, do not pull the trigger ahead of time. Be patient and wait for the turkey to straighten and stick his head up high and then take the shot.
For bow hunters, it might be interesting to know that it is recommended to use razor-sharp broad head arrows as usually used for deer. The bow hunter does not aim for the head or neck, but rather for the bird's vital internal organs.
Many hunters use such accessories as blinds. Whether it is a natural or a commercial portable blind, the function is the same, to conceal any unnecessary movement. This type of accessory is a great one for everybody that is not quite adept at completely sitting still for long amounts of time. Blinds are also a big item for bow hunters, since raising the bow, drawing the bow and aiming are movements that can easily be spotted by a bird. Bow hunting requires more movement in general than gun hunting and any cover and camouflage is important. Also, good equipment for bow and gun hunters are little stools or seat cushions. A stool raises the hunter off the cold and often wet ground and also provides for a more comfortable wait.
The last bits of accessories that might be used for bow and arrow, as well as for gun hunting are decoys. A decoy is an imitation turkey that not only gives the nearing turkey what it was looking for, but also helps distract the turkey from the hunter while the hunter is taking aim. But as always, before going on a hunt, checking the laws and regulations for the area is very important and should not be forgotten. These regulations can differ greatly from state to state.