There’s a reason relatively few hunters chase turkeys with archery equipment: It’s just plain tough enough with a shotgun.
So world slam hunter Rachal Barr shared her tips for successfully making the switch the a string and stick.
“Two things that have stood out to me and made me successful in my quest for an archery world slam both start with the letter ‘p’,” Barr said. “The first is patience. I have learned so much in my quest for a world slam, but probably the most-important thing is patience and trying not to become discouraged.
“You aren’t going into the woods and shoot a turkey every time. When you’re sitting on the ground with a stick and string hoping that a big gobbler stumbles upon your decoys, that’s when patience really counts. It took me three seasons to get my six gobblers, and I had several do-overs.”
But it’s also important to spend time at the range.
“The second ‘p’ is practice practice, practice,” Barr said. “You can never shoot enough arrows into a target before turkey season. Practice is so important because the vitals that you are aiming for in a turkey are about the size of your fist.
“If you shoot even 1 inch too far back, you’re got an injured bird on your hands, and nobody wants that.”
She said practice also has another benefit.
“Get accustomed to and comfortable with your equipment,” Barr said.
Concealment is even more critical when using archery equipment than when gun hunting.
“Hunting in a blind with a bow is very important,” Barr said. “It is possible to stalk a bird with a bow, but it is extremely difficult. You have a much better chance for success out of a blind.
“I dress in all black, with gloves and face mask so it is almost impossible for a bird to see me inside the blind.”
And then scouting a piece of property thoroughly or hunting with someone who knows it comes into play.
“Finally, if you don’t know the land, a guide is very important,” Barr said. “Most of the time, the guides know where the birds roost and their normal travel patterns.
“They know the best place to set up a blind.”