MDC’s Busch Shooting Range holds Introduction to Shotgun Patterning for spring turkey season class March 28

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DEFIANCE, Mo.—Spring turkey hunting season is nearly here.  The Youth Season runs April 1-2 and opening day for Spring Turkey Season is April 17.  Are you still asking yourself how far your maximum effective shotgun range is for harvesting a turkey? What shot size should you be using for turkey hunting?  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to help hunters find the answers to these questions and more.

The August A. Busch Shooting Range and Education Center will host an Introduction to Shotgun Patterning class Tuesday, March 28 from 5-8 p.m.  “This program will teach how to pattern your shotgun and how to interpret the results,” said MDC Outdoor Education Center Manager, Bryant Hertel. 

The class will discuss how to use different ammunition and chokes to achieve the most effective pattern for your shotgun.  MDC staff will help you find the best choke/shot shell combination for your shotgun.  Patterning your shotgun is a very important part of hunting that is overlooked by many hunters.  Knowing characteristics of ammunition and shot spread is crucial to a shotgun hunter’s success. 

To get the most out of the class, participants are encouraged to bring their own shotgun and ammunition.  However, MDC can provide firearms and ammunition if needed.  The classes are open to ages 11 and up; however, participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

“With turkey season right around the corner it is important to make sure you pattern your firearm to help your success rate increase,” Hertel said.

Introduction to Shotgun Patterning is a free class, but advance online registration is required.  To register go to

The August A. Busch Shooting Range is located at 3550 Route D in Defiance, approximately five miles west of Highway 94.