Hunting turkeys with a bow is a challenge. Heck, hunting turkeys with any weapon is a challenge. That’s why so many people become obsessed with hunting them every spring.
For bowhunters, the biggest obstacle to overcome is getting drawn on a gobbler without getting busted. This is made infinitely easier by the use of pop-up ground blinds with darkened interiors designed to hide your movements. However, you can consistently fill your tag without a commercial blind.
If you do go blind-less, make sure you are wearing a good spring camouflage pattern.
My go-to pattern happens to be Mossy Oak Obsession, which is built on a background of mottled tree bark and features limbs, leaves, bark, branches and other digitally enhanced natural elements, plus shadowing, color tones, and an inlay of the NWTF’s logo throughout the pattern.
Of course, you can’t just sit in the open and expect to arrow a turkey. Once you get a gobbler to respond, use natural vegetation (deadfalls, brush piles, clusters of trees, etc.) to hide behind while still allowing yourself room to draw and shoot.
I find decoys to be a big help, as they will often distract a strutting tom just long enough to enable you to get drawn.
I like to position my decoys relatively close, so a tom won’t hang up out of range, and facing toward me because if he’s strutting for my hen decoy he will usually dance around in front of her. That puts his fan between us, effectively hiding my drawing motion. Also, as soon as I can see a tom committing to my decoy set, I take the first opportunity to draw my bow, preferably when the gobbler’s head is completely hidden behind a tree or brush. Because you’ll often have to hold at full draw for an extended period of time, I recommend lowering your bow’s draw weight by at least five pounds.
Turkeys are a blast no matter how you choose to hunt them. But, in my opinion, if you want the ultimate bowhunting challenge, go after them this spring without a blind.