Turkey guide Jeff Budz with a bow killed longbeard.Spring is coming and now is the time to consider bowhunting gobblers this spring. Taking a turkey with a bow can be extremely challenging. The eyesight of a gobbler combined with the fact that they spook easily makes getting to full draw difficult. If you want to kill a turkey with a bow this spring, below are some tips to help you prepare for opening day.

  • Practice from a blind if you intend to hunt from a blind. Shooting from a blind isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Set a blind up in your backyard and shoot at your target at a variety of different yardages. Shoot at the target at five and ten yards, not just at 20 and 30 yards. Turkeys often come in close and shooting high happens often in the turkey woods. Knowing exactly where to aim when a bird is in close is a necessity. Don’t guess because the vitals on a turkey are extremely small.
  • Know where the vitals are located on a turkey. The vitals are only the size of a softball and knowing where to aim, especially if a bird is strutting, can be difficult. If you know where the vitals are located, you will know where to aim regardless if the bird is strutting, facing away from you, or standing broadside. Check out turkey vital diagrams online or look at a Master Target face target.
  • Consider shooting a turkey in the head. A head shot can be difficult but the wonderful thing about a head shot is if you hit the head, the bird dies; if you miss, it lives to see another day. You don’t have to worry about wounding a bird. If you are considering shooting only at the head, purchase one of the broadheads designed especially for the headshot.
  • Use a top notch decoy. Avian X and others make decoys that look life like. The closer you can get a longbeard to your decoy, the better chance you have of going home with a gobbler in your vest. Realistic decoys pull birds in close. The best turkey decoy is a real stuffed bird. If that is out of your price range, consider buying a Turkey Skinz. Turkey Skinz are a real turkey skin that wraps around any foam decoy to give the decoy a lifelike look. The skin has feathers and wings attached so it makes any decoy look great.
  • Use bright fletching. Pine Ridge Nitro Vanes are available in many bright colors. You will always want to know where the arrow hits when shooting the bird. Bright fletching will help you determine where you hit the bird. I always aim right above the drumsticks and love watching the arrow disappear into the bird about three to six inches above where the legs attach to the body.
Turkey hunting with a bow is fun and challenging. Try it this spring.

About the author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer, consultant and game dinner speaker who often discuss how he overcomes cerebral palsy. Learn more about him at

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