Shooting through brush?

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JPH
 
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Shooting through brush?

Postby JPH » March 25th, 2009, 5:52 am

We all agree that turkey loads have come a long, long way. Most of the conversations we have about shot selection involve range. But what about shooting in cover?
 
How much brush are you willing to shoot through?

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby Cut N Run » March 25th, 2009, 7:18 am

Trees big enough to sit up against are at a premium where we hunt, so during the winter & early spring, I go around with some big loppers to cut a few shooting lanes near the better ones (that's what I was doing this past weekend). That pruning helps prevent having to shoot through brush most times, but turkeys seldom play by the rules. I've shot many a small tree in half because my focus was on the bird and not on the surrounding cover.  I usually look for the most open area the turkey is headed for and PUTT on my diaphragm to stop him for a good shot when he is in the (relative) clear.
 
I found if you change too much too fast, it can make the birds nervous in that area (until they get used to it). That's why I do the majority of my pruning in the winter and then follow up with some fine tuning right when the trees start to leaf out.
 
If the bird is in cover that's too thick, I'll let him walk for a better chance later.  It is better to hold off than take a questionable or bad shot. I pass up questionable shots every year which forced me to eat a tag last season (first time in a long time I didn't tag out).  I do the same thing deer hunting and I have only lost one deer since 1977. I prefer those slam-dunk shots.
 
Jim 
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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby allaboutshooting » March 25th, 2009, 1:03 pm

Hey Joseph,

This is a very timely topic and a good one to discuss as the season is just beginning.

I just don't shoot through brush. I may shoot through an opening in some brush but I've found that it doesn't take much to deflect shot and disrupt a pattern.

I too have concentrated so much on a bird that I've failed to see a sapling out in front of me. I've sat in disbelief when a gobbler has run or flown off, when I was sure he was going down for the count.

Now, I really look around when I'm seated and clear any brush in front of my gun. If the bird goes behind brush, he's safe, at least from me.

Good topic.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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Fan Club
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby Fan Club » March 25th, 2009, 2:02 pm

I won't shoot through brush and take a chance on wounding a turkey, and I have a lot of confidence in my rig...(gun/choke/ammo)
 
If I have to pass, he just lives to be hunted another day.
 
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mark hay
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby mark hay » March 25th, 2009, 2:12 pm

i'll let him walk if the only shot he presents is IFFY due to dense brush. i use the brush or thicket edges to make the bird go where i want him ,,,,no it don't always work ,,,but i prefer thick over open timber . and i agree it doesn't take a very big twig to deflect a pellet or many pellets .

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JPH
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby JPH » March 25th, 2009, 3:15 pm

I am with the rest of of you in that I would rather not risk wounding a bird by shooting through brush. I do shoot a particularly suped-up load and even if I did, twigs can knock down a lot of shot. I prefer to pick out holes in the tanglefoot and try to let him walk into a kill-zone.

That being said, I will take a shot that may be slightly screened by tall grass or very light understory if I am at close range. My rule has always been that if I can CLEARLY see his head and neck, I can shoot.

I have guided a few first time turkey hunters who passed on excellent shots because there were a few blades of tall grass waving between them and their target. It is an excellent sign that they would error on the side of caution, but inside of 20 yds., a little grass is not an problem, IMO.

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Steve_In
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby Steve_In » March 25th, 2009, 6:42 pm

Very early in my turkey hunting I passed on a huge tom screened by some rather thick briars.  He just wouldn't step out in the open.  I can still hear him drumming.  Took 4 more years to get my first.  No regrets here.  I think his spurs were longer than my first Jake's beard.[:D]
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey

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shaman
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby shaman » March 26th, 2009, 2:32 am

I'm shooting Federal #4's.  It has that Flight Control wad thingy.    In the first 10 yards, that thing is a bullet. Most of my shots end up with the wad hitting the bird. So you're not talking about deflecting part of a shot string, you're deflecting the whole load.  I'm also sighting through a scope; the parallax induced by the scope and its mount means I have to be conservative in judging what will and won't deflect a shot. Bottom line:  I'm careful.  

There are a bunch of old-schoolers that can't stand the idea of a scope.  I simply don't have the eyes to do precision shooting with beads or irons anymore. Scopes can be a problem close in, and they offer challenges of their own. One of the big problems is parallax.  The crosshairs are quite a ways off the center of the barrel. As a result, where I'm looking isn't quite the path the shot is going to take.  Where I'm looking is a straight line. Where the shot is going starts lower and works itself gradually up towards the line of sight.  The other problem with a scope is that objects close in will appear dramatically out of focus. As a result a little transluscent blob in the lower half of the scope may be just a leaf, or it may be a huge branch. If I'm in brush, one trick I try to do is to close the eye that's on the scope and give one last look through the other eye to scope out obstructions before actually commiting to the shot.

The vast majority of my setups reflect that.  I'm usually in a treeline, shooting out into a pasture or clearing.  I rely on the tall grass at the edge and the shadows behind to hide me. 

I have a guess, and it's only a guess. I'll throw it out for discussion.  My  guess  is that there is enough of a pressure wave in front of the shot string that things like grass are going to lay down at close range.  Anything that won't lay down will probably screw up the shot.  As you get further out,  the situation reverses.  The benefit of a shotgun's spread works in your favor-- a twig will deflect individual shot, but not a large percentage of the total.  On the other hand, if the shot string encounters grass at the longer end of its range. The grass  will now do a better job of screening the gobbler.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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grizzly
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby grizzly » March 26th, 2009, 2:52 am

being i hunt on my land i kind of hunt turkeys like i hunt deer there are spots where i have had better luck then others in  these spots i'll pick the best set up spot sit down at the tree and look around to see if any brush will block my veiw out to 30 yards if there is i trim it out turkey season starts may 1st so i'll do this first week in april anf i'll have 5 to 6 differnt spots i feel any thing that blocks your shot is taking away form your pattern and that might mean the differance of a clean kill or wounding shot
 
 

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Fan Club
 
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RE: Shooting through brush?

Postby Fan Club » March 26th, 2009, 5:07 am

I shoot Federal #4s as well. I just found a box of NOS (New Old Stock) pre-flite control at an out of the way gun shop and plan to A/B the patterns this spring. I do shoot a ported choke tube and according to Clark and the common consensus, flite control doesn't work well with ports. I haven't had any turkeys get away in the 5 or so years since the flite control came out so I've got a feeling that it's just splitting hairs.
 
I'm with you on the prep, Grizz. Over the years I've located a half dozen sweet spots on our lease and I make a point of trimming them out on the first day so I can utilize any of them the rest of the week by just slipping in.
 
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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