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Have question for you avid turkey hunters.My buddy and I are new to turkey hunting.He went this morning and called in a Tom at 10 yards,he is using a crossbow.Question is he took the shot and the bird was broad side,he aimed for the breast area and hit it.The turkey flopped a couple times and then flew away ,up above the trees.We searched every where we could but did not find it,do you think it lived,there was only 1 feather on the ground at impact and could not find the arrow.Its tough to track something that flies I must say.

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A good broadside shot is right in the wing area. I'd say if he hit breast all he got was meat.

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If he hit the breast I done think it would have flew away would it ?

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The kill zone on a turkey is lower than most think. Sounds like you hit mostly meat. He may die, but as mentioned it is depressing.
 

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I'm a beginner too but I'll comment. This is what I used before I went out with my crossbow the other day.



I did some reading about where to hit before I went and this diagram was helpful. It was rather eye opening to see how much of the turkey is not going to even wound it.
 

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More often then not a turkey will fly after being bow shot. Maybe not fly far (sometimes they will) but flight is to be expected. Years ago we always used a string tracker if we chose to do that kind of hunt. Know the bird's vitals well.
 

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I hate to say it but long term survival chances are slim. The flopping is a good sign he got a pretty good piece of that broadhead. You guys may still recover him though.

Last year I walked up on a wounded bird near death on public land. I swung him around by the neck to put him down. My buddy and I stood around scratching our heads for 15mins trying to get a hold of the warden to find out what to do. Neither of us wanted to burn a tag, and neither wanted to let the bird go to waste. As luck would have it, two other hunters walked up while we stood. One of them took a look at the bird and came to the conclusion that it was his! He had shot it 3 days earlier, and they had looked high and low for it. Not exactly a clean kill, but the two year old made a nice trophy.
 

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The best thing for you to do is shoot them with a gun, at least until you take the time to learn a turkey's anatomy.
 

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For me, personally, (and I'm a bow-hunter, but not for turkey yet) , if it happened like that more than twice, I'd go back to using a gun. Part of our responsibility as sportsman is to execute a quick and efficient death and followup with recovery by all possible means. If I'm making the best shots I can and not achieving that, I would rethink my methods. Under those circumstances, I would also consider my tag for that bird, filled.

If that sounds judgmental, it's definitively not intended to be. I love the idea of possibly bow-hunting gobblers at some point. I just know that it wouldn't take long for me to give it up if I wasn't dropping turkeys where they stand and making a recovery.
 

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The best broadside shnt placement with a bow is the butt of the wing, where the wing joins the body. On a bird facing you aim for the beard. On a strutting bird facing away from you aim just above the anus.the kill zone is very small on a turkey from any angle.maybe the size of a softball.
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AirForceGuy85 said:
I DO NOT agree with this picture's red circle for a kill zone or kill shot...on either bird.

The vitals are at a 2 o'clock position, from the red circle, on the strutting tom.
The vitals are at a 12 o'clock position, from the red circle, on the walking tom.

The standard for a bowhunting shot on a turkey is:
"Shoot them high and watch them die. Shoot them low and watch them go."

Bowhunter57
 

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all me,
The force of the crossbow bolt hitting the turkey in the breast, as you described it, would knock the turkey down...but not kill it. :nono: If you look at the referenced pictures of the muscular system of the turkey, I'd say all your buddy hit was meat.

The turkey's going to be sore for a few days, but I'd say he'll live.

I've shot my share of geese with a bow and the vitals are in the same location as a turkey's.

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I DO NOT agree with this picture's red circle for a kill zone or kill shot...on either bird.

The vitals are at a 2 o'clock position, from the red circle, on the strutting tom.
The vitals are at a 12 o'clock position, from the red circle, on the walking tom.

The standard for a bowhunting shot on a turkey is:
"Shoot them high and watch them die. Shoot them low and watch them go."

Bowhunter57
That isn't the shot that I tried to make but that is a strategy that I've read some bow hunters use. The theory is to take out both legs. Then they can't run and therefore can't fly making a quick recovery. I would think making that shot would leave very little room for error.

I'm new to turkey hunting, but something that surprised me the other day is how quick a turkeys reaction time is. I was thinking with a cross bow slinging bolts at 320 FPS that a 20 yard shot would be no big deal. If you watched my kill video the other day (
) jump to 1:30 and watch it in slow motion. I took a broad side shot high and that bolt went straight up that turkey's butt (actually it was just to the side of his butt and went between the leg and butt at an angle). That may be another reason why they say aim high. From the time that bolt was released, the turkey spun almost ninety degrees and left the ground before it was hit. Had I been aiming low I'd still be out there looking for my bolt. If you watch the slow mo part on that video a few times you can hear when the bolt is released, see the turkey spin and jump and then you hear the bolt hit him.

I know next year, I will not be taking a shot beyond 15 yards. I'm bringing the decoys closer as well.
 

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AirForceGuy85,
A lot of reaction times with any critters has to do with their demenor...or how alert they may be as they approach the hunter's location. Longer shots can be taken with consideration to the bowhunters' abilities AND how calm the intended target is at the time of the shot. :)

You're not the only bowhunter to think that a bow over 300 f.p.s. will get there before the animal has time to react. :coco: If a calm animal is being shot at, then there's a much better chance of them not reacting, in time to avoid an arrow.

A turkey can be airborn in 3 tenths of a second...that's quick. Simularly, a deer can drop it's body height in the same amount of time.

Given the knowledge of 3 tenths of a second, a bow shooting an arrow 300 f.p.s. is only traveling approximately 1/4 of the speed of sound...1126 f.p.s.

Here's a good video showing arrow shot placement, on turkeys at several different angles. Notice that the turkeys are distracted and not on alert.

Bowhunter57
 
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