Contributors to this thread:
I'll take 2 helpings of....
crow. Not really crow as I never spoke poorly of head choppers or just of my preference for mechanicals. I've had great luck with big mechanicals but, I finally had it happen. I made what I thought was a perfect shot on a gobbler, with a big mechanical, yesterday morning only to lose him. Not like limp off and hide in the brush and lost him....like the avian version of Carl Lewis lost him.
I had birds on the ground in front of me before legal shooting light. They didn't come in for another 45 minutes. They circled around me and I had no idea they where there until I heard my Jake get attacked. Before I could get my bow drawn the gobbler had my Jake down and was facing me pecking his head in about half second intervals. Once I got drawn he was broadside at 7 yards. The arrow hit right where I held my pin. It knocked him off his feet into a backflip. He hit the ground and waddled to the right of my blind. When I peeked out the arrow still looked great but he had his head up. Mistake one....I should have shot again. He soon dragged himself to the fence only a few yards away. While there, he dislodged the arrow and was soon on his feet and running wide open through a 300 yard long field. About the time he got going I was coming out of the blind. Mistake 2....I took off after him. 200 yards later he crossed the creek and ran out of my life. I looked for hours but could never recover him.
I have been a proponent of mechanicals for turkeys as I have shot a lot of them and never lost one, but after losing this one on what looked like a great shot (obviously it wasn't) I'm rethinking.
I never liked the idea of switching arrows and gear but considering I would never shoot one past 20 yards, it's not a big deal. The biggest issue for me is to find arrows long enough and stiff enough. Black Eagle makes a 250 Zombie Slayer (stupid name) that is 32.5" long raw shaft. With my 31" dl that should be long enough to keep a Bullhead safely in front of my hand.
Anyone use these arrows or something similar for long draw?
If you hunt turkeys long enough, you're going to lose one now and again. The vitals are such a tiny area. Sound like you did everything you could to recover. Never hurts to re-evaluate equipment, but IMO one lost bird should not be the only reason.
Ditto to what sticksender said
Odds are you would have lost several by now had you not been using mechanicals. Why would you have to change arrows if you were to change heads?
I agree sticksender but if I keep shooting the same stuff too long I will explode. LOL.
Because you need the head choppers to extend past the front of the riser. The 32.5" shafts are borderline for length. A 33" or 34" shaft would be a better option.
I know there is an Axis 260 that is 34". Not sure what others have to offer.
If you have shot a bunch and only lost this one, you are way ahead of the curve. Nothing wrong with trying something new, but you are fixing a problem most turkey hunters would likely say you dont have.
What sticksender said, long enough and you’ll lose one. I’ve arrowed a lot of them, all fixed heads that I was using for deer at the time. And I’ve lost a couple. Shot placement is the issue. Good luck on the next one.
At least you didn't have him in your hand, set him down in front of the camera, and watch him run off.....
Cabelas sells an arrow specifically for head chopper use. Fletched with four vanes, full length and stiff. I use them, work great.
Not to minimize the loss of any game animal but the sentiments expressed above are all correct. Heck, over the 4+ decades that I have hunted these wiley birds, I’ve lost a few that have been hit. Some were with my bow but others with a 12 gauge shotgun. As they say, chit happens!!
Sorry to hear, Mark. You think you hit too far forward?
Sorry for your loss, but unfortunately if you play the game long enough it will happen.
One thing to maybe consider if you try for a longer arrows is to use a half out or better yet an outsert to give you a little extra length.
Probably low and forward Nick. I thought he had his wings back but he was so keyed up and whipping my decoy that he probably had his wings down and forward a bit. Which is where my arrow went.
Spot on. Ive looked at both GT and BE shafts that use the outsert/ 1/2 out. That seems to be one of the best options for long draws.
A Remington 870, loaded with Winchester #5 longbeard loads should be stiff enough. :^)
I like the way you think WV!!
Thanks for the good advice everyone. It is probably just best to chalk this up to bowhunting. Regardless of how many times you do it and how meticulous you are, eventually you lose a bird. I'm considerably over 90% recovery with mechanicals and that's probably about what is to be expected with any weapon.
Killed lots of birds with fixed bld heads. Killed one yesterday (27.2lbs, 12" beard, 1 1/4 hooks) shot with a 125gr 3-bld Widowmaker head. The wound channel looked like it was hit with a 12ga slug. Got a passthrough with a 50# bow.
I hit one with one of my Bear Recurves and a Thunderhead year before last and lost him, but this year with the Remington 11-87 and a Winchester #5 things worked much better. Hunted 2 Days with the Recurve and didn't see a Bird, took the 11-87 and had 2 Tom's come by,you just never know.
I've only hit one in the breast and was extremely lucky to recover him, lesson learned. I'm not judging guys that hunt with big mechanicals or head choppers but I wouldn't switch from one incident. With big mechanicals you can shoot your whitetail/elk/hog arrows and just screw on a different BH. The familiarity with your regular setup puts you way ahead in my opinion.