Never lose a Tom Turkey again


“Going to the outlet” is the jargon of waterfowl to empty your gun on a duck or goose, usually one that hangs inaccessibly on the bait. We all did.

As your shotgun columnist, it is my shameful task to confess that I went to the socket of a walking turkey this spring. Because the bird was standing, not flying, the whole experience was a horrible train crash with slow-motion shots. It allowed me more time and clarity than usual to reflect on the plug-in phenomenon and, perhaps, to gain some knowledge to share.

In short, it took a tomi and three chickens more than 90 minutes to cross through 400 yards of open field and rotate towards the line of trees where I was hiding next to a chicken coop and jacket. About 60 meters, tomi saw the jacket, lowered his head and ran towards him, stopping 20 meters in front of me.

I put the red dot on his neck – at least I think I did – and shot. The turkey was standing there. I shot again. She was standing there. I shot again. The chickens realized that someone was shooting at the turkeys and blushed.

picture of the red dotted view
A red dotted view can definitely help you hit the turkeys, but you have to do your part. Vortex Optics

Tommy saw them flying. He looked around, as if thinking Huh. The holiday must end. Then he turned and left me immediately. After three confusing mistakes, my mind got confused. The rooster did not fly or run, but walked slowly. Surely, he must be struck to death and is swaying to find a place to lie down and die like a white tail. (It was not. I missed it). Therefore, it seemed very important to place a few more bullets in the bird. I slipped into my shirt pocket where I was carrying two extra shells, I threw one into the room and locked it in the 870. So far, the turkey was over 40 yards running right away, showing only the top of its head over its back. I remember thinking, This is not much to shoot before pulling the trigger. Tomi and ul.

By the way, when writers like me say the high price of TSS is not a big deal because a box will last you several years, do not believe us. I went through a box of five in less than a minute. Either way, after a few meditations after taking the loss, I have five ways to help you deal with the missing turkey and keep it from happening again.

1. Use effective self-talk

Talking to yourself helps in situations where you need to keep a level head. After watching this bird approach gradually over an hour and a half, I did a good job of not shooting too fast. I kept telling myself, Let it approachand I was rewarded with a 20 yard shot.

Unfortunately, my correct thought before pulling the trigger was, You can also start shooting. Some more commanding thoughts like e.g. Targeted eyes, head in stock, or my willingness Kill him through the gun would have been much more useful and would probably have resulted in a dead turkey with the first blow.

2. Keep your head down — and do not blame him stifling

Primos TSS choke tube

It is true that a TSS no. 7 and the choke combination 0.660 shoots a very small pattern at 20 yards, one the size of a soft ball. I can attribute a mistake to a very narrow model. But three in a row? Jo. I have seen quite a few scholastic shooters who do not focus on targets and lose so much that I will bet the money that all three times I shot two legs over that bird’s head. No amount of pattern spreading would have helped me. Not raising my head to see the bird fall would have helped me a lot. Keep your head down is another good thought.

3. Focus on the goal for a change

As Einstein pointed out, to change nothing and expect another result is the definition of madness. It is also the First Law of Going to the Outlet. When you miss it, make a correction. The problem is that when you lose a very light blow, you can not believe you missed such a blow. You are sure that all you have to do is shoot again. Does not work. So you try again, and voila, you went to the outlet. Make yourself do something different. Usually this means focusing more on the target.

4. Miss Small

A 22-pound turkey, a 12-pound goose or a 3-pound mallard all look great up close. If you shoot at the whole bird, you lose. Focus on one eye, one beak, one mushroom, one cheekbone or one green head and you will hit it. After losing a bird standing on 20 yards because I was not focused on anything smaller than a whole turkey standing in front of me, I made a much stronger shot at 45 or 50 yards because I was looking intently at the top of my head of the bird. .

5. Do not beat yourself

Going to the spin is not a bad thing, in moderation: You do not want to make it a habit to empty the gun on flying birds (or, much, much worse, fly away), but it happens to everyone and is the result of excitement. If you are no longer excited when birds are near, it’s time to find a new hobby.





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