John's Journal...


How I Play The Game - Rules #4-7

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: When hunting with my black-powder shotgun, I always wait until the bird comes in 10 to 12 yards closer to me than I do if I hunt with a conventional shotgun. My killing ground becomes 10 to 20 yards. I've chosen to play the game of hunting turkeys with black powder this way because I've bagged enough gobblers that I don't need to shoot every tom I spot. I consider playing the game fairly more important than bagging a bird. The rules I set up for hunting a tom with black powder help to stack the odds even more heavily in the turkey's favor.

Rule #4: I Cock The Hammer And Prepare For The Shot When The Bird Reaches 40 Yards Or More Away:
Click to enlarge I don't put my finger on the trigger until the turkey approaches 20 yards. When I reach for the trigger, I want to look down the barrel and be ready to make the shot.

Rule #5: I Use A Nipple Guard And A Muzzle-Protector In Rain Or Heavy Dew:
Then I'm insuring that the powder won't become wet and not go off when I pull the trigger. The nipple guard fits over the top of the nipple because of its hard, plastic, cylinder-like shape. Even if the hammer falls, the nipple guard will keep the cap from firing. The nipple guard also helps to seal out moisture on rainy days. Over the muzzle, I usually use a finger cot that Click to enlargeI buy at a drugstore. You can roll this small, latex-rubber cylinder over the end of the barrel to prevent moisture from getting to the powder.

Rule #6: I Carry Speed-Loaders With Pre-Measured Shot And Powder:
Then if I need to re-load in the field, I won't have to carry a powder horn, a shot bag and a measuring device with me.

Rule #7: I Enjoy The Turkey Before I take Him:
I like to watch gobblers strut, drum and show off their feathers. I enjoy having the turkeys close and making them come to the spots where I want to take them. For this reason, I often see more gobblers than I Click to enlargeshoot with black powder. I've had turkeys come into my 18-yard killing ground that have turned and walked off before I've hurried off a shot. If a gobbler gets in and out of the killing zone, I won't rush the shot because I want time to enjoy looking at the bird.

To learn more about turkey hunting, call Night Hawk Publications, (205) 967-3830 or write 4112 Camp Horner Road, Birmingham, AL 35243 to order John E. Phillips' three turkey-hunting books, "Turkey Hunting Tactics," "The Master's Secrets to Turkey Hunting" and "Outdoor Life's Complete Book of Turkey Hunting." You can visit to read book excerpts.


Check back each day this week for more about GETTING LUCKY ON TURKEYS WITH BLACK POWDER

Day 1: The Enjoyment and Challenge of Hunting Turkeys with Black Powder
Day 2: How to Solve Black-Powder Turkey-Hunting Problems
Day 3: How I Play The Game of Turkey Hunting with Black Powder - Rules #1-3
Day 4: How I Play The Game - Rules #4-7
Day 5: What To Do When All Else Fails



Entry 294, Day 4