Bowhunting turkeys can be one of the most satisfying experiences for a bowhunter. You’re on the ground and turkeys have great eyesight, making it as challenging a hunt as you’ll ever experience. But, there are a few ways you can up your chances of sticking a wily longbeard.
1. Scouting pays off. The more you know about where the birds roost and where they want to be after flydown, the better. And, the only way to gain this knowledge is by scouting. Trail cams are a perfect way to do this without upsetting the natural order of things. Most cams have a video capability. The microphone on the cams make for great audio and you can determine where a lonely gobbler is once the camera is tripped.
2. Ground blinds are your friend. It’s called running and gunning, not running and bowhunting for a reason. When you gun hunt, just about any tree wider than your shoulders will work for a setup. While bowhunting, however, you need a tree big enough to hide your entire body, especially when you’re ready to draw. Ground blinds take the guesswork out of finding a suitable tree and if you’ve scouted before the season starts, you’ll have a good idea of where to setup the blind for the best shot.
3. Timing is key. No matter if you’re in a blind or sitting on the ground behind a huge tree, timing is key when it comes to drawing your bow. Draw before the turkey turns all the way around and you risk the chance of him spotting you; wait too long and the same holds true.
4. Aim like you mean it. Choose a single feather to focus on when taking a shot at a longbeard. By focusing so intently on one spot, it helps you mentally prepare for the shot and know where your arrow will hit before it’s ever released.
5. Practice like you hunt. Bowhunting turkeys isn’t like bowhunting any other animal. The kill zone is much smaller than a deer and you need to practice a little differently. Run through different scenarios and determine the best way to shoot — Out of a blind, on your knees, standing behind a tree and drawing/aiming quickly.
All in all, bowhunting turkeys can be the most rewarding — and sometimes the most frustrating — way to hunt longbeards in the spring. Practice these few steps and you’ll be well on your way to sticking your first tom.
Bowhunting Setups was last modified: January 29th, 2018 by Bill Winke