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Can You Turkey Hunt With a Bow?

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When it comes to turkey hunting, many hunters prefer to use a shotgun. However, hunting with a bow has become increasingly popular in recent years. But can you turkey hunt with a bow? Of course you can! This article will get you familiar with everything you need to know about hunting turkeys with a bow.

Turkey Hunting With a Bow Instead of a Shotgun

To say that hunting turkeys with a bow is much different than using a shotgun is an understatement. The level of difficulty increases dramatically when you start hunting with a bow. Why is that?

  1. Range: A bow has a much shorter effective range than a firearm, which means that you need to be much closer to the animal in order to take a shot. This requires a greater level of stealth, patience, and accuracy than hunting with a firearm.
  2. Accuracy: Unlike a firearm, which can compensate for slight errors in aim, a bow requires a high level of accuracy to hit your target. This means that you need to spend more time practicing and honing your skills to become an effective bow hunter.
  3. Power: A bow has less stopping power than a firearm, which means that it may take longer for the animal to be incapacitated. This can lead to a longer and more difficult tracking process, which requires patience and perseverance.
  4. Noise: A firearm can be loud and can scare off nearby animals, but a bow is much quieter. This means that you need to be even more careful to avoid making noise that could alert the animal to your presence.
  5. Weather Conditions: Rainy weather conditions can also play a larger role in bow hunting than hunting with a firearm. Wind can affect the flight of your arrow, and rain or snow can make tracking more difficult.

Archery Season for Turkey Hunting

There are different seasons for turkey hunting, as you probably know. If you are looking to start using your bow, take advantage of the earlier archery dates within seasons that most states will offer. Getting out before the shotgun people provides you access to birds that haven’t ran into any hunters yet, which is a massive benefit.

Choose the Proper Bow and Arrows for Your Hunt

Bow: You’ll want a bow with a draw weight of at least 40 pounds to ensure that you can make a clean kill shot. Consider a compound bow or a recurve bow, depending on your personal preference.

bow hunting gear layout
photo credit: Canada Hunting

Arrows: Choose arrows that are specifically designed for turkey hunting, as they will be heavier and have a larger broadhead. The broadhead should be razor-sharp and have at least 2 cutting edges.

Use the Same Tukey Hunting Camo

The good news is, you won’t have to buy any different type of turkey hunting camo. Bows are expensive, and arrow heads can add to that expense list quickly.

Don’t worry about changing out your camo, though, since there really is no point. The only thing that changes is the movement from a shotgun to a bow.

Bow Hunting Requires Better Physical Performance

Drawing and shooting your bow can be physically demanding, especially if you are new to this type of hunting, or using a bow with a higher draw weight.

You need the physical strength to draw your bow string, and hold it there. While the cams will help take off some of the tension at full draw, you are still required to hold your posture until the perfect time to shoot. This can take several minutes, sometimes, which becomes very difficult.

If you are looking to get into hunting turkeys with a bow, consider doing some resistance exercises that incorporate your back muscles and biceps. This will help condition you for your upcoming hunting season.

Practice Shooting Your Bow

Shooting a bow requires a repetitive motion of pulling the bowstring back and releasing it. This can cause muscle fatigue and soreness, especially if you are shooting for an extended period of time. Practice doing this at a range, or even in your yard without and arrow.

Remember, NEVER dry-fire your bow. You will cause damage to it. You can draw your string to full draw, and then slowly release the string while maintaining full control of the string the entire time. Practice drawing, aiming, holding, and then slowly release the tension.

With lots of practice and conditioning, shooting a bow can become less physically demanding which means your accuracy will improve, and your full draw time will improve. Both of these improvements equal more dead beard draggers!

Summary – Use a Bow to Hunt Turkeys

In conclusion, turkey hunting with a bow is a challenging but rewarding experience for many hunters. By following our tips and general recommendations, your next bow hunt is sure to be a success. Remember to prioritize safety, follow local and state hunting laws, and leave your hunting area the way you found it – clean, and as untouched as possible!

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