Can you kill a wild turkey with a pellet gun?

You may not be allowed to legally carry a pellet gun for wild turkeys where you live—unless you’re hunting in California.

Let’s do a little backup. I flew 4,000 plus round-trip miles to hunt California gobblers a few spring seasons ago—an upland bird considered a ‘small game’ species by the state. I studied regulations and found this legal law book alternative, as you would before making such a trip:

“Air rifles powered by compressed air or gas and used with any calibre of pellet, except that wild turkey may only be taken with a pellet that is at least 0.177 calibre.”

About my first thought? That’s a stunt—an unwise error in thinking on the Left Coast; an unwarranted rule in a state more known for anti-hunting views than a history of turkey hunting. Oh, I killed squirrels with a pellet pistol. And yes, it got the job done.

But wild turkeys? My man. I even brought it up as our proven 12-gauge shotguns filled tags on sharp-spurred Rio Grande longbeards in California turkey camp. At the camp, nobody used an air pistol. In the land of Hollywood gossip scandals and celebrity debauchery, maybe nobody does?

But this self-proclaimed “psycho turkey hunter” and spring gobbler gunner from California proves I’m wrong. His video of not one but two Golden State gobblers taken with a .22 calibre pellet gun from the Remington Nitro Piston SS shows you can make clean kills.

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