Hunting Turkey Hunting

What’s the Best Range For Shooting Turkeys With a Shotgun?

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One kill shot should be all it takes when spring turkey hunting. Most turkey camps I’ve visited around the country inevitably involve a supper table debate about the best shotgun range for dropping a spring gobbler. My generic answer: 20-35 yards.

The payload stays baseball tight with shots taken at under 20 steps, and misses are more likely, especially with that serpentine turkey head juking around. Then again, the swarm of pellets begins to open up when shot from farther out, especially beyond 40 yards. That’s no good either.

In the end, you need to know your shotgun and how that firearm handles a particular load because load capabilities vary–some are dead on and tighter at longer ranges, depending on the choke tube and firearm.

True enough, some of the extended-range loads available these days provide a mix of turkey shotshell options. The choice is up to the hunter. Each shotgun dictates the final selection based on familiarity from shooting the combination of options.

For me, it’s all about enjoying the moment as the gobbler works to my calls, even after that wild turkey steps into the edge of range.

Are you interested in calling turkeys close, as in 20-35 yards, or taking them on the edge of your range? The latter deal might work, sure, but it also risks crippling a bird. Boom. Down. Dead turkey. That’s what we want.

What’s your preferred shooting range on a wild turkey?

(NWTF Media Photo)