Moderator: Stephanie Bernardo
hawglips wrote:This is always an interesting topic.
Another part of the dilemma is put in a nutshell with a statement in Clark's article that says:
"From the earliest days, 40 yards was established to be the furthest an ethical hunter should shoot ..."
Obviously, 40 yards in the earliest days, with the shells used then, was pushing the envelope, with a much higher chance of crippling the bird than, say, taking a 50 yard shot today my 28 gauge and handloads with the high density shot. So, 40 yards is an arbitrary number, nothing more, and should never be considered the standard. It was too far to ethically shoot at a turkey back in the earliest days, and it's too far to ethically shoot today, if someone is still using a gun/choke/ammo combination reminiscent of those days.
An ethical turkey hunter will know the limitations of gun/choke/ammo combination, and his own shooting ability, and will stay within them. Any other arbitrary standard is just that, an arbitrary standard. If someone chooses to shoot far less than the kill-them-every-time-at-that-range limitations of their own setup, that is a choice, nothing more, and shouldn't pretend that the arbitrary standard is the standard that determine one's ethics. We all choose how much or how little we want to handicap ourselves in the turkey woods, and that shouldn't be confused with ethics.
Traditional turkey hunting (locating, setting up on, and calling them into shotgun range) has always been a call-them-in-close type game, and should remain so, IMO. But I'm a traditional style hunte, and am speaking from that perspective. But "close" is in the eye of the beholder, and since very few hunters can actually tell exactly how far a turkey is out there, the ethical hunter will have plenty of cushion built into his setup to make sure any turkey he shoots at is humanely dispatched.