Turkey season is right around the corner, and for those of you who are gearing up for the upcoming season, read on. Turkey hunters are a passionate and dedicated group. Those that chase turkeys with archery equipment take the challenge of harvesting a nice tom or jake this spring to the next level. Getting a bead on a tom with a shotgun can be hard enough but when you decide to do it with your bow, that difficulty becomes significantly higher.
What is the best type of broadheads for bowhunting turkeys? This can be a tough one. Just like when choosing the best broadhead for other types of hunting seasons, much of this decision is based primarily of personal preference. With this being stated, my preference is mechanical broadheads. They fly like field tips and due to the “mechanical” expansion, they normally will stay within the turkey opposed to getting a complete pass-through. When shooting turkeys with broadheads, if they run/fly after the shot, they usually do not leave the best blood trails. The ideal shot is to accurately place an arrow that penetrates at least one wing, if not both, while hitting the vitals. This will ensure a quick kill and a bird that is unable to fly.
When hunting for turkeys with a bow, your setup is critical. I often get the question regarding which is better, hunting from a blind or from the ground? In my opinion, both are effective options, the real question is what type of “turkey chaser” are you, and what is the situation. If you are bow hunting turkeys for the first time, the first thing you will learn is truly how impressive the wild turkey is at picking up movement. It was not until I started toting a bow in the turkey woods that I really began to appreciate the eyesight of a turkey. It takes practice getting your setup right on a turkey with a bow. With a bow, I want them within 20-30 yards to increase my odds on such a small target. Therefore, your setup is everything. For me, if I know where a gobbler likes to hang out and strut and have the ability to setup a blind without him seeing me, than this is a great option. What is interesting about turkeys and blinds is in my opinion turkeys are not as “forgiving” as whitetail deer. A turkey will notice just about anything out of place and are easily spooked. It is important to get your blind tucked into brush so that it blends in with the terrain around you.
Every person is different, and for me, I enjoy walking the woods and trying to strike a “hot” bird. Therefore, I prefer the ground setup mainly because of my style of turkey hunting. Again though, if I have a bird roosted, and I know where he likes to strut, I would jump at the opportunity to be sitting in a blind at daylight in hope he would come to my calling and decoys 15 yards in front of my blind.
Hunting from the ground, as I have already mentioned, is very difficult for many reasons. You need the bird to get within that 20-30 yard range, and you really cannot draw your bow until they do. This requires attention to detail on your camouflage, your setup, and your decision on when to actually draw. What I have found works best for me, is to setup on my knees with my left shoulder facing towards the direction I think the bird is going to come. I try to find a bush or tree that will allow me to have good visibility in front of me, but be completely blocked on my sides and back. If coming to full draw on a tom is not hard enough, add a few hens or a subordinate or two, and the challenge has just increased dramatically. Finding the right time to draw, as it is with hunting any animal with a bow, will be the toughest challenge when hunting without a blind. If you love bowhunting, there is a very good chance you will enjoy bowhunting for turkeys as well.
2013 Iowa Spring Turkey Season Dates
- Archery Only (Resident)
- April 15 - May 19, 2013
- April 6-14 (Youth Season – Resident)
- April 15-18 (Season 1)
- April 19-23 (Season 2)
- April 24-30 (Season 3)
- May 1-19 (Season 4)
2013 Nebraska Turkey Season Dates
- March 25-May 31, 2013
- March 25-May 31, 2013
- April 13-May 31, 2013
- April 6-May 31, 2013