A Beginner's Guide to Bowhunting Turkeys


Whether you’re an established deer hunter looking for a new challenge or you’re new to hunting entirely, turkey hunting is a great way to keep meat on the table and contribute to conservation. To help get you started, we’ve come up with five tips every beginner turkey hunter should know.

1. Use Decoys

Using a turkey decoy can be an effective strategy for bowhunting turkeys. Make sure you’re using the right decoys in the right setup. For example, putting two tom turkey decoys out together could scare off younger jakes who would be intimidated to approach two toms that appear to be fighting. On the other hand, a tom decoy set up alongside a hen decoy could lure in another tom to assert its dominance. When you set up your decoys, make sure you leave a clear path for you to take your shot. The decoys should be close enough for you to take the shot when the turkeys arrive, but far enough away that they won’t see you when they approach.

2. Use Calls

Turkey calls are another great strategy to lure in turkeys. The key to turkey calling is knowing when to stop. If you call aggressively to lure the turkeys in, you need to pull back and stop the calls when you see them approaching. If you keep up the calls when the turkeys are in range, you’ll risk scaring them off because they could see you or sense that the call is fake. If you’ve noticed that there are a lot of young jakes in the area, avoid aggressive tom calling. This could scare them off, just like aggressive decoys.

3. Remain Covered

Turkeys have impeccable eyesight. Their eyesight is three times stronger than ours and they have 270-degree field of vision compared our 180 degrees, so it is important to keep yourself hidden. Use a blind or make sure you’re in an area of heavy cover. If you’re hunting on foot, make sure you’re wearing camo. Wherever you decide to set up shop, always make sure there’s a clear shooting lane.

4. Practice

The vital organs on a turkey are much smaller than they are on a deer, so it’s important to practice with a turkey target before you begin hunting turkeys. If you’re looking for a broadhead that’s designed specifically for turkey hunting, VIP Archery’s Guillotine and Guillotine Xhave a straight-edge blade design for clean decapitation which results in an ethical harvest. Instead of aiming for the lungs, heart and other vital organs, you can aim for the head for a clean shot with the two Guillotine models.

5. Find the Right Time

Two of the best times to hunt turkeys are right after they fly down from their roost in the morning and again at dusk right before they fly back up. Fire up your hen sounds right as they’re coming down from the roost to encourage more of them to fly down. They’ll gravitate toward the hen and you could potentially lead them right to your hiding spot.

These tips, combined with our Guillotine and Guillotine X broadheads, could lead you to a successful turkey hunting season. We hope you enjoy your first turkey hunt and the freezer full of meat that comes with it.

What tips do you have for a beginner turkey hunter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

1 Response

Greg Traynor

Greg Traynor

April 21, 2022

Wear black in the ground blind. Avoid wearing red, white or blue for safety. Never stalk a bird, it could be another hunter. Turkey hunting is very exciting, be safe and be sure of your target. Good luck everyone!

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