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shooting my home raised turkey  RSS feed

 
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What are your thoughts and experiences with shooting my home raised turkey instead of hanging it?

Ive seen many people explain and give tips on hanging and then chopping the neck, similar to chickens. However, even though ive done this to chickens in the past this is the first bird from a baby that we will be killing and honestly Im not sure if I have it in me so chop of Mr Turkey Toms neck. Thats why we were thinking maybe shooting him would be easier. Especially since turkeys are hunted regularly.

Thoughts? Experience?  Tips?
TIA
 
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shooting will hurt more meat, you also have the possibility of missing.
 
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I can't see any problem with it, I assume you're talking about shooting it while it's held or restrained in some way. Just make sure the bullet will end up in something soft and not coming back at you. If you want to bleed it you'll need to be fast with the knife afterwards, but other than that I cannot see an issue.
While I have hunted lots of wild rabbits when it comes to killing tame ones I do it with the air rifle touching the head, no chance of missing I would treat the turkey the same way.
 
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Killing self-raised animals is always tough. No matter the method there is a bit of dread that leads up to it, and I never relish any kill, yet I KNOW after years of it, that after it is over, after the knife has been drawn, or the finger pulls the trigger, it is over and food is going on the table. It is okay, that is how it is done even if we do not see it happen in a slaughterhouse.

I think that is the best thing to know: no matter the length the farmer has been raising livestock, there is no thrill in the kill. But also know that the dread is also instantly gone.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Many people shoot wild turkeys without damaging much meat.  Use a shotgun with the proper shot size per your local gun/ammo place (non-lead ammo is probably preferred).  You probably don't need a "turkey load" because they're extra powerful to give you a bit more range but they kick like two mules and don't work in all guns.  Test fire at some plywood to see what pattern you get.  Adjust your distance till you get a good spread but close enough bb spacing.  A real turkey hunter would have a better suggestion but I'd aim for 6+ bb's per square inch. Once you know how far away to stand to have the pattern nice (tight bb spacing but good overall coverage so your aim isn't as critical), then you shoot Mr. Turkey in the head.  The goal is to obliterate his head and neck but miss the body.  They even sell targets for turkey hunters that show all the critical parts (brain, spinal cord, etc) and list how many bb's should be in the "kill zone".

Using a rifle seems more precise but you either have to hit the body and ruin some meat or risk a head shot on a target the size of a walnut that moves unpredictably.
 
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If you can get close enough, a head shot with a .22 will do the trick.  I've had to use this method a couple times, and it's fine.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Turkeys behave like chickens when turned upside down they calm down (was told this by a friend who raises and butchers both. So I went and verified he was not joking, it worked.)
That means you could use a killing cone that was turkey sized.
I think the option of a .22 to the head at Point Blank range is a good one as long as you know where the bullet will end up.

I use a .22 to harvest hogs, so I see no reason it wouldn't work on a turkey.
 
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Yeah, I would have to go With RedHawk's suggestions, either one, although I would be more sanguine with the killing cone method (I suppose anyone in spray range would end up more sanguine). I mean, no killing is going to be clean, and the target isn't going to be very large, even point-blank, so there's no option to increase your distance from the kill, which to my mind is the only benefit over the killing cone and a sharp knife. There's no loud noise, no turkey chaos if you miss your shot, and no hassle bleeding the bird, which I think has got to be your chief concern; considering you're killing this animal for its meat, you want to use as much of him as possible. Which pretty much does away with the idea of a gun being the better idea.

-CK
 
Wes Hunter
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Also: You don't have to chop the head off.  You could hang Tom by the feet and slice the neck to bleed him out.  He'd be no less dead, but it's a little less gruesome than removing his head entirely.  For that matter, to the original question, hanging the turkey up and bleeding him out seems more respectful than shooting him, even if shooting makes you feel slightly better in the short term.
 
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Turkey Hunter here.

Standard equipment is a shotgun with tight choke and ghost ring iron sights or red dot sight.  

Use a load with minimum B size shot if steel shot, #4 shot if lead, & #2 if bitsmuth.

Pattern the gun with the intended load and figure out the correct range to give a nice tight pattern and adjust the sights to line up exactly with the center of the pattern or "Bullseye High" if that is your preference.

"Nice Tight Pattern" varies in definition from Hunter to Hunter but I go for 80% of the shot in a 8" circle for the big 12ga. down to about a 4" circle for the 410-bore when it comes to turkey hunting.

Normally then it's then a matter of setting a good ground blind an calling a good Tom into position to make a good clean head/upper-neck shot.

With a turkey you raised yourself domestic rather then wild obviously no need for a blind or calling but do make a good clean safe shot with a safe backdrop.

Turkey hunting with bow and arrow equipped with a "guillotine broadhead" is also an option, but at least in my state hunting with a rifle 22 or otherwise is not legal for turkey but people have been known to poach them with a 22 shot to the head usually a subsonic load out of a long barrel scoped rifle with a plastic pop-bottle shoved over the muzzle to serve as a makeshift suppressor, they do the same thing with deer as well so if you can make the shot it would work.  Just don't do the pop bottle thing even if it would be nice for your neighbors; cops especially fed cops flip out about it.
 
Steve Smitherson
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Regardless of the method used, so long as it provides a humaine clean kill it's acceptable in my book.

Whatever your comfortable with that does that is good.

Heck one of my old girlfriends butchered a sheep with a Japanese sword via decapitation.  Freaked the daylights out of her neighbors and they called the cops on her but she verbally chewed them out off of her property in pretty quick order like only a woman like her could and the cops had to admit it did provide a quick clean kill and it was her sheep on her property and it was a part of living off the land that her neighbors were just going to have to get used to that goes along with rural country life.
 
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This was my first year raising a turkey(s). We used a 22 to the head. Shot was maybe 3ft away. We were outside the coop, shooting into it.

"Firsts" always come with unknowns.  While many here talked about the similarity with chickens, their size had me second guessing it. Their claws are huge. Their wing spread is huge.

Getting it out of the coop concerned me also(after the shot). We had to go past the big male to get her. Visions of it attacking me went thru my head.

Nothing happened though. We went in and retrieved the bird. The other turkeys didnt attack. It all went fine.

 
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My husband and I argued over this. I used a killing cone and severed the jugular with a very sharp knife. He wanted to shoot it with the .22. Our vet, who specializes in birds, heard out both sides and agreed that shooting it while it was restrained in a cone was the quickest and most humane method. It's never easy to kill an animal that I've raIsed,  but I know it grew up free-range, had some fun in its life and was part of a healthy flock. And I'm taking full responsibility for taking its life.
 
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Whatever the method, make it swift and sure. Say a prayer.  Hold the space. It's best if the animal doesn't know what's coming (as in shooting).  If turning the turkey upside down and cutting the throat, make sure your knife is razor sharp.   A friend did this with a dull knife once and it wasn't pretty.  If you shoot, make sure you kill it on the first try and have a care where the bullet might end up if it goes straight through.  It's always hard but if it's quick and painless it's not so bad.  If the animal gets spooked and freaks out, wait for another day.  And not just for the animal's sake. I think if they get upset they release hormones such as adrenaline and whatnot which will then be in the meat.  
 
Steve Smitherson
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Nancy Swanson wrote:. . . . . . I think if they get upset they release hormones such as adrenaline and whatnot which will then be in the meat.  



I can confirm that is true for mammals, not sure on others such as birds, reptiles, Etc.
 
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Jill Gardiner wrote:What are your thoughts and experiences with shooting my home raised turkey instead of hanging it?

Ive seen many people explain and give tips on hanging and then chopping the neck, similar to chickens. However, even though ive done this to chickens in the past this is the first bird from a baby that we will be killing and honestly Im not sure if I have it in me so chop of Mr Turkey Toms neck. Thats why we were thinking maybe shooting him would be easier. Especially since turkeys are hunted regularly.

Thoughts? Experience?  Tips?
TIA

\
Shooting by bullet or buckshot is just as bad for the bird, worse if you mess it up, and if you are a little nervous, the chances are greater that you will mess it up. Make a cone with a flowerpot and hang the cone at the right height for yourself. Hug Mr. Tom one last time and beg forgiveness if that will help. Pass the head through. Hold the head extended slightly, aim at the jugular and slice it in one go, just below the head. You may take advantage of the position to cut the head entirely. 2 seconds and Mr. Tom will not have any time to suffer. You do have to make sure your knife is sharp, because the skin does not have many feathers there, as would a chicken, so it will be over before Mr. Tom has a chance to say gobble gobble. Courage. You can do it!
 
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Just my 2 cents but bringing a gun into the equation doesn't sound good. A sharp knife won't miss and go thru the neighbors wall.
Years ago an old Portuguese dude told me that they feed Turkeys brandy when they kill 'em in the old country. He said it tenderizes them! Don't know if that's true but I give mine a pan of water and brandy on the day. I do know a good mouthful of Portuguese brandy takes the wobble out of my hand to make the process as quick and stress free as possible.
Another tip I have is to make sure the killing cone is big enough to suit the bird. The first year I raised broad breasted whites I used my trusty 5 gallon bucket w/ a hole in the bottom I'd used on Narragansetts. Long story short, waiting for a turkey to exhale is a b*tch.
 
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I don't have it in me either which is why I don't eat meat.  In my opinion the ecosystem services and companionship turkeys offer combined with the feeling of compassion that comes with not killing it is worth more to me than any meat in the freezer could ever be.  I just wanted to point out there is another option that no one has brought up yet.  
 
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Jill Gardiner wrote:What are your thoughts and experiences with shooting my home raised turkey instead of hanging it?
Thoughts? Experience?  Tips?
TIA


Late to the party, but Christmas is still coming! Soak bread in brandy or other strong alcohol and feed until very drunk, then slice jugular or decapitate. What helps me is to think about the fact that you have given this turkey a good life, filled with many happy days. For it to have one very bad day is, in sum, a pretty great life. And it is not even going to have one bad day--just one bad moment (and if it is stone drunk it may not even experience that!).
 
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It's a little late for this bird.  But, in the future you might not want to give names to animals you plan on eating.  Having grown up in western Kansas, I've been around a lot of farms, feed lots, hog operations, dairy farms, my uncle even kept 16,000 chickens for years.  People never named anything they planned on eating.
It is a lot easier to kill something if you haven't given it a name.
 
Wes Hunter
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Phil Swindler wrote:It's a little late for this bird.  But, in the future you might not want to give names to animals you plan on eating.  Having grown up in western Kansas, I've been around a lot of farms, feed lots, hog operations, dairy farms, my uncle even kept 16,000 chickens for years.  People never named anything they planned on eating.
It is a lot easier to kill something if you haven't given it a name.



Meh.  I dispute this line of thinking.  Give 'em all names (okay, individual and indistinguishable birds in a flock are exempted), care for them, love them, enjoy them, and learn to deal with the fact that we as humans live only by the deaths of other creatures (whether you eat meat or not).  Killing an animal that you love and care for is hard, and it should be, but that doesn't (in my opinion) excuse the attitude of treating it as just a handy little package of yet-to-be-eaten protein because it makes us feel a little better.
 
Jill Gardiner
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Hi All! Thanks for all the replies! I appreciate the input. Well, Tom has lived to see another day as I was purely not ready to make the kill, yet. But Christmas time is next up so I will be putting this advice to first hand use.

My next question about this debate is, whats the benefit of "letting the blood drain" after slicing the jugular?

Im still leaning towards the 22 to the head while upside down in cone.( still undecided may slit jugular with sharp knife). Im not worried about missing or shooting through a wall. I have ten acres off grid in the back country and a real nice spot I have in mind for the act. No "neighbors" around close enough to be of any concern. And yes ill probably be nervous but that just comes along with having a heart for animals I guess. I never have any problems while hunting wild game and never miss, even grouse. I am just trying to go through the steps of learning how to live off grid and killing what you raise is what im going through. We've killed chickens before and it wasnt a problem. First time turkey harvester here.
Thanks again for all the input! Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving!
 
Chris Kott
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Draining a harvested animal of blood is usually done to keep it from settling anywhere in the body, where it has the potential to negatively affect the taste of the flesh, as well as cause it to go bad sooner.

-CK
 
Phil Swindler
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Wes, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion.
I am in no way suggesting we mistreat the animals.  Take good care of them, feed and care for them as consistently with their natural habitat as you are able.
I just know, because I've been around it quite a bit, and done it myself a few times, it's a lot easier if you don't anthropomorphize them.
Somebody has to do the dirty deed.  It is a lot harder to be involved in that process is you have made friends with the animal.
 
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If you are having difficulty in harvesting an animal due to emotional ties I believe asking a friend of like minded habits who has no ties to the animal to do the harvesting is totally acceptable.  Offer to reciprocate should they need it done.  

A tip on overcoming the aversion to shooting your bird.  Prior to harvesting due some target practice on targets that look like Turkeys.  You will psychologically acclimate to pulling the trigger.  In a controlled environment a .22 to the head is easily accomplished and doesn't damage any meat. Good Luck.  
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:
While I have hunted lots of wild rabbits when it comes to killing tame ones I do it with the air rifle touching the head, no chance of missing I would treat the turkey the same way.



An air rifle makes sense to me. Why has no one else suggested an air rifle? Is it not used much in the US, or is there a reason metal ammunition is preferred by those that are suggesting shooting the bird (rather than using a kill cone and a knife to the jugular)?
 
Wes Hunter
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Annie Collins wrote:An air rifle makes sense to me. Why has no one else suggested an air rifle? Is it not used much in the US, or is there a reason metal ammunition is preferred by those that are suggesting shooting the bird (rather than using a kill cone and a knife to the jugular)?



I suggested a .22, on the assumption that the bird would be walking around, not restrained.  It seems foolish, to me, to shoot a bird in a kill cone when one could just use a knife.  And I suggested a .22 rather than an air rifle because I have a .22 but not an air rifle.
 
Wes Hunter
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Phil Swindler wrote:Wes, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion.
I am in no way suggesting we mistreat the animals.  Take good care of them, feed and care for them as consistently with their natural habitat as you are able.
I just know, because I've been around it quite a bit, and done it myself a few times, it's a lot easier if you don't anthropomorphize them.
Somebody has to do the dirty deed.  It is a lot harder to be involved in that process is you have made friends with the animal.



I didn't at all mean to imply that there was any mistreatment.  But I think that slaughtering an animal SHOULD be hard, because it is a serious thing, and to me it feels like skirting our responsibility as husbandmen (and -women) to act like it's less of a deal because it's a pig rather than Wilbur, say.  If you are too connected to an animal to kill it, maybe it's preferable to not eat it, rather than to in some way mask the fact that you're eating it.
 
Joe Sexton
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Phil Swindler wrote:Wes, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion.
I am in no way suggesting we mistreat the animals.  Take good care of them, feed and care for them as consistently with their natural habitat as you are able.
I just know, because I've been around it quite a bit, and done it myself a few times, it's a lot easier if you don't anthropomorphize them.
Somebody has to do the dirty deed.  It is a lot harder to be involved in that process is you have made friends with the animal.



Exactly. In my opinion you have to take the bitter with the sweet. If not, what's the sense of doing it in the first place? I hate killing with a passion but that's the price I have to pay to provide for myself. The animals get a good life & kind treatment for their entire life, a quick death and an apology for what I'm doing to them.
 
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PLEASE !!!  If you are not trained and practiced in the safe use of firearms, PLEASE do not use firearms for slaughter.   Guns are designed to be very effective at killing from a matter of a few yards distant to a mile or more, and they are capable of penetrating more intervening stuff than most people imagine.   Anyone who shoots a firearm without knowing that there is nothing in harms way between the gun and where they can be sure the bullet will stop is being reckless.    

Ok that being said, killing a DOMESTIC turkey for slaughter with a shotgun is MASSIVE OVERKILL and if done with a shotgun at close range with anything other than a head shot will likely destroy a great quantity of meat and make a gruesome mess.

If you must dispatch a small animal for any reason with a rifle.  If you cannot put the muzzle to the animal's head you must understand that the sights are above the muzzle and the bullet comes out anywhere from about 1/2 to 3 inches below the line of sight.  If the gun is sighted for targets at 50 yards or more, as the bullet comes out of the barrel, the bullet is typically 1/2 to 2 inches lower than the line of sight and won't be up to the line of sight for quite some distance.   So if you aim perfectly for the head of a turkey to kill it from a moderate distance the bullet will not likely hit where you are sighting, but an inch or so lower, and a turkey head is quite small relatively speaking and the chances of merely maiming the bird are high.  Of course a turkey that is walking will probably be moving its head simultaneously. This is not a recipe for a clean kill while the bird wanders about the yard in ignorant bliss.  

If you are going to shoot such farm animals in the head with a .22 and it is not something tough like a pig, you might want to see if you can purchase a type of  ammunition called a "CB Long".  They make about as much noise as an air rifle when fired in a locked breach rifle (Bolt, Lever, Pump actions, but not semi-auto)  In such a rifle the cartridge often makes less noise than the hammer falling.   They are also very short range, but very accurate and are intended for shooting garden pests where noise would be a problem. Guns specifically made for these 22 rimfire cartridges are sometimes know as "garden guns" for their intended purpose of quietly dispatching garden pests in populated areas.  Yes you can kill pigs with a .22 shot to the head but I cannot recommend less than a 22 "long rifle" cartridge to assure a humane kill in case your accuracy is less than perfect.   And for a humane kill you should get advice from someone who knows where to place the shot !!!  

I have had to dispatch terminally ill cats and the CB Long's do very well but are probably not the choice if the pet is a dog.   There are other CB cartridges besides the CB Long  called CB caps, but they do not feed through most gun mechanisms for which reason the CB long was developed.  They may have the same power but the CB cap is much shorter do to no need for a large supply of gun powder.  

The air rifle option is viable, but they have an even worse time with the sighting issue I mentioned, and any of the hunting Air rifles suitable for deer, need to be treated with every bit of the respect that you would give a gunpowder firearm.

If you have emotional issues about dispatching your hand raised livestock, you may not be in a good mental state for safety in handling a firearm !!! and depending on other factors, the firearm can make for a very gruesome mess if not done with skill.

I suspect that if you are inexperienced with using a killing cone and knife that you might want to substitute a pruning lopper for the knife.  It will keep your hand about 2 feet from the cutting blade and like wise give you the same distance from the source of the spurting blood.   One quick stroke of the handles and the entire head is severed.

 
Steve Smitherson
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In response to "Don Goddard" post above:

+1 on first paragraph about firearm safety.

2nd paragraph = Head / Upper-Neck shot is always the standard shot on wild turkeys, you don't ever shot for the body unless your dumb enough to not know any better.  Would be same if you used on domestic turkey.

2nd & 3rd paragraph = Shotgun is not a matter of overkill but rather a matter of both safety (A load of shot carries dangerous energy far less of a distance then any standard power 22 rimfire load much less 22-lr (third up on the scale of standard power 22 rimfire loads after 22-short & 22-long) and it also ensures a hit on the moving head of a turkey since your covering the head and upper neck of the bird with a fist size to paper plate size pattern rather then trying to put a single little projectile into a single little head that is a moving target.  This also pretty much mitigates the whole hitting below the sights issue at short range that you correctly point out is an issue with a rifle.

4th paragraph = Totally agree CB loads are definitely a good option for 22 rimfire for reducing safety problems and keeping the noise down.  It should be noted though that the long version will usually work in a semi-auto the just won't cycle the action so you just work the gun like a straight pull bolt action and have to manually chamber the next round for the next shot.

5th paragraph = if you have to take down a larger animal but still need to be somewhat quiet then 60gr. SSS rounds are an option.  They are a very heavy very long bullet loaded in a 22-short case with the equivalent of a full power 22-short gunpowder loading but the bullet is so long and heavy and sticks so far out the front that the cartridge is as long as a long rifle cartridge and developes full long rifle chamber pressures because it is trying to push such a heavier then normal bullet weight down the barrel.  The result is a sub-sonic load that due to having the smaller amount of gunpowder and not having a super-sonic crack is still much quieter then a normally 22-lr shot but hits just as hard due to the extra heavy bullet.  The slower heavier bullet has a lot more drop over range but within 50 yards or less they can be very good.  Note, not every gun will shoot the extra heavy bullets accurately so always take those 60gr. SSS loads to the target range first.

6th paragraph & In Response to "Annie Collins" = Turkeys are tough birds, very few .177 caliber Airguns are going to give a sure humaine kill, even many .22 caliber airguns will be a little iffy, and larger and more powerful Airguns then 22 caliber are not exactly the most common things that just anyone has laying around where as shotguns and 22 rimfire powder burners are nearly as common as dirt in rural America.

7th paragraph = Can't really argue with any of your points here and pretty much agree.  With the one caviot that there are a lot of 22 rimfire paper punchers out there that can shoot the caps off of bottles all day long and I've seen a few who routinely line up their empty 22 rimfire cases as targets to be knocked down by their next shots and have no problems doing that safely but have never or rarely actually killed a real living animal with a gun and if envisioning Mr. Turkey's head as just another target to knock down is what allows them to get the job done in a way they are comfortable and confident in doing then who am I to say ñà!

8th paragraph = Good idea on the pruning lopper! I suspect any kind of large powerful shearing tool would a decent substitute for a knife for a quick clean humaine decapitation with the turkey upside down in a killing cone.
 
Don Goddard
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>>> 2nd & 3rd paragraph = Shotgun is not a matter of overkill but rather a matter of both safety ...and it also ensures a hit on the moving head of a turkey.  <<<
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My mind set in my response was based on rejecting the concept of just picking off the turkey as it wandered about the yard but rather shooting from a matter of inches away.    If the Turkey is half wild and skittish then the longer shot may be justified.   However the potential for damage using the shotgun is far greater if something unintended is hit.  By comparison of the 22 and the 12 gague, the amount of energy released by the shotgun is awesomly greater, but the recoil of the gun should make that obvious.


>>>  load of shot carries dangerous energy far less of a distance then any standard power 22 rimfire load much less 22-lr<<<
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At really close ranges (i.e. farm yard) the potential for hitting something that the shot will ricochet off of, (e.g. rock in the ground etc is arguably higher especially as the shot pattern starts t spread.

>>> Totally agree CB loads are definitely a good option....   ... It should be noted though that the long version will usually work in a semi-auto the just won't cycle the action so you just work the gun like a straight pull bolt action and have to manually chamber the next round for the next shot. <<<
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However they will sometimes freequently cycle the action enough to open the breech (hence much more noise) but not enough to eject the spent case, let alone enough to feed a new round and the ease of clearing a jamed case varies considerably depending on the gun.

>>> ...........60gr. SSS rounds are an option.  They are a very heavy very long bullet loaded in a 22-short case with the equivalent of a full power 22-short gunpowder loading but the bullet is so long and heav ....... <<<
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You got me on that one,  That is a designation and round that I have never encountered before.   I will have to check that one out.   For the benefit of those who have little firearm experience I will reiterate that any time a semi-automatic action is used (or even a revlover) the escape of gasses at the breech end of the barrel will make any of the CB's comparably loud as any of the full loads.  The locked breech of Bold, lever and pump  actions as well as certain single shots is virtually necessary for silence as well as barrel length.

>>>  very few .177 caliber Airguns are going to give a sure humaine kill, even many .22 caliber airguns will be a little iffy, and larger and more powerful Airguns then 22 caliber are not exactly the most common things that just anyone has laying around <<<
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True enough about adequacy if by "airgun" one is thinking of a Daisy BB gun (albeit if such is put "muzzle to head" some of those might suffice.   I have to admit that I was thinking of spring/piston driven  air rifles.  But I have found that those will quickly dispatch a rabbit or similar size animal from 50 feet with a well placed shot, and mentioned such as an effective choice if one happened to have one, and would likely suffice if one had any legal disability to own a fire arm and could have such an air rifle.

>>> Can't really argue with any of your points here and pretty much agree.  .......... there are a lot of 22 rimfire paper punchers ..........have never or rarely actually killed a real living animal with a gun .........if envisioning Mr. Turkey's head as just another target to knock down is what allows them to get the job done in a way they are comfortable and confident in doing then who am I to say ñà! <<<
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As long as it is done swiftly and humainly and safely I have to agree.   and using a firearm only suffers from an element of added risk.  If one is aware of the risks and adequately addresses them there should be no problem and it can be done safely.  The additional problem that arises however when the person is not adequately experienced and does not realize the necessary and adequate precautions and how to take them.   and the situation may be further complicated by the large number of "Back to the Landers / Permies/etc." who are by nature "gentle folk" who may approach such a task with emotional trepidation.   Whereas an ethical hunter who understands the concepts of a humane kill and how to accomplish it may not have that impediment.  Having taken a significant amount of wild game, and also having to dispatch numerous preditors and vermin, and euthanize several terminal suffering beloved pets, the task still gives me pause.

>>> Good idea on the pruning lopper!  <<<
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The Lopper I have is a "bypass cutter" type where the sharp blade passes by a  somewhat hook shaped unsharpened blade with a slicing action, and I believe that would be far superior to the type that uses a straigt blade running against a soft metal (e.g. brass) "anvil"  with a crushing action until the blade makes a cut.    Either type the blade needs to be sharp and that can easily be accomplished if the blade is honed from time to time.  The one I use is made by Fiskars and has a Gear type drive of the blade and and is the longer handled one with 24 inch handles and can fairly readily lop off a 2 inch oak branch if the wood is green.  See image attached below for the loppers that I have.

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It occurs to me that in considering the use of a 22 in the case of birds there is another option that could work very well with "point  blank" range shots.  That is .22 caliber shot shells..  These are small shot gun shells that can be fired in at .22 rimfire and use very fine shot ( #12 shot) sometimes called "rat shot" or "snake shot"  the ammunition can be even used indoors for shooting vermin in far buildings.   Years ago my brother and I used this ammunition to clean out an infestation of pigeons in a barn and what we did not actually shoot fled through gaps in the boards only to fall to the land owner waiting outside with a 12 gage   The shot is effective on such birds and yet would not break the glass in the window at the top of the loft where the pigeons had their main access opening.   Shot at a range of just a few feet there should be no problem dispatching fowl safely and swiftly.  However from my experience it could not be used on guinea fowl as it is difficult to get that close to them.





Loppers.jpg
[Thumbnail for Loppers.jpg]
Fiskars Bypass Geared Loppers
 
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