TAKE A TOM WITH A BOW THIS SPRING
THE HEAD SHOT
One of the main reasons turkeys are hard to kill with a bow is because they are hard to find after the shot. Turkeys often leave behind almost no blood trail and can easily hide in the brush or behind logs. The easiest way to make sure you find your bird after the shot is to make sure the bird never leaves the spot where you shot him. One way to ensure that the bird never walks again is by shooting him in the head. There have been several broadheads designed over the years that take off the head of a turkey. Regardless if you use one of those or some other kind of head, the easiest way to get a good head shot is to make sure the bird is 20 yards away or less. Using a good decoy spread and being patient are the best methods to ensure you get head shot. The blessing and the curse of a head shot is you will either kill the gobbler instantly or miss him clean.
USE A "REAL" DECOY
Another way to increase the odds of success with a bow when turkey hunting is to use a realistic turkey decoy. The most realistic decoy out there is a real turkey that has been mounted by a taxidermist. One taxidermist who sells a lot of turkey decoys is Cally Morris from Hazel Creek Taxidermy. I have hunted with Cally and I have seen what a difference a real turkey decoy can make. When using a real turkey decoy, especially a strutter, toms often run right into the decoy setup and start fighting it. This allows the bowhunter time to easily draw and shoot. While the bowhunter is drawing his bow, the gobbler is distracted by the decoy. In this setup, I like to have the decoys at 15 yards or less, giving me an easy shot.
SETUP NEAR THE ROOST
Shane Mowery from Bone Maniacs has killed plenty of birds with a bow and what he likes to do to increase his odds of success is set up right on top of the roost early in the morning. “I like to sneak in close to a gobbler’s roost tree and call only a few times. I will call super softly and only a few times. By calling softly and being patient, often the gobbler will fly down right in front of me, giving me an easy bow shot,” Mowery said. “I don’t want to call too much or be too loud using this tactic. When running and gunning, I can call loudly and often and usually find a tom. This is not the case when bowhunting. Soft calling is a must if a bowhunter wants to bring a gobbler in close for a shot.
Bowhunting gobblers can be a challenge, but it can also be a lot of fun. Give it a try this spring when you go turkey hunting.