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Rachel’s Turkey Season Update

This turkey season was filled with some of the most grueling hunting experiences I have yet to conquer. Although I did fill my turkey permit this season, it was not completed with my bow. However, the experiences I had this season have made me a better archer and hunter. Here are the things I will be doing differently next spring archery season.

  1. Practicing different shot placements specifically for turkeys.

Prior to this turkey season, I was unsure of the best shot placement on a turkey. Even to this day, the best shot placement with a bow on a turkey can spark a debate. Some say aiming just below the head on the throat is the best shot. Others suggest aiming at the wing bone to cause internal damage. This season my failed shots were due to uncertainty and lack of practice with these specific shot placements. Prior to next season I will be practicing and researching the best placement to score with my bow.

  1. Finding the right broad head(s).

At the beginning of this season, I was using mechanical broad heads and unfortunately between my shot placement and broad head not deploying correctly, I was unsuccessful. Finding the right broad head to use during turkey season can also depend on which shot placement you choose. Prior to next season, I will be researching the best broad head to use for the shot placement I intend to take.

  1. Searching the evening before the hunt to determine where Toms are roosted.

This season was the first time my dad and I had actually “put a turkey to roost.” By doing this, we knew exactly where the Tom would fly off the roost the next morning, and be able to call him in less than an hour after sunrise. Next season I will continue to use this technique to semi-guarantee a Tom will come into range.

This season’s misfortunes taught me more about hunting than I could ever learn from immediate success in the season. I have more to learn as I continue to hunt turkeys, but I am one step closer to a successful archery hunt next spring. I want to give a very special “thank you” to my father, Brent Denniston for his infinite hunting wisdom and master turkey calling abilities. If it weren’t for him I would not have been able to harvest a turkey this spring.

Rachel Denniston
Outdoor Education Center Camp Assistant

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About Aaron Hershberger

Aaron "hershy" Hershberger is an Outdoor Education Specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He loves being outdoors. When not outdoors he is day-dreaming about being outdoors and/or whining that he is not outdoors. Hershy has been a Hunter Education Instructor, in two states, for nearly three decades & a Bowhunter Education Instructor for over 20 years.

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