Below you are going to find a very detailed, in-depth how-to turkey hunting guide. This guide is full of advice and tips that explain not only the basics, but various other information that first-time hunters and veterans can find beneficial to their game. In the end, the goal is to ensure you are able to go out and hunt turkeys in a more effective manner.
Of course, at the end of the day, simply reading a how-to guide isn’t going to ensure you’re a more efficient turkey hunter. Wild turkeys are paranoid creatures. If you think about it, you would be too if you walked around looking like that. But that caginess of the turkey is part of what makes hunting the creature so much fun – and somewhat difficult.
So, you will need to take the information that you learn in this guide with you into the woods and apply it strategically.
Let’s take a look at what you will learn within this guide.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive right in…
You must first understand the turkey’s habitat. When it comes to a good turkey habitat, experts, biologists, etc. all agree that diversity is essential. At one time, some believe that unbroken timber was necessary for wild turkeys to thrive. However, this is not the case. Proof of this is the substantial amount of wild turkeys that roam the Great Plains.
The ideal turkey habitat requires three simple things: water, food, and shelter.
Turkeys will roost in trees; therefore, trees will need to be large enough for roosting. This is mandatory.
Apart from large roosting trees, it is possible for wild turkeys to make it in areas where there is sparse timber so long as they can find adequate water, food and shelter that will allow them to hide from predators. The majority of turkey biologists say that the ideal turkey habitat consists of 10 to 50 percent of non-forested land.
Public Land Hunting
When hunting big game, such as deer or elk, you tend to want to focus on private land rather than public land. However, when it comes to hunting turkey, it is a pretty level playing field.
More often than not, the hunting experience can be incomparable on public land. Across the U.S., wild turkey populations are drastically increasing, which makes it very easy to find turkeys on public lands. Of course, there is likely to be more hunting pressure on public land than on private land; however, there is generally plenty of room to escape said pressure.
It isn’t difficult to find a location to hunt turkeys. In fact, you can go online to state wildlife agency website to search for public hunting land areas. There are large tracts of national and state forests in the Midwest where you can find very impressive numbers of wild turkeys. There are thousands of acres in the West thanks to National Forests, BLM and state-owned areas.
However, regardless of the region that you live in, you will simply need to look for the main habitat features. Large trees for roosting, food, water, open areas and adequate cover to hide from predators.
Plant a Food Plant Because Turkeys Need Food, Too.
Deer love food plots, and, believe it or not, turkeys do as well. During the spring, these gobblers can be attracted to green food plots for a number of reasons: greens, bugs, and cover.
A flourishing food plot offers turkeys with plentiful forage. For example, winter wheat, chicory and clover provide nutritious forage for turkeys. These plants tend to also attracts a lot of insects. In the spring, hens need a significant amount of protein in order to produce eggs, and a large amount of that protein is generally acquired from insects. A lush plot offers a great habitat for poults as well as open areas for turkeys to strut.
One of the most popular plants for beginning a food plat is chufa. This particular plant has the ability to produce hundreds of small-sized tubers beneath the ground during the fall. Gobblers love them and will dig into the ground to get access to them.
There is only one state in the United States that does not offer a spring turkey season and that’s Alaska. Opening day can begin as early as the first of March and as late as the third of May. Deep in the South, the season will end sometime in the middle or end of April, which is about the time that the season starts in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. In Maine, turkey season kicks off around the first of June.
In other words, you have more than enough time to get your shot in on a turkey. Dates, as well as regulations, will vary from state to state. So it is important that you find out the specifics before you go hunting. Specifics that you will need to find out include license fees, application requirements, season dates, etc.
Take Advantage of the Breeding Season
Spring is breeding time for turkeys, which is beneficial for you as a hunter. Therefore, you need to make sure that you take advantage of it. As the days have more daylight, it means that the hens will begin to mate. Gobblers may begin to vocalize earlier; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that breeding has commenced. After all, they will gobble during the fall as well. Keep an eye out for strutting, as this is key in the breeding efforts.
Male turkeys will start to gobble in order to let hens know where they can be found. They will strut so that there is a visual to coincide with their vocalization. In many cases, the hen will provide a response by yelping and clucking. If a hen is in view nearby, then a dominant male turkey will generally only strut with no vocalization. Generally, as long as the hen is ready to breed, she will go to the gobbler instead of vice versa.
As spring arrives, turkey eggs are laid. Hens nest on the ground. They generally do so close to food sources to ensure that hatching poults will have plenty of seeds, bugs and plants to eat when needed. The incubation processes takes about four weeks and each clutch has about a dozen eggs.
As soon as poults are hatched, they will remain with the brood hen for the summer, fall and winter. Elder gobblers will remain together throughout this period as well. When spring rolls around, turkeys will begin dispersing and the breeding season begins all over again.
Hunting in the Early Season
During the spring, loud gobbling is how male turkeys are announcing their location to hens. This is part of the breeding process. Therefore, hunters would do well to listen for this and begin their hunt where this vocalization is taking place.
It is possible to fool an early season gobbler. You can locate one and call him in during the hunting day or at fly-down time. You can also find a gang of male turkeys with no hens around and do the exact same. However, if you find a hang of birds with hens nearby who are already strutting their stuff for the ladies, then they will prove to be an obstacle for you this early in the season. Think about it: if you had a mate in your sight, would you leave them?
Of course, there are some strategies that may work. For example, you can hunt down a breeding block and get the boss hen fired up. With territorial qualities, the turkey may be interested in investigated the call and bring the rest of the group with her, which includes the one that you are eyeing. Don’t get your hopes up, as this particular technique won’t work every single time.
Another more effective option is to track unpressured birds so that you can figure out their day-to-day movements. It is crucial to take the time to scout for a few weeks prior to the opening day of the season. If you are familiar with where the turkeys could go, then you will be able to set up and catch them. If necessary, use a blind so that you can stay a little longer.
Remember, patience is everything when it comes to these spring gobblers. The more you are willing to hunt, the closer you will get to killing him.
Hunting in the Late Season
Before you know it, turkey hunting season will be over. This is particularly true if you aren’t having any luck tagging a gobbler.
During the late season, there is a good chance that some hens will be nesting. Depending on exactly where you live, some poults may be hatched. Younger female turkeys could still be with gobblers because their breeding activity won’t start until later. Hens that are with gobblers could still challenge you, though, similar to the way that they did early in the season.
Try to locate gobblers that don’t have hens around because they will likely be looking to breed. These gobblers will be eager and commit to your call in the late season.
Something else you will need to look out for is gobblers on the prowl for other gobblers. As the seasons change, hens will nest and hatch their broods, while male turkeys begin to create male groups. They will remain together throughout the summer and well into the fall. As long as the spring turkey season is open, the right call could get a gobbler into sight.
However, calling tactics will change over the season. During the early season, you will use hen yelps and clucks to attract gobblers that are interested in breeding. However, now that it is late in the season, you need to switch gears and call like a gobbler in order to be successful.
Understanding How Turkeys Are Impacted by the Spring Weather
The best time to go turkey hunting is whenever you have the free time. However, it is important to realize that the weather outside can influence the movement and vocalization activity of the turkeys.
When it comes to hunting turkeys, here is what you need to know:
Scouting in the Pre-Season
Scouting during the pre-season is probably the most important task that you will perform during the spring season when it comes to turkey hunting. The main objective of scouting is to determine the location of turkeys prior to opening day of the season. For the best opportunities, you will want to combine scouting on public and private land. Just make sure that you have the appropriate permissions and access. Once you do, you will be able to locate gobblers by listening and visually.
Turkeys like to be messy, so make sure that you look for tracks in the sand, mud and snow. Don’t forget scratching, which is left behind by the birds when they scrape at the ground as they feed. They also leave scratching behind on trees. Later in the spring season, it will be hard to see these signs of scratching.
Old scratching tends to look dry and old, while fresh scratching shows moist leaves and soil. It’s similar to droppings. In terms of scouting, what exactly is a quality turkey turd? If it is soft and moist, then it is fresh. You can tell this by looking at it; you don’t need to touch it.
There are going to be various dusting areas where the birds have rolled around in the sand or soil on their bellies. In strut zones and on dirt roads, you will see drag marks where turkeys have dragged the tips of their wings while strutting. These are all signs that turkeys are living in the area. Your next step is to listen for them.
You will want to make sure to get out in the woods early in the morning so you can listen for them as they are waking up for their roosts. If possible, make sure you are in an elevated location. The best thing you can do is to see the birds strut into an open field, not to mention seeing how and when they entered the field.
The truth of the matter is that pre-season scouting can often be just as much fun as it is hunting the birds.
Roosting a Turkey
You can hold a huge advantage over turkeys when you know where the birds begin and finish their days. In order to have this advantage, though, you must be familiar with roosting a turkey.
It Begins with Proper Setup
So, you have determined where you are going to hunt and you have taken the time to do your scouting. Now, you need to think about how you are going to setup for the hunt. Make sure that you select a location near the turkey that you are aiming for, but you don’t want to get so close that you scare the bird. You need to setup along a travel route that is predictable, as it will be easier to call in a turkey when you are sitting on a route that the bird travels regularly.
Prior to sitting down, get a good look around yourself to ensure that you have plenty of open shots for when a turkey comes into sight. If it is possible, choose a location that will allow you to be in range of the turkey when he steps into view. This could put you setting up on the corner of a pasture trailer or at the edge of a ridge top. You will also want to try to sit with your back against a wide-trunked tree that faces this particular spot. Get comfortable, and be ready with plenty of calls being placed nearby.
If there are roosted turkeys, then you want to make certain that you are setup near where the turkeys are going to be flying down. Typically, this is a nearby open area. You may want to consider using a couple of decoys, as this may make your calls more effective. If you have scouted and found strut zones, then setup there. In these types of situations, portable blinds are beneficial.
As gobblers and hens begin to come out throughout the day, your setup will likely change. You can sit there, call to the birds and wait for them to come to you, or you can go to them as you get closer to your next setup. Many hunters choose to do a little bit of both.
You will eventually find yourself at your setup and the gobbler will be hunting you down. When this happens, you will know that you have chosen the right location at the right time. And, trust us when we say that there isn’t anything like it.
Calling Sounds That You Must Be Familiar With
Turkeys tend to call when they are looking for other lone birds or flock mates. It is a way to get other birds to step into view, call back, etc. and reveal its location. It is the way turkeys ask each other, “Where are you?”. By taking measures to imitate similar sounds, you can get turkeys to come right to you.
There are approximately 30 different turkey calling sounds that can be heard while out, but less than half of them are utilized when hunting. In fact, spring hunters will generally only use two calls: a hen yelp and a plain cluck. These calls will help you acquire plenty of turkeys to kill. However, there are other good calls to be familiar with, including tree yelps, roost clucks, fly-down cackles, lost yelps, cutting, gobbles, purrs, and kee-kee sounds.
A cluck is a sound that turkeys make throughout the day and consists of a single note. They tend to be spaced out with a few seconds between each note. In some cases, a turkey may only cluck one time.
The plain yelp tends to be three to eight notes and is often employed by hunters to lure in gobblers. The yelp is a far higher pitch than the yelp of the gobbler, which is a coarse sound. In addition, tom turkeys tend to yelp with a slower pace and often fewer in number – sometimes just a few notes. During the spring, a jake turkey will yelp instead of gobble when approaching, which makes it a crucial sound for you to be familiar with.
It is much easier to be able to learn these sounds by listening to them instead of simply reading about them. In fact, the best way to learn them is to get out there and listen to real turkeys. However, online videos can help too.
Using a Box Call
The box call can be your best friend while out in the wild. The majority of box calls that you find will be made out of wood. A sound – similar to the one that a wild turkey would make and would ultimately want to hear – is made when you rub the bottom of the paddle against the lip of the side panel.
The box call can be tuned with chalk, which you would rub against the bottom of the paddle. You will want to avoid anything that is oil-based. In addition, the call needs to remain dry, ideally inside your vest. The best option is to purchase a waterproof call.
Seasoned hunters say they prefer a box call that comes with a flock of turkeys inside. Make sure that you try several box calls before you purchase one to ensure that you find out that you are happy with. In many cases, it will become your go-to call while hunting.
Using a Slate Call
These particular types of calls tend to vary from style to style, though they have the same general design. Made out of aluminum, glass or slate, the surface is attached directly to a hollow pot, which typically has holes drilled underneath in order to create a sound inside the chamber inside. The striker, also known as a peg, is the second piece to this turkey call. The striker is made of glass, plastic, carbon, wood and sometimes turkey wing bone. To create sounds, friction is necessary. A Scotch-Brite scour pad can be used to roughen up the surface of the slate call. If it is made of aluminum or glass, use fine grit sandpaper.
With the striking surface up, hold the pot. Make sure your middle finger is located at the three o’clock position and your thumb at the nine o’clock position. Grip the striker like a pencil with your thumb in the center of the peg. A wide variety of calls can be made by simply varying the pattern of the stroke. You will need to maintain the peg tip on the surface in order to make any vocalizations.
It takes time to learn how to use one of these calls, but they’re one of the most realistic-soundings turkey calls available.
Using a Diaphragm or Mouth Call
One of the most inexpensive turkey calls that you can buy is the mouth call. However, they make some incredibly realistic sounds. Often called diaphragms, these calls don’t require your hands for operation. These calls are designed by stretching latex rubber, generally known as the reed, across a frame shaped like a horseshoe, which is inside of a plastic skirt. To create the turkey vocalizations, you simply blow air across the reed.
What word should you say as you blow across the reed? Well, there are many popular words, but it all depends on the specific caller that you are using. Some popular words include chalk, chop, chirp and chick. To make the call, you will want to fit the diaphragm against your mouth’s roof using your tongue. The straight edge should be faced forward. Try to make sure that the seal is as air tight as possible. Next, lightly place your tongue against the reed. Push air between the reed and the top of your tongue to yelp. It can help to say those words previously earlier. When you make your vocalizations, try to do so similar to the way a turkey would – with beaklike, snapping lips.
In order to improve your calling game, you will need to run the diaphragm call with the appropriate number, length, rhythm, spacing, pitch and volume of notes. Try listening to real turkeys. As you practice, take notes and learn from the mistakes that you make. Before long, you will be making numerous sounds that will be fooling plenty of birds out in the wild.
During the spring, it isn’t uncommon for gobblers to gobble when they hear a loud sound. This is a good thing for hunters. Many refer to is as “shock gobbling”. There are locator calls that are often used that can make these sounds in the hopes of locating a nearby gobbler.
Traditional calls include barred owls and crows. However, there are others that work, including coyotes, hawks, goose and duck. Turkey calls can be used as well. Many times, excited yelps and shock a turkey into gobbling.
Generally, turkeys will begin gobbling once the day breaks. If you haven’t heard any sounds yet in the morning, then try with an owl call. If this does not work, then opt for a crow call. Crow calls are also great when you are ready to make a run for the turkeys and shoot them down.
Non-turkey locator calls are excellent while turkeys are still on the root. However, once they fly down, it is best to stick to turkey calls. The ultimate goal is to determine the bird’s position so that you can determine where to setup and then call the turkey in. If you can make a loud turkey call, you will be able to shock the turkey into gobbling, allowing you to be clued in on its location. However, you need to be prepared first.
Keep in mind that locator calls should, ideally, be used in moderation. If a turkey is hearing too many owl hoots and crow calls, they aren’t going to cause him to “shock gobble”. So, use the locator calls to locate the turkey, but don’t do it so much that it hurts your end game.
You’ve Got to Go Full-Out Camo
One thing that is not an option when you go out into the wild to hunt turkeys is what you wear. You must be decked out in full camouflage. Gobblers have very sharp eyes, so you need to be in a camo shirt, pants, jacket, gloves, and face paint/mask to ensure that you remain hidden.
The color of camo gear that you choose is crucial as well. Early in the spring, you will want to ensure that you choose a pattern that has plenty of greys and browns that will match well with the surroundings, which consists of little foliage. As the season progresses and your surroundings brighten up a bit, you will need to ensure that your clothing has more green in it.
Why a Turkey Vest is Important
As a turkey hunter, you will have a lot of gear to carry from calls, strikes and maps to decoys and shells. Where are you going to put it all? A great place to store it all is a turkey vest. A quality turkey vest is able to tote your gear, while also keeping it secure, organized and silent.
A vest features numerous pockets that are designed specifically to hold the type of gear that you will have with you on your turkey hunt. They feature pockets for box calls, pot-style calls, strikers (aka pegs), and even spare shells. Once you acquire a turkey, some even have a spot for blood-proof bags so you can haul your bird back to your truck easily and mess-free.
Aside from being design to carry your hunting gear, a turkey hunting vest ensures that you can hunt in comfort. Many quality turkey vests feature an attached seat cushion that makes it a bit more tolerable when it comes to sitting on the ground for extended periods of time while waiting for turkeys to appear. There are also padded areas on the vest’s back that protect your back when you need to lean against the trunk of a tree.
Turkey Hunting Boots
You must cover a lot of ground when hunting turkeys. Therefore, you need to have the appropriate boots. First, you need to determine the terrain that you will be hunting on, as well as the most common weather conditions that you will encounter. Will you be hunting in wet areas, cold weather, areas with snakes? All of these things need to be considered when you are purchasing turkey hunting boots.
If you will encounter wet areas, but you will be walking on relatively flat terrain, then rubber boots that come up to your calves will suffice. These boots will be comfortable and keep your feet dry. If you will be walking for extended periods of time or encounter hillier terrain, then you may want to opt for a leather boot. These will provide you with more ankle support. If you will be encountering water on your hikes, make sure that you opt for a pair of boots with some type of waterproof material, such as Gore-Tex.
If there is a good chance that you will come across snakes during your hunter, get a tall boot with a snake-proof design.
Using Jake and Hen Decoys
Turkeys can be extremely fickle. One thing that you can definitely count on, though, is that have a certain sense of pride. Mature gobblers don’t like to often tolerate jakes putting the moves on hens.
So, with that being said, using jake and hen decoys can test most male turkeys, especially the young ones that like to travel in pairs throughout the spring. These birds are often aggressive and somewhat reckless. They aren’t very dominant, so they are on the prowl for a hen that the “boss” tom hasn’t claimed yet. Therefore, seeing a defiant jake with a lady is just too much for the birds to handle.
Using Strutter Decoys
These types of decoys are typically used to make or break the hunt. They are often the best option when it comes to challenging dominant gobblers. When a gobbler sees a strutting intruder, it can cause a dominant turkey to forget everything else and head straight into the ring of fire to figure out what’s going on. Sub-dominant turkeys don’t like to take risks as much and tend to sit back and watch from afar.
A strutter decoy should be used in areas were dominant turkeys are frequently seen or where there are generally many sub-dominant turkeys together. You wouldn’t want to setup a strutter decoy where there is a single sub-dominant turkey, as it won’t do you much good, but as long as there is a couple of other turkeys with him, then it can prove to be beneficial.
When You Shouldn’t Use a Decoy
Some people love decoys, while others hate them. When it comes to decoys, it is probably one of the most heated conversations when it comes to turkey hunting.
Now, one of the biggest questions surrounding decoys is when they should not be used. There isn’t a clear-cut answer for this, but there are some basic guidelines that can be followed.
Turkey Hunting Shotguns
Traditionally, turkeys are hunted with a shotgun. Because of this, many hunters have a dedicated gun for turkey hunting. It is a precise and deliberate act to shoot a turkey with this type of gun. It is similar to that of rifle shooting, as opposed to wing shooting. The end goal is to instantly kill the turkey. In order to do that, because turkeys are so tough, you need to ensure that you are aiming for the head so that the spine breaks and the central nervous system of the bird is instantly disabled. While one pellet is able to do the job, it is better to do it with a dense swarm.
Dedicated turkey guns are designed to deliver a tight shot pattern at standard distances for turkey hunting, which is 40 yards or closer. However, it isn’t uncommon for modern guns to be able to go about 50 yards.
Various Types of Shotguns
When it comes to a turkey gun, it only needs a few things. It needs to be able to throw a decent pattern when it is aimed. It also needs to fit you to ensure that you are able to shoot it well. Finally, it should consist of a non-reflective finish so that turkeys don’t catch sight of it out in the wild. While a camouflage gun is recommended, a matte-black gun would suffice.
Single-shot shotguns work well because they’re inexpensive and lightweight. Most of them come equipped with fixed chokes, but the ones with full chokes tend to pattern relatively well. Of course, these types of guns have some drawbacks. The main one is that you only have one shot each time. In addition, they have a brutal recoil.
Most turkey hunters prefer pump-action shotguns, such as the Mossberg 835 and Remington 870. They almost are always available in camouflage. In addition, you can find turkey-specific models. Many pumps come with choke tubes that are interchangeable, which allows you to change out your turkey tube for a modified duck choke in mere seconds. In terms of price, pump-action shotguns are mid-range. They provide you with a quick follow-up shot, especially if you’re experienced, but they will still kick hard.
Semi-automatic shotguns are the best of the best when it comes to turkey hunting. They offer an instant follow-up shot and far less recoil than the previously-mentioned shotguns. Some great options include the Browning Maxus, Remington Versa Max and Benelli Super Black Eagle II. The only thing is that you will pay the price for the benefits of these guns. Of course, you can use these guns for other hunting purposes, which makes up for the price that you spend.
Turkey Gun Accessories
As a general rule, a shorter barrel (less than 27 inches) is preferred by most turkey hunters. This is because this size of a barrel is easier to handle out in the woods. There are some guns that come equipped with pistol grips, which make the gun far more comfortable to handle, especially for longer periods of time. If you plan on spending a while out in the woods, you will want to invest in a comfortable gun sling.
Choke tubes for turkey hunting come from a number of manufacturers in an assortment of constrictions. Ideally, if you like bigger shots, such as No. 4 pellets, then you will want to opt for a super full turkey tube that is more open, such as a .670 constriction. On the other hand, if you prefer No. 6 or 7 ½ shots, then you may want to go with a tighter .660 constriction.
It’s inevitable – every turkey hunter is going to miss a shot at some point or another. However, for some, it tends to happen more frequently. You may need a sighting system that will help with your aim. Many turkey hunters use fiber-optic open sights. Some will even use optics, such as electronic red dot sights or low-power shotgun scopes.
Selecting a Turkey Load
The most popular shells with turkey hunter include 3 ½-inch magnums and 12-gauge 3 shells. Some hunters like 10-gauage shells as well. There are a few hunters that like to use the 20-gauage shells, but the only benefit to these smaller shells is a lighter weight gun and less recoil.
For turkey loads, the most popular options are lead shot sizes 4, 5 and 6. When compared to lead, heavier pellets, which can be made with an assortment of blended metals, tend to have fantastic downrange performance, though they are more expensive.
Once you have chosen a turkey shotgun, you need to ensure that you take some time out on the range with several different types of loads so that you can determine the one that offers the tightest pattern. Ideally, you will want to see at least 15 pellets in the head of a turkey at about 40 yards. However, the most important thing is that the pattern is tight in the center and even at the edges. If one specific shell tends to produce gaps or holes in the pattern, give something else a try.
It Begins with the Setup
Bowhunting for turkeys can be somewhat difficult due to the superb eyesight of the birds as well as their mechanical guardedness. When a deer senses danger, it may snort, stomp or investigate, which can be a flaw because it provides a hunter time to draw his or her arrow.
With turkeys, though, things are very different. These birds don’t care about what potential dangers are there; instead, they simply care that there is a potential danger present and they are out of there. The basics of luring a turkey into the range of a bow are not much different than getting a turkey into the range of a shotgun. It all comes down to ground blinds and good decoys.
As previously discussed, quality decoys can catch a turkey’s attention and keep it in a single spot for enough time for a bowhunter to draw his bow and make a good shot. Select your decoys wisely, primarily based on the terrain and birds, and set them nearby. While you can take a shot at a bird from 20 yards, a 15-yard shot will be much better.
An aggressive tactic that tends to work for many turkey hunters is run-and-gun shotgun shooting. However, patient is necessary. Look for a ridge or field where turkeys frequent, setup your ground blind, get your decoys set out, and get ready to stake out for a while.
While bowhunting, one of the best pieces of equipment that you can have at your disposal is the pop-hunting blind. These blinds can generally be set up in mere minutes and fully enclose the hunter. While the outside of the blind is camouflage, you are essentially hidden by shadows. Turkeys are hardly ever spooked by the blinds themselves, so trying to blend in with your surroundings (the way deer hunters tend to do) is not truly necessary. In fact, you can set your blind up in the middle of a wide open field and be able to shoot down some gobblers with no problem.
There are a few things that you will need to take into consideration. The first thing is space. Some hunters that use shotguns enjoy using blinds, and a lot of room is not necessary to shoot. However, if you are a bowhunter, you’ll need more room due to drawing a bow. Therefore, make sure that your blind provides ample room for sitting in the back or the center of the blind and shooting out of the side and front windows. It should also be tall enough so that your bow’s cams have adequate clearance from the ceiling of the blind to the ground.
A few other factors to consider include ease of setup and weight. Bowhunting from a blind tends to be far more stationary than the standard shotgun setup, though you may find yourself moving a couple times throughout the week as you discover new turkey patterns and behaviors.
Choosing Your Bow and Broadhead for Turkey Hunting
When it comes to shotguns and shotgun shell combinations, there are so many different ones that we can’t even list them all here. However, when it comes to bows, arrows and broadheads, there aren’t quite as many. Generally, bowhunters who hunt for turkey typically hunt for other game, and the good thing is that the bow that you use to hunt elk or deer can be used to hunt gobblers. The difference is that you will need a different setup. For example:
Hitting the Turkey in the Right Spot with Your Bow
When you are hunting big game, you are aiming for the lungs. Generally, the animal runs, but it is easy to find because a trail of blood is left behind that you can follow.
With turkeys, things are quite so cut-and-dry. They are birds, after all, so they can fly away! It isn’t so easy to find a bird – even if it is wounded – that has flown away. Therefore, your goal is to disable the gobbler. You have one of two options: 1) shoot the bird in the head, or 2) strike the turkey in the body.
If you are able to secure a head-shot, then you have an instant kill. However, going for this option could also result in a miss because turkeys don’t like to stay still long enough for you to get good enough aim. Plus, turkeys have small heads, so it is a small target. Of course, at the same time, if you are only about 20 yards away, and you’re a seasoned archer, it isn’t increasingly difficult to make the shot.
The more forgiving and easier option, though, is taking a shot at the body, which should ideally be slightly above the drum stick. It isn’t uncommon to make the mistake and aim for the bird’s wing butt or breast. If you hit there, though, chances are the bird will be able to make an escape because the bird’s vital organs are a bit further back and lower down. You want to be aiming slightly above the hip and at the crease of the bird’s thigh, as this is where the vital organs sit. A shot here will not only hit the organs, but it will also break bone. Regardless of the type of broadhead that you are using, a successful shot in this location will kill the bird within seconds.
With all of the information that you have been given, you should be ready to get out there and go hunting. If you have any questions or need help getting your gear together for your hunt, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Full Draw Archery.
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