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January 03, 2010
Hot New Turkey Scope - 13

Some of you mount a scope on your favorite turkey gun. Some of you don’t. Maximum precision (particularly on longer shots) is part of the positive reasoning. Those who look down the shotgun barrel at bead sights often say they don’t want to complicate matters. Scopes fog up. Scopes won’t let you drop a crippled gobbler on the wing. Scopes are pricey. Some cost as much as a serviceable shotgun.

No matter how you feel, turkey scopes are likely here to stay. Why scopes? We aim and shoot the shotgun (a “scattergun”) like a rifle. One shot, boom, down. We hope.

Many of us in the outdoor industry converge on the SHOT Show annually. This year we’ll travel to Vegas (January 19-22). Longtime relationships being what they are in the hunting world, we have our connections. Since it’s a long winter to the first spring turkey seasons (March in places like Hawaii and Florida), we try to stay in the mental game by telling stories, plotting hunts and getting the scoop on new products.

For those of you who use turkey scopes, there’s a new one about to appear on the market (not just yet mind you; it won’t be officially announced until later this month), engineered by an industry giant, Nikon.

Right now, my contact there just has the specs. According to him I’m the first guy to score this information, and Outdoor Life’s “Strut Zone” is the first to post it. By the way, he’s remarked more than once that we've got a cool turkey blog, and that includes all the contributions regularly made by you SZ commentators as well. All turkeys, all the time, baby.

The skinny on Nikon's New Turkey Scope, reputed to be dubbed the “TurkeyPro BTR” according to my insider source, is this: The new reticle design uses circles to range a turkey at either high or low power (1.65-5x36). The removable anti-reflective device screws onto the objective. It’s got 5-inch eye relief. It’s water, fog, and according to my source, shock proof. Retail in camo will run $279; black will cost you $249. Again, you’re hearing it here first.

When can you get your hands on it? My guy says it should be available in February 2010, just in time for spring turkey seasons around the country.

 My question is this? Do you guys scope out your turkey guns? If not, why not? If so, how come? What are the positives and negatives involved in using a scope on your turkey gun? Ever kill a turkey that depended on that additional assistance from a scope? Ever have a scope hurt your chances?

 

 

 

Comments (13)

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from Tony Williams wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Steve,

I'm seeing a fair number of birds around. I've been seeing the same 4 gobblers in an area I don't have permission on, yet. Also saw a group of 7 long-beards all bow season on property I can hunt on, so I'm looking forward to hearing that first gobble of spring!

Tony

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Doin' well Dirty. Thanks. Just got back from your neck of the woods. Flooded timber & zero-grade rice fields.
Mallards & specks. Hit Mack's PW right before flying back.

Plotting Spring 2010 as we speak. Looks like California & Kentucky will be in the mix, along with 3 or 4 here in the Northeast. Can't come fast enough for me man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Hey Tony. Same to you! Thanks for checking in. How are the turkeys doin' out your way? -S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dirty wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I used a scope one year, and missed two birds. Call me old fashioned but I have'nt missed since. BTW, who's gettin fired up for the thunda chicken showdown? I know I am. I'm hittin atleast 3 states this year (could hit 4 but Florida is just to far) TX, AR, and MO. I hope every body has a succesfull year! Hope your doing well, Steve!
Dirty

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony Williams wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Happy New Year Steve & Gerry!

I started using a scope a few years ago and I wouldn't go without one. Mine is an adjustable red dot / green dot depending on light conditions. I wouldn't say that it helps for long shots since we should still be trying to get them within 40 yards, but it definitely helps in keeping my head down and making sure that dot is on the turkeys neck. I rarely miss now (yes, it still happens on occasion!) and I try to get others to switch to scopes.
But there are some hard-headed guys you just can't get through to. I won't say who that is, but his initials are Gerry Bethge.

Tony

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from james7xchamp3 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

My main setup is scoped. I shoot an Encore 12 ga. with a Bushnell 1.75-4. I love this gun! Main reason for the scope was my vision, and the scope helps a lot. As far as the hunt, the scope IMO is a weakness. You do not have the vision of your surroundings like you do without it, and may catch yourself moving your head to pick up the bird which we all know can end your hunt fast. Overall, I love my setup and am a big fan of the single shot where you really need to make sure that bird is dead before pulling the trigger..

Never had the scope hurt my chances, but have had it hurt me with the infamous "scope eye" twice. The last was two years ago I took a beautiful NH longbeard that appeared where I didn't it expect it to. I had to move the barrel to my left (I'm left-handed) and the stock came up on my shoulder. I knew for certain when I pulled the trigger what was going to happen and I didn't hesitate a bit. I was cut pretty bad but a happy hunter none-the-less! I think that pretty much confirmed me a "die-hard"!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I might change my mind one day, but for now I'm sticking with the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I see the benefit for longer shots, but I've got a nice set of fiber optic sites on my turkey gun that seem to be working just fine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Never thought about a scope on my turkey gun all my turkeys have been 30yds or less. The bead is just a silver BB at the end.
Thanks for the input fellow turkey hunters. During the preseason I shop around and think about new equipment. The old eyes aren't working like they use to, just might consider a scope.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deja vu wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Oh yeah.... forgot to add one thing, you asked "Ever have a scope hurt your chances?"
Yes! heres a tip for scope users, Lets assume you have the gun up and ready, your watching a bird over the gun waiting for him to come into range, you decide your ready to shoot, be very careful not to move your head to look throuh to scope, that little movement can/will be seen by a wary tom that is already staring your way looking for the unseen hen. Been there, done that.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deja vu wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I kind of like the one that nikon already makes.... the "Turkey Pro" 1.5x4.5 The new model with 5 inch eye relief could be very nice, it has a larger objective that may be better at light gathering, the anti reflective device sounds good too. Some guys like scopes, some hate them. The biggest advantage to me is the gun that dosen`t shoot to point of aim. I had that situation years ago and cured it with a leupold 1.5x5 I shoot an 1187 cantilever now, and you have no choice, there is no way to use a standard barrel, you can not get low enough on the stock to look down the barrel. I use a red dot now.... because it`s fun. It probably not good for someone not used to it, you can`t be fussing with the power/recticle, set it ahead of time and your good. Batteries are another thing you hear guys warning about, I only turn the sight on when I sit down on a bird and turn it off when I move on, battery lasts all season, probably longer, I just change it every year at the begining of the season and do carry an extra in my vest just in case. All this being said, I still like and agree with the "kiss" method, sure is simple enough to just line up the bead, as long as your careful with the tight shooting turkey chokes. Whatever you use, if your familiar with your gun and have plenty of practice with it, thats what will be best for you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh N. wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I started using a red dot scope two springs ago because the sight on my shotgun broke and I had heard good things about red dots. The only problems I can see with it are that it depends on a battery and there is a possibility of glare scaring a bird. Other than that I suppose it may be more difficult to hit a bird in the air but I was able to pick off a wounded bird in the air this past fall. I also feel more confident in my ability to hit birds at a greater distance because I have a better view of the target.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Flyte wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I use an Aimpoint Red dot on my 12 gauge Mossberg 535. It's light and quick to point. With the gun and scope combo and Remington 3-1/2 magnum Nitro turkey rounds loaded with No. 5 shot I'm shooting the best patterns out to 50 yards(still have 20+ pellets in 4 inch kill zone). I'd use a regular scope but dont wanna get caught moving the magnification. On the red dot all I have to do is use the third largest dot on 10 power brightness and it will just cover the bottom of a turkeys neck at 50.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

i have a scope on my turkey gun its great turkeys just dont come in close much any more.they are call shy and seem to be more wary now days so a scope is more practical because shots are longer it seems to be!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Michael Flyte wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I use an Aimpoint Red dot on my 12 gauge Mossberg 535. It's light and quick to point. With the gun and scope combo and Remington 3-1/2 magnum Nitro turkey rounds loaded with No. 5 shot I'm shooting the best patterns out to 50 yards(still have 20+ pellets in 4 inch kill zone). I'd use a regular scope but dont wanna get caught moving the magnification. On the red dot all I have to do is use the third largest dot on 10 power brightness and it will just cover the bottom of a turkeys neck at 50.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh N. wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I started using a red dot scope two springs ago because the sight on my shotgun broke and I had heard good things about red dots. The only problems I can see with it are that it depends on a battery and there is a possibility of glare scaring a bird. Other than that I suppose it may be more difficult to hit a bird in the air but I was able to pick off a wounded bird in the air this past fall. I also feel more confident in my ability to hit birds at a greater distance because I have a better view of the target.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deja vu wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I kind of like the one that nikon already makes.... the "Turkey Pro" 1.5x4.5 The new model with 5 inch eye relief could be very nice, it has a larger objective that may be better at light gathering, the anti reflective device sounds good too. Some guys like scopes, some hate them. The biggest advantage to me is the gun that dosen`t shoot to point of aim. I had that situation years ago and cured it with a leupold 1.5x5 I shoot an 1187 cantilever now, and you have no choice, there is no way to use a standard barrel, you can not get low enough on the stock to look down the barrel. I use a red dot now.... because it`s fun. It probably not good for someone not used to it, you can`t be fussing with the power/recticle, set it ahead of time and your good. Batteries are another thing you hear guys warning about, I only turn the sight on when I sit down on a bird and turn it off when I move on, battery lasts all season, probably longer, I just change it every year at the begining of the season and do carry an extra in my vest just in case. All this being said, I still like and agree with the "kiss" method, sure is simple enough to just line up the bead, as long as your careful with the tight shooting turkey chokes. Whatever you use, if your familiar with your gun and have plenty of practice with it, thats what will be best for you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deja vu wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Oh yeah.... forgot to add one thing, you asked "Ever have a scope hurt your chances?"
Yes! heres a tip for scope users, Lets assume you have the gun up and ready, your watching a bird over the gun waiting for him to come into range, you decide your ready to shoot, be very careful not to move your head to look throuh to scope, that little movement can/will be seen by a wary tom that is already staring your way looking for the unseen hen. Been there, done that.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Never thought about a scope on my turkey gun all my turkeys have been 30yds or less. The bead is just a silver BB at the end.
Thanks for the input fellow turkey hunters. During the preseason I shop around and think about new equipment. The old eyes aren't working like they use to, just might consider a scope.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I might change my mind one day, but for now I'm sticking with the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I see the benefit for longer shots, but I've got a nice set of fiber optic sites on my turkey gun that seem to be working just fine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dirty wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I used a scope one year, and missed two birds. Call me old fashioned but I have'nt missed since. BTW, who's gettin fired up for the thunda chicken showdown? I know I am. I'm hittin atleast 3 states this year (could hit 4 but Florida is just to far) TX, AR, and MO. I hope every body has a succesfull year! Hope your doing well, Steve!
Dirty

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Doin' well Dirty. Thanks. Just got back from your neck of the woods. Flooded timber & zero-grade rice fields.
Mallards & specks. Hit Mack's PW right before flying back.

Plotting Spring 2010 as we speak. Looks like California & Kentucky will be in the mix, along with 3 or 4 here in the Northeast. Can't come fast enough for me man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

i have a scope on my turkey gun its great turkeys just dont come in close much any more.they are call shy and seem to be more wary now days so a scope is more practical because shots are longer it seems to be!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from james7xchamp3 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

My main setup is scoped. I shoot an Encore 12 ga. with a Bushnell 1.75-4. I love this gun! Main reason for the scope was my vision, and the scope helps a lot. As far as the hunt, the scope IMO is a weakness. You do not have the vision of your surroundings like you do without it, and may catch yourself moving your head to pick up the bird which we all know can end your hunt fast. Overall, I love my setup and am a big fan of the single shot where you really need to make sure that bird is dead before pulling the trigger..

Never had the scope hurt my chances, but have had it hurt me with the infamous "scope eye" twice. The last was two years ago I took a beautiful NH longbeard that appeared where I didn't it expect it to. I had to move the barrel to my left (I'm left-handed) and the stock came up on my shoulder. I knew for certain when I pulled the trigger what was going to happen and I didn't hesitate a bit. I was cut pretty bad but a happy hunter none-the-less! I think that pretty much confirmed me a "die-hard"!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony Williams wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Happy New Year Steve & Gerry!

I started using a scope a few years ago and I wouldn't go without one. Mine is an adjustable red dot / green dot depending on light conditions. I wouldn't say that it helps for long shots since we should still be trying to get them within 40 yards, but it definitely helps in keeping my head down and making sure that dot is on the turkeys neck. I rarely miss now (yes, it still happens on occasion!) and I try to get others to switch to scopes.
But there are some hard-headed guys you just can't get through to. I won't say who that is, but his initials are Gerry Bethge.

Tony

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Hey Tony. Same to you! Thanks for checking in. How are the turkeys doin' out your way? -S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony Williams wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Steve,

I'm seeing a fair number of birds around. I've been seeing the same 4 gobblers in an area I don't have permission on, yet. Also saw a group of 7 long-beards all bow season on property I can hunt on, so I'm looking forward to hearing that first gobble of spring!

Tony

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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