Open-Country Gobblers
by Matt Morrett
Turkeys have no fear of large open places. Because their great vision is their primary defense, they feel very secure where they can see well and far. Turkeys of both sexes frequently feed in pastures and meadows and gobblers love to strut their stuff out in the open.

On rainy days, turkeys prefer open areas and are frequently seen in pastures, clearcuts and walking along woods roads. These are all prime places to look for fresh tracks, feathers and other sign.

Use this to your scouting advantage. When driving in your hunting area, always slow down and take a good, thorough look at openings. This is where binoculars are a great help. When walking through your hunting area, approach openings carefully and check them out well before exposing yourself. This means taking a long look at the opening from cover and moving slowly even though you think you are well hidden. If you are careful, you can spot a lot of gobblers out in the open.

Don't Over Choke
by Michael Waddell
Turkey hunters love tight patterns and are prone to use the tightest choke they can find. That’s fine so long as they check out their pattern performance with any new choke.

Too much choke constriction can result in the "over-choked" syndrome, which produces a wildly erratic spray of pellets and a very poor gobbler-getting pattern. Large loads of large pellets are particularly prone to this.

The degree of choke, relative to the bore diameter, is more important than the actual choke constriction. Twelve-gauge bores run from .725 to .730 of an inch. "Back-bored" and "over-bored" guns have larger bores and require less choke constriction to achieve very tight patterns.

When you acquire a new choke tube that is supposedly "super" or "extra" full, always check it out on the pattern board with your favorite turkey load to find out if it is producing good, dense patterns. Large loads and/or large pellets frequently produce their best patterns from chokes that are not the tightest constrictions available.

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