Many hunters may have, on occasion, considered leaving their scattergun at home to give bowhunting turkeys a try. Of that number, some will drop the idea right away, thinking that bowhunting doesn’t fit their preferred style of turkey hunting.
The prospect of climbing into a turkey blind in the spring isn’t appealing to some. Turkey season just wouldn’t be the same without the thrill of calling and moving while also having to lug around a bow, blinds, decoys and a quiver full of arrows.
Archery addict Scott Hammond said running-and-gunning — aka run-and-draw or run-and bow — is still a very real possibility using archery tackle. He suggests that hunters hold off until later in the season when the chances of meeting up with a gobbler one-on-one are greater.
“Run-and-gun can be very difficult with the bow from an aspect of just having enough cover to draw,” he said. “Your best chance is going to come after the hens have begun to nest.”
Hammond explained that the later in the season you get, the likelihood of catching a mature bird alone is greater. Instead of working a flock of 18 hens, three jakes, and two gobblers, you’re dealing with one gobbler.
“That’s way less sets of eyes to have to worry about,” he said, grinning.
Hammond doesn’t change the way he calls from a blind or on the run. He’s still going to use mostly soft-calling, appealing to the hens or, better yet, imitating a jake trying to entice hens.
“I might even do some fall-type calling, like a kee-kee run and stuff like that,” he said, “sounding like a (jake) calling to some hens.”
Calling and stalking tactics don’t change much, at least until it comes down to crunch time. Hammond is still a fan of using at least one decoy, usually a jake. He may not always have the luxury of setting up a blind or finding enough natural cover on the spot. He said your chances of success go up if you can get that bird’s attention on something else.
“If you can get him committed to a jake decoy or something like that, you’re much more likely to get an opportunity to draw and shoot with the bird facing away from you,” he said.