Evaluating Pattern Density

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Broken Brow, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Broken Brow

    Broken Brow Well-Known Member

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    May 24, 2011
    There are several different methods of evaluating shotgun patterns for turkey. Some go by hits to the brain/spine. Some go by hits in the head/neck. And now there is the number of hits in a 10-inch circle. I put together a table to give a rough idea of how the 3 methods compare.

    Hits__Brain/Spine__Head/Neck___10-Inch Circle
    _________5__________12__________50
    ________10__________25__________100
    ________15__________35__________150
    ________20__________50__________200
    ________25__________60__________250
    ________30__________70__________300

    The brain/spine count can vary depending on the positioning of the target, so making an exact comparison is difficult. It seems like a reasonable way to evaluate a pattern, but it was established at a time when many hunters were hunting with lead 4’s. Pellet counts were low and the yardage was close. Now as hunters attempt to expand the range of shotguns, shot penetration cannot be expected to be 100%. More things can go wrong and 5 pellets in the brain/spine is probably not enough to ensure clean kills. If you plan on doing any long range hunting with HTL, stick with a minimum of 100 evenly spaced pellets in a 10-inch circle at the maximum distance you plan to shoot.

    Again, this table is not meant to be a replacement for shooting and counting holes. This is just to give you an idea of where your current setup might stand right now, depending on how you count hits.