We had the chance to try out some of Birchwood Casey's newest gear during a Texas turkey hunt, and were pleasantly surprised how useful they were.
The editors here at Wide Open Spaces recently went on a turkey hunting trip out in west Texas, where we were fortunate enough to shoot a few gobblers in addition to test-driving some gear.
We devoted the first day of the trip to getting comfortable with the shotguns we'd be hunting with. Birchwood Casey's Mike Capps supplied us with targets, ear and eye protection, ammunition, shooting sticks... We basically had everything we needed for a day at the range and then some.
Some of the gear really impressed, too, so we thought we'd pass some of our thoughts along to you.
Pregame Turkey Targets
These targets stole the show. Of all the gear we had the opportunity to try out, these were easily my favorite. From 30 yards downrange, we were able to see immediate results, which you don't often get from a target.
Any pellet that managed to hit the turkey turned a bright color, which you could easily see from a distance. As far as patterning goes, these things give you a great idea of what you have to work with before taking your shotgun afield. A circular target can tell you one thing, but a target in the true shape of a turkey's upper body tells you so much more.
The Pregame Turkey Targets are well worth checking out for yourself if you are a frequent spring or fall turkey hunter.
The cases were also particularly useful. A good case is usually something that's easy to overlook, but these were hard to miss. The SportLock cases not only had good structure that held a strong shape, but they were also easy to carry.
When taking our Can-Am UTVs from one hunting spot to another, it was easy to store the shotgun in a case or quickly pull it out if needed.
Eye and Ear Protection
The biggest issue you come across with shooting glasses isn't in their functionality, but rather how silly they look. These glasses have a sharp, modern look, and won't give you any of that "Why's everyone looking a me?" feeling.
It was the muffs that really made an impression on us, though.
First off, the eKrest Muffs blew any other ear protection styles I've worn out of the water when it came to comfortability. It's an underrated aspect when you're planning for a long day at the range, but a pair that doesn't cause a headache or ear ache if actually harder to find than it should be these days.
Another thing I noticed was the actual sound quality. In the past when I've used electronic muffs, I've found that they pick up the wind more than any other sound, and many times don't get loud enough in general. That wasn't the case with these, as it was extremely windy where we were shooting, and I had no problem hearing anyone.
Kent Ultimate Diamond Shot
Capps was also able to hook us up with a few boxes of Kent Ultimate Diamond Shot turkey loads, which were 3-inch, 5-shot shells.
When it comes to ammunition, the biggest thing you're usually looking for is consistency. You want a relatively consistent pattern or grouping and as few misfires as possible. And, consistent they were. When used in conjunction with the Pregame Targets, you've got yourself a pretty easy procedure leading up to any good turkey hunt.
There were four of us on the hunt, and each of us had a two-bird limit. Collectively, we took eight shots and walked away with eight gobblers, tagging out by the second day. It's safe to say the sighting in and the shells did their job.
We have to thank Birchwood Casey and specifically Mike for showing us a lot of what we were missing with subpar stuff or holes in our shooting supply arsenal. He'll have more for us down the road, helping provide some really useful gun cleaning pointers, and we'll be sure to share more from our spring Texas turkey hunt in the coming days.