Or use iron sights, small targets and tight choke tubes demand it - I could just cry.
I've been hunting the same gobbler for 2 years and he’s always gotten the best of me, mainly because I haven’t wanted to push him too hard. I know it’s the same bird because he lives up in the corner of the property on a 15 acre peninsula on the river that’s surrounded by cotton fields across the river and open CRP on our side and there’s never more than 1 gobbler and 5 hens in there.
Last weekend I roosted him, and snuck in on him on Saturday morning. Had him going ape **** on the tree and heard him fly down, predicted the trail he’d use after finding all his strut marks in the sand on the road I was using to go in and out. The hens started flying down all around me and I could hear him coming. Got my gun up and waited. Heard him drumming and looked over and he’s at 12. Squeeze the trigger and the gun doesn’t fire. I start mashing on the trigger and it just won’t shoot.
I know it’s loaded. I checked the action, the bolt was closed, double checked the safety … it was off … and now he’s at 25 yards strutting away from me, I’m panicking. Out of pure desperation I crank another shell into the gun thinking maybe I’ve got a dud in the breach and line up to fire on a now moving away rapidly target and basically take the feathers off his back without hitting anything vital and he flies off, PROBABLY never to be seen again. 2 years of working that damn bird down the drain to a gun malfunction. I’m absolutely sick to my stomach.
Damn thing probably weighed 28 pounds with a 12” plus beard as big around as my wrist at the bottom. Absolutely the biggest bird I’ve ever seen.
The wrost part of it is, I patterend the gun on Sunday and found out at 30 yards I have a 5" pattern. Might explain the basic wiff ...