It is common knowledge that turkeys are some of the largest birds on the planet. And while their size makes them the perfect prey for most hunters, they are not easy to shoot. Something that you probably already know if you are a bowhunter. After all, turkeys can not only fly but also sprint at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
Unlike other prey, turkeys do not have big vital areas. This makes it extremely hard to make a humane kill with a bow, especially with a compound bow. Hence, knowing where to shoot a turkey with a bow will be crucial to the success of your turkey hunt.
The best place to shoot a turkey with a crossbow or a compound bow is in the heart and lung area when it facing you broadside but when it’s facing straight at you shoot in between the base of the bear and neck.
Now, let us look at some of the other places you should aim at when hunting a turkey.
Turkey Shot Placement For Bow: Where To Shoot A Turkey With A Crossbow or Compound Bow
The number one concern for most turkey hunters is the right turkey shot placement by a bow. To answer the question of where to shoot a turkey with a crossbow or compound bow, we have to first consider the turkey’s position.
A Quick Tip: Before going to hunt turkey it is wise to use the best bow hunting ground blinds available in the market if you prefer the “PUT and WAIT” strategy where the turkey will come to you. This will help you get a good shot at your target and reduce the chances of missing or spooking the big gobbler. If you prefer running and gunning then try to find the best turkey hunting chair which is lightweight, foldable, and low-profile. These types of chairs help you hide behind the bushes and trees while still having a clear view of your target. Also, they tend to be lightweight so you can carry them on your back for the long walk to where you want to hunt turkey.
When facing a turkey’s broadside, you should always aim for the last wing joint. This is the joint that connects the wing to the body.
Placing your carbon arrow in this joint will result in the breakage of both wings preventing the bird from flying. Additionally, the shot will pierce the heart or the lungs resulting in a fatal shot.
When a turkey has its back to you, aiming at the base of the fan can result in a fatal shot. The base of the fan presents an opportunity to sever the spine with a single shot. Also, a shot placed in this location will penetrate the chest cavity.
Straight at you
Sometimes you might find yourself facing a turkey head-on. In such times, it is best that you place your shot between the base of the beard and the base of the neck. There is a straight line formed by the breast feathers that will help you aim. A shot placed here will piece the lungs or heart of the turkey.
Where to aim at a turkey With A Bow
Before firing a shot, you must first have your aim right. Since, turkeys are always on the move, aiming at a turkey can be difficult. It is for this reason that knowing where to aim on a turkey with a bow is important if you are to make a humane kill. For a humane kill, you must have to keep practicing and for that good reason, the best crossbow target will become a handy tool.
When a turkey is standing erect with its back to you, the best place to aim for is the back. However, it is unwise to attempt a shot when the bird is either feeding or walking. This is especially when it’s walking with its head down. You can try and get its attention and aim for the center of the back. A well-placed shot on this area will render the bird immobile and severe the spine.
Below the neck
When a turkey is facing your direction aiming at it is never a good idea. This is because when the turkey is in this position it has its eyes honed on you. Wait for the turkey to turn its head and aim four inches below the base of the neck. A shot to this location will result in a broken back and damaged vitals.
When you have your bow aimed at a turkey’s broadside, it is important to remember where the vitals are. The general rule of thumb is to aim at the final wing joint as earlier stated. To ensure your aim is accurate draw an imaginary vertical line in front of the bird’s legs. Aim at the spot where the line intersects the wing joint. For getting a perfect shot you can use the best bow stabilizer for accuracy.
What broadheads to use Turkey Hunting
So what kind of turkey crossbow broadheads should you use on your next turkey hunting trip? While different hunters have their preferred broadheads, there are those that are perfect for turkeys.
Ideally, you will want a broadhead that remains lodged in the turkey’s vitals. The age-old question of which broadheads are better fixed or mechanical applies to turkeys.
Traditionally fixed broadheads are more widely available than their relatively newer mechanical counterparts. However, fixed broadheads can break off when you hit bone. Additionally, given that turkeys have tough armor-like feathers, a misplaced shot can damage your fixed blade.
However, it is not all dark and gloom for fixed blade lovers. For starters, you do not have to worry about the improper deployment of the arrow if the angle is wrong. Also, contrary to popular belief fixed blade broadheads can be as accurate and deadly as mechanical ones.
On the other hand, mechanical broadheads have a larger cutting diameter. This means they are able to inflict more damage than their fixed blade counterparts. Also, since the blades do not deploy until they hit the target they are also more accurate. However, the blades may not open properly especially in case of an improper angle. Also, when you hit the rib cage or bone, mechanical blades may be incapable of deploying fully.
The aptly name guillotine broadheads are designed for shooting heads off. While turkey bow hunting guillotine broadheads are loved, are they ideal? Given that turkeys are always moving about trying to aim at their heads can be difficult. Therefore, guillotine broadheads through powerful require a certain level of expertise that is not with everyone.
Verdict: best broadhead for turkey body shots
So, which is the best broadhead for turkey body shots? This is an interesting question given that each broadhead type has something to offer. Fixed and mechanical type broadheads are great for turkey hunting. And when the two are compared mechanical broadheads have a slight edge over their counterparts. This is because they have a larger cutting diameter, and are more accurate. Nevertheless, if you have fixed blade broadheads there is no reason not to use them. In particular, fixed arrowheads with three blades. Due to turkey’s having tough feather amour three blades offer more penetration power than two-blade broadheads. There are quite a number of broadheads out there that you can use on turkeys.
Learn More About What Should Be Used To Screw On Broadheads
Turkey Headshot With Bow placement
The popularity of guillotine broadheads among turkey hunters cannot be ignored. These types of broadheads have the ability to kill a bird in an instant. A well-placed shot to a turkey’s neck or head results in death or a miss. Therefore, to achieve the perfect bowhunting turkey headshots a lot of practice is required.
To achieve a clean turkey headshot with a bow a powerful crossbow matched with an equally powerful broadhead will be required. Crossbows have become the weapons of choice for many turkey hunters, and for good reasons. One of the best things about crossbows is that you can pre-cook and put the arrow when you are ready to fire.
What Crossbow to use For Headshots
When you are aiming at a turkey’s head a deadly accurate crossbow will come in handy. From experience, I have learned to rely on Barnett products.
The company recently released a new crossbow designed for turkey hunters. Dubbed the Blackspur II, the new crossbow promises to be a delight for turkey hunters. With a 7/8-inch Picatinny rail attached to it, you can scope to improve your accuracy. When looking to shoot a turkey’s head, accuracy will be crucial. So get the cross or compound bow, packed it with your turkey hunting backpack, and enjoy the gobbler hunting.
The broadheads to use For Headshots
When it comes to broadheads the best to use for headshots are guillotine broadheads. Whenever I go turkey hunting I always carry a set of rage turkey broadheads. The latter broadheads are specifically designed for turkey hunting. The meat hook contact on tip feature ensures that the broadhead remains firmly lodged into the turkey’s vital. This is important as it prevents the turkey from fleeing.
Additionally, this two-blade broadhead comes with an impressive 21/8 inch cutting diameter. This means the broadhead is a leather weapon capable of penetrating through a turkey’s feathery armor.
Rage broadheads also come with blunt notches designed to make the arrow slow when it comes into contact with your prey. The benefit of this is that the broadhead will impair the bird’s wings making it incapable of flight which in turn results in a quick death.
Other broadheads that are ideal for turkey headshots include Dirt nap’s shred head and the Gobbler Guillotine from Aerodynamic solutions. These two broadheads are uniquely designed for turkey hunting and offer impressive stopping power. Designed also for smaller prey, these arrows also possess impressive cutting diameters. The Gobbler Guillotine, for example, has a cutting diameter of 2.5 inches.
The question of where to shoot a turkey with a bow has many answers and it will all depend on the type of bow you are using and your preferences. The number of turkey hunters opting for headshots is increasing. Headshots, though difficult to make are preferred due to their instant result. Thus, if you are a hunter armed with Guillotine style broadheads you can try a headshot. However, if your accuracy with a bow is not the best a broadside shop will be more ideal. The broadside offers a bigger target area than the headshot.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in Hunting Nook.