Broadheads for Turkey Hunting

By Bob Robb

If you bowhunt turkeys, which do you chose—an old-school, replaceable-blade broadhead, or new school mechanical head?

Last spring, I killed four gobblers with a Hoyt Carbon Element set at a tick under 70 pounds; my shafts were tipped with both mechanical and replaceable-blade broadheads. I wanted to see for myself if there was any real difference in terminal performance. I killed two birds with the same 100-grain Thunderhead with which I have killed countless big-game animals, then used a 100-grain, 3-blade New Archery Products Gobbler Getter mechanical on two. In only one instance did a bird run more than 50 yards after the shot.

As I travel around the country during turkey season I see more and more archers loading up with mechanical heads. Popular choices include the Swhacker; Rage; G5 Tekan and Tekan II; New Archery Products Spitfire, Scorpion XP, Shockwave and Gobbler Getter; Wasp Jackhammer SST; Mar-Den Vortex; Rocket Steelhead XL, Ultimate Steel, Miniblaster, and Meat Seeker; Game Tracker First Cut EXP and Silvertip; G-5 F-15 Dual Blade; Grim Reaper Razortip and Razorcut SS; Cabela’s Lazer Strike and Aftershock Archery HyperShock and the like—all good choices. Those who like to go radical have been shooting the Gobbler Guillotine from Arrowdynamic Solutions, which is designed to literally take a bird’s head right off. Broadhead weight is not important, except in terms of how it affects the accuracy of your bow. Accurate arrow flight and razor-sharp blades are what’s important.

Some bowhunters like to put a “stopper” behind their broadhead to inhibit penetration. The idea is that if the arrow shaft stays in the bird, it will both transfer 100 percent of its shocking power to the turkey, and, with the shaft still in the body cavity, it will be much more difficult for the turkey to flop or fly off before you can race out and pick him up. The Bateman Small Game Stopper, Zwickey Scorpio and Muzzy Grasshopper are three excellent products for this.

After watching several archers shoot gobblers and with my own experiences, I have come to believe that both schools of thought are right. It all boils down to your own preferences and what you feel comfortable shooting. To be honest, it took me a long time before I was comfortable shooting anything with a mechanical broadhead. I still lean towards the proven performance of the Thunderhead when it comes to big-game hunting. This spring, though, for turkeys I am going with the NAP Gobbler Getter. I turned the poundage of one of my Hoyt big game bows down to about 65 pounds, then tuned it to shoot them like laser beams. Then, once turkey season is done for me and it is time to start chasing black bears, I’ll crank it back up to 70 pounds and get it tuned and dialed in with a 125-grain Thunderhead.

What about you guys? What do you shoot for turkeys? Leave a comment below and let me know, and I’ll be sure to share everyone’s thoughts and experiences.

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3 Responses to Broadheads for Turkey Hunting

troy pierre wrote:
January 18, 2013

can you shoot a turkey with shockwave nap 100 grain broadheads, if so where? the neck for from which angle, my thought would be broadside but idk

troy piere wrote:
January 18, 2013

i just bought the shockwave nap 100 grain broadheads, and was woundering if it knocks a turkey down? also woundering, ive killed countless turkeys with other non mechanical broadheads, they dont work! from experience i shoot high and close to the neck, for main arterys, works everytime.

JD wrote:
December 10, 2012

I shot a terkey this November. It was reccomended to me by an archery shop to just use my deer hunting braudheads. Shuttle T's three blade fixed 100gr. I hit the bird, about 15yrd shot, the bird was faceing me. The terkey ran off on one leg and layed down in the field. After a minute he got up and flew off, to my dissapointment. I found good blood and my arrow had good blood on the shaft and fletching. But no bird! I serched for hours, no luck. This really bothered me, not retreaving the terkey. I keep asking myself should i have used an mechanical broadhead, with a 2 1/2 cut width? Would that have made the difference? Also what is the best way to shoot a terkey? What is the best angle? Its ben twenty years sence I've hunted archery and am more than excited about getting back hunting bow. Any information or comments would be appreceated.