TIPS AND TRICKS THAT WILL HELP YOU TAG A TOM TURKEY WITH A BOW


BY TRACY BREEN

Bowhunting turkeys is becoming more popular every year. The rise in popularity is partially due to the fact that bowhunting turkeys is extremely difficult and bowhunters are drawn to hunting anything that is difficult.  Killing a turkey with a stick and string can be extremely difficult, but not impossible if you have the right gear.  At the top of the must have list is large diameter mechanical broadhead and a good turkey target.  Mechanical broadheads are a turkey hunter’s dream come true because they are extremely accurate which is necessary when aiming at an animal with vitals the size of an apple.  Mechanical heads cut a baseball-size hole.   

MECHANICAL BROADHEADS

One broadhead that is worth mentioning is the Grim Reaper Carni-Four. This broadhead comes equipped with four blades. Two of the blades offer a 1-1/2 inch cut and the other two blades produce a 1-1/4 inch size hole. Combined that is a 2.75-inch linear cut.  A hole that size will quickly bring a turkey down and give the archer a little room for error.  If the shot isn’t perfect, chances are the bird will quickly go down when hit with such a devastating broadhead.  When bowhunting turkeys, missing the mark by an inch can mean tag soup.  With a mechanical head, the odds of recovery are much higher.  Rage, G5 and many others makes awesome heads that work great for bowhunting turkeys.

PROPER ARROW PLACEMENT

One reason many bowhunter wound turkeys when bowhunting is because they don’t know exactly where to aim on a gobbler. A well-placed body shot will quickly bring a bird down. Aiming just under the butt of the wing is one option. The best way to practice for this shot is using a turkey target. Morrell Targets has a great 3D target called the Back To Back. This target has a turkey on one side, a deer on the other, and dots on each end. Prior to turkey season, shoot at the turkey side daily which will prepare you for the moment of truth.  

Another option is to aim for just above the drumsticks. Since the chest cavity on a turkey is so small, a broadhead that hits just above the legs will take out the back end of the vitals and break the muscles attached to the turkey’s legs so it can’t run or fly away.  Most turkey hunters lose birds when they run or fly away after the shot.  A well-placed arrow tipped with a  large cutting diameter broadhead will eliminate this problem most of the time.   

BOWHUNTING DECOY

Hunters who are up for a challenge should consider the Heads Up Decoy.  This company offers a turkey decoy that can be mounted on the front of a bow.  The company sells a 2D decoy and a mounting bracket.  The hunter mounts a real fan to the decoy for added realism.  More hunters are stalking up on gobblers in open fields and food plots while using decoys and having a blast doing it.  The Heads Up Decoy is perfect for the bowhunter who wants to try this hunting method.  The decoy is lightweight and easy to transport and use.  This makes running and gunning with a bow easier.  Some bowhunters place the decoy in the ground and use it like a traditional decoy instead of a spot and stalk decoy.  Either way, the decoy is perfect for the bowhunter.  

DECOY PLACEMENT 

Why should hunters want 10 yards between the decoys? According to Cally Morris from Hazel Creek Taxidermy, turkeys are somewhat claustrophobic. “A tom wants room to come into a setup and strut. One mistake many hunters make when setting up decoys is they just randomly plop them down somewhere.  The decoys are often too close together.  If a hunter wants to take a tom with a bow, there needs to be plenty of room between the decoys so the tom feels comfortable coming into the middle of a setup.  I’ve watched many birds over the years walk into a setup of bunched up decoys and turn to leave.  It makes them nervous,” Morris noted.   

Tagging a turkey with archery equipment is not impossible, but it requires extra work. Hopefully the above tips will help you put a tom in the freezer this spring.