5 Best States to Kill a Turkey with a Bow

By Brodie SwisherFebruary 24, 20201 Comment

If you’ve ever ventured beyond your home-turf in pursuit of the wild turkey, you probably know that some hunting destinations simply yield success better than others. It’s just a fact. And it’s definitely the case when it comes to turkey hunting with a bow.

There are a handful of states that have turkey populations and terrain that seem to be made for turkey hunting with a bow. Here’s a look at some of our favorites in this list of the best states for turkey hunting with a bow.

The author with a beautiful bird from the state of Nebraska.

Florida

If you’ve tried tackling turkeys on public land in Florida, you’ll likely object to this state making the list. But if you’ve spent a day or two chasing Osceola turkeys on private land, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

Florida birds present the first opportunity of the year for turkey hunting. The majority of hunting takes place on private land, pastures mixed with swamps, or orange groves, yielding birds that have experienced little pressure and respond well to calling and decoys.

Turkey hunting in Florida begins the first part of March. A non-resident turkey tag will cost $151.50 plus a 10-day nonresident hunting license at $46.50. The southern part of Florida is where you’ll find the Osceola subspecies as well as tons of fun bowhunting in some of the prettiest swamp country you’ll ever find. The south zone season runs March 7 – April 12, 2020.

Texas

Every hunter should experience Texas turkey hunting at least once. The state is loaded with turkeys, and the birds play the game well. They like to gobble and come to the calls in a hurry. You’ll find the Rio Grande subspecies of turkey in Texas. They’ve got a unique yodel gobble that can be heard all day long when the conditions are right. 

There’s plenty of cover in Texas, making it the perfect place to blend in as you wait out the opportunity to draw on a bird. Rio’s seem to be some of the most aggressive subspecies of the turkey. You can draw them in tight to your setup with well-placed decoys and proper concealment.

Nonresident spring turkey tags in Texas cost $126. Some of the best turkey hunting takes place in the southern zone where the season runs Mar. 21 – May 3, 2020.

Texas can be a turkey hunter's dream.

Kansas

Kansas has become one of the go-to states for bowhunters in pursuit of giant bucks, but the state also has some of the best turkey hunting in the country as well. The open country tends to concentrate birds to roost sites that are easy to key in on for early morning setups at fly-down. 

Kansas offers a variety of opportunities with multiple subspecies, and even a hybrid subspecies, available across the state. The Rio Grande subspecies dominates the western two-thirds of the state, while the hybrid Rio Grande/Eastern birds are found in the north-central region. You’ll find the Eastern subspecies in the northeast and far southeast regions, where numbers have continued to boom in recent years.

Better yet, the state offers an archery-only turkey season that takes place prior to the regular season. Archery Season: April 6 – 14, 2020 / Regular Season: April 15 – May 31, 2020. The nonresident permit will cost $ 62.50 , plus a nonresident turkey game tag at $32.50.

Justin Zarr Kansas Turkey

Nebraska

Nebraska is a state that avid turkey hunters will want to keep toward the top of their bucket list. This is another state with a mix-bag of turkey subspecies across the state. 

The turkey population is abundant across much of the state delivering some of the most exciting turkey hunting you’ll find anywhere in the country. It’s not uncommon to hear 15-20 birds gobbling in every direction when set up prior to fly-down in Nebraska. From open sand-hill country in the west, to cedar timber and large pastures further east, Nebraska has birds just about everywhere depending on what terrain you’re wanting to hunt.

Like Kansas, Nebraska has an archery-only season that begins March 25, 2020. The regular season kicks in April 18 and runs through May 31, 2020. Nonresident license fees include a $109 permit, plus a $25 habitat stamp.

Some western states tend to have mixed subspecies, even in the same region.

Montana

Montana turkeys make the list simply because they are among the most killable turkeys in the country. I won’t refer to these Merriam’s turkeys as dumb, but they are certainly not the most observant creatures that call Montana home. Pressure is often limited on the Montana turkey population as many of the locals scoff at the idea of hunting a bird that tends to hang out close to homes, barns, and backyards. 

But make no mistake – regardless of how wild, or tame, you find the turkeys in Montana to be, you can count on a fun and exciting turkey hunt in some of the prettiest country on earth. You’ll likely want to employ a ground blind when hunting out west as the terrain is often wide open and suitable cover can be hard to come by.

Spring turkey season in Montana is April 11-May 17, 2020. The nonresident fee for turkey hunting in Montana is $115.

5 Best States to Kill a Turkey with a Bow – Conclusion

Keep your turkey decoys close and your arrow nocked when bowhunting turkeys in the states mentioned above. The action can be fast and furious, delivering some of the best bowhunting opportunities of the year. We want to hear from you. Have you turkey hunted in the states mentioned above? What is your favorite state for bowhunting turkeys?  Comment below and let us know what you think.
Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
    Post a Comment View 1 Comment
    Want to win a Pulsar Axion Thermal Imaging Scope?
    Pulsar Cam.png

    On July 23rd, we’re giving away a FREE Axion XM38 unit to 1 lucky winner!