The 2024 Guide To Archery Hunting For Turkey | HD Tactical


Hey there, bowhunters! Pull up a stump, notch an arrow, and let’s dive into the heart of turkey hunting—archery style.

As the 2024 turkey season draws closer, it’s time to talk strategy, gear, and the kind of stealth that would make a ninja jealous. Whether you’re a seasoned archer with a quiver full of stories or a newcomer ready to stretch your bowstring in the turkey woods, this guide’s for you.

Why Turkey Hunting with a Bow?

First off, let’s address the elephant in the room—or rather, the turkey. Why choose a bow over a shotgun? Precision, challenge, and the pure thrill of getting up close and personal with one of nature’s most cautious creatures. Archery hunting for turkey isn’t just hunting; it’s an art form that tests your skills, patience, and resolve.

Gear Up

When it comes to archery hunting, your gear is as much a part of you as your shadow. From compound bows that offer power and precision to traditional recurves that connect you to the roots of hunting, choosing the right bow is personal. But it doesn’t stop there:

  • Broadheads: Fixed or mechanical, the right broadhead can mean the difference between a clean harvest and a story about the one that got away. Look for ones designed to maximize impact and penetration on a turkey’s tough anatomy.
  • Arrows: Weight, spine, and material all play into the perfect arrow setup. You want a combination that flies true and hits hard, tailored to your bow’s draw weight and length.
  • Camouflage and Concealment: Turkeys have eyes like hawks. From camo patterns that blend into the spring woods to blinds that keep you hidden, being invisible is your top priority.

The Hunt

  • Scouting and Setup: Know your territory. Turkeys are creatures of habit. Find their roosts, feeding areas, and travel routes. Set up along these paths, and use your concealment to wait for the perfect shot.
  • Calling: Less is more. A well-placed cluck, purr, or yelp can bring a curious gobbler into range. But overdo it, and you’ll sound like a turkey orchestra gone wrong. Learn the language, and speak it sparingly.
  • Patience and Precision: Archery hunting for turkey is a waiting game. It’s about the moment when all the elements align—the right distance, the perfect angle, and the split second when the shot presents itself.

Safety and Ethics

Practice ethical hunting—take shots only when you’re confident of a clean, humane harvest. Know your equipment’s limits, and never take a shot that’s beyond your skill level. Remember, it’s not just about the hunt; it’s about honoring the spirit of the hunt.

As we step into the 2024 archery turkey hunting season, remember that it’s about more than just bagging a bird. It’s about the early mornings, the whispers of the woods, and the stories that will fill our hearts and camps for years to come.

So, here’s to the archers, the stalkers in the shadows, and the wild hearts chasing the call of the wild turkey. May your aim be true, your arrows fly straight, and your season be filled with adventure. Welcome to the fold, archery hunters—let the arrows fly!


Turkey Hunting Bows

When it comes to archery hunting for turkey, choosing the right bow is where your journey begins. It’s not just about picking up any bow and heading into the woods; it’s about finding the bow that feels like an extension of yourself.

This choice can significantly influence your hunting experience and success. So, let’s break down what you need to consider when selecting your bow for the turkey hunt.

Types of Bows

  • Compound Bows: Known for their mechanical advantage, compound bows offer let-off, which allows archers to hold the bow drawn at full draw for longer periods without fatigue. This is crucial when waiting for the perfect shot on a turkey. They’re also known for their accuracy and power, making them the most popular choice among turkey hunters.
  • Recurve Bows: For those who appreciate tradition and simplicity, recurve bows offer a more direct connection to the ancient art of archery. They require more skill and practice to master, especially for turkey hunting, where precision is key. However, the satisfaction of taking a turkey with a recurve bow is unmatched for many enthusiasts.
  • Crossbows: While not traditional bows, crossbows have become increasingly popular for turkey hunting, especially in areas where they’re legal during the archery season. They offer ease of use, high power, and accuracy, making them a good choice for hunters of all ages and physical abilities.


Considerations for Choosing Your Bow

  • Draw Weight: A draw weight between 35 to 50 pounds is typically sufficient to ensure a lethal shot on a turkey, considering you’re aiming for vital areas.
  • Draw Length: Proper draw length is critical for comfort, accuracy, and power. Your bow should be fitted to your specific draw length to ensure optimal performance.
  • Bow Size and Weight: Consider the terrain and how much you’ll be moving. A lighter, more compact bow might be beneficial if you plan to stalk turkeys or move frequently.
  • Let-off: Especially important with compound bows, the let-off percentage can make a big difference in your ability to hold the bow at full draw quietly and steadily as you wait for the perfect shot opportunity.
  • Noise and Vibration: Turkeys are exceptionally alert to unnatural sounds. Look for a bow that operates quietly and with minimal vibration upon release. Many modern bows come with dampening technology to reduce noise and vibration.

Ultimately, the best bow for turkey hunting is the one that you feel most comfortable and confident using. Comfort leads to practice, and practice leads to precision. Spend time with different types of bows if possible, and consider renting or borrowing bows to get a feel for what suits you best.

Many archery shops offer ranges where you can test different bows. Take advantage of this opportunity to shoot several bows within your budget and requirement list. Pay attention to how each bow feels in terms of draw cycle, balance, and ease of holding at full draw.

Remember, the right bow will feel right in your hands; it’s the one that you can’t wait to practice with, the one that turns the woods into your playground.


Arrows and Broadheads

Once you’ve chosen your bow, the next critical pieces of the puzzle are the arrows and broadheads you select to send downrange. This gear is as crucial as your bow when it comes to turkey hunting. The right combination can mean the difference between a clean, ethical kill and a missed opportunity.


  • Material: Modern arrows are typically made from carbon, aluminum, or a hybrid of both. Carbon arrows offer durability and consistent performance, making them a popular choice for turkey hunters. Aluminum arrows are known for their straightness and affordability but tend to be a bit heavier and less durable than carbon.
  • Weight: The weight of your arrow is measured in grains per inch (GPI). A heavier arrow will generally penetrate better, which is vital for ensuring a broadhead passes through a turkey’s dense feathers and vital organs. However, it will also travel slower than a lighter arrow, so balance is key. For turkey hunting, a mid-weight arrow often offers a good compromise between speed and penetration.
  • Spine: The spine refers to the arrow’s stiffness. Choosing the right spine is crucial for accuracy; too stiff or too flexible can both lead to poor arrow flight. The correct spine depends on your bow’s draw weight and the arrow’s length.
  • Length: Proper arrow length is essential for safety and performance. An arrow that’s too short for your draw length can be dangerous, while one that’s too long can affect accuracy. Your local archery shop can help you measure and cut arrows to the perfect length for your setup.


  • Fixed vs. Mechanical: Fixed broadheads have blades that are always exposed, offering reliability and durability. They’re often preferred by traditionalists and those who value simplicity. Mechanical broadheads, on the other hand, feature blades that deploy on impact, creating larger wound channels. For turkey hunting, both can be effective, but mechanical broadheads may offer an advantage in cutting diameter, which is beneficial for hitting the vital areas of a turkey.
  • Weight: Broadhead weight, typically ranging from 100 to 125 grains, should match your arrows for optimal balance and performance. The weight affects the arrow’s front-of-center (FOC) balance, influencing its flight stability and penetration.
  • Cutting Diameter: Especially important for turkey hunting, the cutting diameter of a broadhead determines the size of the wound channel. A larger cutting diameter can be advantageous for turkey hunting, increasing the likelihood of hitting vital organs or cutting major arteries, even on a less-than-perfect shot.

Testing and Tuning

No matter what arrows and broadheads you choose, nothing replaces testing and tuning your setup. Practice shooting with the exact arrows and broadheads you plan to hunt with. This not only ensures your equipment is dialed in but also builds confidence in your ability to make the shot count when it matters most.

Always consider the hunting environment and regulations in your area. Some states or regions may have restrictions on the type of broadheads you can use. Additionally, the choice between fixed and mechanical broadheads may be influenced by the typical distances you expect to shoot and the terrain you’ll be hunting in.

In turkey hunting, as in all archery, the devil is in the details. Your arrows and broadheads are where your preparation meets the moment of truth. Choose wisely, practice consistently, and ensure your setup is tuned to perfection. With the right arrows and broadheads complementing your bow, you’re well on your way to a successful turkey season.



The Hunt Itself

After dialing in your gear with the perfect bow, arrows, and broadheads, it’s time to focus on the hunt itself. Turkey hunting with a bow brings unique challenges and rewards, requiring a blend of stealth, strategy, and patience. Here’s how to approach the turkey woods with your bow in hand, ready to put all your preparation into practice.


  • Know Your Terrain: Spend time in your hunting area long before the season starts. Look for signs of turkey activity, including roosting trees, feeding areas, and dusting spots. Understanding where turkeys like to spend their time will help you choose the best setup locations.
  • Use Technology: Modern hunters have a plethora of tools at their disposal. Trail cameras can be incredibly useful in monitoring turkey movements and patterns without disturbing the area.

Choosing Your Setup

  • Ground Blinds vs. Natural Cover: Ground blinds can be a bowhunter’s best friend, offering concealment while allowing for the movement needed to draw a bow. However, they must be set up well in advance of the hunt to allow turkeys to get accustomed to them. Natural cover can also be effective, especially for those who prefer a more mobile hunting style. Choose your ambush spot based on visibility, wind direction, and known turkey travel routes.
  • Decoys: When used correctly, decoys can lure a wary gobbler into range. A hen decoy might entice a tom looking for company, while a jake (young male) decoy can trigger an aggressive response from a dominant tom. Position decoys within clear shooting lanes and at a distance that gives you the best chance for an ethical shot.


  • Less is More: Turkeys have keen ears, and overcalling can make you sound more like a threat than a mate. Use a variety of calls (box calls, slate calls, mouth calls) to mimic the sounds of turkeys in your area, but do so sparingly. The goal is to pique a turkey’s curiosity, not to hold a conversation.
  • Reading the Bird: Learn to interpret a turkey’s response to your calls. A gobble or cluck in return is a good sign, but pay attention to the turkey’s body language and movement patterns. Sometimes, the best tactic is to stay silent and let the turkey come looking for you.

Shot Placement

  • Vitals: Unlike hunting with shotguns, where headshots are the norm, bowhunters should aim for the turkey’s vitals (heart and lungs). This requires precision and knowledge of turkey anatomy. The ideal shot is when the turkey is broadside or slightly quartered away, aiming for the base of the wing where it meets the body.
  • Patience is Key: Wait for the right shot. It’s better to let a turkey walk than to take a risky shot that could result in wounding the bird. Remember, ethical hunting is paramount.


  • Replicate Hunting Conditions: Practice shooting your bow in conditions similar to those you’ll face during the hunt. This includes shooting from a seated position, within a blind, and at various angles and distances.
  • Mental Preparation: Visualize successful hunts and practice calm, focused shot execution. The mental game is as important as physical preparation.

Safety and Respect

  • Be Visible to Other Hunters: Use blaze orange when moving through the woods, and be mindful of your surroundings and hunting regulations.
  • Respect the Quarry: Honor the turkey by hunting ethically, taking clean shots, and utilizing as much of the bird as possible after the harvest.

Remember, each hunt is a learning experience, and every moment in the woods is a gift. Here’s to a season of silent stalks, steady hands, and the unmatched satisfaction of calling in a spring gobbler with nothing but your wits and a well-aimed arrow. Happy hunting!

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