Turkey Hunters might be even more passionate about chasing a long bird as a Whitetail Deer Hunter chasing a monster buck.  The reality is both require skills, determination, practice and right equipment.  I will profess that I am not as skilled as a Turkey Hunter as I am a Deer Hunter but I love to chase those birds with a bow.  I have just started getting hard-core with Turkey Hunting over the past few years. Turkey in itself is hard enough but swop out a shotgun with a bow and it becomes even more difficult.  My goal is to help you learn from my mistakes and share some pearls I have learned.

There are three areas I would suggest you consider for this upcoming season and they are 1) What Equipment & Resources are you using 2) Strategies & Bowhunting Tips to consider and 3) Practice Scenarios. If you are a beginner or intermediate turkey hunter this article may benefit you.  If you are a very seasoned Turkey Hunter not sure this article is for you.

Equipment and Resources

Like Deer Hunting there is no one product or company that has the magic bullet or in our case arrow.  There are many good products and companies that provide great products.  In my opinion Turkey Hunting Equipment becomes very personal.  For example; some folks are better with one type of mouth call vs. another.  Some hunters only use a box call or slate.  Others use all of them.  As a bow hunter, I like a mouth call b/c it helps me deal with one less thing.  I have been trying a number of mouth calls over past few years.  This year I have found the Knight & Hale mouth calls fit me well.  Does not mean the other Primos calls I have used don’t work well.  I am currently practicing with the Primos Lil’ Hot Box and really like it.  I will be hunting with it.  I have also tried the new Knight & Hale Push – Pull Plus call.  I like it and it is good call for someone just getting into chasing birds.  I think it boils down to confidence in your equipment.   Try them all as much as you can.

Next you need to utilize the DVDs many of the companies provide with their calls when you buy them. Most of the time they are good.  I love the DVD that Primos puts out with many of their calls.  They do a very good job of educating you on how to use calls.  Other resources would be to get a mentor to help make sure you are making the calls correctly.  If you do not have this go to www.NWTF.com and they have a place to listen to different Turkey Calls to compare your calling to.
Take away is to try a number of brands & products to see what works best for YOU.

Strategies & Bowhunting Tips

If you bow hunt big game with your bow there are many skills you can bring to Turkey Hunting.  With that said these long beards can be very difficult and require some new thought process.  You are NOT going to get busted because your scent is not under control.  You will get busted if you move too much because their eyesight is Great.  They also excellent hearing some you have to be quite and make good calls or it is a NO GO!  We have some good resources on specific Strategies and Bowhunting Tips at www.blog.stickmearchery.com for you to reference in areas such as Shot Placement, Calling, Broadheads and Video.  For this article consider scenarios where you would hunt from a ground blind and scenarios where you would hunt from the ground with a bow.  Both of these scenarios can be very productive and produce great results but do require some thinking ahead.  For example; if hunting off the ground need to ensure have enough back drop cover to draw bow and decoy placement is important so you can draw bow for clean shot without being seen.  Bill harvested this big Osceola Gobbler with his bow hunting from the ground.

Practice – Practice – Practice

We also hear about shooting our bow prior to Deer Season.  Well you should practice now for Turkey Season if you dare to hunt with a bow.  Practice from your ground blind and practice from the ground if that is how you will be hunting.  Now take it up a notch and put the mouth call in your mouth and draw your bow.  Try making a Cluck at Full Draw that sounds real.  Hold the bow for a few seconds then let it rip.  Did you hit where you need to?  If not, keep practicing.  The reason for this is if you are going to hunt by your self you may need to mouth call to get that Gobbler within Bow range.  Practice it now and it will pay off.  Practice when ever and where ever you can.  I drive my family crazy with my constant calling while I am in my office.  I have also been known to have my calls with me while watching my boys baseball practice.  I will go out into the field away from everyone so I can practice.  At the same time watching my boys play ball.

Products referenced in Archery Shop

Knight & Hale Push – Pull Plus
Primos Diagram Calls
Knight & Hale Judgment Day 4- Pack Diagram

Other new turkey calls for 2011 are the following……

Flextone Big Sexy Mouth Call

Primos Lil Hot Box