The silliest miss I’ve had while turkey hunting happened like this. A gobbler was coming in hot across broken South Dakota ground. When he popped out of a tree line 200 yards away he stopped and craned his neck looking for the hen he’d heard across the grassy ground between us. When that gobbler spotted my decoy he decided running was too slow. He took wing right and right for me like a decoying goose. He landed 10 feet from the end of my shotgun barrel. I tried to shoot up at his moving neck and missed him clean at 10 yards. Sure, I was also shooting from the awkward position of sitting so low half my back was flat on the ground, but what made it even harder was that at such close range the shot pattern wasn’t much wider than the shotgun barrel—not much margin for error. Now Federal Premium says it has a new load that can make these shots easier.
Its Turkey 3rd Degree uses a multi-shot, three-stage payload. The leading section of the payload is made up of (20 percent of the total pellet count) No. 6 nickel-plated Flitestopper lead. These pellets are designed to spread fast to create larger patterns inside 20 yards. The next part (40 percent of the load) is copper-plated No. 5 lead shot, which gives the load a dense pattern at moderate ranges. The final portion (40 percent of the payload) is No. 7 Heavyweight pellets. These are tungsten-iron pellets that have more oomph at 40 yards and beyond.
The load also uses Fedral’s Flitecontrol wad, a design that opens from the rear and stays with the shot column longer than conventional wads. Now, whether near or far, putting pellets into a turkey’s head and neck should be easier.