How to Hunt Turkey with a Bow

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Most people hunt turkey using shotguns or rifles; there is however another breed of hunters who hunt turkey with a bow. Turkey hunting using a bow is no mean feat as one has to be very discreet for the turkey not to locate you. Hunting using a bow will give you an adrenaline rush like no other as turkeys have excellent eyesight and hearing to spot and hear you from a distance. 

This article will look at how to hunt turkey with a bow to give you a heads-up when venturing into this challenging exercise. You need to be amply prepared to take the perfect shot as missing one means that you may go home without dinner or wait for long before you have another bird in range.

 Best Way to Turkey Hunt with a Bow

When going out bow hunting turkey, you need to be prepared well. First, make sure you have a bow that you are comfortable using; you do not want your bow to jam when you have your turkey in range. Take a lot of practice with your hunting bow and make sure it is in good working condition. Also, have camouflage clothes, and call devices to use to call the turkeys closer to your location.

Tips for Bow Hunting Turkey
8 Tips for Bow Hunting Turkey

1. Practice

Bowhunting turkey is a challenging and tricky affair; hence, the need to determine your comfortable stance and how to get the shot; you will not achieve all this if you do not practice. You should practice bow hunting when seated and while standing, try and find a 3D target to practice with.

Also, practice while on the ground and while using a blind; this is because turkeys have perfect eyesight and can make you out from a distance.

2. Have the Right Bow

Make sure that you have the right bow for the job. A short axle-to-axle bow is good as it is easy to operate in any position; whether seated or crouching. Also, it does not influence how accurate the shot will be. The length of the bow will be determined by your mode of hunting, for instance, if you are using a blind to conceal your presence, it will be easier to shoot using the axle-to-axle bow.

3. Study your Bird

It does not make sense to wake up and decide to go bow hunting turkey without prior preparation. You should first know where to find the turkey you intend to hunt; you will do this by studying their travel paths and where they go to look for food. You should be sure that you will find turkeys in your chosen location or that they will respond when you call them.

4. Get into Position

Since you already have enough practice, get into a position that you are most comfortable with. Set out early and set up your decoys, blinds, and gear before the turkey head out. Make minimum noise as their hearing is equally excellent and unfamiliar noise can drive them away.

The decoys should be about 15 yards from where you are and make sure to be in a position to shoot 25 yards out. As the bird approaches, the decoys help in approximating the location of the bird.

5. Adjust the Poundage

The poundage is the total force you will require to draw the bow to shoot it effectively; its measurement is in pounds. When out bow hunting turkey, try to set the poundage to 60. This is an ideal force that will allow you to hold the bow at full draw for long to allow for a swift and quick shoot.

If your poundage is more significant, you will get tired quickly, which is a disadvantage if you have to wait for some time before you have your turkey in range.

6. Get the Right Broadheads

There are many types of broadheads sold in stores, but not all are fit for turkey hunting. A broadhead that is good for bow hunting turkey should be the expandable one as it is very sharp with a pointed steel head that’s flat making it fly straight to the target; it also opens on impact hence cutting bigger holes. A mechanical head is a right choice as it expands well to anchor well in the bird.

7. Get the Right Shot

Bowhunting turkey is not just about launching an arrow but hitting your target at the right spot. If you hit the bird at the wrong body part, it will take off, thus losing your prey. If it is possible, land two shots; one in the wing and the other one at the neck’s base.

8. Practice Patience

When bowhunting turkey, the range is smaller than when you are hunting using a shotgun. An ideal target range should be 10-20 yards hence the need for patience for the bird to get to your location. Place your decoys at the correct places and make soft calls to get the bird closer to you.


Where do you shoot a turkey with a bow?

The best place to hit a turkey is on the neck and its wing. If you a dealing with a gobbler, hit the thigh, it’s facing you, aim for the beard, and if facing away, the anus is an excellent spot to shoot.

How many pounds of bow does it take to kill a turkey?

You should reduce your draw weight by 10 pounds, but the ideal weight is not more than 60 lbs. Practice with a standard draw weight because if you change on the day of the hunt, it will affect the way your bow shoots.

What is needed to turkey hunt?

When going out for turkey hunting, you need to have a bow, decoys, and calling devices. You will also need a hunting license as some states require you to do so. A pair of gloves, binoculars, and boots are also a must-have. Also, have some camouflage clothes to blend in with the surroundings and conceal your presence.

What is the best way to turkey hunt?

The first thing is to find the birds by following their travel path and eating dens. After you locate them, you will also need to know when they leave to look for food and when they get back. This is why it is good to hunt in the morning when they are heading out or in the evening when they are getting back.

Can you use a 22 for turkey hunting?

A rifle is a centerfire, and since hunting turkey involves being close to them, it is not recommended to use a 22 when turkey hunting. Also, it is illegal to hunt with a rifle in some states such as Florida.

Will a 22 mag kill a turkey?

A mag 22 will kill a turkey within 50 to 70 yards provided you hit it at the rear end of its wing.


In conclusion, bow hunting turkey is not as easy as shooting. You have to be amply prepared before embarking on this fun challenge. Have the right gear, bow, and enough practice, and enjoy your turkey bow hunting experience.


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