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May 2, 2024
min read

It Seems All That Pattern Testing Actually Delivered!

If you've seen our channel at all this spring, you're probably tired of all the turkey pattern testing videos from Adrian's Mossberg SA-28 and my Winchester SXP 20 gauge. Well, it sure seems like all that pattern testing really paid off for us so far in the turkey woods!


Seventeen, that's the magic number. That's the total number of pattern testing videos we've posted since the beginning of this year. Not only has Adrian been extremely busy editing those videos, but my shoulder has needed some recuperating from all that shooting.

Pattern testing your turkey shotgun can be an integral part of getting ready for the season. The benefits range from making sure your optic of choice has not changed to possibly even finding your favorite new turkey load.

That's exactly what it did for us, and it worked beautifully!

So far this season, our two shotguns have killed seven total turkeys, and hopefully we can keep that kind of success going as we head into the last couple weeks of the season. We have plans for a couple more hunts and can't wait to see what transpires.

Adrian's setup:

Mossberg SA-28 with Burris FastFire 3
  • Mossberg SA-28
    • Burris FastFire 3
    • Meadow Creek Mounts Co-witness mount
    • Choke Tubes: Jeb's, Indian Creek
    • TSS Loads: Fox Trot Cherry Bomb 9.5's, Verdict 9's

Robbie's setup:

Winchester SXP Long Beard 20 gauge with Williams Gunsight LRS
  • Winchester SXP Long Beard 20 gauge
    • Williams Gunsight LRS
    • 20 MOA rail for Winchester SXP from EGW Guns
    • Choke Tube: Kick's Gobbling Thunder
    • TSS loads: Rogue 9's, Fox Trot Crusher 8.5x9.5's

We've tried to share the love and spread the opportunity for harvests among several of the choke tube and TSS ammo manufacturers. In fact, those seven turkeys were taken with three different chokes and four different TSS loads. The plans are to use at least one more choke tube and load combination for a total of four different chokes and five different TSS loads this season.

This spring has already been a huge success in the turkey woods, and we wanted to share some of that with you. We will caption each picture with the choke tube and TSS load information in case you're looking for a new combination.

Adrian was the first to tag a turkey this year and she did it on public land in the North Carolina Mountains. It was an amazing weekend of hunting and chasing far off gobbles, but we managed to get it done on day two of the two-day hunt.

Adrian's first turkey of the year. Mossberg SA-28, Jeb's Choke, Fox Trot Cherry Bomb 9.5's

I was the next one to notch a tag, and that was on the first day of our trip to Missouri. We had a great mid-day hunt, and thankfully I was able to get turned around the tree just in time before three long beards snuck into our setup. I couldn't believe it when one of the birds gobbled at my cutting while I was trying to get a further away bird to respond. Here's a quick recap and some extra pictures.

Missouri Gobbler taken with Winchester SXP Long Beard 20 gauge, Kick's Gobbling Thunder Choke, Rogue Ammunition #9's

With me having filled my first Missouri tag, Adrian was up to bat next. It didn't take too long that next morning for us to find another gobbler that wanted to play the chess game. After moving to get into a position where it seemed the birds would want to be, Adrian was able to capitalize on the opportunity given to us and notch her first Missouri tag with the Mossberg 28 gauge. And I was able to take what is probably my favorite picture of the whole trip...

Adrian's first tag in Missouri was filled with the Mossberg SA-28, Indian Creek Choke Tube, and Verdict TSS #9's

A friend borrowed the Winchester SXP 20 gauge the next day and was able to fill his first tag of the season using the Kick's choke tube and the same Rogue #9's I had used. This was probably the longest shot of the trip and a little further than the 40 yards we anticipated it being as we stepped his shot off at 46 yards. That gun, choke tube, and load combination had no difficulty as the bird barely had any flop at all.

With two tags left to fill, we started the chase again. Using basically the same strategy as when Adrian filled her first tag, she was able to notch another one sitting only about four feet from where she had killed two days earlier. The second turkey was literally standing only about 40 yards from where the first one had fallen. However, it took us saying to each other several times, "I know the smart thing is to just stay here, I know the smart thing is to just stay here."

We aren't always good at hanging out where we think turkeys should be, but this time it worked...again!

Adrian used the same Indian Creek Choke and Verdict #9's on this turkey

Adrian now turned camerawoman since she was fresh out of tags, and we woke up to rain and possibly more rain coming. Thankfully, most of the hard rain had already passed, and according to the weather radar, the rest of the rain would hopefully be gone within a couple hours after sunrise. Shortly after daybreak the rain had lightened, and it was listening time.

A couple different birds were gobbling, and we couldn't believe how far we didn't have to stray from the truck before we knew it was setup time. We cleared a quick spot under a big tree and were ready to start calling, even though the truck was only 100 yards in the background. Little did we know this would be a picture perfect hunt with a strutter coming across the field from 100 yards in the other direction and Adrian capturing those moments and beauty of the hunt forever. That hunt has been posted on our Hunt This Thing YouTube channel. If you haven't watched it, you should. And subscribe to the channel if you haven't!

My second bird was taken with the same Kick's Gobbling Thunder choke tube but I switched to the Fox Trot Crusher TSS duplex 8.5x9.5's

As you probably know, I can't guarantee that if you pattern your shotgun before the season it will directly lead to filling your tags during the season. But, it can help bring you the confidence that you need in your setup and get you a lot closer to filling those tags!

Good luck for the rest of the season, and send us your harvest pictures. Don't forget to include your gun, choke tube, and load information when you send it. You can either message it via social media or send them via email to

Pros & Cons

  • Weather was Perfect
  • Turkeys were responsive
  • We were able to harvest 4 turkeys!
  • Drew's Biscuits and Gravy, pancakes, and especially turkey tacos are always amazing
  • Great times spent with friends
  • Hundreds of gobbles, thousands of smiles
  • Can't think of any!


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Written by

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.


All opinions are ours. Some items we receive for free, borrow, or purchase at a discount, but this never impacts our opinions or freedom to report them.
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