By Adam Heggenstaller, American Hunter
When Remington introduced its Versa Max semi-auto shotgun four years ago, hunters were impressed with its simple but effective Versaport operating system that regulated gas pressure according to the length of the shotshell. Now the company has introduced a version made especially for turkey hunters.
With a 22-inch barrel that’s easy to maneuver and cloaked completely in Mossy Oak Obsession camo, the Versa Max Sportsman is designed to help you get you gobbler. You’ll see tight patterns from the included Pro Bore Wingmaster Extra-Full Turkey choke tube, and you’ll keep them on the waddles with the gun’s rifle-style, fiber-optic sights. The shotgun is also drilled and tapped for mounting optics if, like me, you want every advantage you can get to help you kill a wily longbeard.
I put an EOTech 512 holographic sight on the Sportsman, stoked it with Remington Premier Magnum No. 5 loads and headed out to the palm groves of southern Florida with Osceola Outdoors to chase the long-legged and sharp-spurred subspecies after which Mike Tussey named his outfit. On my second morning in the blind, three longbeards marched through the fog to attack the jake decoy sitting 15 yards in front of me. After watching the birds work out their frustrations on the decoy for a minute or so, it was time to get down to business. When one broke from the group and stuck his head up to survey the situation, I gave him my 2 ounces.
Easy shot? Maybe. But I’d be willing to bet a case of 3-inch magnums that more turkeys are missed inside 20 yards than outside. The relatively short barrel of the Versa Max Sportsman let me slip it out the blind window and hold steady without having to resort to gymnastics. A trigger with a smooth pull helped me deliver the goods without jerking a tight pattern off target despite a case of the longbeard-in-my-lap shakes.
The Versa Max Sportsman in the hands of my colleagues also killed three more Osceola gobblers at ranges of 18 to 51 yards. Purpose-built for killing turkeys, the Sportsman in Mossy Oak camo could make your season this spring.