Hunting turkeys with a crossbow has long been a fun pastime for experienced huntsmen. In fact, it is always practiced for generations until the present day, thanks to its efficiency greatly surpassing loud guns. However, it is more difficult to do that as well.
To prepare for the hunt, you will need to do a lot of preparation, from scouting for turkey habitats to gearing up. Turkeys are excellent escapists, so you should train your stamina too! Don’t forget to stock on drinks and food in case the hunt takes longer than expected.There are three basic reminders for hunting turkeys with a crossbow!
All About Turkey Hunting
Despite their bulky and timid outlook, turkeys are one of the most flexible animals in the wild. They are also easily startled by the smallest sounds, so hunting turkeys with guns is nearly impossible.
Therefore, silent weapons like crossbows or bows are the best for hunting turkeys. You can also set up some traps to gain advantages.
The best time for turkey hunting is spring and fall. They can be easily found in the woods throughout the U.S. You wouldn’t have to go deep to find turkeys; even large areas with sparse timber are ideal habitats for them. Most of them live on high ground to avoid predators.
If you have trouble seeking turkeys, try to place some food plots to attract them. These plots usually consist of a wide variety of seeds and insects, making a special treat for the big fat birds. Seasoned trappers may add flavors to attract more turkeys from a distance.
What Should I Do Before The Turkey Hunt?
If this is the first time you go hunting, be sure to familiarize yourself with your crossbow and gears. You will need to practice your aim very carefully before taking a shot since turkeys are sensitive to even the slightest noise. Double-check equipment, bow attachments, and safety precautions to avoid unwanted accidents.
While hunting, it is best to travel light to improve your maneuverability. Check the draw weight for your crossbow: the ideal draw weight for a hunting crossbow would be between 150 and 175 pounds, which should provide a decent aim and not put too much strain on your shoulder.
Remember to pay attention to your arrows as well. Use metal lubricant to decrease the bolt sound and stability. Heavier arrows can penetrate animals easier, but their range is reduced, while light bolts quietly assault the prey in a larger area but are less powerful.
Depending on the length of the hunt, you can prepare supplies for your convenience. Food, water, insecticide, a hat, and a camouflage hunting outfit are the most important things to pack.
Don’t forget survival tools such as knives, ropes, tents (if you hunt for days), matches, a flashlight, and a map to navigate the area.
Patience is also an important skill. There is no point chasing a turkey because they are very fast and can fly, so frightening them is a no-no. Let’s turn to the sit-and-wait rather than active-search hunting strategy.
Sneaking around their habitat and waiting for them to bite the bait is a better move. So, remember to take a deep breath and make your shot worth it.
Check your scope carefully. Adjust it to fit your eyes so you can estimate the distance. Consider using a rangefinder if you have trouble looking for the accurate distance between you and the target. Don’t forget to prepare your license before hunting.
Hunting Turkeys With A Crossbow – Instructions
Scouting For Turkey Habitat
Now that you are all set, look for a hunting ground in the area. They have many roosting areas where you can keep an eye out. Yet, you have to scout quietly, as the turkey will quickly evade the area if they are disturbed.
You can look for specific signs to identify wild turkey nests, such as flapping sounds, feathers on the ground, and large makeshift nests on the trees by mud and branches.
Some states in the U.S. ban the use of turkey baits, so you pay attention carefully to the law. Instead, look for turkey callers, which can effectively lure them out.
The best times for hunting turkey are spring and fall. Spring is the mating season for turkeys, so it is the best opportunity to imitate turkey male calls to attract other turkeys. You might drag the attention of female birds or other male birds looking for a fight over female domination.
In fall, the turkey comes out more to look for food in order to stock up on fat for winter. If your state allows using baits, a nice mix of seeds and insects should attract a lot of turkeys in the area. They can be pretty violent while searching for food; be careful.
Take The Shot
Always look for a clean shot to incapacitate or kill the turkey instantly. Once a turkey is in your aim, the best areas for a shot are sideways, front and rear. If you can hit the sideways, the bolt can hit its heart or lungs. Don’t try to shoot when they are fighting or flying.
Shooting at the turkey’s front or rear area can also incapacitate your target, but they will struggle violently before giving up. It would be best if you didn’t try for their head or legs since they are pretty difficult to hit. Don’t forget to make signs for other hunters in the area to notice your presence.
Hunting turkeys with a crossbow is a fun challenge for those who love a wild and intense hunt atmosphere. That said, only do so when you are familiar with crossbow hunting. And it’s recommended to practice with dummies before going after real turkeys. They can be pretty violent when provoked!