by Aaron Carter - Tuesday, March 29, 2016
When reading articles about turkey hunting or viewing it on television or DVDs, have you ever wondered what gear the renowned hunters were using? Or, how it compared to what you carry afield each spring? As an ardent turkey hunter myself, I know that I have. To provide you with a glimpse into the equipment of some of the most recognized hunters, I contacted several such people and asked a series of questions. Their answers are listed below. From their responses, I was also able to assemble evidence of firearm and ammunition trends.
As you’re reading, keep in mind that sponsorships can affect the brand of the ammunition used; however, although a specific manufacturer may be mandated, the rest of the decision-making process is left to the individual. For me, the importance is not found in brand, but in the specifics, such as shotgun, choke, gauge, shell length, and shot size and type. Although by no means a “professional,” as an ardent gobbler hunter I included the specifics of my equipment, too. Now, without further ado, let’s see what these hunters are carrying afield this spring.
Adam Heggenstaller, Executive Editor, American Hunter
Melissa Bachman, Host “Winchester Deadly Passion”
Jason Hart, Vice President, Business Development, Marolina Outdoor, Inc.
Will Primos, Founder of Primos
Jimmy Primos, Co-Host “Primos Truth About Hunting”
Mark Drury, Part Owner of Drury Marketing, Inc., Employee of M.A.D. Game Calls
Aaron Carter, Field Editor, American Rifleman
Sure, this is but a small sampling of what ardent spring turkey hunters are using, but it nonetheless shows the diversity of gobbler-getting gear and highlights some trends. Concerning the latter, perhaps most evident is the usage of smaller shot sizes, which is primarily driven by the use ultra-high-density, tungsten-based material for shot making. You get both high on-target energy and extra-dense patterns. As is evident, tungsten-based shot continues to increase in popularity for turkey hunting. Even when traditional, copper-plated lead shot is utilized, measures of delivering it are being reevaluated—for the better. Due to its Shot-Look technology, Winchester’s Long Beard XR has forever changed the effective range of this go-to pellet type. It’s quickly becoming a favorite. Lastly, the longtime darling of the spring woods, the 12 gauge, 3” No. 5s, appears to be fading somewhat. Because of technological advancements, the 20 gauge's popularity is growing.
I believe we’re seeing a sea change in turkey hunting equipment. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds and how it affects those who are dedicated to pursuing the boisterous birds.
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