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Bowhunting For Wild Turkey

Bowhunting For Wild Turkey

If you need a break from your Spring dog training routine and want a challenge that will leave you scratching your head, grab your bow and try your hand at one of the most challenging hunts you will ever go on. Hunters all across the country are gearing up for the much anticipated wild turkey season, which begins in North Carolina on April 9th, 2016. If you have a youth hunter, he or she can begin turkey hunting on April 2nd and get a little ahead of the game. But, now and not later, is the time to start preparing your blinds and seeking out the populated areas that you will hunt in the next few months.

Don’t Disturb a Turkey’s Routine

Turkeys, like most birds, have a daily travel pattern that unless someone or something disturbs the route they will consistently follow the same path especially in the Spring when they have already established a successful feeding regimen. So it might be too early to start using your calls in the area because you might risk disturbing this routine and therefore, causing the flock to seek a different area when the breeding begins later in the Spring.

The Challenges

Bowhunting for a wild turkey is one of the most challenging hunts you will ever go on. Hunting turkeys has obstacles that hunting other wild game doesn’t have. Your range of accuracy is extremely short and it grows shorter when hunting with bow. Why is this such a challenge? Turkeys have a telescopic eyesight that can be up to 3 times greater than our own human equivalent of 20/20 vision. Also, a turkey’s astonishing peripheral vision gives him a view that is almost double the area that we are capable of seeing. The placement of his eyes adds to his visual bank and is in general what makes him one of the most challenging game birds to hunt. According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine turkey’s have some of the most sensitive yet complex retinas of any other vertebrae. So unfortunately, they can see you long before you see them.

A wild turkey can consistently run about 18 to 20 mph. A turkey can loom in and out of an area filled with thick briars and underbrush just like a rabbit. The obstacles we face in seeking out a turkey are much like finding a needle in a haystack, a moving needle, at that. However, a turkey is rarely found alone and if you are following him on his daily travel path then you are more than likely going to get more than one opportunity to take a bird. But, because you can’t move around, for fear of them spotting you, you must be in the right place at the right time, with your blind set up and your gun in place, long before they ever get to that point in their route. Most seasoned turkey hunters advise setting your blind up in the turkey’s path about a month prior to hunting season, so they get used to seeing it before the time comes to occupy the blind and begin your hunting.

Preparing Now Pays Off Later

Getting your turkey hunting gear cleaned up and inspected for any damage now, will keep you on top of things and ahead of the game when all the other hunters are just beginning their search for the right gear. Turkey calls, decoys and blinds seem to sell out quickly and you wouldn’t want to wait to get those things replaced after the season starts. Don’t forget to get a new can of bug spray and a nice comfortable seat, because you might have to sit and wait a while.


Scientific American

Outdoor Life

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