Turkey huntin with a rifle????


Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2009
I was just watching 1 of my hunting shows and the guy was shooting turkey's with a rifle. I thought there was a nationwide law against this. Now I am not the most knowledgeable turkey hunter but I was always told that I would be crucified for shootin a turkey with a rifle
Well ......... no one should be "crucified" if hunting legally. In Pennsylvania it is (or at least was) legal to hunt turkey with a rifle during either the spring or fall season but I can't remeber which. Probably the fall.

If it's legal in PA then it's reasonable to assume that it may be legal in other states as well. In NY a rifle is NOT a legal implement for hunting turkeys.
I was in texas hunting hogs during the fall turkey season, and after 3days of not seeing anything a huge group of turkey flew in. shot em with the camera, then my dad shot an 8" bearded tom at 30yards with a 257 roberts, i then shot a 10 3/8" (i pointed it out, but my dad thought the other was bigger, still bother him about this :D) bearded tom at 97yards with the same rifle. Not a long range shot, but a turkey's head is a pretty darn small target shooting from a blind.
Yep its leagal in PA. Friend of mine shot one a couple years back with a 204 Ruger. Blew his head completly off. They are good to carry if the turkey hangs up at around 100 yards or so like they always seem to like to do.
It is legal to use a rifle in Maryland during the Fall season but not the spring season. I set up for a 300 yards shot on where they roost this Fall and they had changed their roost and flew down and landed about 20 yards behind me. When I turned around it spooked them and they took off. Pretty hard to shoot a flying turkey with a scoped rifle. :D
It is not only legal in Texas during the fall deer season it is often the only way to get one
at this time of the year because they don't respond to calling.

The group I hunt with will harass each other if someone shoots one less than 200 yards
away and the only shot is a head shot or for bragging rites a neck shot (No body shots

It is the only time you can shoot a hen (For Thanksgiving or just to eat) and they are much
better eating than a old tom.

Also it is illegal to hunt withen site of a roost anytime .

The spring hunting season is shotgun only and calling is very productive.

Nationwide, good grief turkeys aint that special yet! LOL It 'used to be' in PA fall turkeys could be rifle hunted. Myself and many many others used .22LR or .22WMR. I know some wing nuts who used their deer rifles in turkey season. Spring season was shotgun only, but fall was whatever. I would hazard a guess that PA may still be that way as well as some other states, but I dont know which ones. I think CO here is all shotgun or archurry.

Only nationwide game laws I am aware of are migratory birds, those on endangered species act, and / or others that might fall into the Lacey Act( not sure if that controls harvest, just controls illegal movement etc.) .

Anyway good luck with the turks. They are alot of fun with shotgun or rifle.
In Alabama you can't use a rifle but you can use a iron sighted centerfire pistol. I've used an Encore .223 pistol with FMJ's to take turkeys that hang up out in the middle of fields.
Rifle hunting turkey's is legal in SD. I was hunting on a ranch down in the White River area and found a bunch of turkeys out in a pasture. There were some cattle it looked like but none were that close. I had a pretty good hillside for a backstop so I picked one out (distance was about 225yds) and waited until it looked like he was separated from the others. I took a shot with my trusty 270 and ripped one right across his back. As I walked up, the "cattle" started taking an interest in me and walking over towards where I was trying to get through a hell of a well built fence. After I got in, I realized that I was actually in a "Bull pen" and the "cattle" all were actually all bulls! My rifle was back at the fence and I was about a hundred yards into the pen. I just kept walking and the bulls kept getting closer but none charged me. I was pretty scared to say the least. "Never let em' see ya sweat" I picked up my turkey and beat feet back to the fence.
Man I wish we could do that in Oregon! The first 2-3 days of the season the birds are the stupidest creatures on earth(dumber than a grouse) and you can almost walk up and kick 1 in the head. after the first couple days, they instantly become the Einstien's of the bird world, and run away from everything as fast as they can.''Le' Turkey'' runns like the wind! These birds are call shy, and even run from a pinecone dropping from a tree, or a even a stiff wind.A rifle would make all the difference. Maybe someday.......................I can dream right?
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