Aim Small, Miss Small: Mastering the Art of Turkey Hunting with a Bow

The thrill of turkey hunting with a bow is unmatched. It’s a test of skill, patience, and precision, requiring you to become one with nature and outsmart one of the most cunning creatures in the woods. But before you embark on this exhilarating adventure, it’s crucial to understand the importance of shot placement, particularly when it comes to aiming for the head or neck

Why Headshots are the Preferred Choice:

While some may argue that headshots are irresponsible, the reality is that they offer the most humane and efficient way to take down a turkey. Here’s why:

  • Instantaneous Kill: A well-placed headshot results in an immediate kill, minimizing the turkey’s suffering. This is crucial for ethical hunting practices.
  • Minimal Meat Damage: Unlike body shots, headshots cause minimal damage to the edible meat, ensuring you can enjoy the spoils of your hunt without compromising quality.
  • Reduced Risk of Wounding: Missing a body shot can leave the turkey wounded and suffering, making it difficult to track and recover. A clean headshot eliminates this risk.

Mastering the Headshot:

Executing a successful headshot requires meticulous practice and unwavering focus, Here are some key tips to help you master this art:

  • Perfect Your Aim: Before heading out to the field, hone your archery skills to ensure pinpoint accuracy. Practice regularly at various distances to build confidence and consistency.
  • Choose the Right Arrow: Select arrows specifically designed for turkey hunting, considering factors like broadhead type, weight, and penetration.
  • Understand Turkey Anatomy: Familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a turkey, particularly the head and neck region, to identify the vital areas for a clean kill.
  • Be Patient and Wait for the Perfect Opportunity: Don’t rush the shot. Wait for the turkey to present a clear and unobstructed view of its head or neck before releasing the arrow.

Alternative Shot Placement:

While headshots are the preferred choice, there are situations where a body shot might be necessary. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Target the Vital Areas: Aim for the turkey’s vital organs, including the heart and lungs, located in the chest cavity. A well-placed shot in this area will also result in a quick and humane kill.
  • Avoid the Legs and Wings: Shots to the legs or wings are often ineffective and can cause unnecessary suffering to the bird.
  • Consider the Distance: Body shots are more challenging at longer distances due to the smaller target area. Ensure you’re confident in your ability to make an ethical shot before attempting it.

Ethical Considerations:

Regardless of the shot placement, always prioritize ethical hunting practices. Ensure you have the proper licenses and permits, respect the hunting regulations, and avoid disturbing other wildlife.

Turkey hunting with a bow is an exhilarating and rewarding experience, but it requires a deep understanding of shot placement and ethical considerations. By mastering the art of headshots and practicing responsible hunting techniques, you can ensure a successful and humane hunt, respecting both the animal and the sport.

Aim Small, Miss Small

You probably want to know “where to shoot a turkey with a bow” if this is your first time archery hunting turkey. ” Wild turkeys have a very small vital area. This requires you to become an extremely proficient archer before pursuing them with a bow.

The adage “aim small, miss small” has never applied to shooting wild turkeys with a bow more accurately. Every time, I aim for a feather or even a tiny dot on the turkey’s head. Again, a small miss is a lethal shot. If you simply shoot at a turkey, on the other hand, you’ll miss it altogether or wound it.

I’ve discovered over the years that there are two primary locations where you can shoot a wild turkey to kill and retrieve it. You can shoot them through the body, hitting bones and vital organs. Shooting them through the legs and wing bases will frequently also strike the heart and lungs in important places. By striking them in these structural spots, you can prevent the bird from fleeing and make recovery more challenging. By aiming at this area, a slightly high shot will hit the spine, immobilizing the bird immediately. A slightly low shot will hit the hip joints, immobilizing the bird.

After shooting dozens of turkeys with a bow, my all-time favorite shot is the head shot. There is no room for error with the headshot; it’s either a clean kill or a clean miss.

what happens if you shoot a turkey in the body

YOU’RE AIMING WRONG! Turkey Shot Placement | Shotgun Turkey Hunting


Should you shoot a turkey in full strut?

Don’t Shoot at a Turkey That’s in Full Strut This makes it easy to miss the core skull/vertebrae area. Turkeys that are hit in the body often roll over and then get up running. This is not an ideal result. To bring a gobbler out of strut, give him a few clucks on a mouth call (but be ready to shoot).

Where not to shoot a turkey?

It is not recommended to shoot a turkey while it is in full strut, because it’s harder to see its head and neck, and the feathers may interfere with shot penetration.

Will turkeys come back after a shot?

However, if it runs away and continues to stay in an upright position he is likely okay, but probably won’t come back. Either way, an effort should be made to check the area and look for signs that it is wounded. Typically, a bird that is fatally injured by a shotgun won’t travel far.

Will a wounded turkey survive?

Tracking a wounded bird A turkey taken with a shotgun usually drops on the spot — a head shot is quickly lethal. However, even a well-placed shot with an arrow may only wound a bird that can run or fly away after being hit. In these cases, you may need to follow the bird to recover it or take a second shot.

What happens if you shoot a wild turkey?

A bone-crushing shot to the head and neck immediately disrupts this flow and, except for the shattered avian reflexes of a dying bird, leaves the wild turkey feeling no pain and expiring within an instant. But don’t just aim at the turkey’s head. If your point of aim is slightly high, you could miss the bird entirely.

What are the health benefits of ground turkey?

Ground turkey has multiple benefits. It is a good source of minerals, and B vitamins, rich in proteins, low in fat and it is lower in calories than common turkey.

What happens if you shoot a turkey head and neck?

The neck, which contains the spine, nerves, and blood vessels, is also a point of weakness. A spray of shot to the head and neck will shatter the turkey’s central nervous system. While residual reflexes can cause some frantic flopping, when you put pellets in a boss tom’s head and neck brings death almost instantaneously.

Will a shot kill a Turkey?

A spray of shot to the head and neck will shatter the turkey’s central nervous system. While residual reflexes can cause some frantic flopping, when you put pellets in a boss tom’s head and neck brings death almost instantaneously. A good shot will kill a turkey on a dime, but making a good shot isn’t easy.

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