When it comes to bowhunting, perfect bow selection and shot placement are all that make a difference, or they will go in vain. Don’t be devastated, and carry on with reading to understand where to shoot a turkey with a bow. By perfect shot placement, we mean aiming at what a hunter would call vitals, an animal’s heart, and lung region.
Most of the turkeys that are being shot with archery equipment are either injured or missed. The turkeys are burdensome to hunt because their vitals are very small, precisely the size of a softball.
Over and above that, they are very clever birds, their feathers act like armor, so it isn’t facile to take one down. Where do you shoot a turkey with a bow?The key to hunting a turkey is to know where its vitals lie.
1. Where to Shoot Turkey With Bow: Broadside Shots
When hunting a turkey down with an arrow, make sure your shots are either broadside or from the rear. The puffed-up areas on a turkey make it hard to locate the vitals. A turkey’s heart and lungs are farther back and slightly higher than the center.
The best place to shoot is the point where the wing meets the body because this is where the vitals are. Such a shot might either break the wing and break the spine or pierce the heart or lungs. Moreover, there is a bright chance that you get an ethical kill. But if you only manage to break the wing, then be ready for another shot.
2. Quartering Shots
Quartering shots are comparatively tough, and you are less likely to kill if you don’t follow it properly. For this shot, you have to draw an imaginary horizontal line starting from the base of the bird’s beard and moving backward. Then draw an imaginary vertical line from the offside leg of the bird and move all the way up. These two lines will intersect or meet at a point. At this point, you can find the heart and lungs. By shooting at this bull’s eye, you can kill.
However, if you go for a higher shot than this point, you might hit the spine, which is as effective as hitting the vitals. If the bird is entirely strutting at this angle, keep moving your horizontal line gently above the beard. Also, shift the vertical line just a few inches away from the offside leg.
3. Straight On – Shoot a turkey with a Bow
You won’t always have the chance to go for a broadside or quartering shot. Sometimes you may see Turkey facing you. In this situation, position your arc a little above the beard and just below the base of the neck. This would hit the center point between the neck and beard, therefore piercing through its vitals.
However, if you decide to shoot the arrow an inch below the base of the beard, then it might break the back wings and damage some parts of the vitals. This isn’t an ideal and easy shot, but when done correctly, it can get the job done.
4. Facing away – Shoot a Turkey With a Bow
Seeing a Tom facing away is an excellent opportunity for a bowhunter and is the best shot to take. If the bird is rear-facing with its head up and not strutting, then aim at the center of the back. Such a shot will break the spine and proceed to hit the heart and lungs.
But even if the bird is strutting, you still aren’t out of luck. In a full strut, the spine is in a straight line, and because of its fan, it will not be able to see you. Draw an arrow and aim for the vent (anus) in this position. After shooting, the arrow will drive straight into the chest cavity and will hit the vitals badly. It is an effective shot but requires experience and accuracy.
5. Neck and Headshot
Going for head and neck might not be a good idea when you shoot at big-game animals, but in the case of turkeys, it can give you an ethical shot with fewer chances of wounding. Such shots produce devastating results and are suitable for those who worry about wounding a turkey.
Wait for the tom to come closer, and when he is stationary, aim at the base of the neck. This will hit the spine, and as a result, you’ll get a clean, ethical kill. Birds make erratic movements thus, accomplishing this shot is challenging.
6. A Note On Strutting Turkeys
When turkeys strut, they no doubt look fabulous, but at the same time, they are difficult to kill. This is because their feathers get puffed up, and they make movements. These movements and the puffed-up body make it difficult to locate the vitals.
So instead of being impatient, wait and let them stand and stretch their neck. If necessary, make them notice you so that they pull their necks. So that it becomes easy for you to make your shot.
Things to Consider to Shoot a Turkey with a Bow
Turkeys are very clever, and it can be very hard to take them at times. Here are a few tips which can lead you to a successful hunt.
- Most birds, including Turkey, have excellent eyesight and can quickly spot you. Once they notice you, it is nearly impossible to hunt them. Therefore stay out of sight if you want turkey for dinner.
- During the off-season, learn to cluck and yelp and practice how to sound like a turkey. You can use these to call Turkey and bring it in range. Consequently, it will be easier for you to shoot from a closer distance.
- Sometimes hunting makes us impatient, and we feel like the bird is in range when it isn’t. Thus to avoid this misconception, try to use a rangefinder and plan accordingly.
People Also Ask
When using a bow to hunt turkeys, aim for the turkey’s vitals, specifically the base of the neck or the area just above the wing.
Yes, it is possible to hunt turkeys with a bow. Bow hunting for turkeys is a popular and challenging method among hunters.
When bow hunting turkeys, it is recommended to take shots within a range of 20 to 30 yards for optimal accuracy and effectiveness.
The best place to shoot a turkey is in the vitals, aiming for the base of the neck or the area just above the wing. These areas ensure a clean and ethical kill.
Happy hunting – Shoot a Turkey with a Bow
Turkey hunting is challenging yet very exciting. For beginners, we suggest practice and study shot placements. Because without the knowledge of proper shot placement, you don’t know when and where to shoot. Whereas for those of you who have experience in bowhunting, we hope our article regarding “where to shoot a turkey with a bow” was helpful. We hope that you hunt some turkeys and have the reward of delicious meat with the knowledge you received here.
Additional Common Questions
Where are you supposed to shoot a turkey with a bow?
My advice, based on my experience and learning from seasoned hunters, is to aim at the turkey’s vitals for the most humane and effective kill. This primarily means aiming for the heart or lungs, which are located just above the base of the wing when a turkey is in full strut. A shot in this area leads to a quicker, more humane death for the turkey and ensures a higher success rate for the you, the hunter.
Where do you shoot a turkey with a bow from a treestand?
When bow hunting for turkey from a treestand, once again, your goal should be to hit the bird’s vitals for a quick and humane kill. However, the angle can make this challenging. If the turkey is right under your stand, wait for it to move away for a better angle. You can also aim for the region just behind the thigh, aiming for the heart. In my years hunting, I found that a shot from above can lead to a cleaner hit, as long as the angle and placement are correct.
Where is the best place to shoot a turkey?
Based on my years of turkey hunting, the best shot placement on a turkey is where you will hit vital organs, namely the heart and lungs. This area is usually just above the base of the wing when the bird is in strut. You can also consider ‘head shots’, as an arrow through the brain or neck will cause instant death. However, a head is a small and highly mobile target, so if you are not highly confident in your shooting skills, aiming for the heart is a better option.
How long to wait after shooting a turkey with a bow?
In my many hunting excursions, I’ve found it best to patiently wait until the turkeys, including the bird you’ve shot, have left the scene after you’ve taken your shot. While it may vary depending on the situation, this gives the wounded turkey time to move a little and settle down. Pushing a wounded bird immediately might force it run away and hide, making it harder for you to track. I’ve learned the hard way that patience is a virtue in bow hunting, so it’s worth emphasizing that a rushed follow up can often lead to a lost bird.
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