You’ve worked hard and have that gobbler at 8 yards in full strut right behind your decoy. Your arrow is nocked and the camera is rolling. Masked in your blind the bird doesn’t have a clue you’re there.
The gobbler’s bright red head nearly glows; he’s so intent on the hen decoy. You draw your bow, anchor solid, and the fluorescent green pin moves slowly, making its way left to right following the gobbler’s head. Your body quivers with excitement. The sight pin touches the base of the gobbler’s neck. Your mind, beating your body to the punch, causes you to squeeze the shot. Too soon and you know it! The arrow zips past the gobbler’s head, mere millimeters off the left side. The gobbler trots off unscathed.
Archery shots on turkeys require extreme concentration and follow through (especially head shots). You must ‘bury the pin’. Practicing on a foam target will help prepare you, but nothing compares to a real life actual shot. You’ve got to practice hard and have your confidence high before going hunting. When hunting practice drawing and aiming at your decoy. Kill that gobbler in your head a couple times before he gets there. When he does get there, keep your body and mind on the same page.
Know a turkey’s anatomy. With headshots you have a good reference on where to aim. I aim about 1 inch above where the feathers meet the caruncles (the red head/neck part). Another way to look at it is to aim for the “Adam’s apple” on the turkey.
Body shots can be trickier on picking the aiming point. It’s easy to get lost in the feathers on a broad side turkey and just shoot for center of mass. That may work sometimes, but turkeys have a ‘void’ in the breast area, where an arrow that looks good does nothing but irritate the turkey and yourself.
A good friend told me, aim for the ‘divot’. The “divot area” is where the neck, back, and wing butt come together, forming a V-shaped depression from the side view, its closer to the neck than you think. Another good body shot angle is ‘walking away’, if you put an arrow in the middle of his back, you’ve got him. Generally, arrowing a gobbler high is better than low.
These are just a few tips I’ve picked up that seem to work. As you probably know, it’s called hunting, not shopping! That’s what’s fun about it. Every day is different. Hunt safe and hunt hard!