Bow hunting for turkeys has become more popular, with hunters looking for more challenging and exciting ways to take a gobbler. Rick White and Phillip Vanderpool of the Hunter’s Specialties Pro Staff recently offered the following tips for getting started.
Rick: “It takes more movement to draw your bow, so you have to be well hidden. A turkey has great eyesight.”
Phillip: “I like to hunt from a blind, like Hunter’s Specialties 10-10 Hideout Pop-Up model. If I don’t have a blind, I try to build one to break up my silhouette, or stay in the shadows.”
Rick: “If you are hunting from a blind, keep the windows closed behind you or to the side so the light can’t shine in and turkeys can see you.”
Rick: “Place your jake decoy facing the blind. The gobbler will usually come in to face the jake, so his back is to you when you draw. I put my decoys closer to the blind than I would if I were shotgun hunting, usually five steps.”
Phillip: “I like to shoot expandable broadheads with 1 ½” cutting diameter or bigger. I always back the poundage down on my bow so I can hold at full draw longer if I have to. A turkey has a small vital area and you may have to wait for a good shot angle. I try to aim just above where the thigh joins the body cavity.”
Rick: “I agree that arrow placement is very important. The shot just above the leg is a good one, as well as a shot with the bird facing directly away from you. If the bird is in full strut, aim just above the base of the tail. I shoot most of my turkeys at 10 yards or less, so it is easier to make a good shot. Give the bird a few minutes to expire before you go to him. If you happen to break a wing, it is best to go after him right away. Be sure and use caution when picking up your bird because it may still have a broadhead in it.”
Phillip: “Bow hunting turkeys is very rewarding when you have a successful hunt. I hope everyone gets to give it a try this spring.”