Are you considering using a .22 rifle for turkey hunting? Well, before you head out into the field, it’s essential to know that turkey hunting with a .22 rifle is not recommended. While the .22 is a popular choice for small game hunting, using it to hunt turkeys can have severe consequences.

Using a .22 rifle for turkey hunting is not only ineffective, but it is also inhumane. Turkeys are large birds with tough feathers and thick skin, which makes it difficult for a .22 bullet to penetrate and cause significant damage. This can result in the bird being wounded instead of killed instantly, causing unnecessary suffering and pain.

Moreover, hunting regulations in most states prohibit using a .22 rifle for turkey hunting. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of hunters, as well as to preserve wildlife populations. Using a firearm that is not designed for turkey hunting can increase the likelihood of injuring other hunters or non-target animals.

Is It Legal to Hunt Turkeys with a .22?

In general, it is not legal to hunt turkeys with a .22 caliber rifle. This is because the .22 caliber bullet is too small and may not provide a humane and ethical kill. Most states in the United States have specific regulations regarding the firearms that are allowed for turkey hunting, and a .22 caliber rifle is typically not included in the list of allowed firearms.

In many states, turkey hunting is only allowed with shotguns, muzzleloaders, or archery equipment. Shotguns are commonly used for turkey hunting because they can deliver a large amount of shot, which increases the chances of hitting the turkey and providing a quick and ethical kill.

It is important to note that hunting regulations can vary by state and even by region within a state. Before going turkey hunting, it is important to research the specific regulations for the area where you plan to hunt. This will ensure that you are in compliance with the law and can enjoy your hunting experience without the risk of facing legal consequences.

A group of hunter hunting turkey
Source: Get Ducks

Is It Practical to Hunt Turkeys with a .22?

No, it is not practical or ethical to hunt turkeys with a .22 caliber rifle. The .22 is a small caliber bullet that lacks the power and accuracy necessary to take down a turkey cleanly and humanely.

Turkeys are tough birds with thick feathers and strong bones, which can make it difficult to penetrate their vital organs with a .22 bullet. Even if a shot does hit a vital area, the .22 may not have enough energy to cause immediate death or incapacitation. This can lead to a wounded bird running away and suffering a slow and painful death, which is unacceptable for ethical hunting practices.

In addition, many states and hunting regulations prohibit the use of small caliber rifles for turkey hunting, as it is not considered a safe or effective method. Instead, hunters are typically required to use shotguns or specific caliber rifles that are powerful enough to ensure a quick and humane kill.

In summary, using a .22 caliber rifle to hunt turkeys is neither practical nor ethical. Hunters should always choose appropriate firearms and ammunition to ensure a quick and humane kill, while also following all state and local hunting regulations.

Best .22 for Hunting Turkeys

It’s important to note that in many states, hunting turkeys with a .22 caliber rifle is illegal. However, assuming you are in a state where it is legal, both the .222 Remington and .22 Hornet can be effective choices for hunting turkeys.

.222 Rem

The .222 Remington is a versatile and accurate cartridge with a long history of use in varmint and small game hunting. It has a flat trajectory and good velocity, making it effective at longer ranges. Its bullet weight and construction can also be tailored for turkey hunting, with options for heavier and more expansive bullets.

.22 Hornet

The .22 Hornet is another popular varmint cartridge that can be effective for hunting turkeys. While it has a lower velocity than the .222 Remington, it still has good accuracy and can be effective within its effective range. Its low recoil also makes it a good choice for younger or inexperienced hunters.

When choosing a rifle for turkey hunting, it’s important to consider the specific regulations in your state and to choose a rifle that you are comfortable with and familiar with.

Additionally, shot placement is crucial when hunting turkeys with a .22, as it may not have enough power to deliver a clean kill with poor shot placement. It’s recommended to use solid or hollow point bullets for increased penetration and lethality.


In conclusion, While it is technically possible to hunt turkey with a .22 rifle, it is not recommended. A .22 is not powerful enough to reliably and humanely take down a turkey, which is a large and tough bird. Additionally, many states have regulations that require hunters to use shotguns or other specific firearms when hunting turkeys to ensure a clean and ethical kill.

Using a .22 rifle for turkey hunting could result in injuring the bird, causing unnecessary suffering, or even endangering other hunters. Therefore, it is best to use appropriate firearms and follow hunting regulations to ensure a safe and responsible hunting experience.


Can you use 22lr on turkey?

Using a 22lr on turkey is not recommended. The 22lr is not powerful enough to reliably and ethically take down a turkey. It may injure the turkey without killing it, leading to unnecessary suffering. It’s important to use an appropriate firearm and ammunition when hunting to ensure a clean and humane kill.

What caliber is best for turkey hunting?

The most popular calibers for turkey hunting are 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410 bore. These shotguns are typically loaded with shot sizes ranging from #4 to #6, and some hunters prefer heavier loads for longer ranges.

It is important to check state and local regulations for specific restrictions on caliber and shot size.

Can you hunt turkey with a 22 in Texas?

No, it is illegal to hunt turkey with a 22 in Texas. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulations, only shotguns, muzzleloading shotguns, and archery equipment are allowed for turkey hunting. Using a firearm that is not specifically designed for hunting turkey is not permitted.

What rifle is best for turkey?

The type of rifle used for turkey hunting varies depending on personal preference and the specific hunting situation. Shotguns are commonly used for turkey hunting, but rifles chambered in calibers such as .243, .270, or .30-06 can also be effective. It is important to use a rifle with appropriate ammunition for the game being hunted.

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