Skip to main content

Better Guns, Shells, Chokes and Optics for Hunting Turkeys

with Terry Drury


Editor’s Note: Mark and Terry Drury of Drury Outdoors are two of the most-successful TV producers in all of outdoor television. They produce “Bow Madness,” “Dream Season,” “Wildlife Obsession” and “King of the Spring” that air on the Outdoor Channel, and “Natural Born” that airs on the Pursuit Network. They’re brothers, business partners, friends and hunting buddies.

Question: Terry, what’s another tip for taking turkeys this season?

Terry Drury: I think that someone preparing for turkey season really needs to check out the new guns, the new shells and the new chokes on the market today. Five or 10 years ago, if you had a gun, a choke and shells that would put 15 pellets in the turkey’s head and neck area at 40 yards, you’d be really proud of your gun.  But today with better guns, shells and chokes, you can find a gun, shell and choke combination that will put 15 pellets in a turkey’s head and neck area at 70 yards. So, one of the best tips I can give turkey hunters this season is to spend some time at your local sporting-goods store, check-out the new turkey shotguns on the market, study the turkey chokes and get a five pack of turkey loads from several different manufacturers in No. 4, 5, 6 and 7-1/2. Then go to the rifle range with some turkey head targets, and see how those guns pattern at 20-60 yards. Choose the shells, the choke and the gun that patterns best for you. Once you know the combination of shells, chokes and gun that patterns best for you, when you squeeze the trigger; you reasonably can expect to take the turkey. 

TurkeyPattern_llI think one mistake that hunters also make is: they only may pattern their guns at 40, 50 and 60 yards with the idea that, “If I see that gobbler I can take him.” But remember, if you have a real tight pattern, and the bird comes in at 50 yards and gobbles just as you squeeze the trigger, you very easily may miss that gobbler. You need to know what kind of pattern you’ll get at ranges from 30 yards out to as far as you want to take a turkey. Every gun likes a different shot size, even if that gun is the same gauge and made by the same manufacturer. Also spend the money and time to make sure your shotgun and shells will perform the way you want them to perform this turkey season. 

Something else that has become important, and that I totally believe in is optics, including quality binoculars, range finders and a scope on your shotgun. You can save a lot of walking by having a really good pair of binoculars. The better you can identify the gobbler and the farther you can see him, the better you can get close enough to try and call him. By ranging finding the trees where you think the gobbler may come out, you can know better how to aim. The real secret to turkey hunting success in recent years for Mark and I has been using riflescopes on our turkey shotguns. 

Day 3: What to Do if You Don’t Take a Turkey as Soon as He’s Flown Down with Terry Drury 

Tomorrow: Terry Drury on Why Scope Your Turkey Shotgun

Latest Content