John's Journal... Entry 191, Day 1
SECRETS FOR BAGGING BOW GOBBLERS WITH DAVID HALE AND MARK DRURY
David Hale's Tips for Bow Turkeys
EDITOR'S NOTE: A bowhunter truly challenges himself when he tries to take a longbeard with a bow. Instead of bagging a gobbler at 40 yards with the slight movement of a shotgun, a hunter who wants to take a bird with a bow usually must hunt the wary gobbler at 20 yards or less. Then once he gets the bird close, he has to draw, aim the bow and release the arrow at a very small target. To learn the best way to bag your gobbler with a bow, two of the nation's leading turkey hunters, Mark Drury, the founder of M.A.D. Calls, now a division of Outland Sports, and David Hale, one of the founders of Knight & Hale Game Calls, reveal their bow-gobbler secrets.
"When you hunt turkeys with a gun, you must remain very conscious of your movement so you don't spook the bird," David Hale of Cadiz, Kentucky, says. "As a bowhunter, you have to not give away your position when you attempt to draw your bow or move your bow to take the shot." Hale, who shoots a mechanical release, prefers to utilize camo paint on his hands and face rather than wearing camo gloves when he hunts turkeys. "If you wear a glove and shoot a release, oftentimes the glove will make you shoot before you want to take the shot," Hale explains. "To prevent that from happening, I prefer to wear camo paint."
When Hale gets ready to draw his bow, he picks a place in the woods where the turkey will have to step behind a bush or some type of brush to give him those few seconds required to make the draw. Once Hale pulls his bow to full draw, he favors a shot at the turkey's back. "I prefer to make a spine shot," Hale reports. "If the bird walks away from me or puts his back to me, I'll have the opportunity to shoot for the spine. If the turkey begins to strut, I'll shoot for the spot where the wings join the body in an effort to get a spine shot. If you shoot into the turkey's breast, more than likely you'll lose the bird. If the turkey has his tail fanned in a strut with his back to me, I'll shoot for the spot where the tail feathers join the body."
To learn more about John E. Phillips' turkey-hunting books, click here.
TOMORROW: HUNT WITH A TEAM