Bowhunting Turkeys: Carry Two Different Broadhead Types

The author explains why it makes sense to carry broadheads and arrows designed for head/neck shots and models for body shots every time you pursue wild turkeys.

Bowhunting Turkeys: Carry Two Different Broadhead Types

You’ve probably read countless times the advice to practice well before archery season with the exact broadhead brand/style and specific arrow you plan to use while hunting. I agree 100% percent with this logic. However, there is one time when I like to mix and match broadheads and arrows in my quiver — turkey season.

The reason I treat turkey season differently than deer season or any other archery pursuit is shot placement. On whitetails and other big game, I’m aiming for the heart/lung area every time, so my arrow and broadhead combo is set in stone. I will admit, however, I sometimes load a used arrow and broadhead into my quiver just in case a coyote should walk nearby my ambush; no sense wasting a high-dollar arrow/broadhead combo on a ‘yote. 

With wild turkeys, I aim for different parts of a tom or jake depending on my ambush setup, as well as the turkey’s body position and distance. Specifically, if I’m hunting from the dark interior of a pop-up blind or box blind, and I expect a shot of less than 15 yards, then I load my bow with a 125-grain Magnus Bullhead matched with a very long Victory 300 (.300 spine) four-feather arrow. This broadhead/arrow combo is perfect for head/neck shots on turkeys.

When hiding in a ground blind with black interior, the author prefers a Magnus Bullhead matched with a Victory arrow. The combo is deadly for head/neck shots on turkeys.
When hiding in a ground blind with black interior, the author prefers a Magnus Bullhead matched with a Victory arrow. The combo is deadly for head/neck shots on turkeys.

However, if a tom approaches my decoys but stops at 20 yards and refuses to come closer, then I can quietly remove the Bullhead/Victory combo and replace it with a broadhead/arrow designed for body shots. This arrow is the same one I use for deer hunting, an Easton 6.5 Acu-Carbon Bowhunter, but the broadhead is a 125-grain SEVR Titanium 2.1, which features a 2.1-inch-wide cut.

The author carries a couple Easton 6.5 Acu-Carbon Bowhunter arrows tipped with SEVR Titanium 2.1 broadheads in his quiver and uses one whenever shots at moving turkeys are likely, or when a turkey hangs up at distances of 15 yards or more.
The author carries a couple Easton 6.5 Acu-Carbon Bowhunter arrows tipped with SEVR Titanium 2.1 broadheads in his quiver and uses one whenever shots at moving turkeys are likely, or when a turkey hangs up at distances of 15 yards or more.

I also prefer a body shot broadhead/arrow combo when running and gunning; i.e. bowhunting turkeys without the aid of a pop-up blind. Yes, I’ve killed birds this way while shooting a Magnus Bullhead, but oftentimes turkeys will see you draw if you’re not hidden in a blind. When a tom or jake sees movement, it begins to walk away, sometimes quickly. Even at close range, a walking turkey is difficult to hit in the head or neck because those body parts are moving, often a lot if a turkey is agitated. The body is still a reasonable target, however, so a body shot is doable. 

This spring, don’t be afraid to set up two broadhead/arrow combos for turkeys, and use the one best suited for the situation. It’s a similar philosophy to carrying a double-barrel shotgun for turkeys with two different chokes, one for close range and one for longer shots. It’s a smart and effective system.

You don’t need to shoot a heavy-draw bow to kill a turkey with a Magnus Bullhead. The author’s son took this jake with a well-placed head shot from a Mission Craze compound drawing only 35 pounds.
You don’t need to shoot a heavy-draw bow to kill a turkey with a Magnus Bullhead. The author’s son took this jake with a well-placed head shot from a Mission Craze compound drawing only 35 pounds.
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