Mathews Inc.
Bow only
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
bowfisher 11-Apr-16
Glunt@work 12-Apr-16
Brotsky 12-Apr-16
Knife2sharp 12-Apr-16
Rock 12-Apr-16
Ziek 12-Apr-16
Bake 12-Apr-16
drycreek 12-Apr-16
Brotsky 12-Apr-16
Boly 12-Apr-16
WV Mountaineer 12-Apr-16
stoneman 13-Apr-16
Ziek 13-Apr-16
Ziek 13-Apr-16
Franzen 13-Apr-16
deerman406 13-Apr-16
stoneman 13-Apr-16
Glunt@work 13-Apr-16
Brotsky 13-Apr-16
bowfisher 13-Apr-16
WV Mountaineer 13-Apr-16
DC 13-Apr-16
WV Mountaineer 13-Apr-16
Ziek 13-Apr-16
Titan_Bow 13-Apr-16
Hammer 14-Apr-16
Mad_Angler 14-Apr-16
Garrett 14-Apr-16
RedOctober 14-Apr-16
From: bowfisher
11-Apr-16
Been turkey hunting around 5 years now. Killed a couple with a shotgun and it's been fun, especially last year getting it done with my buddies. Although, turkeys have never fueled my hunting fire much like my beloved whitetails do, so for this year I've decided to go bow only, 90- 100% from natural set ups. Hoping this sparks a bit more a fire!! We'll see how this goes....

From: Glunt@work
12-Apr-16
I went in reverse. Started bow hunting them with no blind, then with a blind, then went on a shotgun hunt. I have admit that it was pretty fun doing the shotgun hunt. No gear to carry, just a gun and a reed call and of course much easier to kill them compared to getting a longbow drawn and hitting the mark.

Not the same thrill as bow hunting but not every hunt needs to be hard to be fun.

From: Brotsky
12-Apr-16
Our family is bow only for turkeys. I've asked my daughter a few times if she'd like to take the gun to get one under her belt and her answer is always the same "I'd rather not get one than shoot one with a shotgun." I have zero problem with people who shotgun hunt and if that's your thing I wish you the best of luck. Either way be safe and enjoy the beautiful springtime woods!

From: Knife2sharp
12-Apr-16
I've shot some with my bow and don't care for it. I hunt a pretty large piece of private land in WI open to the public. Being in WI we draw for a 7 day hunt, with the option of buying left over tags for the latter 3-4 weeks. I like this because you can upwards of 4 tags.

I hunt many different styles depending on where I setup and what the birds are doing and where they are going. I usually don't setup near the roost and would rather be a couple hundred yards away in the direction they tend to go. I will also pattern the most aggressive gobbler and it sometimes takes a few days figure him out, but sometimes they're on a 2-3 day pattern. I may decide to setup a blind if I'm going to hunt him near a field, or I make a natural blind/hide. Most times I never make a sound and when I finally see that red and white head, I don't want to be limited by a bow.

I also like hunting the later seasons when everyone thinks the toms are in hiding. I find that toms are lonely and they can be quite vocal and I have the woods to myself. To me, the shotgun is the perfect turkey weapon. But I think a crossbow could be fun too. I like my short Primos chair and a bow just does not give you the range of motion.

To me it's about pursuing those big mature toms, 3+ years old, and getting them to 40 yards is not a piece of cake. I want him dead when he is.

From: Rock
12-Apr-16
When I first started hunting Turkeys in the late 80's everyone told me that I needed to shot a few with a shotgun before trying a Bow. I told them that I did not care if I got one or not as it was just some dumb bird and I was only going to hunt them with my Bow. To date I have never hunted them with anything but a Bow and never plan to. Currently shooting many Turkeys every spring so do not see a reason to change.

From: Ziek
12-Apr-16
Like Rock, both my wife and I have only hunted them with a bow. Not impressed with how I've seen EVERY shotgunner "hunt" them - drive around, jump out and blast away when they see one close to the road. Unless they're already riding in the back of the PU. Then they skip the jump out part. I'm sure there are some responsible shotgunners, but I haven't seen one, and just don't see the point anyway. If you can't get them to within about ten yards, it wouldn't be much fun.

From: Bake
12-Apr-16
Good luck! Have fun, that's the most important part.

I've done some bowhunting for toms, and really enjoyed it.

But I LOVE popping them with a nice shotgun :) I love the run and gun aspect of it on larger pieces of property, and the minimal gear. Usually hunting with just a gun, a pot and striker and one mouth call. That's just pure enjoyment to me

Bake

From: drycreek
12-Apr-16
Damn, Ziek, I don't know where you find these irresponsible shotgun turkey hunters, but I imagine they are just about as frequent as, say, irresponsible deer hunters. Hunters run the gamut of society IMO, some good and hard working, some bad, and lazy. Actually, the way I turkey hunt now, with a bow, is a little easier than when I hunted them with a shotgun. Then, I would take my shotgun, turkey vest, and a couple of folding dekes and start walking right out the door of the camphouse. By the time I killed a turkey, ( or not ) I might be a mile and a half from camp. Now, I have to carry so much stuff, I drive to within a couple hundred yards of where I'm setting up, then go back and hide the truck. Of course, that's where the easy part ends, but I enjoy it so much more when I whack one with my bow !

From: Brotsky
12-Apr-16
I need to get on this easy street of bow hunting some of you guys are mentioning! I pack 50+ pounds of gear including blind, decoys, chairs, calls and snacks anywhere from 1/2 to a full mile to set-up. It could be harder though, at least my wife and daughter carry their bows! Ha!

From: Boly
12-Apr-16
I hunt a walk in access public area that is about 2 miles all uphill from the truck. I have two dsd decoys, a double bull blind, a chair and a bow if I choose this method. If I choose the shotgun it is only the decoys and the shotgun. Guess which one I chose? Last year I stuck with the bow and ate tag soup. My buddy did get his with a shotgun however. where we hunt it is mountainous with a lot of oak brush with a few maples and pines mixed in. I want to kill the next one with a bow.

12-Apr-16
I like rolling them with a shotgun. I make no apologies for it. I also enjoy reloading, gun shooting, and hunting most things with a rifle. When you live in an area that a 30 yard shot with any weapon, on any animal, is the common, firearms don't offer you the advantages many say they do.

It takes a lot more woodsmanship to fool a keen eyed gobbler, without the aid of a blind, to more than equal the playing field of weapons choices. Besides, turkey hunting to me, is supposed to be a mobile, proactive, and vocal event. Not a fight of boredom starring through a blind window. I get enough boredom deer hunting. There is no desire for me to repeat that during the spring. God Bless

From: stoneman
13-Apr-16
"It takes a lot more woodsmanship to fool a keen eyed gobbler, without the aid of a blind, to more than equal the playing field of weapons choices."

IMO - this needed to be repeated.

Having done both, the challenge now is "run and gun" with my bow.

From: Ziek
13-Apr-16
Here's what happened this year. Sunday morning my wife decided she could get out for a couple of hours. (She is a CPA so she's swamped this time of year). We were set up in our normal spot on 40 acres of private ground that only we have permission to hunt. However, it is surrounded by other property that another neighbor either owns or has permission on. He DOESN'T hunt, but he gives access to several others (including us), and an outfitter.

At 0630 two pickups come down the road and spot the flock still milling around under the roost, with our set up in clear view about 100 yards across the meadow. They know they can't hunt there. So instead of turning around and driving about a mile and half to the other side of the property to stay on the property they can hunt, they drive down the private road (which they can do legally) RIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOCK to scatter them, evidently hoping they will flee to the property they can hunt. All we saw them do the rest of the morning was road hunt.

But even when done "right", gun hunting is always heavy handed, objectionable to anyone within earshot, and extremely disruptive to game animals. Turkeys especially just seem to be made for bowhunting.

From: Ziek
13-Apr-16
"It takes a lot more woodsmanship to fool a keen eyed gobbler, without the aid of a blind, to more than equal the playing field of weapons choices."

If you really believe that, why not bow hunt them without the blind?

From: Franzen
13-Apr-16
I agree with Ziek. You want to fool the wary gobbler?... bowhunt him without the blind.

I wager that at least 50 percent of the turkeys you call in and can shoot with your gun under 30 yards, you wouldn't be able to shoot with your bow. For me personally; I have only been able to loose an arrow on about 25% of the birds I've called in to that range while bowhunting. Not a lot of chances yet though.

From: deerman406
13-Apr-16
I can walk out my back door and be set up in 2 minutes to turkey hunt. Easy to pattern around here and if you do your homework ya never even have to call. I hunt out of a blind with the bow but this year I am gonna try the the turkey fan and spot and stalk them for some excitement. Like the OP I have never been thrilled with turkey hunting. Shawn

From: stoneman
13-Apr-16
"Having done both, the challenge now is "run and gun" with my bow."

bingo!

From: Glunt@work
13-Apr-16
I shoot traditional and its really hard (fun) to get them without a blind. Not being able to hold at draw long, can't sit on your rear due to the long limbs and they need to be close for me to hit their little kill zones.

I've only killed a couple without a blind but I lost count of how many I had in bow range and either got busted, m-m-mmissed or a combination of the two. My experience with shotguns (mostly guiding others) is darn close to 100% once they are in range.

I have shot a bunch from a blind with a bow and its fun but sometimes hauling the whole set-up can get old. A middle ground is run and gun with just a bow and a blind. No pack, chairs or decoys and no blind bag.

From: Brotsky
13-Apr-16
The beauty of turkeys is that there are so many ways to hunt them and they are all fun. I personally love sitting back in the blind with my wife and daughter and the sight of gobblers I've called in in full strut chest bumping my jake decoy before going fully into attack mode on him. Then after we enjoy the show whoever is up to bat gets to zip an arrow or two at them. Tough to beat that for family bonding time.

From: bowfisher
13-Apr-16
That's my plan, natural set ups run and gun! May use a blind but most likely won't.

13-Apr-16
Hey Ziek, if you really believe gun hunting is for the slobs, why don't you sell all your guns?

I'll answer that for you. Because you don't want to. Nor do I want to hunt turkeys with a bow. I enjoy doing it the way I do it. Like I said before, I enjoy all weapons and, I am not defined by my choices. It is obvious you don't agree. That is fine by me. You are the one missing out on all the fun.

Free room and board. Come out. I'll take you and, it will change your lopsided opinion of blind bowhunting turkeys as being tough in comparison. That's an honest invitation too. God Bless

From: DC
13-Apr-16
Glunt@work

Not the same thrill as bow hunting but not every hunt needs to be hard to be fun.

The "but not every hunt has to be hard to be fun" hit home with me. I tried to make hunting so hard and challenging that it nearly took all the fun out of it for me. I still challenge myself a great deal but my wife who does not hunt at all reminded me that I still need to have fun. Very wise words.

13-Apr-16
Killing turkeys is like killing everything else. If you hunt them, you will kill them. That is why people who choose to bowhunt them, usually do so from a blind. So, they can kill them easier. Whatever you kill them with doesn't make you special. It means you are a good turkey hunter by, figuring out what it takes to kill them based on your choices.

People on this site talk about bow hunting as something kin to spiritual awakening. They say they like the challenge of it. Makes them feel good to give the animals a chance. They seek the thrill of making it tough, etc... . Yet, they buy ultra light treestands, $1000's in special clothing, $1000+ bows, $150 arrows, $75 broadheads, $300 boots, $150,000 properties to get exclusive access, thousands and thousands for equipment to build feed lots for them, etc... . All to make it easier for them. Some go even farther and talk about shooting animals at 85 to 100 yards. Yep, bowhunting really sounds like a tough feat when going about it like this. Throw in a blind to accomplish killing a turkey with a bow and, you have self proclaimed modern day Daniel Boone's running around.

I bet you have to practice year round to snipe them at ten yards from your blind. Man the woodsmanship you exhibit. After seeing the pics here of the hub blinds set up in a field, hundreds of yards from the wood line, I'm not ever going to be convinced of the claims killing one from a seated chair in a blind, is harder than shotgunning one without one. And, I'm not saying shotgunning one is hard. Only putting things in perspective for you bowmanics.

As far as not in the blind bowhunting; I don't recall anyone saying that wasn't harder than with a gun. It ain't grit that gets that done either. It is the desire to do so. I run 9 gallons of mixed gas through a Husqvarna 385XP today. I had no desire to do it either. That's grit. See the difference TBM? :^)

Yeah, I'm being sarcastic for a reason. Reason being ot is just hunting fellas. No need to knock someone else or, a whole group to make yourself feel or appear better. Do your own thing and enjoy it. Allow others the same.

God Bless men

From: Ziek
13-Apr-16
"Hey Ziek, if you really believe gun hunting is for the slobs, why don't you sell all your guns?"

First off I didn't say that. Second, I did sell most of my guns. I only have handguns for personal protection and shotguns for WINGSHOOTING birds.

From: Titan_Bow
13-Apr-16
My little boy shot a big gobbler this weekend with his 20 gauge at 20 yards. We were hunting just like I always hunt with my bow. I didn't see any difference in it really, other than the loud bang. I've seen guys on YouTube and hunting shows make some pretty long shots with a bow. I'd venture to say you could probably reach out and tap one a lot further with a bow than you could a shotgun, course I am sure there are some big money magnums that can reach out 50 yards or more. I know the little 20 I bought my son, 25, maybe 30, yards would be the absolute max distance. I have shot four turkeys with my longbow, two from a pop up and two from natural blinds. I've shot one with a shotgun from a natural setup as well. I really didn't feel the shotgun bird was any easier than the others.

From: Hammer
14-Apr-16
Killing turkeys to me with a bow is a challenge.. I've killed a few now and its harder than I thought with a bow.. they are tough little buggers with a small kill zone..

Best thing ever too

From: Mad_Angler
14-Apr-16
I am not a master killing turkeys with my bow. I have killed 16 with my shotgun and 3 with my bow. Bowhunting, even with a blind, is way harder than using a shotgun.

With a shotgun, you can easily shoot 30-40 yards in a 360 degree area. That is a big circle. Once a bird is in that circle, it is fairly easy to kill them with a shotgun.

With a bow, you are limited to about 20-30 yards. More importantly, you only have a few shooting lanes. Maybe 30 or 60 degrees. That is a MUCH smaller area.

I try to use my bow in Kansas. There are a lot of birds and the first 10 days are bow only. So I don't really have a choice.

When I am back in Wisconsin, I try to use my bow some days. But usually, I use my shotgun and often in a blind.

I agree with the others. I really enjoy killing turkeys. It is fun with my bow. It is almost as fun with my shotgun.

(I am the same way with deer. I use my bow during the rut because that is the only legal weapon. I also really enjoy going back and using my rifle. Both are fun. They're just different.)

From: Garrett
14-Apr-16
Killing turkeys with a bow is fun. Running and gunning them with a shotgun can be ok too. But as a few guys have already stated, bowhunting them in "natural" set ups is the "new" challenge for me. I killed my first bird this year at 14 yards, in the timber, sitting next to a tree. Probably the first time my heart has raced while turkey hunting!

From: RedOctober
14-Apr-16
I'm all about being easy. When I head out I carry my back pack, pocket full of diaphragms, and my bow and arrows.

I rarely know where I will end up by the end of the day. I play it by ear. I like to explore.

The most important thing for me is, I want my season to last. I want to hunt as many days as I can.

As cool as it sounds to fill my tag on the first morning of the first day of the season, I got to say, "I'd rather hunt all season, deal with all the highs, and lows, and frustrations, and finally fill my tag on the last day". Can't tell you how fulfilling that is for me. Feels extremely cool!

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