Bowhunting Toms And Bulls

Posted by: Dan Staton on Apr 1, 2013
Page 1 of 2

Can you hunt turkeys the same way you hunt elk? Absolutely!  Public ground turkeys can be located with some twilight locator calls and some hustling.  If you did your homework and scouted the terrain, you should have a great idea where the turkeys want to roost and their transition zones.  Like elk, knowing the language and selecting the rights sounds at the right time are part of the game.  Pressured turkeys and elk are very challenging; knowing when to attack and not educating your quarry is crucial for success.  You can hunt both turkey and elk with methods like run silent run deep (my favorite), partner set-ups with sexy sounds or the classic ambush-attack via ground blind or whatever have you.  Let's review each of these turkey tactics and how they can keep you tuned-up for the fall elk hunt. 

strk1
You may not think so, but bowhunting elk has a lot to do with bowhunting turkeys.

I don't spend a great deal of time hunting turkey in the spring; it's usually my first harvest of the year with my bow and basically it helps me quench my hunting thirst.  Where I live in the beautiful Northwest, “over-the-counter” spring bear is what really makes me tick.  By the time the turkey opener has arrived, most bears are starting to think about coming out of hibernation.  So in fact, I have about a week to get my turkey fix and transition to the spring bear program.  In those seven days I put forth a tremendous effort to get myself, my wife, and at least one rookie hunter within range of a turkey.  The organic meat is a big deal as is the time spent with my lady and friends. 

sturk2

Wild turkey is some of the best tasting meat you will have. If you haven’t tried it you don’t know what you’re missing.

I challenge everyone reading this to take a kid or yuppie friend out this year to get their turkey tag punched; it’s how we keep our heritage alive and gain more awareness for our pure sport of hunting.  When I first took my wife a few years back, I pretty much let her have my best spot and first crack.  She missed about three strutting Toms at close range and got her first dose of turkey fever.  Since then she's put arrows through a couple of Toms (all on video) and we made some terrific memories together. 

sturk3
Turkey hunting is a great opportunity to introduce someone to hunting. There can never be too many bowhunters.

If you are taking a greenhorn out, have them practice on a turkey target so they can learn the extremely small window that turkey vitals offer.  Turkeys are not going to die unless you hit them perfect.  While prepping my wife for her hunt I had her practice shooting out of a blind and from her knees with an elevated heart rate.  To do this, have your rookie complete about 10 push-ups then draw from their knees or a seated position and shoot.  If you fail to practice shooting out of a blind you're going to diminish your chances of a well executed shot when the time comes to do it for real.

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Dan Staton

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Cheyenne, WY
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