LAST UPDATED: March 9th, 2021
Choose from these top turkey broadheads for assured results when bowhunting Spring gobblers.
I’ve now killed 60 turkeys with bow and arrow, maybe 20 of those with traditional gear. About 50 birds ago I would’ve labeled that impossible, based strictly on the fact I was collecting – at best – only one out of three birds hit.
Put another way, at that rate 60 birds would’ve amounted to something like 90 wasted birds. I say wasted because most of the birds that got away in the past were dead on their feet (or on the wing more correctly in a lot of instances), they just didn’t know it. Many slipped away to suffer long and agonizing deaths.
You see, we were shooting turkey with big-game broadheads in those days (late 1970’s through 1980’s). Even a 12-ring pinwheel was no guarantee of a recovered bird. Arrows zipped right through, birds ran off, or took to wing, and were often never seen again – crawling into nasty brush or sailing off a high ridge. Turkey broadheads didn’t exist during those days so those of us serious about bowhunting Spring gobblers more often than not came home empty-handed.
We tried everything imaginable. We placed washers and small-game “stars” behind our broadheads to slow penetration and impart shock. We filed notches into solid-blade heads to catch on feathers and smack gobblers hard. We even stuck to only heads shots for a time (resulting in either a complete miss or DOA). Nothing worked very well and we lost a lot of gobblers. Enter the mechanical broadhead.
To be honest, when they were first introduced I laughed at them for big game, but instantly saw the potential for turkeys. The first I recall were called Vipers, 3- and 4-blade heads, standard-looking (if flimsy) replaceable blades hinged at the rear on a split ring, trailing edges notched to catch on hide or feathers, rears sharpened to cut after opening.
When you hit a gobbler with one of those broadheads it was all dust and feathers. Most of the blades usually broke off. But the arrow typically stayed in the bird and we began to see 85 percent recovery rates. Then came Rocket Aeroheads (now just plain Rocket under the Trophy Ridge name). Nothing would ever be the same. That 85 percent recovery moved closer to 99 percent – even on marginally-hit birds; gut-, thigh- and breast-shot birds.
Make no mistake; to consistently kill turkeys with arrows, to turn a huge percentage of hits into dead birds, you must keep shots less than 30 yards and you must cut big holes. Forget shock, knocking them for a loop, and all that outdated bunk. Cut them. Period.
This means something opening up to at least 1 ½ inches, 1 ¾ to 2 inches being even better for turning marginal hits into killing ones. If this wide-cutting diameter also happens to have an aggressive attack angle – essentially chopping instead of slicing – all the better. With those aspects in mind here’s my top broadhead choices for bowhunting turkey.
10. Dirt Nap Shred Head
One of the most unique broadheads to hit the market is the Shred Head from Dirt Nap Gear. The Shred Head is sold in a 3-pack and provides devastating results on turkey and small game. The head was designed to disable turkeys while providing the perfect blend of penetration and shock effect.
The Shred Head is available in 100 and 125 grains and costs $35 for a 3-pack.
9. Xecutioner Broadheads Turkey Necker
Bowhunters looking for large cutting diameter turkey broadheads designed for head and neck shots can rely on the Turkey Necker ($45/4 pack). Four blades are .060″ thick and are designed for quick, ethical kills with no wasted meat. The Guillotine is available in a 160 grain version with a 4″ cutting diameter to maximize your chances of success.
8. Magnus Bullhead
Designed specifically for head and neck shots the Magnus Bullhead ($45/3 pack) has wrecked havoc on more than a few longbeards in recent years. 3 stainless steel blades are scary sharp and .048″ thick to help stand up to even the toughest birds.
The 100 grain Bullhead packs a 2 3/4″ cutting diameter while the 125 grain counterpart measures in at an astonishing 3 3/4″. With blades this large the Bullhead won’t fit in your standard arrow quiver, however Magnus makes an adapter to shield the blades to help protect both you and your equipment.
7. Swhacker 2 blade, 2 inch cut
Swhacker’s popular turkey model, the 100-grain 2-inch cut (MSRP $38/3), is a two-blade design that’s death on turkeys. Swhacker mechanical design is a bit different than most, including a set-back deployment spur (with singe-bevel cutting edges and 1-inch cutting diameter) delaying opening until the tip has penetrated maybe a half inch.
The idea with this delayed deployment is it allows wide-sweeping, .032-inch blades to scissor open after breaching tough hide and ribs to keep them ultra-sharp while slicing vitals. With tough turkey feathers (especially wing feathers) deployment is actually accelerated, assuring devastating wound channels on any hit.
6. Solid Broadheads Turkey D-Cap
Solid Broadhead’s Turkey D-Cap broadhead has razor-sharp blades that create more than four inches of cutting edges. They cost $60 for a 2-pack, and come in 200 grains. The main part of the broadhead is made of stainless steel that takes a great edge and holds its edge well.
According to them, these broadheads fly like darts. Try shooting one at 50 yards and let us know how well they fly! They’re razor sharp, durable, and have thicker stainless steel blades.
5. Wasp Archery Jak-Hammer 1-3/4"
I’ve tagged several turkeys with Wasp’s Jak-Hammer SST Select-A-Cut (MSRP $35/3). This 100-grain or 125-grain, 3-blade head includes a special collar allowing the shooter to choose either a 1 ½- (for low-energy women or youth bowhunters) or 1 ¾-inch cutting diameter.
It has a sharp Stainless Smart Tip (SST) to split wing bones and big pinion feathers and super-sharp .036-inch blades to do some serious damage while passing through any part of the bird. The O-ring retention system assures instant opening outside the bird for big entrance and exit wounds. At its maximum 1 ¾-inch cutting diameter the blades chop as much as slice, slowing penetration considerably, and making it more likely arrows stay in birds.
4. Grim Reaper Razortips
I’ve shot a lot of turkeys (and a hard-won feral peacock; a very long story) with 3-blade Grim Reaper Razortips; from the standard 1 3/8-inch Razortip to the 2-inch-wide “Whitetail Special” (MSRP $45/3) and from traditional and compound bows. They certainly open up a can whup-ass. The step-up blades are super strong and super sharp.
The spring-action retention system is fail-proof and quick to open, assuring both entrance and exit holes. The cutting RazorTip also makes a great option for low-energy shooters – like my wife, who has tagged five gobblers with her 50-pound compound and 25-inch draw length and 1 3/8-inch Grim Reapers without losing a single one.
3. Rage X-Treme Turkey Broadhead
The new Rage Turkey broadhead features a new cut-on-contact tip with a pair of massive Meat Hooks to inflict maximum lethal damage, all while slowing the arrow enough to anchor the bird. This Turkey Broadhead combines a gigantic 2 1/8-inch-cutting-diameter, two-blade Slip-Cam broadhead with the Meat-Hook Tip to stop a turkey dead in its tracks.
This Rage Turkey broadhead features a pair of .035-inch-thick stainless steel blades that produce an initial slap-cut entry hole of nearly 3 inches, and while the Meat-Hook Tip has a 9/16-cutting diameter in its own right, a pair of blunt notches on each side of the tip were designed to slow the arrow as quickly as possible upon impact to potentially impair one or both wings for a faster, safer kill.
They come in 100 grains and cost $30 for a pack of 2.
2. Rocket Hammerheads
Just as many of my bow turkeys have met there end on the business end of a Rocket 100-grain, 3-blade Hammerhead XT (MSRP $30/3) as NAP’s Gobbler Getter. The reason is pretty straight forward: They include an aggressive faceted tip and nasty 2-inch cutting diameter.
The frontal blade spurs and rubber-band blade-retention design assure they’ll open instantly on impact, creating two big holes at each end of the wound channel. They include fairly aggressive blade-attack angles, so often leave arrows in the bird to slow progress after a hit. They’re also quite affordable.
1. NAP Gobbler Getter
Before the introduction of many other mechanical broadhead designs New Archery Products’ 100-grain, 3-blade Gobbler Getter (MSRP $40/3) was my go-to spring turkey broadhead; in fact, with them I’ve tagged all North American species of turkeys. They got the job done, even with their “conservative” 1 ½-inch cutting diameter – which is now offered in 125 grains as well.
What sets it apart (and makes it different from its original-Spitfire base) is a blunted tip (the design also includes blades that are canted open more than original Spitfires for easier and faster opening). The rounded/blunted tip smashes bone and slows penetration just enough to impart some shock and just enough to frequently leave the arrow in the bird after impact. NAP Diamize blades are known for their spooky sharpness, so do some serious damage during penetration.
NAP’s new larger Spitfire offerings including the Spitfire Maxx (1 3/4″) and Spitfire XXX (2″) also make for great turkey broadheads.