Skip to main content

Bowhunting Shot Placement For Turkey

Bowhunting Shot Placement For Turkey

The bowhunter's ultimate goal is to disrupt a turkey's circulatory, neurological, muscular or skeletal systems so it is immobilized or disabled to the point where it cannot escape.

//

To accomplish this, you must hit one of several primary aiming spots: the head-neck-spine, the vitals or the upper legs. Where to aim depends on the turkey's orientation and posture.

The head-neck-spine area contains the turkey's primary neurological systems. It is a small, vertical target zone, but a hit will typically immobilize the bird, often killing it instantly. This shot can be taken from almost any angle but is best with the turkey facing away, as this exposes the greatest target area (except on a strutting tom). It is also preferable that the turkey's head and neck be upright, and not tucked into the body.

The vital area is about the size of a man's fist and contains the majority of a turkey's blood and life-sustaining organs (heart, lung, liver, etc.). Unless the broadhead also strikes bone, a turkey hit here may travel some distance before succumbing. Turkeys use their powerful legs both to run and launch into flight. A shot that breaks one or both upper legs will significantly impede the bird's ability to escape.

The broadside shot presents all three aiming spots. Vital organs lie inside the upper half of the folded wing, beneath the wing coverts. A low shot will still break one or both legs.

A high shot will break the spine. On a strutting tom, aim forward and up to the leading edge of the coverts.

Recommended


On a quartering-away shot, consider both the entry and exit location and move your point of aim back, much as you would for a deer. Unless aiming for the head, quartering-to and head-on shots are less desirable, because the vitals are protected by dense feathers, meat and breast bone.

While a poor option for other game, straight away is a good angle for turkeys. In an upright posture, the full length of the spine is exposed. A miss just to either side will still hit vitals and may hit a leg. On a strutting tom, the fanned tail provides a perfect bull's-eye and obscures the turkey's vision, allowing the hunter to draw undetected.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

APX — The Newest Pattern From Realtree

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Buck Commander Releases New Buk Ops Technology

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Easton's Sonic 6.0 a Versatile Arrow Shaft

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Easton Introduces the Match Grade Pro Series Arrow

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Primos Double Bull Delivers New Raised Hunting Ground Blind

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Primos Delivers Steady Shooting With Edge Tripod System

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

The QAD Ultrarest Gets Better

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

A QAD Ultrarest For Everyone

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Primos Legacy Grows With Icon Call Series

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Going Light With Dryshod Boots

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Tactical Bowhunting from T.R.U. Ball and Axcel

Trophyline is following up on the success of its Venatic tree saddle with a new-for-2024 model featuring First Lite Spec...
Gear

Trophyline Venatic Specter

Bowhunter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now