How To Hunt Turkey With A Crossbow

Crossbow hunting for turkey.

With spring right around the corner many hunters are wondering how to hunt turkey with a crossbow.

Turkey hunting with crossbows is becoming increasingly popular as high-quality hunting crossbows become less and less expensive.

If you are new to the world of crossbow turkey hunting, you do not have to spend a fortune on the latest-greatest super high-speed crossbow. In fact, the best equipment does not even have to cost a lot of money. All you really need is the desire and knowledge to succeed.

A turkey’s vitals is a fairly small target, so having a good quality crossbow capable of fist-sized groups at 40-50 yards is a must if you plan to hunt turkey with a crossbow and fill your tag.

To hunt turkey with a crossbow you need the following:

  • A high-quality crossbow with at least a 50-yard range;
  • Complete camouflage including ahead and face mask;
  • A variety of turkey calls;
  • Well sharpened turkey hunting broadheads;
  • A turkey hunting blind;
  • A good laser rangefinder (optional);

Despite the fact a turkey’s brain is about the size of a quarter, they are surprisingly wary birds, especially after they have been hunted.

crossbow hunting for turkeyIf you were a turkey and all you had to do is eat, make love, and not get shot or killed by a predator you would learn fast and get real good at those things too, right?

Turkey’s also have an incredible sense of hearing and eyesight. They can hear noises from a long way off and pinpoint where the noise is coming from.

Their eyesight allows them to pick up movement quickly, and when they see movement they react to it by going into flight mode or running off like a banshee! A hunter should be sure that they have their face and eyes covered with camouflage or dark netting at all times.

Scent Control For Turkey Hunting: Forget About It!

The good news is you don’t have to worry about scent control while turkey hunting. A turkey’s sense of smell is nowhere near that of a deer, elk or moose.

Scent control spray, ozonators, cover scents, charcoal activated clothing —- you can leave it all in the bin in your basement when it’s time to hunt turkey.

Gear Up To Hunt Turkey With A Crossbow

Turkey hunting gear can make all the difference between an enjoyable hunt and one that ends up with an unfilled turkey tag. Whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced hunter, taking the proper turkey calls and using the proper turkey hunting gear can make all the difference in your crossbow hunt.

Crossbow hunting for turkeys can be an effective way to spend your free time, but there are some essentials that every hunter should keep in mind before heading out into the field or woods. For starters, any hunter who is going to hunt for turkeys should make sure that they are properly equipped.

Quick Tip For Crossbow Turkey Hunters: Use A Rangefinder

Another good idea is to use a laser rangefinder. These devices are usually used by deer hunters, but can also come in handy if you are crossbow hunting for turkeys. Rangefinders will help you to determine the distance that you are aiming at and can help make arrow placement much more accurate.

where to hit turkey with arrowWhen you get set up in your turkey hunting blind use the range-finder to mark different landmarks: a bush nearby, large rock, or even your decoys. This way you know how far of a shot you might have when those gobblers come strutting in.

Of course, before you ever fire a shot, you will want to make sure that your crossbow is set up properly. If you aren’t familiar with how to use the crossbow, you’ll never get a clean headshot or arrow in the vitals of a gobbler. Remember that accuracy is the key to a successful hunt.

Types Of Turkey Calls For When You Hunt Turkey With A Crossbow

One other essential that you should take the time to learn is the use of the turkey call. When using a turkey call, it is essential to remember that you must use it as a crutch to communicate with the animal.

You will want to use the call slowly and carefully, and use repetition with the phrase. A well-used turkey call should have the right frequency and volume to get the animal’s attention.

Box Style Turkey Calls: These are the easiest to use. Hen clucks and purrs are made by rubbing the lid on the wood or plastic call box.

Slate Style Turkey Calls: These calls take a bit more practice. Hen sounds are created by rubbing a striker pen on a piece of slate.

Mouth Reed Style Turkey Calls: These sound the best but take a lot of practice. They are a big advantage because they allow you to call hands free and when you are aiming the crossbow,

The turkey’s eyesight is also important to understand when learning how to crossbow hunt for turkey. It is highly unlikely that a hunter would have much success during a turkey hunt if they did not pay close attention to the weather.

If it’s really nasty out the turkeys may stay on roost all day. And factors like high winds can make turkey calling tough because the birds will have trouble hearing your calls.

Being able to see where the prey is located, as well as being able to identify it, can help make the hunt much more successful.

Stay Hidden In A Turkey Hunting Blind

A hunter who wants to learn how to hunt successfully for turkey will also need to pay close attention to the weather and the terrain that they are hunting.

There are a few key tips that can help you be successful when taking part in any type of hunting. Knowing what type of terrain that you will be facing, and working with this knowledge to lure that big gobbler to you can make the entire hunting experience easier on the whole.

Make sure the blind material matches the terrain you are hunting. A good quality turkey blind will match the surrounding terrain and conceal your movements.

Another tip on how to crossbow hunt for turkey is to practice constantly. Practice at home or in a dedicated crossbow and archery shooting range.

When you are in the field, it is very easy to get frustrated at your lack of results. Keep in mind that you need to use the same techniques that you would if you were taking the animal out in the field. You want your practice to reflect real-life hunting scenarios.

Where To Shoot A Turkey With A Crossbow Arrow?

3D turkey targets can be a great way of learning proper arrow placement on big gobblers!

Remember, when it’s time to squeeze the trigger you want to be aiming the crossbow for a headshot, or the vitals.

It can be tough to penetrate the feathers on the wing, so the easiest route to the vitals on a turkey is to send the arrow right up the pooper!

That’s right, aim for its butt! A gobbler in full strut mode loves to show those cheeks when facing away. Let him have it right when he turns and looks in the opposite direction.

If you’re opting for a headshot on a turkey your best bet is to use a Google Guillotine-style broadhead. This design features long sharp hoops that catch the head and neck area for a quick and humane harvest.

Turkey hunting with a crossbow is a ton of fun! You can hunt from a blind and call in the birds, or go into stalker mode and try to get in close enough on a flock of feeding turkeys to get a shot at a gobbler.

Either way it takes a lot of practice to hit a turkey with a crossbow. Make sure you are using the right type of broadhead and practice, practice, practice so you can make a clean kill when it comes time to make the shot on that brush hog gobbler coming your way!

Written by Mark Metzlov

A certified "Crossbow Guru," with over 35 years of bowhunting experience Mark loves to test new crossbow models at the range, and in the woods during hunting season. Mark is also a top-notch wild game chef who can cook up a wicked venison burger on a moment's notice!

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