Turkey hunting is done with a bow as much as it is with a rifle. In fact, hunting with a bow is a more traditional method. While using a rifle is something that has gained popularity for only a few decades now. But turkey hunting with a bow requires you to work with a totally different set of skills. Many experienced hunters already know this, don’t we?
But not many know where to shoot a turkey with a bow. If you want to learn how to become an effective hunter, you must know all about the shot placement in turkey with a bow. Because while hunting may be a fun activity, it gets it even more interesting and exciting once you’re able to live up to the challenge of hunting for turkey with a crossbow.
Many bow hunters who don’t know the correct turkey shot placement end up not killing but injuring the bird instead. And this injury accounts for a very inhumane method of killing. Why would we want to do that when we can learn how to pursue our prey in the most approachable and efficient manner?
Spending way too much time on the field without even coming close to victory can be quite exhausting and annoying. So let’s put an end to that by learning exactly with a bow and where to shoot a turkey.
Where to shoot a turkey with a bow?
Turkey Anatomy and Proper Arrow Placement
If you want to achieve a proper kill without wasting too much time and effort, then here are some helpful tips. These will help answer the most commonly asked question, where do you aim at a turkey with a bow?
1. Standing Upright, Facing Away
Do you know the best turkey shot placement? It is the bird’s spinal cord. Shooting a turkey in the spine breaks the bird’s backbone. Such an injury will immobilize the bird immediately. And this will cause the turkey to die quickly.
But the problem here is that shooting a turkey in the backbone is very situational. In order for you to be able to take this shot placement on turkey with a bow, you will require the bird to stand erect. And you will also have to wait for the turkey to turn its back towards you.
So just remember that all you have to do is wait for your prey to stand erect and stationary with its back towards you. Once this position has been established, your goal should be to break the bird’s backbone with your bow. It doesn’t matter if you hit the upper spine or the lower vitals, the backbone is very likely to break either way.
As far as turkeys are concerned, remember this one rule. If you hit too high, then the bird will inevitably die. And if you hit too low, then the bird will definitely fly. The reason why I’m telling you this is because many bow hunters mistake the birds’ lower vitals to be located in a very low spot along the spine.
The perfect broadside turkey shot placement is the point where the turkey’s body comes in contact with the birds’ lower end of the wing. Such a shot tends to break both the wings and cause deadly damage to the bird’s lungs or heart. So you’ll achieve that kill pretty smoothly and efficiently.
3. Standing Upright, Facing Towards You
Where to shoot a turkey when the bird’s facing you? Now, this may seem like a difficult shot to take because the bird is going to be looking in your direction. So to achieve a flawless kill, you need to be aiming at least four inches under the base of the bird’s neck.
Once you strike the turkey in this particular spot, the arrow will damage the bird’s back. It will also severely injure a part of its vitals. But just make sure that your arrow groups are tight if you really want to hit the turkey’s softball-like vitals.
4. Strutting, Facing Away
It’s called the old Texas heart shot. And it is considered to be the best answer to the question, where to shoot a turkey with a bow? When your prey is strutting away in the opposite direction, aiming for the bird’s vent is an excellent opportunity. The vent of a turkey is the base of the bird’s anus and tail.
In order to successfully carry out this particular turkey shot placement, you will need to use the best penetrating broadhead and an exceptionally strong fixed-blade. For this shot to be a huge success, setting up a jake decoy at least 15 to 20 yards from you might just be a brilliant idea.
Throughout this process, please make sure that your decoy is facing in your direction. You can also add a hen into the picture to make the act look more realistic for your long-bearded prey.
5. Strutting, Facing Towards You
This is the opposite of the turkey shot placement described above. In such a situation, your aim needs to be the part of the bird from where its beard develops from the feathers. This particular shot placement on turkey with the bow will break the bird’s back and damage its vitals too.
For this shot too, you can use decoys. They increase the chances of achieving a successful kill. As an experienced bow hunter, I mostly use a mechanical broadhead with a large cutting diameter. So far this has proved to be an excellent choice in such situations.
6. Strutting, Broadside Turkey
This particular shot placement on turkey with the bow is the reason why you hear stories of the many unrecovered birds. In such a scenario what happens is that the gobbler’s feathers get bristled. And because of this, it becomes impossible to spot the animal’s vitals.
So the best thing to do in situations like these is to simply wait for the turkey to turn or come out of the strut. And as soon as the bird turns or comes out of the strut, you can let your arrow fly immediately.
Turkey Bow Hunting Tips
While it may be true that hunting with a bow is tougher and more challenging than hunting with a rifle. An important thing to know is that nothing can stop you from making that kill if you know where to shoot a turkey with a bow. Also, turkey hunting with a bow is far more exciting and fun than using a rifle. So let’s get back to our traditional roots, shall we?
Did you enjoy reading the article? How likely are you to use a bow instead of a rifle on your next turkey hunting adventure?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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