Carbon Tech Whitetail with Magnus Bullhead 125. I switched to Bullheads maybe 5 years ago and am hooked on using them for turkeys. Like a shotgun...only better.
Honestly I don't know why so many of "us" turn to scatterguns for turkeys. To each their own, but for me the challenge of a bow is just so much fun. Sure I've had plenty of setups where I could have easily killed one with a shotgun but for a variety of reasons wasn't able to capitalize with a bow, but at the end of the day...it's only a bird. If something goes awry and I can't draw my bow, spook the bird, or branches preclude taking a shot...no big deal. It's not like I missed an opportunity to fill the freezer with a deer or elk or something that really makes a difference.
I'll admit it, I killed a few with the bow, and lost a few more than I cared to do so, so I went back the the gun. If you want to say you've never lost one with the bow, you're either better than me, or don't hunt as much. Number 9 TSS is what I tried last year, and it thumps them. The only shame I ever feel, is when I lose one, not what I kill it with.
BH depends on your set up. I shoot a large mechanical, but you have to have enough bow for that. Their wing feather quills are really tough, and the size, need to expend energy opening, angle of the blade, not to mention they usually end up bent and broken, and all that spent energy can also knock the bird over, really effecting penetration. With set-ups typical of many kids and women, I've seen the arrow bounce off. Because of that, my wife shoots her regular big game 3-blade, COC.
Bullheads generally need longer and stiffer shaft, but with a little experimenting I have mine flying identical to fixed blade to 30 yards. What helped me was fletching them 6-fletch Blazer. I didn't want to use longer real feathers for a variety of reasons, but the additional fletching keeps them steered perfectly. And yes, you can practice on something soft like a pillow. Even better if you can hang it up so there is more "give" when the arrow hits it. It will still cut the crap out of the pillow, though. I flipped the blades backward for practice and generally can get several practice shots without any damage to the head. Now that my setup is dialed in, no need to practice with them.
Another Bullhead fanboy, here. I haven’t sighted them in past 20 yds, but they fly great out to that distance. To sight them in, I’ve used old fiberfill pillows stuffed into a cardboard box. They don’t withstand a ton of shots, but enough to easily get sighted in. I’ve also used old seat cushions from a junk couch, as well.
Sometimes, where I hunt them (Public Land), they don't exactly cooperate. I took this one at 20 plus yards, when he was in the act of walking away. Plus, shooting bare bow, taking a head/neck shot past 15 yards or so, is out of my comfort zone.
I use a Benelli and TSS. Last season was my first paying the high price for TSS but I was extremely impressed with the results. Check out BOSS and Apex for high-quality TSS. Federal also makes great TSS loads. It feels a little odd loading a $12 shell but when it comes down to it, turkey hunting doesn't use many shells and $12 is extremely cheap in comparison to everything else we carry out there in the turkey woods.
41 projectiles of #4 buckshot out of a 3" 12ga mag works...8^) If ya miss the head and neck area with the first shot of birdshot your going to be shooting at a running or flying bird, and #4 buck will crumble them on the fly like a black bird...
When I was bowhunting turkeys, I used a Rocket Hammerhead. I think I killed a couple with Grim Reapers too, and when I was deer hunting and turkeys showed up, they were killed with whatever fixed blade I was using. Where I was hunting it was legal to kill hens, the bag limit was four turks per year, and I usually killed two hens in the fall and saved two tags for spring. Fall hens were grocery shopping but I dearly loved to bowhunt spring gobblers. I’m relegated to a shotgun now, and I shoot Winchester Premium copper plated #5s from a Beretta AL 390 but it ain’t near as much fun. :-(
Bow and still using Gobbler Guilliotine broadhead. So far as I can tell the original manufacturer is no longer in business. I have a good supply of extra blades purchased several years ago so I'm still OK. I have seen what I assume is a VERY CHEAP Chinese knockoff of the Guilliotine but don't know anything about them. If and when I run out of blades I'll probably switch to Bullheads. I like the "Hit or Miss" system inherent in the Guilliotine / Bullhead broadheads.
Ive killed a half dozen with the bow, all easterns, 4 with over the top mechanicals and 2 with bullheads. 5 from blind setups. One i killed blindless, i thought they were jakes, dont usually shoot jakes but thought if i can kill one with the bow without a blind, that would be a dang great feat here in my heavily hunted area of Pa.
I circled around them, wanted to put the decoy out to help hokd their attention but was afraid to be seen and blow the gig. Stood next to a tree in some shade about 5 yards in the woods and called them in gobbling. Thats when i saw the hangdown danglin on each one of em and i thought…crap, i really screwed this up, im never going to pull this off. Long story short, i was able to het drawn and the bullhead found its mark and it was soooooo awesome.
Ive seen guys do it out west and i hate to be that guy, but you arent stalking to bowrange of heavily hunted easterns with any kind of regularity. I was dang lucky that day….I will say that with a body broadhead, i never would have taken the shot as they strutted in and moved constantly for the minute or so they were in bowrange at 25 yards. They started getting nervous when they werent seeing the hen and as they got ready to ease out, i led him the distance i thought i needed to and squared him in the neck. It was head/neck dead turkey or a miss with the bullhead, that allowed me to take the shot….
Its been a few years since i have killed one with the bow and though i used to be about 80% bow and 20% gun i have since just started to enjoy more moving around, chasing them and running and gunning versus sitting in the blind. So now im around 90/10 gun hunting them. And i love it. Its the same beautiful sunrises, beautiful sounds and wiley quarry. I just cam reach out n touch em a little better As usual, HuntMan knows whats up…that longbeard #6 can git it done…..;^)
Last couple years I’ve been shooting Vortex 2.75” expandables. This year I have switched to Dead Ringer Super Freak. Same 2.75” cut. Nothing wrong with the Vortex, but I made a personal choice to not support them any longer.