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Gun Nuts TV Season 3: Turkey Fever - How To Keep Cool and Make the Shot

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June 26, 2012

Gun Nuts TV Season 3: Turkey Fever - How To Keep Cool and Make the Shot

By Phil Bourjaily

Season III of “The Gun Nuts” debuts tomorrow night on the Outdoor Channel at 7:30 p.m. EST and 11:30 p.m., and again at 3 a.m. We’ve changed the show a little--all, I think, for the better. One of the new segments is “Make the Shot” in which we talk about specific field and target situations and how to deal with them.

When I first started doing TV someone told me: “As long as you talk about what you know, you’ll be okay on camera.” With that advice in mind I chose “how to keep from totally losing it when a turkey walks into range” as a topic, although we call it here: “how to shoot spring turkeys.”

I am all too familiar with turkey fever. I used to be very calm when turkeys were near, then I went through a stretch of many years during which I could not kill a turkey if you locked me in a room with one. Since learning how rare chances at turkeys can be, I now become a nervous wreck when they approach. I have to talk myself into remaining calm and on task, which is the subject of this tip.

I hope it helps, and that you enjoy Season III.

Comments (12)

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from country road wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Good advice, Phil. One thing that makes hitting a turkey so difficult is the fact that he seldom comes in to your comfort zone where it is easy to get the gun on him. It seems that they are geniuses as appearing on the wrong side or too far around on your good side. Learning to shoot off-balance is a must.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Make it sound so easy Sir Phil :)

The time you (think you) pull the trigger to the time the shot leaves the barrel is long enough to come off target.

FOLLOW THROUGH!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

can't wait for next season...Gun Nuts and turkey!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Hell youll know they "choke" em down now to shoot like
a rifle.
Let's open them chokes a little, huh cha.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I’ve had more than my share of misses and finally learned that my problem is not letting my mind wander or flash ahead to my hero shot. No, I raise my head off the comb to watch the turkey as he puts on his show, because it’s always a show, no matter what he does. I considered a Holo Dot sight but went with the less obtrusive and lower tech Tru Glow Gobble sights. The Tru Glo has both front and rear sights that must be aligned for the muzzle to be pointed on the correct line to target. That worked pretty well until I tried to shoot a tom at my 8 o’clock position while perched with my feet higher than my butt under a large cedar on the lee side of a steep creek embankment. The cant of the gun combined with the angle of the shot made it all but impossible to line those glowing sights up and I missed the bird just as he spread his wings to fly across the creek. Now I’m thinking about the Holo Dot sight again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Looking forward to watching gun nuts tonite. great job on july magazine, one of the best I have seen in recent years. Keep up the good work, maybe we will add some new "GUN NUTS " to the flock

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Longbeard---I've been using holosights for several years now with GREAT results. Wouldn't trade 'em for the world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've always enjoyed "The Gun Nuts", but this one kind'a surprises me. Keep cool and make the shot? With a shotgun??? Hmmmmmmmm. Where's "The Bow Nut's" column. Keep cool and make the shot with an arrow and NO blind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Turkey hunting from a tent is for young children, most bowhunters, and video crews. Any adult solo hunter who has to use a pop-up either has no self control or must be an ADHD sufferer with no reliable meds. Staying still enough to allow the tom to approach within shotgun range is the most exciting part of the game and if you're hiding in a tent, then you're missing the main objective of the hunt. Drawing a bow with no such cover must be one of the most difficult moves in hunting and more power to the guy/gal who can get it done.

CountryRoad: I know they work. It's just that I hate to give in to tech-ish solutions when I know if I just practice a little more, I could do better with the low tech sight. After going thru a period when I couldn't buy enough gear each piece of which was going to solve a particular problem, I've gone back to my roots and the low tech way. Until I miss another gobbler...which ain't gonna happen again...I hope.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've enjoyed hunting turkeys during the day and predators (fox, coyote, etc.) day and night with my 12 gauge Ithaca TurkeySlayer topped with a Bushnell Holosite. Sight it in with low brass six's at 10-12 yards (the wad will hit the target and show you the pattern center) adjust it accordingly then double check at your expected extended range shots about 30 for turkeys and with the right choke 40 with buckshot and a more open choke. Its pretty much center of your pattern. Its a great nite site for predators as you can dial down the light intensity or up depending on conditions. O have a maglight led attached to the underside of the barrel with a pressure plate for shining on the night predators. Doubles as a great home defense shotgun too. BTW, these holosites also serve double duty during deer season with rifled slugs.. They are fun to use during drives or tight cover stand locations, point and pull almost!!!! Its fun and effective. They take two "N" size batteries, shut off automatically and are bombproof in my opinion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Longbeard --
Amen to the "hunting from a tent" rant.
I have gone back to iron sights just because they are simple and low-tech. On the other hand, sights like the Aimpoint and Eotech are durable and simple. The batteries on Aimpoints last for five years even if you forget to turn them off and as long as you can see the dot, you can hit the target no matter how you have to contort yourself to get on the bird.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil. Had a feeling you would agree. And your last statement is why I keep thinking about changing sights. Maybe next spring...

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Longbeard --
Amen to the "hunting from a tent" rant.
I have gone back to iron sights just because they are simple and low-tech. On the other hand, sights like the Aimpoint and Eotech are durable and simple. The batteries on Aimpoints last for five years even if you forget to turn them off and as long as you can see the dot, you can hit the target no matter how you have to contort yourself to get on the bird.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Good advice, Phil. One thing that makes hitting a turkey so difficult is the fact that he seldom comes in to your comfort zone where it is easy to get the gun on him. It seems that they are geniuses as appearing on the wrong side or too far around on your good side. Learning to shoot off-balance is a must.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Make it sound so easy Sir Phil :)

The time you (think you) pull the trigger to the time the shot leaves the barrel is long enough to come off target.

FOLLOW THROUGH!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

can't wait for next season...Gun Nuts and turkey!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Hell youll know they "choke" em down now to shoot like
a rifle.
Let's open them chokes a little, huh cha.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I’ve had more than my share of misses and finally learned that my problem is not letting my mind wander or flash ahead to my hero shot. No, I raise my head off the comb to watch the turkey as he puts on his show, because it’s always a show, no matter what he does. I considered a Holo Dot sight but went with the less obtrusive and lower tech Tru Glow Gobble sights. The Tru Glo has both front and rear sights that must be aligned for the muzzle to be pointed on the correct line to target. That worked pretty well until I tried to shoot a tom at my 8 o’clock position while perched with my feet higher than my butt under a large cedar on the lee side of a steep creek embankment. The cant of the gun combined with the angle of the shot made it all but impossible to line those glowing sights up and I missed the bird just as he spread his wings to fly across the creek. Now I’m thinking about the Holo Dot sight again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Looking forward to watching gun nuts tonite. great job on july magazine, one of the best I have seen in recent years. Keep up the good work, maybe we will add some new "GUN NUTS " to the flock

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Longbeard---I've been using holosights for several years now with GREAT results. Wouldn't trade 'em for the world.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've always enjoyed "The Gun Nuts", but this one kind'a surprises me. Keep cool and make the shot? With a shotgun??? Hmmmmmmmm. Where's "The Bow Nut's" column. Keep cool and make the shot with an arrow and NO blind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Turkey hunting from a tent is for young children, most bowhunters, and video crews. Any adult solo hunter who has to use a pop-up either has no self control or must be an ADHD sufferer with no reliable meds. Staying still enough to allow the tom to approach within shotgun range is the most exciting part of the game and if you're hiding in a tent, then you're missing the main objective of the hunt. Drawing a bow with no such cover must be one of the most difficult moves in hunting and more power to the guy/gal who can get it done.

CountryRoad: I know they work. It's just that I hate to give in to tech-ish solutions when I know if I just practice a little more, I could do better with the low tech sight. After going thru a period when I couldn't buy enough gear each piece of which was going to solve a particular problem, I've gone back to my roots and the low tech way. Until I miss another gobbler...which ain't gonna happen again...I hope.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've enjoyed hunting turkeys during the day and predators (fox, coyote, etc.) day and night with my 12 gauge Ithaca TurkeySlayer topped with a Bushnell Holosite. Sight it in with low brass six's at 10-12 yards (the wad will hit the target and show you the pattern center) adjust it accordingly then double check at your expected extended range shots about 30 for turkeys and with the right choke 40 with buckshot and a more open choke. Its pretty much center of your pattern. Its a great nite site for predators as you can dial down the light intensity or up depending on conditions. O have a maglight led attached to the underside of the barrel with a pressure plate for shining on the night predators. Doubles as a great home defense shotgun too. BTW, these holosites also serve double duty during deer season with rifled slugs.. They are fun to use during drives or tight cover stand locations, point and pull almost!!!! Its fun and effective. They take two "N" size batteries, shut off automatically and are bombproof in my opinion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil. Had a feeling you would agree. And your last statement is why I keep thinking about changing sights. Maybe next spring...

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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