Turkey Broadheads For Crossbow: Our Top Tips!
Using a bow and arrow to hunt turkeys is unique but hard. It is obviously more demanding than hunting with a gun, which is why you don't see many people carrying a crossbow around. Right?
For inexperienced turkey hunters, the odds of getting busted is even higher given the good eyesight of the "Thunder Chicken".
This is why you find so many people opting for a scatter gun. But then, who says the easiest way is always the best way?
We are not going to deceive you - crossbow hunting is a difficult activity and requires a lot of practice. There are several tactics and strategies you need to implement on the field in order to bag the gobbler.
However, with the hard work also comes more excitement and reward which you might not enjoy if you sign up for a shotgun.
So if you're up for the challenge, follow our top tips for using a turkey crossbow to make sure you have a great hunting season.
Choose the Right Turkey Broadhead
If you are going to become a successful gobbler hunter, then you must get a specific turkey broadheads for your crossbow.
Using the same broadheads that is used for big game animals might not always get you the desired result.
So, even if you fail to put together a "perfect" gear, make sure you get the right broadhead.
Besides missing your target, a wrong turkey broadhead might not penetrate deep enough to cause enough damage to the animal. So you either have a case why the "Thunder Chicken" flies ways unscathed or does so hurt but still has enough to die in some other location.
Of course, you don't wish for any of these to happen. Do you?
Luckily, there are different types of broadheads in the market today that are specifically designed for hunting turkeys.
Mechanical broadheads are arguably the best options, but sometimes it might not be possible to use them in your area due to legal restrictions.
We personally recommend going for broadheads that come with large cutting swath. This will greatly increase your chances of delivering maximum shock to the turkey which can help bring the life of the bird to an abrupt end with a single shot.
Most times a hit-turkey might still have enough strength to leap away even with an entry and exit wound. So it's not really about the arrow passing through but the extent of shock the impact brings to the bird.
Again many mechanical broadheads come with this feature which is why they are most preferable for turkey hunting.
Scout the Area
Just like deer, turkeys are intelligent preys. And it requires a lot of planning and preparation to hunt them down. You won't make any progress chasing after them like a hungry hunter.
So except you are using a shotgun, a run-and-gun tactics won't work.
You should be able to scout the land - know where the birds are likely to be, how they use the land, and more importantly, how to set up an ambush (we will discuss more about this).
Also, you must know how to set up your station in the place they are without them finding out.
Remember gobblers are sensitive creatures with great visual capacity. Chances are that you won't get them by running on their trail with a bow and stick.
However, if you can arm yourself with the right information, you will be surprised at how much progress you would have made before the first or second sit of the year.
Killing this kind of birds would have become more of a fun activity for you.
Use a Decoy
Once you've found the turkey roost and figured out where to "ambush" them, the next thing is to either set up a blind or look for any natural cover around from where you can plan your shot.
Using a decoy is one of the easiest ways to get the birds to come closer to you without noticing your presence. We recommend positioning your decoy(s) 5 - 10 yards from where you're taking cover. Your location should be out of sight.
Try to strike from a close range - ideally 10 - 20 yards from the gobbler.
When bow hunting, concealment is one of the major requirements for success, especially when you're not using a pop-up blind. You want to Camouflage every part of your body and dress so as not to get attract an unforgiving gaze from a tommy.
When staying concealed, you have to restrict your movement to avoid being noticed. This means you are going to be glued to a spot which might be challenging.
Know Where to Hit
These days, it seems every turkey bow hunter you come across has his own opinion as to where to target in order to get a clean kill.
While some prefer to target the neck of the gobbler, others choose to focus on body parts such as the anal vent or wing butt.
Shooting at the turkey head or neck shouldn't be complicated given the fact that the bird often moves around with its head high.
So there are two things involved here; either you get a clean kill or you get a clean miss.
When targeting the turkey head, neck or any other body part, make sure the bird is at a "stop" position before taking the shot.
Except you're the Robin Hood, there's a very slim possibility that you're going to knock down a walking or strutting turkey.
We generally recommend targeting the turkey vitals even though it's more difficult due to the huge feather covering.
Doing this will greatly increase your chance of placing a shot that will bring down the turkey at once or immobilize it so that it won't be able to get away.
Here, you might want to strike the point between the wings and the body.
It's one thing to look for turkey in the field, and it's another thing to have them exactly where you want them.
Setting up an ambush is the best way to attract the birds to a particular location where you can bag them.
The easiest way to locate roosts is to listen for yelping and gobbling. And the best time to do this is just before sundown when the birds are most likely to fly up.
Once you figure out a roost, go ahead to set up food sources or a dusting area near it if none exist.
Food sources include wooded ridges, plots, and feedlots. Make sure the ambush spot is at least 100 yards from the roost.
It is best to set up ambush early in the morning and hunt during mid-day or late in the morning.
Upon setting up your ambush, the next thing is to make your shots count. Even though your crossbow can shoot further, we recommend shooting within a distance of 40 yards.
This will ensure you really to bring down the turkey instead of just wounding it.
Consider Going Ninja
Have you ever seen a ninja? If not, you must have seen one on TV.
One thing that is very peculiar about the ninjas is their black regalia. Nothing better depicts their great speed and power as they wreak havoc and destruction out of plain sight.
Imagine being a ninja that assassinates turkeys…cool, eh?
Wearing a turkey camo when tagging a turkey is the way to go – all black! This is extremely useful especially if you are operating from inside a hunting blind.
Adopting this style will keep you out of sight. It will be difficult to spot you in the backdrop of the blind.
If you are hunting from the ground, make sure you choose your camo pattern bearing the hunting season in mind.
Like we mentioned earlier, hunting a gobbler with a bow and arrow is not something you can do right off the hook.
Only those who run around with a shotgun will say it’s an easy task. So it’s the bowhunters that are the real warrior.
As such you need the warrior mind-set to succeed. No matter how hard it gets, you must remain focus and determined.
Stay positive and be patient, always hoping to tag a turkey sooner. Even though it won’t be an easy experience, at the end, you will realize that it’s worth the wait; it is during this period that the fun begins.
Practice a Lot
You've probably heard that shooting turkeys with bow and arrow is rocket science. Well, that's only because you haven't practised enough.
We assure that once you start putting a lot of effort towards preparation, you will eventually find the art a lot easier. We advise practising under hunting conditions as this will greatly improve your chances when taking on the real birds.
Practice from different positions, standing, sitting (either bare or on a stool), and kneeling. Ideally, you should practice until you're sure you've established a solid form. This will help you tag the birds easily when you confront them.