Turkey hunting with a bow is fun and challenging but the success rate is often low. The success rate for bowhunting turkeys is typically less than 10% in most states. There are several reasons for this. For starters, turkeys have amazing eyesight so drawing a bow and taking a shot can be extremely difficult. Another thing that makes killing a turkey with a bow difficult is they have extremely small vitals. The vital area on a turkey is the size of a baseball, which doesn’t leave much room for error. Below are a few tips to help you tag your tom this spring if you plan on bowhunting longbeards.
USE A DECOY
For starters, using a decoy is a must. The more realistic the decoy, the better. Don’t use a cheap decoy that isn’t realistic. A realistic decoy can bring a tom in close and the closer the bird is, the easier the shot will be to make. I prefer taking shots that are 15 yards and closer when bowhunting turkeys. When using decoys, I find that a strutting decoy is best. A strutting tom decoy will typically make a real tom extremely angry, which will draw the bird in close because the real tom will want to fight the decoy. The best time to draw a bow and take a shot is when the tom is fighting the decoy and distracted.
USE A MECHANICAL BROADHEAD
When bowhunting gobblers, it is best to use a large cutting diameter mechanical broadhead. The bigger the better. Grim Reaper Broadheads, Rage Broadheads and many other companies make great heads that are designed for big game hunting but work well for turkey hunting. A broadhead that has a 2-inch cutting diameter or larger will give a bowhunter a little room for error if the shot isn’t perfect. A large cutting diameter broadhead when placed in the vitals of a turkey will take out the entire chest cavity, resulting in a very short blood trail.
When bowhunting turkeys, I suggest aiming slightly above the drumsticks. This takes out the legs of the gobbler and the back half of the chest cavity. This one-two punch often results in a gobbler falling over dead in his tracks. Head shots, broadside wing shot, and facing away shots are popular with diehard bowhunters but the drumstick shot is extremely affective.
USE A KWIK STAND
Regardless if you bowhunt turkeys from a blind or hunt by hiding on the edge of brush, one simple tool that can make a big difference in getting a shot off is the Pine Ridge Archery Kwik Stand. The Kwik Stand a simple pair of legs with jaws that attaches to the bottom limb of your bow and allows the bowhunter to rest the bow in the vertical position. When sitting in a blind or out in the open, having a bow upright and ready for the shot makes taking a shot a lot easier than if the bow is siting down on the ground. With a Kwik Stand, the bow is raised and shot in a matter of seconds which makes taking quick shots easy.
Bowhunting turkeys can be fun and rewarding and by utilizing the tips above bowhunters can drastically increase their odds of success.