Spring is in the air and that means turkey season is right around the corner. As an airgun hunter just wrapping up squirrel and predator seasons, it’ll be nice to sleep in on weekends or not be roaming fields in the middle of the night for fox or coyote. But for a few fortunate folks who live in the handful of states that allow the pursuit of turkey with an air rifle, the real fun – and challenge – is about to begin.
Where should gobblers beware the hunter with an airgun? It may surprise you but California is top of the list, along with Maryland (Fall only), Michigan and Virginia. As always, check your own local and state regulations to confirm legality in your area.
Now that we have your attention, what gun should you hunt with? Bill Karr of Western Outdoor News in the photo above used a Benjamin Trail XL 1100. This .22 caliber break barrel rifle delivers over 28 foot pounds of energy (FPE) and is capabile of dispatching a nice tom out to 25 yards. It’s .25 caliber brethren, the Trail XL 725, sends just over 32 FPE downrange and increases the shooter’s effective range to over 30 yards.
The full lineup of Benjamin PCP rifles are qualified for turkey:
- Discovery .22, 22.9 FPE – 20 yard range
- Marauder .177, 15.8 FPE – 10 yard range
- Marauder .22, 22.9 FPE – 20 yard range
- Marauder .22 PISTOL, 15.5 FPE – 10 yard range
- Marauder .25, 42 FPE – 30 yard range
- Rogue .357, 155.9 – 211 FPE – 110 yard range
*Ranges are determined by ballistics and the accuracy of the shooter. Your experience and competency level may yield different expectations. Click here for a copy of the Crosman Airgun and Capabilities Chart. Headshots are the recommended kill zone for turkey.
Brad Webb, prostaff for Benjamin, has completed the U.S. Wild Turkey Slam by taking one of every species: Merriam, Osceola, Rio Grande and Eastern. He offers these tips for airgunners, “Face your decoys away from your hunting location rather than towards, so the turkeys focus on where the decoy is looking, which is away from you. Hunting from a blind can allow you more concealment and lets you move if you need to. Use a shooting stick because you only have a single projectile and need to be very confident that you are directing your shot toward the head/neck region. Do *not* aim for feathers with an airgun!”
Our Prostaff Picks are ready-to-hunt packages ideal for turkey:
- Backyard Hunter Pack (Marauder .22)
- Treestand Companion Kit (Marauder .22 Pistol)
- Small Game Hunter’s Pack (Marauder .25)
- Squirrel Sweeper (Trail XL 1100)
- Porkchop Pack (Rogue .357)