5 Things Turkey Hunters Forget

I arrived in turkey camp excited. How could I not be jacked? It’s the first real hunting I’ve had since coyote hunting a few months back. I knew something wasn’t right leading up to the hunt. I felt unprepared and frantic. However, I was elated to be back on home turf, chasing long beards. Don’t let turkey season slip up on you this year. Begin prepping early, and you won’t be caught off guard.

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The goal of patterning a turkey gun is to understand what your shot pattern is doing at certain distances. I’ve been shooting the Federal Premium 3rd Degree for many years with great success. I didn’t even think about patterning this year. Turkey season snuck up on me. I assumed everything was okay, but never took the time to double check. We do this ALL the time. I patterned it last year so it should be the same. WRONG! Never assume anything is the same, always check. I’ll admit that this mistake was a rookie mistake. I know better than that. EXPLORE TARGETS HERE

How well do you know your ammo? Is it ideal at close or long range? These are a couple of questions that need to ask before selecting what you’ll be shooting. I landed on Federal Premium 3rd Degree on the intrigue of a multiple-shot load. It all started with the Remington Duplex loads, and I switched to 3rd Degree after several tests before the season. Given the terrain I hunt, shots could be from 5 yards to 50+ yards. I encourage turkey hunters to test many different loads. One of my shotguns likes Winchester loads while the other really like 3rd Degree. EXPLORE AMMO HERE

I pin chokes into the same category as ammunition. The gun, ammo, and chokes all work together to produce the ideal solutionturkey. There are plenty chokes out there that are specifically optimized for different shotshells. I've run Carlson's, Primos, HEVI-Shot and Kick’s chokes. All-in-all each performed great, but there is a difference in performance on various types of shotshells. The testing on my guns was rudimentary. I'd shoot the different loads through each choke and note which pairings produced the best results during patterning. I do my best to do this test each year before I go out. EXPLORE CHOKES HERE

My wife doesn’t mind turkey hunting. What she does mind is the calling practice that leads up to the season. I’ve found a simple fix to help her cope with my calling practice. My drive to work is approximately 15 minutes. To and from work, I can get in 30 minutes of training each day with my diaphragm calls. I stick my calls in my truck, and I call every day on the way to and from work. These drives help me determine which diaphragm calls work best as I play the hunts through my head. EXPLORE CALLS HERE

Most hunters don’t think about snake boots when they head out. This is, surprisingly, one item that I never forget. All it takes is one step to end a beautiful day of hunting. Snakes are out and moving around, venturing beyond their dens from their winter hibernation. I did a fair amount of research and landed on the LaCrosse Adder Snake boot. I've enjoyed this boot over the last three years. I added insoles to give a little comfort for long treks. Whatever snake boot you find, make sure it sits above the calf. A bit more cover is always a good thing. EXPLORE SNAKE BOOTS HERE

A well-prepared hunter is typically a successful hunter. I can't think of many hunts that ended in failure because I was prepared. However, I can count many hunts that failed because I didn't prepare. Start getting ready for turkey season now or it will sneak up on you. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and knows his way around a bass boat. Whether it's making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.


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