Take Dead Aim: Optic options for your gobbler gun

It’s the perfect hunt on the perfect spring morning. The gobbler responds off the roost, and he’s coming. Your setup is ideal. This is going to happen, and it’s going to be one of your most memorable longbeard successes.

But it all comes unraveled at the moment of truth. The bird, well within range, flies off unscathed. It was a clean miss.

We’ve all been there, and there’s no worse feeling that failing to seal the deal and turning a dream hunt into a nightmare.

Most of the time our misses are high. Mesmerized by the strutting tom in front of us, we fail to get down on the shotgun and line up our front sight with the rear.

But a scope can eliminate a lot of those nightmarish misses, and that’s why serious tom takers have gone that route and upped their tag-filling percentage.

Here are some fine options available for your turkey gun.



Sightmark’s Wolverine CSR Red Dot Sight is designed specifically for shotguns and short-barreled rifles. 

The CSR sports a 4 MOA red dot reticle with a 23mm objective lens and adjustable digital switch brightness controls. Compact and light, the CSR model weighs only 10.3 ounces, and along with the FSR, offers very low power consumption. The CSR also offers variable brightness and night vision modes, which allows co-witnessing with a night vision sight. Quick target acquisition and unlimited eye relief here, with just one AA battery needed in the durable, shockproof design. 

Wolverine red dot sights have an adjustable mount height and are compatible with Picatinny mounts.



Mega retailer Cabela’s offers up the Slug Shotgun Riflescope that can take the recoil associated with slug guns and turkey loads. 

You can use it on spring gobblers but it also has an EXT reticle to adjust for long-range shots on whitetails and coyotes. Multicolored lenses for crisp, bright images, there’s also solid eye relief to ensure you won’t get punched by the scope. 

The scope is nitrogen purged for fogproof, waterproof and shockproof performance. Hardcoat anodizing with a matte finish.


Long a leader in sporting optics, Nikon’s PROSTAFF Shotgun Hunter Scope is fully multicoated for superb light transmission, even during those low-light morning periods when a gobbler could make an early arrival off the roost. Generous, consistent eye relief and quick-focus eyepieces bring targets into focus quickly. 

Nitrogen filled, waterproof and fogproof, the scope can also be used for longer shots with zero-reset turrets that let you dial in at various ranges then reset back to zero for fast, in-field adjustments.


Leupold scopes are known to be built to last a lifetime, and the VX-1 Shotgun Scope has no problem handling turkey load recoil and will perform in any weather. The standard multicoated lens systems give clear, crisp contrast and a bright sight picture. With a full lifetime guarantee, the scope has a 1-inch main tube design with a heavy duplex reticle. Models are 1-4×20 and 2-7×33.


TRUGLO’s red dot lineup has been responsible for the demise of countless toms over many springs, and the Turkey Reticle Red-Dot Gobble Stopper background. A detachable, extended sunshade eliminates glare from the front lens. There’s a  spare battery  storage compartment, and the main battery and spare battery included (3V-CR2032). The scope, with a flip-up lens cap and lanyard system, is lightweight and easy to mount, and includes all the features of TRUGLO’s award-winning traditional red dot series. 


Bushnell’s TRS red dot scope is an attractive Realtree AP camo model that’s compact and easy to use, with a reliable, 3 MOA red dot sight offering unlimited eye relief for both shotguns and handguns. Multi-coated with Amber-Bright high contrast lens coating, the TRS is 100 percent waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and operates on a CR2032 battery.


The Venom Red Dot Reflex Sight from Vortex offers a 3 MOA dot that promotes rapid target acquisition while providing a precise point of aim to get shots downrange and on target quickly. The durable, machined aluminum housing is built to handle recoil as well as the elements. The high-quality, fully multi-coated lens offers a clean, wide field of view. Powered by a CR 1632 battery that’s included, there are 10 brightness settings for the red dot and unlimited eye relief. The Venom comes with a Picatinny mount and weighs 1.6 ounces with the mount.


The Burris FastFire III Sight is available in 3 MOA or 8 MOA dot configurations, and its integrated mount makes it ready to easily install on any firearm equipped with a Picatinny rail. The bright red dot allows for fast target acquisition and easy aiming and 1x magnification allows both-eyes-open shooting for enhanced awareness and target acquisition. Compact and lightweight, the high-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability. Index-matched, Hi-Lume multicoating provides low-light performance and glare elimination. The FastFire III is waterproof and comes with the Burris Forever Warranty.


Crosman’s Center Point Tactical Open Reflex Sight allows you to keep both eyes open for better awareness of your hunting situation, and offers 1 MOA adjustments in a 1x32mm model. It mounts to any Weaver-style rail, has a Multilayer Advantage lens coating and offers 40 reticle options among reticle, color and brightness. It runs on one CR-2032 battery and weighs in at 5.5 ounces.


The Trijicon MRO (Miniature Rifle Optic) is a sealed miniature reflex sight intended for use on rifles, carbines and shotguns to provide fast target acquisition. The large aperture and tapered light path maximizes the viewing area and allows for better situational awareness and fast target engagement – especially from non-standard shooting positions. The 1×25 sight offers ambidextrous brightness controls, sub-flush adjusters, advanced lens coatings and a fully sealed, waterproof, hard anodized forged 7075-T6 housing. Operates on a single lithium battery with adjustable brightness settings.


Tasco’s Propoint is popular for many reasons, not the least of which is price. But the illuminated reticle and rock-solid reliability, along with unlimited eye relief and a huge field of view that facilitates rapid target acquisition and have also helped them gain widespread favor among turkey hunters. Adjustable brightness, plus an optional red/green reticle offer optimum contrast in the dimmest and brightest conditions alike. Several models are available, from 1x25mm to 1x42mm. 


The Simmons Red Dot can kick your tom-taking up a notch with quick target acquisition and low-light precision. With three innovative options, you’re sure to find the scope that’s just right for you. Choose from the 1x 20mm with a 3 MOA dot or the 1x 30mm with a 3 MOA dot for greater precision – with red, blue and green illumination options.


The Mueller Quick Shot sight has a pair of built-in sensors in the front that detect the surrounding lighting conditions and automatically adjust the brightness of the dot in response to those conditions, unlike all other red dot scopes, which require manual adjustment. Select from four different reticle styles with the flip of a switch. The Quick Shot sight comes complete with an adjustable reticle selector switch, making it one of the most versatile illuminated sights ever produced. The shockproof durability makes it versatile for turkey hunters and archery hunters, with the ability to handle the heavy recoil of the larger caliber rifles.

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