Aim Small, Miss Small
by Scott Vance
If you’re planning to archery hunt turkey for the first time, you probably want to know “where to shoot a turkey with a bow.” Wild turkeys have a very small vital area. This requires you to become an extremely proficient archer before pursuing them with a bow.
The old saying “aim small, miss small” has never been more descriptive of shooting wild turkeys with a bow. I always try to pick a feather or even a tiny dot on the turkey’s head as my aiming point. Again, a small miss is a lethal shot. If you simply shoot at a turkey, on the other hand, you’ll miss it altogether or wound it.
Over the years, I have found there are two main areas you can shoot a wild turkey to both kill and recover it. You can shoot them through the body, hitting bones and vital organs. Often, shooting them through their legs and wing bases will also hit the vital areas of the lungs and heart. Hitting them in these structural areas ensures the bird will not run or fly away, thus making recovery difficult. By aiming at this area, a slightly high shot will hit the spine, immobilizing the bird immediately. A slightly low shot will hit the hip joints, immobilizing the bird.
After shooting dozens of turkeys with a bow, my all-time favorite shot is the head shot. There is no room for error with the headshot; it’s either a clean kill or a clean miss.
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