Turkey Hunting and The “50 Yard Gun”


Not all that long ago a “50 yard” shot at a turkey with a shotgun was widely considered irresponsible and unethical. But today with the advancement in chokes and loads the 50 yard shot is possible and quickly becoming the goal of many turkey hunters. I can’t say it is a goal I’m trying to achieve. Granted it be nice to know my set up would work out to 50 yards but more for compensating for my misjudgment of distance rather than a purposeful attempt to kill one at 50 paces.
As I think back at some of those times a bird presented just out of range that such a load would make a difference the experience and the events that followed made it a richer experience in my opinion. Getting a bird into 25 yards of you is a bit harder than 50 yards. Plus the turkey is such a paranoid hyped up creature it doesn’t take much to spook him.

For me it’s from the middle to the end of the season when the gobblers get a bit more leery and harder to pull in the last 10 or 15 yards that a “50 yard” gun would have its most appeal. However the foliage in the woods is usually pretty full by then that a 50 yard opportunity is pretty rare. Fields would likely be the place where 50 yard shots would present and then we get into my bad distance judgement. I’ve eaten a few meals of “ tag soup” at the end of the season and while a steady diet of that is not what I recommend the occasional meal keeps us humble.
With all that said the new federal load 3rd Degree has me intrigued. I have seen some reviews and they seem to be very positive. I may have to pick up a box and try them on the range to see how well the work. I doubt I’m ready to give up my current set up with a Hevi Shot round but it can’t hurt to kick the tires on the Federal 3rd Degree.

Outdoor Life Review of 3rd Degree

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