How in the Hell Do You Miss a Turkey

How in the Hell Do You Miss a Turkey Outdoor Life

How to Miss a Turkey

Whitetail bucks, antelope, and bull elk can all evade your arrow or shot due to various circumstances. But what about turkeys? With a souped-up turkey gun loaded with the hottest TSS loads, how is it possible to miss a turkey within 40 yards? Surprisingly, even the most experienced turkey hunters miss more often than you might think.

Missing a turkey is particularly painful because of the effort that goes into calling and luring the gobbler, only to waste a shot and watch him escape. Sometimes, it’s obvious what caused the miss, like hitting a sapling that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Other times, the reasons are inexplicable. These misses are simply chalked up to “I don’t know what happened.”

Most Common Reasons for Missing a Turkey:

  • Taking your head off the gun while shooting.
  • Shooting without carefully aiming.
  • Using a super-tight turkey choke that creates a small pattern at close range.
  • Misjudging a strutting tom’s body position.
  • Being overwhelmed by gobbler fever and flinching while pulling the trigger.
  • Closing your eyes or flinching right before shooting.

The best and worst thing about missing a turkey is that it’s not a one-time occurrence. Even the most skilled hunters have experienced misses that haunt them forever. However, missing with friends somehow lessens the disappointment, creating lasting memories and inside jokes.

Missing Too Fast

Imagine sitting in anticipation as a group of turkeys, including a giant gobbler, surrounds you at only 20 yards. You wait patiently, staying perfectly still for what feels like an eternity. But when the opportunity finally comes, you fail to react swiftly enough, resulting in the turkeys walking away unharmed. This type of miss can be devastating, especially when you’ve put in significant effort to get into the perfect position.

How in the Hell Do You Miss a Turkey Outdoor Life

The Sight Malfunction

Picture this: you’ve managed to locate and call a longbeard in the timber. He’s responding eagerly and closing the distance fast. As he emerges in full strut at less than 25 yards, you prepare to take the shot. However, a malfunction with your red dot sight throws off your aim, covering the entire bird with a blinding brightness. Desperate to salvage the situation, you attempt to shoot anyway, but the bird remains unharmed. To make matters worse, your semi-auto turkey gun doesn’t properly cycle for a follow-up shot. These equipment failures can dash your hopes of a successful hunt.

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The Wrong Tree

Imagine spending hours scouting for the perfect spot, only to set up on the wrong tree. That’s what happened to Aaron Warbritton when he roosted a gobbler in Missouri. Despite realizing the mistake, he convinced himself to stay, resulting in a missed shot opportunity due to poor positioning. The takeaway? Good setups are essential for successful shots.

The Miss That Wasn’t

One of the worst misses can happen when a turkey is within range, and you make a perfect shot. You confidently approach the downed bird, only to have it unexpectedly jump up and fly off. It leaves you shocked and bewildered, with no explanation for the escape. This type of miss can leave you questioning your skills and abilities as a hunter.

Ultimately, missing a turkey is an experience that every hunter is bound to encounter. Each miss comes with its own unique story and lessons to be learned. Whether it’s keeping your head down on the gun, shooting with accuracy, ensuring your equipment functions properly, setting up in the right spot, or waiting until the bird is truly down, there are numerous factors to consider in your quest for a successful turkey hunt.