1. Losing Focus To be a successful shotgunner, you must stay focused on the bird throughout the shot. If your eyes bounce from the bead to the target, you’ll interrupt the swing of the gun and miss. Keep your eyes on the target to keep the gun moving.
The guys over at Winchester sent us this slow motion video of their new Long Beard XR turkey load. The load features a resin called Shot-Lok that fills in the gaps between the pellets and binds them in the wad. Immediately after the shell ignites, the resin fractures and turns to powder. This process creates a tighter shooting shotshell and more pellets on target, according to Winchester.
The turkey load has seen its share of evolutions in the last few years with the introduction of heavier metals and specialized wads designed to cut patterns tighter than Oprah’s pants. Those improvements -- plus the popularization of extra-full chokes and optics -- have pushed the effective range of the most competent turkey hunters out to 50-yard territory.
Winchester is looking to nudge that distance even further with its new Long Beard XR shotshell. The shell is unremarkable in everyway – copper-plated lead pellets, standard wad, and standard brass – except for one feature: a paste-like resin the company calls Shot-Lok. The resin fills in the gaps between the pellets and binds them in the wad. Immediately after the shell ignites, the resin fractures and turns to powder. This process creates a tighter shooting shotshell and more pellets on target, according to Winchester. The company officially announced the load today and it will start showing up on shelves in November or December.
Tis the season for spending time on your rear end —- hunting out of a layout blind, that is. These hides offer the ultimate in comfort and concealment for hunting open crop fields, where traditional blinds can’t be used. Across the grain belt in particular, where field hunting is most common, layout blinds are tremendously popular.
Shooting well from a layout blind can be tricky. Range of motion is somewhat limited by the near-horizontal sitting position, and safety must be taken seriously as hunters rise simultaneously from their hides.
The tom and two hens crossed a recently plowed field and disappeared into the overgrown fenceline. I sat on the other side of the fence line, about 30 yards down, waiting for a chance to fill my tag. The first hen popped out of the weedy brush, quickly followed by the second hen, and the two began to forage among the short grasses. It probably took less than a minute, though it felt like an hour, before the tom poked his head out, glanced to his right and left, and then stepped into the field.
I lined up my open sights on that spot where his neck and body met, and pulled the trigger on my Weatherby SA-459 Turkey gun. The tom hit the ground head first, wings furiously pounding the air for maybe 20 seconds.
#1 - Break a True Pair Take the rear target first and continue your swing to get out in front of the lead clay. For going-away birds, take the clay that’s more of a straightaway and then swing on the target that’s angling away.
#2 - Get Steady Off-Hand During dry-fire practice, pick a small target to focus on, and with the rifle held low, bring it up in a smooth motion. As soon as the target comes into view with the reticle centered on it, break the trigger.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hunt gobblers with Stoeger's new M3000, a 12-gauge semi-auto 3-inch gun built for turkey and waterfowl hunting. The gun works off the same inertia-driven system that Benelli utilizes -- Stoeger is owned by Benelli -- but comes at just a fraction of the price of a Super Black Eagle II.
A Federal Premium Ammunition employee (who wished to remain anonymous) snapped these photos for us of a new shotshell in the works. Federal is reportedly putting the finishing touches on a new turkey load that will be available for the spring 2013 season. What do company engineers have up their sleeves?
Thanks to a few tips from my source, I think it’s fair to speculate that Federal is cooking up a turkey load that combines at least a couple shot sizes. There are two ways such shells are typically loaded: as a homogenous mixture, or through what’s known as “multi-plexing,” in which shot is layered by size.
When it was launched in 2011, Winchester’s Blindside steel waterfowl loads exceeded all the ammo maker’s expectations – selling a whopping three times better than the company’s initial estimates. What sets Blindside apart is the six-sided, Hex™ Steel Shot pellets stacked inside the shells which packs 15 percent more pellets in the same space versus traditional round pellets.