Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turkey Broadhead Selection

Turkeys may not be as large as a whitetail, but they are just as tough. Despite their small stature, a turkey can take an arrow hit like a champ. When pursuing turkey with archery gear, the broad-head you chose to use can have a big impact on whether you close the deal. There are two common "schools of thought" out there for which type of broad-head to use: big juicy mechanical heads or decapitator heads.

Decapitator heads are designed to do just what their name implies, to take a turkey's head off. When using these broad-heads, you want to aim for the turkey's head and neck area. Decapitator heads often feature a cutting diameter of 3" and feature two perpendicular blades. Two of the most popular ones are: The Gobbler Guillotine and the Magnus Bullhead. Although effective at achieving their goal, these types of broad-heads can be challenging to tune and do not fly well at distances over 20 yards.

Big mechanical broad-heads are another popular choice for turkey. Some popular models include: G5 Tekan, Rage 2 Blade, Grim Reaper, and NAP Spitfire Gobbler Getter. These broad-heads feature blades that deploy upon impact, and feature larger cutting diameters than most fixed blades. They are easier to tune and most have "field tip" flight characteristics allowing them to be shot at greater distances. Because turkey's have a small vital area, it is to your advantage to use a large cutting diameter broad-head of at least 1.5". Turkeys do not bleed very much, so it is imperative to make contact with the vitals or a main artery. When shooting this type of broad-head, there are three shot opportunities that will allow you to place a fatal shot. When standing broadside, you should aim for the vitals, which are located directly above the leg near the center of the wing. If the tom is facing you, you should aim for his beard. The third shot is from behind, in which case you should place your arrow in the middle of it's back, or give it the ole Texas heart shot.

As I mentioned above, a large cutting diameter mechanical broad-head is optimal for turkey. Because of this, I have chosen to run the Rage 2 blade (100 grain) in my pursuits this spring. The biggest selling point here is the large cutting diameter of 2+ inches, and it actually hyper-extends to 2.5 inches while deploying. Essentially, this expands your kill zone greatly, and increases your odds of hitting vitals or arteries while leaving a nasty wound channel. Another reason I chose to go with the Rage 2's is that they fly more like field tips than a decapitator head would, and they are much easier to tune. The other thing that sold me on the Rage's were their "slip cam" design, which allows the blades to fully deploy before piercing the hide.

When choosing a turkey broad-head, you must first consider what type of shot you are going to be taking and at what distance. The decapitator heads offer great performance when aiming for a turkey's head or neck, and large diameter mechanical broad-heads work best for body shots. Whatever broad-head you choose, make sure you select one that will fulfill your needs.

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