John's Journal...

Get Your Gobbler with a Bow with Phillip Vanderpool

Broadheads and Recovering the Bird

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Phillip Vanderpool has been hunting turkeys with a bow for the last 15 years. So far in the 2009 season he’s taken one gobbler with his bow and took four gobblers with his bow during the 2008 season. This week he’ll tell us his secrets for taking turkeys with a bow. Click to enlarge

I like expandable broadheads. I shoot a G5 Tekan, because it has 1-1/2-inch cut. This two-blade broadhead has a cut-on-impact type head. These broadheads really fly well, and when the blades open up, you’ve got a nice big cut. This past week Rick White, another Hunter’s Specialties’ pro staffer, took his gobbler with these broadheads, and I took mine with a G5 broadhead as well. I believe the bigger cut that a mechanical broadhead gives you does more damage, creates more trauma and puts the turkey down faster than a fixed broadhead does.

Finding a Click to enlargegobbler after you’ve shot him is another important element to bowhunting turkeys. We all hope that the gobbler will go down instantly after he’s hit with an arrow, but he may not. Therefore, treat the turkey you’ve just shot as though he’s a deer you just arrowed. If you shoot a deer with your bow, and the deer runs off, you don’t climb out of your tree stand instantly to chase the deer. Usually you’ll wait 30 to 45 minutes to give the deer a chance to settle-down and bleed-out before you start blood trailing him. When you shoot a turkey, give him the same amountClick to enlarge of time as you will a deer. I always try and watch the direction that the turkey leaves the spot where I arrowed him, but then wait a while before I try and blood trail him. Many times I’ll give a turkey 1 to 2 hours before I go after him. Since many times a wounded turkey will hide under a bush, I’ve found that the longer you wait after you shoot a tom before you try and recover him, the better your odds are for finding your bird. If you flush the turkey after you’ve shot him, more than likely you won’t find him.

To learn more about Tekan broadheads, go to, or call (866) 456-8836.

Tomorrow: When to Draw and Why to Practice

Check back each day this week for more about "Get Your Gobbler with a Bow with Phillip Vanderpool"

Day 1: Why I Bowhunt Turkeys
Day 2: Blinds and Calls
Day 3: Hiding and Shooting
Day 4: Broadheads and Recovering the Bird
Day 5: When to Draw and Why to Practice


Entry 506, Day 4