By Keith Barnett
Thanks to the successful conservation efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), thousands of hunters across this great land prepare for spring wild turkey hunting season.
Growing in popularity, wild turkey hunting is drawing hunters into the green springtime woods to hunt gobblers with the shotgun and the stick and string.
With shotgun and cartridge technology today, reaching out to 50-plus yards is still a high percentage shot to kill a turkey, even with just a 20 gauge. For the archer, that is quite a tall task, especially when you factor in the extra movement required to draw a vertical bow. Turkey vision, just one step down from Superman’s x-ray vision, will bust you almost every time if you don’t have proper cover.
Enter: the hunting crossbow. The technology of today’s crossbow manufacturers lends to the construction of ultra-narrow, super accurate, precision built weapons that offer versatility, especially in terms of how you can hunt spring gobblers. From the ground leaning against a tree, spot and stalk, or hunting from a ground blind, nothing compares to the lethality and ease of handling in these crossbow packages.
One distinct advantage is that you don’t have the extra movement of drawing a crossbow like you would a vertical bow. You can pre-cock them and simply load an arrow when you get into your setup. Then it’s a matter of sweet talking Mr. Tom into your setup.
Another advantage comes in terms of accessories. Something like the Steddy Eddymonopod system from TenPoint Crossbow Technologies offers a great stabilization tool to ensure pinpoint accuracy. Not to mention that it can be integrated directly to the stock. One less item to tote around in the woods, offering hands-free movement.
A third advantage is their versatility. A compact, narrow design like the RDX technology from Horton Crossbow Innovations are perfect for remaining concealed, yet maneuverable, whether in a ground blind or hunting tucked back against the brush. You’ll be nice and comfortable and won’t have to work yourself into awkward positions just to get a shot off.
Overall, you just can’t beat the crossbow for hunting wild turkeys. The ability to use archery equipment, yet hunt in the same style, with the same strategy as hunting turkey with a shotgun, offers an adrenaline rush unlike any other, and it is simply something you have to try!
Turkey season and crossbows go hand in hand, as Karen Butler (above) shows with this gorgeous longbeard Tom gobbler after a successful hunt.