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Where to aim on Tom
I've always hunted turkeys with my shotgun, but was thinking about trying the bow this year. Where do I aim on a Tom? Any photo help with where to aim dots out there?
I stole this from bowsite from one of the California boys. Joe I think
I keep that picture on my phone. Reminds me of where to aim well. Have done well on fall and spring birds since I got this picture
good info, all those spots are a couple inches higher than I would have thought to aim
Most will say or talk about a broadside shot. I much prefer a head on just above the beard or a going away shot. I think it gives you a much longer wound channel and it is easier to pick a spot. My least favorite shot is a broadside strutting Tom. I find that a very hard shot to pick a spot. Another thing that takes some getting use to after shooting big game forever with a bow is that their vitals are high and if you hit them low you probably won't find them. Remember the old saying. "Hit them high watch them die, hit them low watch them go."
And...Unless you are going to go with chop the head off type heads. Go with a BIG mechanical head. Also shot them close. I prefer a shot less than 20 yards. To me the fun of killing turkeys is to call them in close to the decoys. Enjoy the show then kill them.
Yes, directly facing or facing away is best, I don't even take broadside shots anymore. If you can run a mechanical right down the interior vital cylinder on a facing Tom, he won't go 3 steps.
After many years I have always had trouble picking a spot, coupled with "buck" fever I switched to Magnus Bullheads. lt FORCES you to pick a spot when you're aiming at the head. Remember when body shooting them "hit'em high watch'em die, hit'em low, watch'em go"
Good thread and thanks for the pics Bake.
I've been hunting them with my recurve for a couple years and haven't had an opportunity yet, hopefully this season but either way I'll be happy to be out there.
I met an older fella about a year or so ago. He's a recurve hunter and absolutely lives for turkey season. I asked where he likes to aim and he said he shoots right where the legs come up and meet the body and said he's never lost a single bird shooting for that spot. I'd never heard of that but he swears by it.
Yes that last quote "hit 'em high..." is appropriate. Sort of envision your Thanksgiving bird naked getting prepped for roasting. The vitals are all tucked right next to the backbone. Everything low is guts. I agree since switching to the Bullhead I've never looked back. Awesome to see them go down like a sack of potatoes and simply stroll over to retrieve, rather than see them flop and run or fly and have to go searching for them.
I've often heard it said, "Aim high, watch them die. Aim low, watch them go".
I aim for middle of the middle, center mass, every angle. Very few shots over 10 or 12 yards. Longest shot was 30 yds. with a Slick Trick on a late season, winter hunt.
Looking forward to actually taking some time off for the turks this year and trying for a couple more public land birds! Good luck all!
I'm a bullhead guy too. However, if I was shooting fixed or expandables, I think copying the Cali boys would be a pretty darn good plan!
The vitals are higher than some think
I'm with Midwest. Center of mass has worked well for me.
This is why I love the Bowsite! Great info thanks!
I find my aiming reminder for bullheads to work best: for any and all positions- find the eyeball and shoot it.
In Bakes line of pics. The bottom row center pic, this is exactly where youll hit, he flew straight up 13 or so ft and crashed back straight down, dead as hell....
tom number 2, shot going away
tom number 2, shot going away
After killing over 60 turkeys with the bow/arrow, and looking at the red dots in the above pictures. I personally aim 2-3 inchs lower than those red dots. When a tom is all strutted out and full of feathers, there is a lot of air space to overcome to properly realize the actual outline of the body and the best place to aim.
60!!!! Damn. Enough said....
Big expandable broad heads! Not a fan for everything else, but best option for turkeys.
I agree with those stating the red dots are a bit higher than I would aim. Also agree big mechanical broadheads were custom made for turkeys.
I like big 3 blades. I agree. Hit them high.
Even in full strut you need to hit them pretty high.
I go strait up the leg pretty much. Bronze patch
On the big mechanical issue, do you recommend rear deploy heads?
"On the big mechanical issue, do you recommend rear deploy heads?"
It doubt it matters in the least little bit, but it a guy wanted to split hairs a rear deploy may actually be slightly detrimental on turkeys if you end up cutting more feather. Some forward deploy designs delay expansion until the arrow starts to penetrate.
12yards........I don’t think it makes much difference. I’ve never used Rages or another rear deploy heads on turks, but several guys I know have used them with good results, and a bunch of other guys, myself included, have also had good results with the front deploying types.
for most angles, go straight up the leg. front of the wing butt on broadside
12 yards I guess I am close to half and half on using Grim Reaper and Rage broadheads. With a few more brands thrown in. But most of the turkeys I have killed were with those two. I'll be shooting rage this year only because I picked up several package of them cheap last year at Wal Mart when they were clearing them out. Had it been Grim Reaper or spitfires I shoot them at turkey just as quick. I don't think it makes a bit of differences. Cut a big hole in them and make sure you know where the vitals are and you will be good to go.
How tough are turkeys to penetrate? In my head I was thinking that, with those thick feathers, if might be a tough thing to penetrate. Are shots on turkeys usually pass through shots? I have a 29.5" draw length, will be shooting in the 50# range, and will probably just use a 125 grain Rocket Steelhead (1 1/4") as I have a good supply. But I'm not against buying a wider cut head.
Not too hard to penetrate although at times don't get a complete pass through. That head would work but I prefer a wider cutting head.
Turkeys can be tougher than some people would think. I would say a slight majority of the birds I’ve killed with expandables (Sidewinders, Vortex 2 1/2”, and Rocket Hammerheads) I did not get a complete pass through, but got plenty of penetration with major internal damage done. Steelheads should work fine, but something wide might be a touch better, IMO.
Feathers are tough and turkeys have a lot of "give" at the hit!
I am about 50%/50% on passthroughs with the big Vortex at 65-70# and a 475 gr. arrow. Generally depends on whether heavier bone is hit. I prefer the arrow stay in the bird, simplifies recovery.
What Midwest just above is very true. I’m the minority, as I use fifed heads, 1 1/8 or 1 1/4” four blade. Occasional will not get a pass through. In 35 or so turkeys, maybe three were not pass through.
T-roy x2 on the somethin wider. Thats most of the point of a mechanical in my opinion
Like others I shoot the Magnus Bullheads, all I need to do is aim for the brightly colored spot (Red, White and Blue), nice that they show the spot to aim for.