Ultimate Spring Challenge: Archery Turkey Hunt

By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer

Unless you’re looking to add an element of personal danger to your hunting, those in search of the ultimate challenge can find it right here in Mississippi: the quest to harvest a spring turkey by using archery gear.
For those determined to do something that’s already hard enough the hardest way possible, these tips can help:
Patience, patience
Turkeys present a very small vital area for bowhunters, which means shot selection is critical.
Practice makes perfect
Practice in the same gear and scenarios in which you’ll hunt. If something doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, you’d rather not find out in the heat of the moment.
Investigate the gear
Many broadhead-makers offer options specially created for turkey hunting. Turkeys offer a much different set of challenges and demands for the business end of a hunting arrow. Those attempting the ultimate challenge would be well-served to take every advantage they’re offered.
Check your colors
The bright red, white and blue vanes and fletchings common on hunting arrows can be a giveaway and a danger all in one in the turkey woods. Turkeys see color much more precisely than deer, and many of the bright colors are apt to catch other hunters’ eyes as well.
Memorize a routine
With a smaller, harder-to-come-by target than a whitetail presents, turkey hunting archers are all the more susceptible to the moment-of-truth jitters. By building a rote routine, this element of the challenge can also be overcome.
Decoy time
A decoy, in the right situation, can be an invaluable aid to any turkey hunter. When it comes time to draw and aim, any situation that finds a gobbler’s focus diverted away from the hunter has a great deal to offer.
Work as a team
By having a hunting buddy set up some distance behind you, the chance to get drawn and make a shot can be greatly improved.
Stay hidden
Full camo from head to toe is already a must in the turkey woods. When you mix in archery gear, new situations are apt to crop up. Make sure the sleeves and gloves on both hands and arms cover completely as you draw your bow.
Shorter and lighter
If you have access to a bow press or a friend who does, adjust both your draw length and the amount of weight you’re pulling downward. Turkey hunting, no matter what the method, typically requires a non-standard shooting position more often than not.
Ask around
While veteran hunters aren’t typically standing in line to give away the locations of gobbling turkeys, they are usually more than willing to share other knowledge about their passion they’ve gained over the years.
Know the ground
Turkey hunting is more often a game of strategy and geography than simply one of speaking the turkey’s language, and it was never moreso than when archery comes into play. Knowing the territory can make all the difference.