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Texas Bowhunting by Lou Marullo | TF&G Bowhunting Editor

Let’s Talk Turkey

T

ime flies when you are having fun. How true that is. One minute I was opening Christmas gifts and all of a sudden it is March. January and February were nothing more than a blur. For Texas bow hunters, March is the month we should start to get our gear together for the turkey season. April will be here in a flash so I strongly suggest that you do not procrastinate. How will you hunt those wary birds this year? Will you use the tree stand that you saw them out of during whitetail season? Will you try your luck from a ground blind? What broadheads will you use this year, fixed or mechanical? These are all good questions and ones that should be answered right away. Although many turkeys have been taken from tree stands, it is not the first method that this writer would choose. Normally, if turkey and deer season overlap, then the bow hunter will try his luck on the unsuspecting bird as it strolls by his stand. This is the springtime and this method would still work, but I prefer using a portable pop-up ground blind. Ameristep has one that is called the Carnivore that I love. It is large enough inside to fit 3 people and still have some room for a camera, tripod and whatever else you might feel is necessary for a successful turkey hunt—don’t forget the coffee. The outside material is heavy duty and the blind is equipped with many windows to shoot from. Remember to wear black instead of the traditional camo. You will blend in perfectly with the black interior of the blind. Do not forget to cover your hands and as much of your face as possible. Think of it as a “Ninja” Hunt. A few years ago, Chester Moore did a story in this magazine about that very topic. He included

a pic of himself inside the blind with just his eyes visible. Very cool. You may decide to take a more challenging approach and “run and gun” the birds, except using a bow instead of a gun. If only one tom comes in to your calling, then you could have some luck and be able to draw your bowstring when the turkey is behind a tree or bush. The real challenge happens when more than one bird comes in looking for love. Not only are they looking for the female turkey of their dreams, but they also are constantly looking for predators and you are number one on their list today. I find that although not impossible, it is very difficult to make the movement needed to draw your bowstring without being detected by one of those pairs of eyes. Nine times out of ten, you will get caught and that familiar “putt, putt, putt” sound that a turkey makes when he or she senses danger will seem to be ringing in your ears. Not good. If you still want to try your luck at the more challenging approach, then remember to carry along a small chair or seat that straps to a tree. It is impossible to draw a bow while sitting on the ground with your knees up in your chest. If you have hunted turkeys with a gun, then you know what I am talking about. What broadhead is best for turkeys? I prefer the mechanical ones and I will tell you why. I have said it before but it bears repeating. It has been my experience that a fixed broadhead will certainly do the job needed, but will also blow right through the bird leaving little or no blood trail to follow. The bird will try to take flight as well and if the arrow goes through the bird, then the turkey might just fly away and die somewhere in the woods. The coyotes thank you, by the way. A mechanical broadhead uses energy when it opens up on impact. That loss of energy is enough to usually stop the arrow from completely going through the turkey. I said usually. I am aware that there are bow hunters out there that have had the arrow go through the birds. I can only speak from T e x a S

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experience. I also use a bow that is set up for turkeys. It has a draw weight of 50 pounds. It is enough to send an arrow to its mark, and also have enough energy to penetrate but not go through. That result will also keep the birds from flying off and a quick recovery should be a simple task. New Archery Products has a broadhead that is specifically designed for the turkey hunters out there. Strangely enough, they call it their Spitfire Gobbler Getter broadheads. They have been designed exclusively for taking turkeys. Each broadhead is equipped with what NAP calls, a Silver Bullet, and is designed for bone-crushing power. Once the three –bladed broadhead opens up, it will leave a gapping 1 ¾ inch wound to make sure the bird is taken quickly and humanely. I cannot wait to give these a test run this spring. It sounds like it is exactly what I am looking for in a good quality broadhead. I am sure there are plenty of mechanicals that will do the job, and I am sure they are very good. I just am excited to try these out. Can you tell? I think I should remind all of the bow hunters out there that if you plan on hunting turkeys with a bow, then you should consider either using a lighter bow, or bring down the weight of your bow that you use for deer. 40 to 50 pounds would be ideal. A 70-pound bow may be the ticket for big game, but not for these birds. April is almost here. Are you as excited as I am? Spring is here. The birds are gobbling and I am ready for a memorable season. Hey, It’s turkey time. Email Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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2/9/12 1:31 PM

March 2012  

THE Authority on Texas Fishing & Hunting Texas Fish & Game is the largest, oldest, and best outdoors resource of its kind in the nation. No...

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