Where to Aim on a Turkey

Turkeys are big, tough birds. For a clean kill don’t aim for the body. Shotgun pellets may not penetrate the tough wing feathers, thick flesh and bone that shield the heart and lungs. Body shots result in wounded birds and long chases ending with no bird at all or a pellet riddled dinner.

The best aim point is the neck where the feathers end. If you aim there and miss a little high, you will still put a lethal dose of pellets into the spine and brain. Most people miss high on a tom because they lift their head off the stock a little to see the turkey’s head behind the bead. So if you aim at the neck and lift you head a little you may still connect and collect your tom.

Also if you aim at the neck and miss low you will still put enough pellets in the head and neck to kill your bird.

Turkeys have the frustrating habit of bobbing their heads just when the trigger is pulled.  So if you hold on the neck and the tom drops his head a couple of inches just when you pull the trigger you will still get him.  But if you aim at his head, half you patter is already above its head. Then if it bobs its head when you touch the trigger, your whole pattern will miss high and you will see how fast a healthy tom can run or fly.

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