TURKEY SAFARI APR 2012
I made a Safari of the the usual Spring turkey hunt. Went to Texas with the friends you see below then Kansas with another group then back to Utah for the final hunt. I managed to get 7 Toms all told, 6 of them with muzzleloaders. As usual, I had built some new guns over the winter for this spring’s Extravaganza. We saw only a few hens and jakes where usually we see lots, but the gobblers were wandering and anxious to please.
Even my very amateur calling was effective. I think we caught the season just right. Most of the hens were on the nest, leaving the Toms looking for leftovers. Saw lots of Javelinas too.
Above is my over-under double gun with back action percussion locks. The upper barrel is 20 gauge with interchangable chokes, an extra full installed for turkey. The lower barrel is a GRRW 50 caliber for patched round ball. Both are regulated with 90 grains FFFg to hit in a group at 25 and 50 yards. The 20 bore barrel with a patched .600 ball will group into 4 inches at 50 yards, the rifled barrel into less than half that. This is a great gun for treestand whitetail. I shoot 1 1/2 oz. Italian nickel plated shot surrounded by a tapered plastic shotcup. It’s a killing load at up to 40 yards. You can see a full photo workup of the gun in Archives.
Now we are in Kansas, with the Kelso brothers, great guys and great guides. I used the percussion over under in Texas and the 20 gauge NorthWest Gun pictured here in Kansas, using the same load in both guns. The bird on the right above is the biggest Rio Grande turkey I have ever seen, an apparent 4 year old weighing just short of 25 lbs.
You can see a full photo workup of this NW Gun in Archives, # 743. It is a real sparker, it’s very quick, seems like the trigger tripped and the bird was down. Very fast.
I got back home to Utah on a Sunday and we got the two birds shown left and middle above on Wednesday. These two idiot birds came running on my call at first light. They must really have been dumb. McCord Marshal, left above, used a Browning pump on his bird at 15 feet, I followed with a 20 yard shot using a Benelli semi-auto, sorry about that. (middle, above) I had just cleaned the muzzleloaders and wasn’t going to dirty them again, especially when Utah hunting is so poor. Oops! The surprised look on my face belies our success. I took Les Bennett (right above) out the next Saturday and called in 4 Toms, he killed one at 20 feet.