Turkey Shotgun Accessories to Get You through the Season
Plenty of gobblers have been taken over the years looking down the bead of an old wooden stock pump action 12-gauge shotgun. There is nothing wrong with that and many hunters today still bag a bird each spring with nothing more than a standard Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. Others rely on a turkey specific gun for spring gobbler season that is completely loaded with gun accessories to increase your advantage as that turkey makes his way into range. No matter which turkey hunter you are, you can take advantage of accessories for shotguns that can be added to your trusted all-season gun or go all in with a shotgun that is specifically designed to help you land more birds throughout the season.
Gun Accessories for Your All-Purpose Shotgun
Most turkey hunters cringe at the thought of buying a dedicated gun to hunt turkeys for a few days each year. If you are like most hunters that walk the woods each spring, you can’t afford a species specific gun when you already have a perfectly good shotgun capable of harvesting a bird with the right gun accessories.
All-purpose shotguns like the Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s have taken countless game from squirrels to ducks and yes, many turkeys throughout the years. These old pump turkey shotguns are deadly in their own right but by adding a few accessories for shotguns like these, they can easily turn into high preforming turkey guns. After the season ends, the added 12-gauge turkey shotgun accessories can simply be removed returning your gun back to its all-purpose glory.
Choke tubes matter when it comes to accessories for shotguns, especially when trying to reach out and touch birds at a distance. A tight pattern will increase your ability to land the majority of your shot in the kill zone. Decide on how far you are comfortable shooting at a bird and choose a choke tube to reflect that distance. Chokes that are .600 and tighter controls your shot pattern out further than chokes that are .500 and less, which are designed for shorter distances. For the basic turkey hunter, a full or extra full choke will perform well out to 30 yards. Switch over to a turkey-specific choke tube for tighter patterns at longer distances. Test multiple chokes with different shells as much as possible until the shot pattern matches your planned shooting distance. Include the right turkey choke tube as one of your first shotgun accessories to your all-purpose shotgun.
Whether you are hunting turkeys from a blind or on the ground, you have to get to your spot with your gun. Shotguns are heavy. A good sling is a required accessory for shotguns. Rubber based slings keep your gun shouldered no matter your movements or weather conditions. Quick detach slings are ideal gun accessories for shotguns because they allow you to quickly remove the sling while setting up. Turkeys can pick out even the slightest movement. Having your sling on your gun while trying to position for a shot risks getting it caught on nearby brush or swinging back and forth as you move to make the shot, ultimately getting you busted by the approaching gobbler.
Turkey hunting or not, one of your gun accessories should be a set of fiber optic sights. Fiber optic front and back sights quickly align on a bird or anything else you may be hunting. Choose a more turkey specific sight if you are fine with switching it out after the season and re-sighting in your gun. Gun supplies and accessories like sights come in various styles and options so choose the one that is comfortable with your eyes shooting.
Movement is your worse enemy while working a bird, but you don’t always have to move to be spotted by an incoming gobbler. More than likely your all-purpose turkey shotgun doesn’t feature factor standard camouflage as one of its gun accessories. Conceal your black synthetic or wood clad shotgun with a quick wrap of camo tape to blend your gun into the surrounding environment. Choose a tape that won’t leave any sticky residues that can lead to fouling on your barrel.
Go All in with a Fully Loaded Shotgun
Modern turkey shotguns come fully loaded and are designed for one purpose and one purpose only ̶ to shoot turkeys. Accessories for shotguns that you would normally have to add to your all-purpose gun are standard on turkey guns. These shotguns are drilled and tapped for scope mounts, come with pre-installed fiber optic sights and are completely camouflaged for maximum concealment in the woods.
Unlike traditional beads or fiber optic sights, enhanced optics give you more field of view and better shot placement on a gobbler. The two choices for turkey gun accessories for shotguns like optics are red dot sights and a full shotgun scope. Red dot sights fall somewhere between the classic bead and a full shotgun scope. These optics increase your ability to speed target birds with fast sight recognition and are effective out to mid-ranges. Scopes allow for full field of view without blocking the lower portion of a bird as you line up to take a shot. The added magnification is distinctly brighter and clearer than sighting through a red dot lens. However, hybrid red dot optics are combining the benefits of a traditional red dot sight with the addition of magnification in a scope tube to give you the maximum optic advantage and is quickly becoming one of the more popular 12-gauge shotgun accessories.
Gun stocks in turkey shotguns vary from thumbhole, standard and pistol grip options. Make sure the stock choice works well when the gun is shouldered and is comfortable enough to hold shouldered for long periods of time. Pistol grip stocks are popular on new turkey guns because they provide a more natural hold position while waiting for a shot on a closing bird. Even if your chosen turkey gun comes with a standard stock, replacement shotgun stocks like thumbhole and pistol grip stocks are readily available and easy to change if so desired.
You can’t kill one if you don’t shoot. Well you can’t shoot unless you have a shell. Turkey loads have evolved into high performance ammunition with technology that rivals most other gun supplies and accessories. Shells like the Winchester Long Beard XR and the Hevishot Magnum Blend offer high velocity and pattern technology that just can’t be achieved from standard shotgun loads. These innovative loads are designed specifically for turkey guns. The key is to pick a shotgun shell that shoots well out of your gun. Find a choke and shell combination that pattern at various distances from 10 to 50 yards. Pattern a few different brands and carry the ones that give you the best pattern.
Just because you are not touting a new turkey shotgun doesn’t mean you can’t add gun accessories to improve your chances in spring gobbler season. Accessories for shotguns can take your all-purpose gun to turkey level performance or go all in with a fully loaded turkey shotgun that is specifically designed to help you put more gobblers on the ground.