Taking a turkey with a bow can be quite challenging. Yes, there may be a lesser ‘area’ for you to aim, and in that too, there are specific spots that need to be hit so that you get a clean, fast and easy turkey hunt! Unfortunately, there are many turkeys that get shot and never recover.
Hunters must ensure that they hit the right spot so that turkeys don’t go through a painful time before adding to your hunting achievements. A humane kill the least that they deserve! Here are some tips and tricks to get the right shot and a good kill.
Turkey standing upright, facing away
All hunters need to shoot in a way that the backbone of this bird breaks in a snap. A spine shot will immobilize and kill the turkey instantaneously.
If the bird stands erect and faces away from you, the spine shot becomes easy and manageable. It may be hard to get a clear shot when the bird is feeding and is moving the head up and down.
A bird call can help you get the turkey to look up and about, so the spine is right in front and within the target range.
When the bird faces away from you and remains upright, aim for the mid-back between the wings and below the head. This is where the turkey has its neck base.
You can aim a little lower to hit the back, and it will still be a good shot; however, the swiftest fall is by aiming for the neck base.
The best arrow for turkey hunting is a wide-cutting mechanical broadhead.
Turkey’s vital organs are quite high and farther back. When the turkey faces your left or right side and reveals its side to you, the hit can be fatal.
The best place to aim at the broadside is at the butt of the wing, where the wing connects to the body. You can use a wasp broadhead that can break both the wings and pierce through the organs to ensure a swift and clean kill for this hit.
For me, this shot is best as it gives you a slightly better expanse, and it is easier to aim the right spot beneath the feathers.
Turkey hunting requires some knowledge of where the organs are located, and a few diagrams or target tricks can help improve your success.
Practice at home or on the range by keeping a turkey target with the organs marked. You will still have to execute some smart thinking into shooting when you are out hunting, as turkey targets are plain, but real turkeys have feathers that change the way we see the birds.
Nevertheless, practice will help improve the shot and will result in an ethical kill.
Facing towards hunter, upright
When the turkey faces you, the right place for aiming is the spot that forms the turkey’s sternum. This shot can be easy as you aim for the spot right beneath the skin hanging around the turkey’s beak.
This spot is almost four inches below the neck. The vitals of a turkey are all close by, and hunters must be able to locate that region well. Once you understand where it is, the shooting game becomes much easier.
Imagine a football placed inside the turkey that fits into the area just below the neck. This round region that you imagine is where all the vital organs are found.
The Texas heart shot
One can call this shot a ‘sure-shot too as you get them back view where you can aim for the vent and penetrate right through the bird, ensuring instant kill. As the bird faces the other direction and the fantail blocks its view, hunters can take a direct shot at the anus/tail.
This shot will pierce right through the body and slit through the heart. A solid fixed-blade broadhead like the wasp drone will be an excellent pick for this shot.
Hunters often prefer this shot and place a jake decoy some meters ahead of them. The decoy must face the hunter’s direction because they approach the decoy head-on when the turkey comes near, turning their back towards the hunter.
The strutting toms
Strutting toms can look pretty as they enjoy the wilderness and roam about freely but taking a shot at them as hard as it is difficult to spot the right target through the puffed-up feathers.
Wait for the turkey to stand still and then aim! A bird call is a great tool as you can get the turkey’s attention to make him stop in its tracks and look about-now is your time to aim!
Improve your game!
All the shots are successful when you are aware of the turkey’s vitals and their location. Hunters can improve their success by carrying various kinds of broadheads, and a few decoys will be great.
Carry the right tools: high-percentage shots become common when you have a reference point, and the quality of the broadheads will ensure a clean kill. For this win-win situation, the hunter must be equipped and prepared to take a shot at the turkey from any angle. Efficient broadheads are a great way to prepare for a triumphant trip.
Practice shots: At your own time, practice shots and keep a turkey vitals diagram to get acquainted with the same region where you imagine the ‘football’ that we discussed earlier. Once you know where the vitals are, you can instinctively aim the right region.
Good ground blind: Turkeys are smart birds and can see hunters easily, so it is best to remain low and out of sight. Once the birds suspect hunters, you will have to leave the spot for weeks for the turkeys to get back to their everyday routine without remaining alert!
Draw birds closer: Yes! The closer the turkey is from the hunting spot, the better you will aim for a perfect shot. Try to get the birds to come nearby, adding decoys, bird calls, and some crumbs to ensure they all come close.
Know the distance: A rangefinder is an essential hunting kit, but if you haven’t got it yet, do it now! Knowing the distance is a great start to plan the right shot and give the turkey an ethical end.
Turkey hunting can be easy if you are prepared for it. Hunters must know where to shoot a turkey so that they can ensure a quick and clean kill while hitting the vitals correctly.
You may carry a few broadheads and the right tools to ensure that you get a clear shot angle.