With turkey season coming to an end, it’s a great time for hunters to take a look back at their season and determine what went well, and what could be improved. For many who choose to chase turkeys with their bow, they’ve already learned the many challenges that can arise along the way.
First, you need to bring the turkeys in nice and close, and keep them around long enough to get a shot. For this, your decoys are incredibly important because they can often be the determining factor on how close birds come in, and how long they stay. I like to always give the birds a couple options depending on their mood. Generally, I put a Dave Smith Decoys Jake out in case they’re in the mood for fighting, along with a Submissive Hen just in case they’re in the mood for ladies.
Second, you must have an ambush setup where you’re able to draw your bow without a turkey’s incredible eyes noticing. Good decoys again help here, but I believe ground binds are super helpful as well. Not only does it allow more movement so you can easily draw your bow, but you can also let down and re-draw if needed. Turkeys are constantly moving, so there are times you may have to draw numerous times in order to get the perfect shot.
I have four main shots that I feel confident in making quick, clean kills on a turkey. They are extremely tough birds, and an incorrectly placed shot often leads to wounded birds. If this happens, I always suggest going immediately out of the blind and pursuing your bird. The four main shots I like are right below the neck if they’re facing me; broadside right in the middle of the bird (remember, if they’re in full strut, there are a lot of feathers to account for standing on end); if they’re facing away in full strut, I’ll aim right in the middle of the tail fan; and lastly, if they’re walking away, a shot right in the middle of the back works great.
When it comes to broadheads, in the past I’ve simply used my Rage heads that I use throughout the year on big game. This year, however, Rage came up with a Xtreme Turkey Broadhead specifically designed for turkeys. The first noticeable difference is the meat hooks that help ensure maximum tissue damage and destruction. Next, you have a 2.125 x .75-inch cutting diameter, and the ferrule design has a cut-on-contact tip, which is made for quick kills on turkeys. If you switch back and forth from a vertical bow to a crossbow, you can also use the same broadheads, just swap out the shock collar.
Overall I’ve noticed people showing great concern when it comes to the broadheads they use for deer and other big game, but they oftentimes overlook the toughness of a turkey. This is especially true when shots are slightly off, and a little turkey fever may have been added into the equation. So, if turkey season is still happening in your neck of the woods, check out the Rage turkey broadheads.
Bowhunting turkeys is a blast, and all the components of the hunt must come together for success. From decoys to blinds to broadheads, everything has to be working well to ensure maximum success in the field. Check out the video below to see some of my success from the 2017 turkeys season!
Images and video by Melissa Bachman