For all of its occasional frustrations, I’ve learned that I love turkey hunting—but as a recoil-sensitive female hunter, my relationship with dedicated turkey-hunting shotguns is a bit more complex. That’s why I began steeling myself as soon as my guide and I settled in to pattern the 12-gauge Remington V3 Turkey Pro I was to use to hunt Rio turkeys the following morning. Imagine my shock, then, when I pulled the trigger only to feel...well, not much at all. Even the report, which I had expected to be the 180-dB roar typical of a 12-gauge, was muted. I hadn’t even had a chance to see what my pattern looked like, but I already knew this Texas turkey hunt was going to be different.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but recoil isn’t the only problem I’ve experienced with shotguns. I’ve also experienced many a torn thumbnail courtesy of many a receiver port—an occupational hazard for people with slender fingers, I’ve since learned. So I was even more pleased when loading my Turkey Pro also turned out to be a painless experience. As my contact at Remington, public relations manager Eric Suarez, informed me, the engineers at Remington had introduced two innovations that had already made my turkey hunt—not yet even officially begun—a pleasure.
“We went in and recessed the receiver to ease the loading process,” he explained, “so it can’t snap down on your thumb.” There are also some significant design innovations that appear in the entire V3 line—chief among them the VersaPort system. Essentially, the VersaPort allows the gas-operated V3 to only use as much gas as is necessary to push the cartridge. That’s what accounts for both the remarkable reduction in both recoil and report.
Those facts, however, were not at the forefront of my mind the next morning at 6:30, as Suarez, my guide Ted Simpson and I crept into a turkey blind hunkered in the shadow of a mesquite tree. All I was worried about at that point was trying not to make a fool of myself...and, as a secondary matter, maybe bag a tom. Central Texas weather in late April can be a little rodeo, but we’d already been blessed with clear skies and cool temperatures, so—once again—I was just about as comfortable as it’s possible for a person to be on a turkey hunt.
“The turkeys haven’t really been responding to calls much this year,” Simpson had warned us, “but we’ll try it anyway and see what the first morning brings.”
So it was that, from just behind my position, a series of gentle cutts and purrs greeted the dawn. And in reply? Well, nothing...except the frantic yapping of what sounded like a pack of coyotes big enough to do Cruella DeVil proud.
The day brightened, and still there were no replies to Simpson’s calls. It’s just Day 1, morning 1, I thought to myself. There’s no need for anxiet-
“Turkeys! Over there!” came a sotto voce hiss from Simpson. And sure enough, there they were: four toms, all chasing two hens.
Simpson started a slow series of contented little hen purrs; two of the toms ignored it, but two decided to peel off from the flock and see if they could find the lonely little hen. I steadied the V3 on its sticks, lay the TruGlo red-dot sight at the base of the closest turkey’s wattle, pulled the trigger, and watched as the tom dropped like a marionette with its strings cut...
My first Rio turkey, and the perfect beginning to a perfect hunt...using what just might be the perfect turkey gun for me.