Then again further out, especially beyond 40 yards, the swarm of pellets begins to open up. That’s no good either. In the end, you need to know your shotgun and how that firearm handles a particular load. Load capabilities vary—some are dead on and tighter at longer ranges, choke tube and firearm depending.
True enough, some of the extended-range loads available these days provide a mix of turkey shotshell options. The choice is up to each hunter. I use them all. Each shotgun dictates the final selection based on familiarity from shooting the combination of options.
Still for me, it’s often all about enjoying the moment as the gobbler works to my calls, even after that wild turkey steps into the edge of range. Then again, if that bird keeps angling away, you have to do what you have to do. I once killed a Texas Rio at 47 steps after I’d missed the gobbler at five yards. Way too close on that first one; over my comfortable range on the follow up. Most of the time my preferred range is that 20-35 yard window. Other guys shoot a bit further.
Here are some basics to remember: A shot pellet transfers energy as a result of velocity and weight. Multiple hits deliver cumulative energy. In the end though, scattergunning remains an inexact science. The better you know how your shotgun and choke handles a specific load, the more improved are your chances of killing a gobbler. Shooting builds confidence.
Ask yourself: Are you interested in calling turkeys close, as in 20-35 yards, or taking them on the edge of your range? The latter scenario might work, but it also risks crippling a bird. Boom. Down. Dead turkey. That’s what we want.