Bowhunting Turkey! 5 Steps To Arrowing A Boss Tom

Bowhunting Turkey! 5 Steps To Arrowing A Boss Tom

Bowhunting turkey isn't the parlor trick many believe. Heck, I've shot 60 gobblers with my bow to this point, and know absolutely I'll be shooting another in a couple weeks when Idaho's spring season opens. I'm not even close to being a champion turkey caller, or the best shot around, or even a very patient man when it comes right down to it. In other words, basic skills get the job done, with the right gear and approach.

FIND SOME BIRDS!

Most importantly you need a decent place to hunt. Not the lease where birds get shot up on opening morning, or the farm where your entire family and five cousins belabor turkeys. You need a place that receives light hunting pressure, either an exclusive piece of private ground, somewhere far from population centers or even isolated ground requiring some hiking. You need multiple opportunities in this business. You need birds that aren't totally educated.

BUY A POP-UP BLIND

Pop-up ground blinds are the single aspect in this program that tips odds in your favor. Turkeys live by their eyes. Eliminate that and shooting a turkey can seem almost easy. Positioning for the shot, and especially drawing your bow can be accomplished at your leisure, without detection by a gobbler's sharp eyes.

USE THE RIGHT BROADHEAD

If you're going to bowhunt turkeys you'd better have the right broadhead for the job. This means the most aggressive cutting diameters available. In nearly all cases I choose mechanicals with cutting diameters from 1 1/2 to 2 inches (favorites including NAP's Gobbler Getter (pictured) — 1 1/2 -inch with blunted, bone-smashing tip -- and Rocket Aerohead's Hammerhead and Rage with 2-inch cuts). In states where mechanical broadheads aren't legal, G5 Outdoor's Striker Magnum with 1 1/2 -inch fixed-blade cutting diameter gets the job done.

Wide-cutting designs increase your margin of error; a single blade reaching over to cut a lung or artery, punching big enough holes that even a thigh or gut shot becomes lethal. They also slow penetration, imparting shock and often leaving the arrow in the bird to slow escape by air or land.

TAKE ONLY CLOSE SHOTS

Turkey's vitals (heart/lung area) are the size of a baseball. Of course head/neck, spine and thighs all constitute lethal hits on these relatively fragile birds, but you always aim for the middle, and there are seemingly more feathers than bird when under pressure. This is where pop-ups come in. Receiving 5-yard shots isn't uncommon, so be patient and wait until you can be sure — be that 20 yards, or 40.

LEARN BASIC TURKEY TALK

That's all you really need to lure mature gobblers into range. Keep it simple and call only as often as you need to keep a bird interested and moving your way. No more, no less. Decoys can help bring in wary gobblers, but I've not found them mandatory in most areas I hunt.

The rest is all about persistence and faith. You can't kill a bow turkey if you take your shotgun. So put the shotgun away and make it happen with a bow this season. It's just not as difficult as you likely believe!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint Archery evolves in design and performance with the introduction of the new CP400 Crossbow.

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

The new Ravin R29X Crossbow includes everything you need for blistering speed (450 FPS!) and deadly downrange accuracy (3-inch group at 100 yards).

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Craft your shafts for maximum performance in the field. Arrows & Broadheads

How to Build the Best Hunting Arrow

Jon E. Silks

Craft your shafts for maximum performance in the field.

Don't give up on that seemingly untunable bow just yet. Bows

Untunable Bow? Nock Travel Could Be Your Problem

Bill Winke

Don't give up on that seemingly untunable bow just yet.

Fields and food plots aren't the best places to kill big bucks. How-To

Avoid “Gun Stands” When Bowhunting

Bill Winke

Fields and food plots aren't the best places to kill big bucks.

These are the archery shots you should and shouldn't take on whitetails. How-To

Where to Shoot a Deer: Bowhunting Shot Placement

Christian Berg

These are the archery shots you should and shouldn't take on whitetails.

See More Trending Articles

More Upland

With a few tricks and the right gear, you can arrow your trophy gobbler this spring Upland

27 Turkeys

Patrick Meitin - October 28, 2010

With a few tricks and the right gear, you can arrow your trophy gobbler this spring



A friend of mine had this photo posted on Facebook. Not sure where it's from, but that's got to Upland

Turkey vs. Windshield: Turkey Wins (Sort Of)

Christian Berg - February 03, 2012

A friend of mine had this photo posted on Facebook. Not sure where it's from, but that's got...



 

Much of America enjoyed an early spring this year, with many flowers, shrubs and trees Upland

There's Still Time for Turkeys

Christian Berg - May 11, 2012

  Much of America enjoyed an early spring this year, with many flowers, shrubs and...

If you have an adventuresome spirit, consider an out-of-state foray for turkeys. Upland

How To Plan the Perfect DIY Turkey Hunt

Eddie Claypool

If you have an adventuresome spirit, consider an out-of-state foray for turkeys.

See More Upland

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now