I can’t believe how many turkey hunters don’t pattern their shotguns. Every season I find myself shaking my head in turkey camps when overconfident hunters brush off the importance of patterning. And every season, when I pattern my own gun or watch others pattern theirs, a crazy number of surprises show up on paper. Turkeys will always give you plenty of opportunities to screw up—and we all do—but missing or wounding a bird because you don’t know where your shot is hitting … that’s pretty lame.
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In my opinion, you ought to pattern your turkey gun before every hunt. This will reinforce your shooting confidence and prove your pattern is exactly where you want it. If you plan to use a long-range turkey load, be sure to use a rifle-style sighting system such as the new Tactical Spur from Nikon.