-By Brandon Wikman
Turkey hunters from around the country are locking-up their gun cases and tossing them into the corner. A new challenge has surfaced among the avid turkey hunting population. Turkey hunting with a bow is the new craze and one that will jack your adrenaline to the limit.
Hunting wild turkey with a bow and arrow sets up an entire collection of opposing variables that will make you a hungry hunter by days end. I believe we as human beings enjoy a fresh challenge every now and then. Piercing an arrow through hundreds of glimmering feathers and into the tiny vitals of a turkey will boost your ego as you overcome this challenge.
Turkey shotgun loads are made to splatter shot into the head and neck region of the bird. Bring a bow into the situation and things changes super quick. The vitals on a turkey are no bigger than the size of a baseball. The small portion of the lungs and heart are buried somewhere in the middle of the bird. It is very difficult to determine where to place a shot, when turkeys are built so different than your average antlered critter.
Here are a few critical points to take note of when hunting turkey with a stick and string.
Shot-placement for birds that are broadside should be focused on the wing-but, which can be found by working your eyes up the wing to find a band of black feathers. Punching an arrow through the mid-section of the bird will result in a killer-shot, literally. You may also find that working your eyes up the legs toward the vertical center of the body will lead to the same results.
My favorite kill shot for turkey is targeted at the anus, where the tail-feathers all meet. You will be able to nail this shot with the combination of a well-placed turkey decoy and a little patience. Placing a jake decoy, which is facing you, 15-yards from your blind will draw a gobbler to a stare-down. More times than not gobblers will strut and face-off with intruders by exploding into a super-tom. This will give you a perfect shot that will make a clean and ethical kill.
Male birds love strutting their stuff. Call it ego if you will, it’s no different than you or I pushing out our manly chest in front of women. You will find that striking a gobbler while he’s facing you will put meat on the table, if you aim correctly. During times when birds are looking in your direction, aim just above the beard. This will send an arrow into the vitals and possibly knock-out the spine. Please beware that turkeys’ have superior eyes and may spot you when you draw you bow back. That is when hunting out of a blind comes in handy.
I urge all bird hunters to test their turkey temptations and wander the woods with a slightly different weapon of choice. It may decrease your odds of success, but I can assure you that your heart rate increases by the gobble! Take a bow out in the woods with you this year for a different and exciting way to hunt turkey.