Photo by Andrew Hetherington

Some turkeys come in silently from an unexpected quarter, catching you set up to shoot in the wrong direction. That means you have to shift either a little or a lot, depending on the bird’s position.

A slow and smooth draw results in a more accurate shot, but turkeys will notice any movement. You only get a few seconds to shoot before the bird runs away.


The Challenge

You’ll be shooting at a 12-ounce empty soda can placed on a ½-inch dowel pushed into the ground. Set it 40 yards away straight off your left shoulder (for a right-handed shooter). Sit on the ground against a tree, knees drawn up, elbows braced on knees, body pointing at 12 o’clock, gun pointing naturally at 11, but the can is at 9. You get three seconds to smoothly and slowly turn your upper body to make the shot. Aim for the bottom edge of the can or a shade above it to keep from shooting high.


You should have 16 pellet holes in the can. Count holes in the 3 inches of dowel extending below the can, too, because that part represents the turkey’s neck bones, and thus lethal hits. To account for more open patterns with lighter loads, move the target 5 yards closer.

Advanced Challenge
Simulate the turkey coming in on your right side. The only way for a right-hander to shoot without moving so much that the bird would spook is to shoot left-handed.

Good Gun


A turkey gun with an Extra-Full choke and some type of sights—double bead, iron sights, scope, or red dot. The Remington 870 Express Turkey is a fine choice.