Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time:

Picking right turkey hunting gun

The days are getting longer and turkey season is getting closer. Meanwhile, two friends of mine, Gary Harper and son Phillip, called me asking to take part in some target practice. I took my trusted 9200 Mossberg turkey gun to Gary’s ranch and the shooting was on.

For some reason, Gary decided he was going to shoot some 3-1/2 inch shells he had bought. I never said anything, but thought myself, “He will never shoot 30 of those shells.” Even with Phillip and Gary shooting together, they quit after 10 shots. The big shells like that will do a number on you, which brings me to this week’s thoughts.

When I first started hunting we used a 2-3/4 inch magnum shell. Our guns were not made for three inch, or if they where they had 30- inch barrels — not really good for hunting turkeys. To hunt turkeys, I have found the short barrels, 22 to 26 inch are the best. They are faster to move through thick brush, they work better in blinds, and with all the equipment we carry into the woods now, they are lighter. I use three-inch magnum; my favorite brand, when I can find them is Kent. They are inexpensive, and get the job done.

Now some of you are going to say, I use my old granddad’s thirtyfour inch goose gun, and it gets the job done. Yes it will, but we don’t try to wear the jackets we wore when we where kids, now that we are grown, do we? Same way with guns, they have come a long way, and are made for a certain type of hunting now.

When I was a kid growing up in McRoberts, we used the same gun to hunt everything from squirrel to rabbits. Now that I know better, I use a long barrel gun for squirrel, and one with a short barrel for rabbits. We must learn to grow with our sport, or we will forever be caught in the past.

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