What to Know Before Shooting a Turkey with Your Bow

This past week it warmed up enough in Iowa to shoot my bow outside. I fell for the same early spring trick March in Iowa always pulls and started daydreaming about turkey hunting. Though it looks like we are back into snow boots and cabin fever, turkey season is only a bit over a month away. If you are considering shooting a turkey with your bow this season here are three things to consider to be prepared for the season.  


I have found it is much easier to read a buck’s body language than a tom turkey. It is hard to tell where turkeys are looking and many times when I thought I was sure a turkey wouldn’t spook, they took off into the next county. If the tom is not showing signs of spooking you need to wait until he turns completely around while strutting before you draw your bow.

From my experience turkey hunting the key to shooting a turkey with your bow is patience. This might mean you have to watch an ten minute turkey courtship before you can draw your bow. There are a lot of good youtube videos on hunters waiting to draw their bows, and you can watch my gopro video here if you want to see what I mean.


Practice with your broadheads

Your shot on a turkey should be at close range and precise. You don’t need to spend time shooting out to 50 yards at this time of year, so take the time that you would have spent shooting longer distances to tune your broadheads. So test out different broadheads and tune them as well. Jon Dudley has a good video you can find here.


Understanding turkey vitals

A few years ago I shot a turkey in the fall that I was sure would go down in not time. It was a passthrough shot and the turkey was dragging its opposite wing as it ran off, but it made it to a cornfield and I never saw the bird again. Turkey vitals can be deceptive and I have aimed too low multiple times. Taking the time to research where to aim may make your season this year. Typically you need to base your shot to be about four inches above the front edge of the turkeys shoulder. Lancaster archery sells a five dollar turkey vitals print that will help you shoot a tom on full strut here.


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