Archery Advice: 4 Best Body Shots on Wild Turkeys

For bowhunters, it’s much trickier to know where to aim on a wild turkey than it is on a deer. Here are four tips for making a deadly body shot.

Archery Advice: 4 Best Body Shots on Wild Turkeys

At the time of this writing, I’m in the final stages of preparing for South Dakota’s opening day of the spring archery turkey season. While I prefer to aim for a turkey’s head or neck and then deliver a killing shot with a 125-grain Magnus Bullhead, I do carry two mechanical broadheads in my quiver for body shots.

I prefer head/neck shots because it takes all guesswork out of the aiming equation. That said, there are scenarios where I’m far more likely to get a body shot at 15 yards than a head/neck shot at 5 yards. One example is when I leave the confines of a pop-up blind with decoys positioned at 5 yards and instead run-and-gun and attempt to ambush or call in birds. In the latter case, it’s hard enough to get drawn on a turkey and have a 15-yard shot; a 5-yarder is almost impossible.

I ran across the text and photo below in a recent Facebook post from TenPoint Crossbows. In my experience, which includes pursuing turkeys with archery gear for 30 years, the advice is outstanding. Of course, the four tips are valid regardless of whether you shoot a crossbow, compound or traditional bow.

4 Best Body Shots

A turkey’s vitals are only about the size of a softball — much smaller than the basketball-like size of a deer’s vitals.

  1. Quartering Toward: If a turkey is quartering to you when it is coming in, identify where the neck meets the body and aim about an inch low of that spot, while also aiming a couple of inches into the turkey’s body from the front of the breast.
  2. Facing You: If a turkey is facing you when it presents you with a shot, identify where the neck meets the body and aim about an inch below it, or midway between the neckline and beard.
  3. Broadside: If a turkey is positioned broadside or sideways to you, aim about an inch down from the neckline and a few inches into the turkey’s body.
  4. Facing Directly Away: If a turkey is facing directly away from you, yes, you guessed it – shoot him “where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Photos courtesy of TenPoint Crossbows Facebook


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