Shot Placement for Bowhunting Turkeys-Where to Stick’em

January 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Bowhunting Tips, Turkey Tips

Content Provided By: Brian Stephens, StickemArchery.com Pro Staff
If you are bowhunting a Turkey you’ll most likely bowhunt big game as well.  If that is the case you know how vital a well placed arrow is to ethically harvest that animal.  We also know that each animal’s vitals are placed in slightly different places within each animal.  The same holds true with a Gobbler.  Let’s talk about where to Shoot a Turkey with a Bow.  Below is a review of a variety of shot placements for the bowhunter to ethically harvest a Long Beard.  Some of these shot are more preferred than others…..


Aim for his neck - This can be an extremely effective kill shot for a  Turkey but you need to use a certain type of broadhead for it.  A Guillotine type of Broadhead is Preferred.  This type of broadhead will take his head slap off his body.  You can view a few different types of Guillotine Broadheads at the end of the article.  Additionally, some of the newer broadheads that have really wide ~2 inch + cutting diameters are being used for this shot as well…..

Walking Away Backbone/Spine Shot -is one of the shot placement options for bowhunting Turkeys.  This shot if done correctly will immediately immobilize the bird and it should die quickly.  The ideal scenario for this shot is with the Turkey standing straight up with his head up and back towards you. A shooting scenario that is NOT recommend to take is if the turkey has his head down and is walking away feeding.  This is not an ideal shot due to the angle of his spine.  I like to reference the center of the neck and draw an imaginary line down it’s back to think about my right & left shot placement to ensure I hit the spine for this shot.
Broadside ShotThe shot placement is where the Butt of the Wing connects to the turkey’s body.  A tip is to follow his leg and up his body.  Based on the vitals of a turkey you will be able to ethically harvest the bird in this area.  This shot will most likely break the wings, hit backbone or hit heart/lungs.   This is a money shot for bowhunters. “Hit him HIGH and Watch him Die, Hit him LOW and Watch him Fly”.  I have made the mistake in the past of hitting a bird a little low and back and watched a monster Osceola fly off laughing at me because I messed up this shot.   If you shoot too far forward you will may miss the vitals.
Standing Upright Facing Archery Shot PlacementThis is not the most ideal shot but if you do take this shot aim at a point that is ~ 4-5 inches below the base of his neck or about an inch below where the beard is attached to a Gobbler’s body.  Your arrow should break his back , hit heart/lung area, and/or break wing….
Texas Heart Archery Shot - This is not the most ideal shot but can be an effective one if that is all you have to work with.  If you are not able to get the bird to come out of a strut by making a few clucks and he is walking a way in full strut.  With his back toward you and fan is hiding you, draw your bow and aim at his vent or anus.  In this scenario your broadhead and arrow should hit heart, lungs, or liver along with breaking a wing or leg….A large cutting diameter broadhead like the new 2 inch cutting Rage or Swhacker should smoke this bird.
Strutting Facing Archery ShotIn this scenario if you are not able to get the bird to get broadside and / or come out of full strut.  Aim slightly below where his beard comes our from his feathers.  Do not forget to adjust your aim left or right if he is standing at an angle.
Broadside Archery Shot “Strutting Gobbler” - While effective not the most desired shot but many times this is what you are dealt with.  When you take this shot with your bow, aim for a spot in front of the secondary, bronze colored, wing feathers.  This will be near the black-tipped body of feathers begins. This point will be directly in-line with the hip joint.  Another way to think of it is to follow his leg up his body to where you see the red dot on the picture.  It may look like you are shooting back but that is the area of the vitals for a Turkey.

 

What Bowhunting Broadhead to use?
In most cases any broadhead that you would use for bowhunting deer would work for harvesting a turkey. Now, I have my favorites and there are some broadheads designed specifically for shooting a Turkey. Key factors for you to consider for shooting a Turkey is to make sure your broadhead Flies Straight, is Sharp and is not Loud. What do I mean by load? If you have ever “safely” positioned yourself to be able listen to a broadhead as it flies into the target. We do this anytime we shoot a new broadhead. Keep in mind we are putting all safety measures in place. Believe it or not some broadheads are “LOUD” and make a lot of noise down range as it hits target. As you know a Turkey can hear very well and your target zone is smaller with a Turkey. Now the faster your bow shoots this becomes less of an issue. I have shot the NAP Thunderhead and Thunderhead Edge with a lot of success. I like them because they shoot really well and are SHARP!  There are many other broadheads that are effective and do the job.  The Guillotine type of Broadheads for Turkey Bowhunting are becoming more and more popular.  They are extremely effective.  Below are a few examples of these types of Broadheads for Bowhunting Turkeys.  If you are going to shoot these make sure you take the time before Turkey Season to practice and tune them for your bow.  Don’t wait until day before and expect that they will fly like your other broadheads.  Make sure.  A broadhead we will use this upcoming season will be the 2 inch Swhacker Broadhead.  I believe this will be a very effective broadhead for not only bowhunting deer but for turkeys.  It shoots like a field point and has a wide cut so that is a good receipe for a dead long beard.  We will let you know how it does……

 

 

 

THUNDERHEAD EDGE 100gr

Thunderhead Edge Hunting Broadhead

SPITFIRE GOBBLER 100GR 3BLD

Spitfire Gobbler Turkey Hunting Broadhead

MAGNUS BULLHEAD 125GR TKY HEAD

Magnus Bullhead Turkey Hunting Broadhead

GOBBLER GUILLOTINE 100GR 3PK

Gobbler Guillotine Turkey Hunting Broadhead

 

GUILLOTINE 125gr DIAMOND EDITIN

The Guillotine Turkey Hunting Broadhead

 

Shot Placement for Bowhunting Turkeys

Originally posted 2011-02-06 23:58:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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