Story by Tom Claycomb III

A lot of people inadvertently shoot a turkey that comes in to their deer feeder while deer hunting. As a kid, that’s how I shot probably my first seven to10 turkey. I started off at nine years old shooting them in the head with my deer rifle. However, that’s not the method of turkey hunting that we’re going to talk about today.

Over 60 years ago the only turkey call that I had ever seen or heard of was a wood box call. And I had only seen one! I’d read in hunting books as a kid about old timers making a turkey call out of a turkey’s wing bone but never heard how that one is made.

Back in those days there were no Turkey Calling seminars or YouTubes. Everything learned was by word of mouth. I didn’t even know anyone that hunted turkey in the Spring, much less anyone that knew how to call them.

In those days, the only decoys I ever heard of were duck and goose decoys. In fact, up to about 1988 I thought it was revolutionary when a buddy of mine made a cardboard antelope decoy. Now? There are decoys for everything. A couple of years ago when I was going on a Texas exotic hunt, Montana Decoys made an Aoudad sheep decoy to test out.

Now let’s fast forward 60 years. There is now an abundance of people that are dyed in the wool turkey hunters. And for good reason — because turkey hunting is a blast! Due to the popularity of turkey hunting, there is now a plethora of decoys, calls, camo, turkey hunting backpacks, chokes, turkey shells and turkey hunting shotguns.

At the 2024 SHOT Show Henry’s showed me their new single shot 12 gauge turkey shotgun. And .410 turkey shotguns? I couldn’t believe it. If you’ve ever hunted turkeys, then you know how tough they are. Yet they tell me that with the modern Bismuth shells that it is possible to kill a turkey with a .410.

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