We’ve come along way in bow hunting for spring gobblers. Used to be you would hit the woods using the same methods as the shotgun hunters. Hoping you had enough camouflage or distraction that the gobbler would let you get to full at the moment of truth. Your broadhead was simply whatever you used on deer last fall.
Trouble is that deer and turkeys are quite different. A broadhead that works well for securing venison steaks isn’t necessarily much good on anchoring a spring turkey for the grill. The small heart/lung area of a turkey can be tough to locate under all those feathers. And hitting it with something just over an inch in diameter in an adrenaline-filled moment is a challenge. And, unlike deer, an arrow that passes completely through might not always be a good thing – even when well placed, because turkeys can fly. Little surprise that many spring archery hunters were constantly tinkering with their broadheads.
Things have changed for those of us that grab a bow and arrow each spring for hunting gobblers. There are now a bunch of commercially available broadheads that are better matched for turkeys. You just have to choose which route you want to go and where you want to aim.
If you prefer the traditional route of aiming for the vital area (heart/lungs), or other body area, than give yourself some extra edge with your hunting point. Using modern mechanical – or expandable – broadheads can do just that without sacrificing flight dynamics. Some models boast cutting diameters of over 2″ which can double the chance you cut what you need to. Some of these mechanical broadheads have features that actually slow down arrow penetration which can aid in anchoring the gobbler on the spot. NAP’s Gobbler Getter has been around for sometime and has a proven track record on turkey. Several styles of Rage Broadheads have been popular in recent springs, too. They even have a turkey-specific head this year.
Shoot the Snood
Successfully taking a page from the shotgun hunters many archers found the head to be a better target with their bow. Its easy to find and if you hit it the bird is yours. The challenge is that some turkeys are constantly moving their heads which makes them a bit tough to hit – especially with standard broadheads. Enter in the guillotines. These specialized hunting heads have tremendous cutting diameters with their fixed blades and can be quite effective at short distances. The Magnus Bullhead is one common version.
Whichever you choose be sure to spend plenty of time at the range getting used to these hunting heads. They may not fly exactly like the broadhead you used on deer this past fall. Sacrificing one of your broadheads for practice will pay off in the end.