5 Reasons Hunting Turkeys with Crossbows Makes Great Sense
By Doug Howlett
Turkey seasons are open or opening across the United States, and if you’ve been looking to dial up the challenge-factor of this already exciting time of season, here are five reasons hunting with a crossbow makes great sense this year.
- More Opportunity Than Ever – No, short of maybe Texas and Nebraska, you probably won’t get to hit the woods before the gun hunters do like many deer hunters can in the fall. Archery-only spring turkey seasons are still a rarity. However, most states that permit the use of crossbows for general deer hunting seasons, allow them in the spring turkey season as well, and for those sportsmen and women who love hunting with their crossbow, that translates to a ton of crossbow hunting opportunity. Gone are the days (in many states) where a hunter had to prove he was physically-challenged to be permitted to carry a crossbow. Today, at least 41 states permit their use by properly licensed hunters (though some restrictions may exist specific to the area you hunt so always check regulations), while another six allow them by those hunters otherwise limited by some disability.
- Improve Your Hunting Skills – Turkey hunting with a shotgun is already a close-quarters game with hunters seeking to bring birds in to within 40 yards or less. With a crossbow, while perfectly capable of killing a bird at 40 yards, less is better. For those hunters who love to make the action up-close and personal, a crossbow is ideal. Not to mention, you don’t need to leave that technologically advanced tool sitting in a closet collecting dust until fall deer season. You can get out and use it in hunting situations with game that can be even more challenging than whitetails to fool and to hit, thus taking your skills with the bow to a whole new level.
- Keep Hunting Areas Low Impact – Think whitetails react to hunting pressure? Some hunters might argue they don’t even begin to compare to spring gobblers. A turkey may roost in the same tree every night, fly down in the same field every dawn and strut in the same area every morning. Hunt him one day and blow it by spooking him and you may not see him or call him in again. Hunters walking through fields, ATVs blowing down trails, guns going off all equates to the birds on the land you hunt slipping off to quieter areas. If you’re sincere about reducing the impact of your presence on the land you hunt so the turkeys will keep to their normal routine, using a crossbow will definitely help. There is no boom when you pull the trigger, which means hit or miss, surviving birds are less freaked out when you pull the trigger. Miss, and you may even be able to pull off a second shot if you are adequately concealed and can reload the bow. Cocking devices such as TenPoint’s ACUdraw 50 Cocking Mechanism make recocking easy. Either way, less noise means less routine-altering reactions to it.
- Best Option for String Hunters – Want to up the natural challenge of turkey hunting by using something more difficult than a shotgun, but not really sold on the difficulty of hunting them with a compound or recurve? A crossbow is a natural solution. With an arrow loaded and cocked, there is no need to make a turkey-spooking draw like with a compound bow at the last minute. Simply sit still, take aim and shoot when the moment presents itself, just like with a firearm. Because of the need to conceal their draw, most bowhunters are limited to hunting from either a pop-up or quickly built blind of natural materials. Running and gunning is often out of the question. Not with a crossbow. At the sound of a nearby gobble, simply plop down at the base of the nearest large tree, just like you would with a shotgun, aim and get ready. When selecting a crossbow, go with one that boasts a concealing camo finish and compact design so it won’t hang up on limbs and brush. Top options include TenPoint Crossbow Technologies’ Vapor, Shadow Ultra-Lite or their new Titan SS and Turbo GT.
- Better Technology for Today’s Hunters – Older crossbow models were typically heavier—and bigger—with longer limbs, which made them slightly clunkier to tote through brush-choked springtime forests and cumbersome to carry anytime. Not today’s models. They boast loads of advanced technology and features including lightweight carbon-injected polymer and carbon-fiber barrels—the Shadow Ultra-Lite tips the scales at an impressive 6.4 pounds, less than most 12-gauge shotguns by a couple of pounds—while axle-to-axle widths when cocked measure in the ballpark of 13 inches; the new Carbon Nitro RDX measures axle-to-axle a mere 10 inches when cocked. That provides plenty of room to maneuver for a shot or take up a position in the smallest blind or shooting house intended for use with a shotgun.
Crossbow hunting is at an all-time high and manufacturers have responded by making models that meet the needs of today’s hunters—no matter what they pursue and when they pursue it. And if you’ve never hunted with a crossbow, don’t wait until this fall’s deer season, give it a try now, while spring turkey seasons are still in. There’s never been a better time.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com