August 03, 2011
Shooting Drill: Turkey Gun Pop Cans
By Phil Bourjaily
This week’s “Shoot Better in a Minute” tip on Episode 7 of “The Gun Nuts” TV show deals with turkey hunting target practice. We all pattern our turkey guns to see what load works best, but how many of us practice from field positions? If you have turkey hunted much at all, you've shot birds while you were twisting around a tree, or even from your off-shoulder and it helps a great deal to actually practice some of those shots.
You don’t have to use turkey loads nor turkey targets. Since you don’t actually feel the recoil of a heavy shell in the excitement of shooting at a turkey, a field or target load is just fine. While a pop can is bigger than a turkey’s head, it makes a good cheap target and any shot that ventilates a can would have killed a turkey. In fact, when I started turkey hunting, the only turkey pattern targets were the ones you drew yourself, or aluminum cans. The best patterning target was an Old Style beer can, as the Old Style blue and red shield logo on side was about turkey head-sized.
Besides being good practice, shooting cans takes you back, too, to childhood days of BB guns and .22s. Just be sure to pack them out of the woods when you’re done.