Bowhunting Turkeys: Body Shots Or Head Shots?

by ScoutLook Weather


Bowhunting turkeys can be seriously challenging, but when all the pieces finally fall into place it can offer up-close, hair-raising action that’s tough to top. Taking a turkey with a bow is quite an accomplishment, no doubt, but what’s the best way to get it done: Shoot for the internal vitals or aim for the head?

The vital zone inside a turkey is small—about the size of a softball. Turkeys are precarious birds, almost always on the move and generally nervous or jittery. A perfect broadside shot is usually a prayer, so many bowhunters struggle with reanalyzing lethal shot angles as a bird pivots and struts in bow range. Because of this typically complicated shooting scenario, a reality of body shots is that many gobblers are missed, wounded, or need a coup de gras to seal their fate. While there are certainly a variety of new mechanical and fixed-blade broadheads that offer wicked penetration and large cutting surfaces, you’re still left with a rather small margin for error when going for a gobbler’s body.

Head-hunting gobblers, on the other hand, is probably just as (or more) effective than peppering them with a load of lead from a turkey gun. When executed properly—in the decoys, at extremely close range—a head shot on a bird almost always results in a clean kill or a clean miss. The video posted above is proof (click here to see the slow-motion version for more graphic evidence).

The successful bowhunter in our video was shooting a broadhead called the Magnus Bullhead. Other popular “decapitation-style” broadheads for turkey hunters include the Tom Bomb from Flying Arrow Archery or The Guillotine from Arrowdynamics.

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