Turkey Hunting with Archery Tackle Has Never Been Better
Talk to other turkey hunters who do it with a bow. Hit the hunting forums and discuss options.
If you're a veteran bowhunter, you may not need to tweak your gear all that much.
If you're just starting out, get plenty of opinions first before you make choices.
After you make choices, continue to refine these for gear, tactics and so on.
Got a local bow shop with a knowledgeable staff? Go there with a bunch of questions about the best bow, broadhead and arrows for what you want to do: bowhunt turkeys.
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Just as you would pattern your turkey shotgun with different loads at varying distances with several choke tubes, do this with your bow, arrow and broadhead to gain skill and confidence in your shooting, and the equipment you do it with each day, before the hunt.
Practice arrowing a 3-D turkey target on a regular basis to visualize your intended quarry.
To reflect hunting conditions, practice shooting from a hunting stool, a standing position, or on your backside.
You need not shoot for hours on end. A daily 20-minute session can get you in the groove though.
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Gear for bowhunting turkeys has never been better. New bowhunting accessories might suit your spring gobbler hunts, as much as those times to come this fall for deer.
Wear reliable, comfortable Realtree-camouflage clothing to instill confidence and concealment in your game plan.
Use a man-made blind, where legal, constructed from natural materials on patterned turkeys to conceal your movements (though it limits mobility), or hunt with a model that's easy to transport and assemble.
If you bowhunt on foot for turkeys as I do, find the best archery tackle to match this tactical style.
More Here: the Realtree bowhunting nest.
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Stake turkey decoys at your effective bow range to fix an individual gobbler or flock's position.
Get the turkey close – real close (know your personal skill and range limit).
Incorporate good calling and solid woodsmanship.
Think about what the turkey is seeing before you commit to making a move.
Time your shot on a calm, standing bird in range, with a sure draw and arrow release.
Place your shots at the neck's base on facing birds, wing butt, or at the anal vent when turkeys face away.
Some broadheads are trusty enough to aim for the head and neck, and even designed for this.
Drill that turkey dead.
Bonus Video: Turkey Anatomy and Proper Arrow Placement
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After anchoring a turkey, place your bow down, then quickly approach and step on the flopping bird's head or neck before carefully removing the arrow if it hasn't passed through.
If you've made a good hit, and especially if you're not so sure, pay attention to everything you see and hear as the turkey moves off.
It may fly, then crash in the nearby woods. It might run off, and seek thick shelter.
Stay aware. And do everything you can to find that bird.
When you do, congratulations. You've earned it.
Editor's note: This turkey blog was first published March 5, 2017.
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