Kyle Lairmore goes over my pattern as we prepare for this spring's turkey hunt.

Kyle Lairmore goes over my pattern as we prepare for this spring’s turkey hunt.

We’re closing in on the start of turkey hunting.  Following this past youth weekend, the spring season begins on April 20th, and I am ready to embark on my first turkey adventure.  Kyle Lairmore from the Missouri Department of Conservation will be my mentor again.  Just a few final preparations that need to take place before we go out into the field.

The first and most important…Getting a good pattern on your shotgun.

It’s important to get comfortable with the firearm you’ll be using, finding what fits best, plus the load that works best out of your shotgun. Turkeys, for the most part are a still target, so its important to test the firearm you are working with and to try different loads to see what has the best pattern and best chance at harvesting the bird.  If you don’t get a good pattern, you have the potential or missing or wounding the bird.  The goal of hunting is to put food on the table and so avoiding the breast meat with your shot is important, so getting on the range before your hunt helps narrow in your pattern for success.

That’s what we talk about on this next Google Hangout that you can watch below.

Also, here are some basic rules for avoiding accidents:
-Identify a turkey’s head and beard before aiming.
-Never shoot at sound or movement. Assume it is another hunter until you can clearly see a turkey’s head or beard.
-Wear hunter orange when walking through the woods.
-Use hunter orange to identify your hunting location.
-Wrap a bagged turkey or decoy in hunter orange when transporting it.
-Dress defensively. Never wear red, white, blue or black while hunting turkey.
-Be sure of your target and what lies beyond.
-Never follow the sound of a gobbling turkey or attempt to sneak up on turkeys. Always call turkeys to you.
-Sit against a large tree or other natural barrier to shield yourself from hunters approaching from the rear.
-Shout “STOP” when another hunter approaches. Don’t move, wave, whistle, or make turkey calls to get their attention.