Gearing up for Spring Turkeys

posted on March 2, 2016

Editor's Note: Adam Heggenstaller put all of this gear to use on a recent Gould's turkey hunt in Sonora. Catch up on his adventure here.

I am a strong proponent of red-dot optics on turkey guns, but for my trip to Sonora, Linda Powell from Mossberg talked me into using a new version of the company’s Model 535 that comes with Marble Arms Bullseye iron sights. The Bullseye rear sight is a pair of concentric rings, with the smaller centered in the larger, and a fiber-optic pipe serves as the front sight. The human eye naturally centers the front “bead” in the smaller circle when looking down the barrel, and it’s easy to spot misalignment. While the steel rings of the rear sight are thin and do not block much of the target, the outside diameter makes the Bullseye more difficult to ignore than the low bump of a rifle-style rear sight. The Bullseye almost forces you to look through it, which reminds you to keep your head on the stock and aim. I had a split-second to raise the 535 and draw a bead on the head of a Gould’s when it reappeared from behind a tree, and the Bullseye helped me hit the mark.

When Federal Premium developed 3rd Degree, its goal was a turkey load that would throw an effective pattern at any distance from 10-40 yards. The three types of shot stacked within a 3rd Degree shell—No. 5 nickel-plated lead FlightStopper, No. 6 copper-plated lead and No. 7 Heavyweight—are designed to spread wider than conventional loads at close range while still holding a tight pattern for longer shots. In my tests (see “Hardware” review on 3rd Degree produced 10-yard patterns that were about 50 percent wider than standard loads and 50-yard patterns that were every bit as devastating. The load works just as well at any range in between, as one 3-inch shell dropped my Gould’s at 18 paces.

Ted Jaycox of Tall Tine Outfitters offers hunts for Gould’s turkeys on Rancho Mababi, the ocellated subspecies in Campeche, Mexico, and Osceola gobblers in Florida. His other specialties include Coues deer on Mababi, whitetails in Kansas and elk in Colorado. Ted’s affable, enjoys sharing his considerable expertise and will even carry the snacks for his clients.


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