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 Turkey Hunting, Archery Style 
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Post Turkey Hunting, Archery Style
Turkey Hunting, Archery Style
by: Grady McGraw

Hunting turkey with a bow is the art of harvesting a wild turkey with the skills learned and practiced in the use of archery. Bow hunting turkey takes patience, skill and unique techniques. Turkey's are highly intelligent and are very challenging to hunt. With remarkably keen eyesight and hearing, wild turkeys are one of the most difficult upland game birds to hunt, especially with a bow.

There are special skills needed to be successful, of these the most important is stealth. The ability to be within 30 yards of a very alert, wild animal with a 270 degree, razor sharp, field of view, excellent hearing, the ability to hit ground speeds up to 20 mph and burst into flight at speeds up to 55 mph, all while trying to gain a shooting position with a clear line of sight to a target approximately the size of a silver dollar. Sound like fun? Well, it's much more than fun. The sense of accomplishment is remarkable. To successfully hunt any animal with a bow is challenging; a wild turkey with a bow is a special accomplishment unique to itself.

The best way to start is from a ground blind. Natural cover or portable, ground blinds are a great way to get the Birdseye view. I have had turkeys literally stick their head into my blind and come with a few feet of my face, yet another one of those special moments with nature. Natural cover is good if you can pattern a "rafter" of turkeys and predict their movements. Portable blinds are useful because, you guessed it, they're portable. They are relatively lightweight at 15 - 20lbs. and set up in seconds, portable blinds are an obvious choice if you want to stalk and set up quickly. Blinds with a Black liner are best, if you dress in Black, at least from the waist up. Once inside the blind you can take a position on one knee and virtually disappear into the background of the blind. Magnetic window flaps are essential for quick and quite shooting set-ups. Some blinds have "shoot through" window netting. Although useful for deer hunting, it is not necessary for turkey. Turkey's do not seem bothered by the black void that appears, without the netting in place. The best chance of success will require quick, quiet set-ups and the ability to stay calm and "work" efficiently and accurately under pressure.

Using decoys are a great way to help challenge that big gobbler to cross the field. The use of a high quality "Strutting Tom" decoy can drive dominate Tom's crazy. It is widely believed that Turkey's can see in color, the more realistic your decoy the more attention it will attract. Using a hen decoy in the spring can attract the affections of a Tom or entice that alpha hen to stick around awhile. There are several types of decoys for different situations. The thing to keep in mind is to keep it simple, quiet and natural. The more at ease the birds feel, the better chance for a quality shot.

When the time comes for all your "hard work" and patience to payoff, don't blow it with an errant shot. You will hear "this shot placement is the best" or "bow hunters prefer this type of shot", at the end of the day I prefer the best, most ethical, shot the turkey presents. Practice as many different, realistic shooting scenarios as possible. If you plan to hunt from a blind, shoot from different positions within the blind. Check back clearance to account for your draw length. Turkey's can quickly come from any direction, you need to be able to maneuver inside the blind. Likewise, if hunting from a tree stand, practice from an elevated position. Take note of the angle of entry, arrow placement will need to be adjusted accordingly. Bow hunting turkey is a very challenging and equally rewarding adventure. Frustrating at times, sometimes mundane and occasionally exhilarating. Watching a springtime Tom strut for you in front of your well place decoy, presenting you a great shooting opportunity, is something every bow hunter deserves to witness.

About The Author
Interested to find out more? At Compound Bow, we have the bowhunting equipment, product resources, quality links and information on compound bow and crossbow hunting, you need to succeed. is the place where it all starts. Check us out, TODAY!
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Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:01 pm
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