Kent has patterned poorly for me. Longbeard XR, while not heavier than lead shot, is still a great performer for the price!
Yeah that Hevi Shot Magnum blend patterned well but it's over $30 for 5 shells. Think I'm sticking to Longbeard.
Hopefully the red dot sight takes care of that. The longbeard pattern is still slightly left in the above pics, I'll adjust that now that I've decided to shoot the longbeards. My 3" shells are really like 3.25" as wellI would say the only complaint about the Longbeard XR is that it creates a VERY tight pattern at close distances, making it easy to miss. If you’re expecting a closer shot in tight timber situations, you can consider a more open choke, patterned ahead of time at those distances. Or, do what Native does and shoot an over and under, one barrel with a turkey choke, the other with an IC or more open choke for close range shots.
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After you call gobblers in, you may need to chase them further away to get them to the correct range.I shot at 30 and 40, and I like the nice even pattern. Did have to make a small adjustment to my truglo sight, but I feel like my POI now matches my POA very nicely.
Now it’s time for the season to arrive.
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I've seen 2 that were part of the same flock in an area I used to hunt. That was about 12 years ago or so. Haven't hunted there in a long time.
I'm with you on not shooting any hens, beard or no. What are you seeing with jakes whooping up on gobblers? I've read that too many Jake's are bad but don't have much experience in this.Our state has a grey area when it comes to what is considered "legal". A "legal" bird is having at least a 6" beard or a none broken fan. Meaning if a hen's beard is 6" or greater it could very well be in trouble. Not on my place though. Hens are protected at all costs along with making sure we have enough male birds to successfully breed the hens. I run a camera survey for turkeys just like I do deer. We can argue all day long about whether it helps or not but I have seen first hand my population explode along with the quality of hunts we have. Hands down the single best thing we have done is waged an all out war on nest predators. Raccoons, possums and skunks receive no mercy. I just wish I was smarter than a coyote and bobcat. But I find there's not many things in the woods that can catch a grown turkey. The second best thing is making sure I have a good age group of turkeys. I try to have more gobblers than jakes. It makes for a lot more fun hunts when gobblers aren't scared of a group of jakes whooping up on them. You might ask how did I accomplish this. Easy, I protected and didn't kill any gobblers for the first 5 years on my place and when we started I made sure we were only killing the oldest most mature birds around. Yes you can tell a difference. If not, just like deer hunting don't pull the trigger. Our population is now sustaining and even growing were most places in my state are declining. I know this for fact due to the amount of time I spend chasing outlaws off my places. None the less it is nice to see a species benefit from the work you do.
Since we have gotten our nest predators under control we have had some really good hatches the past couple of years. Half of a hen's eggs will be male and the other half female. Jakes will group together pretty much all season and never break apart. If you don't have a good number of gobblers around those gangs of jakes will whoop up on a gobbler. If he gets whooped enough he will stay silent because anytime he would gobble jakes will show up. I've also seen it where a jake decoy will send that gobbler running to another county. You have enough gobblers around and they'll stick together in pairs at least or the jakes will be scared of the mature birds since they've been whooped before. Leads to a lot more gobbling and competition for hens in the woods the more mature birds you have. It makes for a fun time in the woods. Eventually the jakes grow into longbeards and the cycle starts over again. On years where we don't have a good hatch we will limit our harvests that following spring to keep the numbers up and the ratio intact. Jakes will breed hens but like yearling deer they're not that experienced in it and it can lead to unfertilized eggs or hens being left un-bred. I'm sure there's some biologist that can prove me wrong but he's never stepped on my property and experienced what I have and witnessed first hand. All I know is that my property is the bee's knees when it comes to turkey hunting in the area and it isn't by chance. Just like deer, everything we do has some species in mind whether its deer, turkey, quail or fox squirrels.I'm with you on not shooting any hens, beard or no. What are you seeing with jakes whooping up on gobblers? I've read that too many Jake's are bad but don't have much experience in this.