When choosing a rifle caliber for turkey hunting, consider the caliber of the bird you plan to hunt. For instance, a 16-gauge rifle is a good compromise between a 20-gauge and a 12-gauge. It is shorter and lighter, making it easier to carry and more accurate. But you should also consider the size of your turkey, assuming that you’ll be hunting at less than 40 yards.
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16 gauge is a good compromise between 12 gauge and 20 gauge
The difference between these two calibers is in recoil. The 20 gauge is a better option for those looking for more power, but 16 gauge shells are a lot cheaper and less available. Despite the differences between these two calibers, they are both good choices for turkey hunting. A good rule of thumb is that a shotgun that is more powerful can kill more turkeys, while a smaller caliber will only kill a small flock.
It’s lighter and shorter
Some hunters prefer.17 rimfire for turkey hunting because of its lighter weight and shorter length. However, smaller calibers can’t penetrate brush or dense cover, and they will be thrown away when they strike an obstruction. Many hunters in Oregon prefer a larger caliber like the 12-gauge, which shoots shells as big as three inches. Using a larger caliber can make turkey hunting uncomfortable, as the recoil can be quite high.
It’s easier to carry
Choosing a rifle caliber for turkey hunting depends on your target and your preferences. Most hunters prefer to use a smaller caliber to get a head shot, but you can also opt for a head/lung shot. The heart of a turkey is smaller than a baby’s fist, and the lungs are buried under its massive package of feathers.
It’s more accurate
Using a bow and a shotgun can be effective, but the range of these devices is limited. Compared to a bow, shotguns have a very low chance of making an effective shot at 50 yards. For this reason, most hunters wait until they are at least 45 yards away. If there is brush in the area, they may be more difficult to locate. For this reason, it’s important to avoid letting out loud calls as you approach the turkey. Instead, let out a soft cluck or purr as the turkey comes close. Alternatively, they may try to follow you back with a loud call, which could backfire.
It’s unethical to use a large-caliber rifle
A large-caliber rifle is unethical for turkey hunting. A 50 BMG rifle would leave very little turkey alive. Turkeys must be shot to their safe limit, not more. Using a smaller-caliber rifle is the ethical way to go. The only exception to this rule is if you are hunting turkeys with a partner who is not a safe hunter.