William W. (Bill) Gabbard
It is one thing to test a shotgun or rifle and put your thoughts on paper for folks to read and hopefully help them decide whether to purchase that item. When your six-year-old grandson decides to go turkey hunting and the weight is on you to decide if this is the right weapon for him, the stakes get a lot higher!
My son, Walt Gabbard of Mossy Oak, and his son, Boone decided that this was the year for Boone to go after a turkey! I had just finished testing the Stevens 301 Single Shot in Mossy Oak Obsession and thought that it would be the perfect choice for Boone to use. The little Stevens is lightweight, has extremely light recoil, is deadly accurate and of course, finished in Obsession camouflage. Walt and Boone agreed with me. We added an EOTECH 512 HWS sight, zeroed it in, and started letting Boone work with the gun! One of the most common mistakes made by well-meaning parents is letting a youngster start shooting with a shotgun that hurts them. The result is a shooter who flinches while shooting and misses game. On the other hand, starting them with a firearm that has inadequate killing power, can also result in lost game. Not only do you waste game, but it can ultimately demoralize a young hunter. Both of these have caused many new hunters to give up hunting early on.
The well-designed Stevens 301 stock soaks up the already mild recoil of the 410. The Federal Premium TSS shot combined with the extra full extended choke takes care of the issue of killing power, while the EOTECH helps the young hunter get on target. Boone quickly became quite proficient with the shotgun, never once mentioning recoil, and was soon sending his “Pap Pap” pictures of turkey targets that were quite impressive.
Turkey hunting is just that, hunting. If it were as simple as sitting down in a blind on opening morning and shooting out the window, it would be called turkey “killing”. On day 6 of Boone’s season, he finally got his chance to pull the trigger on the 301 while aiming at a longbeard. You can imagine my excitement when my phone rang and Boone said, “Pap Pap, guess what I just did.” Boone, the Stevens 301, and the Federal Premium TSS shot all did their jobs. The light weight of the Stevens made it possible for Walt to carry his own shotgun as well. He and Boone doubled up on longbeards! Watch the whole hunt unfold as well as watching a father and son rejoice in a moment that neither of them will ever forget. The Making of a Turkey Hunter can be found on Mossy Oak GO!