Taking a muzzleloader turkey hunting

Thread starter #1

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
I've decided to try to take a bird with my T.C. Hawken. It's plenty accurate enough to kill a bird out to about 80 yards with my deer load.

My question is, where should I try to hit the bird? With a shotgun, I always aim for center neck. Of course this would be a low percentage shot with the Hawken. I definitely don't want to ruin a lot of meat, and have read that even big conicals that hit the body cause little meat damage, unless you put one through the breast.

Where would you aim?
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
The meat is down low. If you hit him 2/3 high or on the upper tip of the wing (broadside), you'll be good. DRT.
 
Thread starter #5

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
"The meat is down low. If you hit him 2/3 high or on the upper tip of the wing (broadside), you'll be good. DRT."

That's what I've read, also. Worst case is I lose a little meat off the wings and back (where there isn't hardly any meat at all on on a wild bird!)
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
For as many as I have killed past shotgun range (not that many), I have been duped by just as many close up birds that I couldn't get a shot on for them being too jumpy, too close and fast, or only having their head up over a slight rise or log or obstruction.
 
Thread starter #7

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
I've only killed three or four turkeys -- ever! To me, turkey hunting is not about me making a kill. It's about me being able to call a gobbler within killing range, whether I shoot him, or one of my sons or a friend I'm calling for shoots him, is irrelevant to me.

I've become pretty popular with my friends who want to shoot turkeys, but suck at calling them.

So, if tomorrow I am able to call in a bird and don't kill him because I miss with my Hawken, so be it. I don't care (as long as I don't wound him and lose him). The fact that I got the shot would make it a successful hunt.

Putting meat on the table is simply gravy!
 

Gator89

Senior Member
There are some folks on the single action forum that post about shooting turkeys with their six-guns. Shooting a turkey with ML rifle ought not to be much more damaging than a 45 Colt slug.

I have seen turkeys killed in the fall by deer hunters using 243's, 30-30's, etc., still enough meat to eat.
 

Darkhorse

Senior Member
I've killed 2 with a .54 round ball years ago before I built a .40 caliber flintlock spec'd out to be my turkey rifle. Basically the ball doesn't expand and there is little ruined meat.
The place to shoot them is the wing butt. The breast and leg meat is all lower so you might clip the upper breast but it really won't waste much meat.
Click the photo to enlarge it.


These drawings show where the vitals are located.


I haven't tried a head shot yet but I've practiced the shot and I'm pretty confident I can make the shot at 50 yards. If one will hold the head still long enough.


My rifle is a Lancaster style it has a Rice .40 caliber swamped barrel, tuned Large Siler flintlock by Jim Chambers and set triggers. I built it around 15 years ago to be my turkey rifle.
I also have a .54 Lancaster I built 20 years ago to be a big game rifle. When I built the .40 I made a real effort to make it as close as possible to the .54 "One rifle, one man"
 
I have killed a couple with a 45 caliber muzzle loader. I was taught to shoot them just above the drum sticks. They can not run or fly if you take out their running gear. Plus their vitals sit kinda low in the body.
 
I've killed 2 with a .54 round ball years ago before I built a .40 caliber flintlock spec'd out to be my turkey rifle. Basically the ball doesn't expand and there is little ruined meat.
The place to shoot them is the wing butt. The breast and leg meat is all lower so you might clip the upper breast but it really won't waste much meat.
Click the photo to enlarge it.


These drawings show where the vitals are located.


I haven't tried a head shot yet but I've practiced the shot and I'm pretty confident I can make the shot at 50 yards. If one will hold the head still long enough.


My rifle is a Lancaster style it has a Rice .40 caliber swamped barrel, tuned Large Siler flintlock by Jim Chambers and set triggers. I built it around 15 years ago to be my turkey rifle.
I also have a .54 Lancaster I built 20 years ago to be a big game rifle. When I built the .40 I made a real effort to make it as close as possible to the .54 "One rifle, one man"
Sweet rifle
 
Thread starter #13
It's all academic now. Didn't see anything, or even hear anything. It's like all our turkeys left the county.

I thought this would be a perfect morning --crisp, clear, rising barometer, not much wind -- everything turkeys usually like to make them gobble.

I thought wrong!
 
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