Where To Shoot A Turkey? Significant “Vitals’’ Can Make Your Hunt Date!

The most exciting part of all turkey hunting is shooting placement. Players would always like to see the target down as quickly as possible. These positions are often termed “vital” by hunters. And a turkey’s vitality is only about the size of a baseball.

Whether you’re using a bow or a gun, mastering the “vitals” will enable you to nail the great achievements. Follow our orientation of “where to shoot a Turkey’’ and commence to practice!

Where To Shoot A Turkey?

For an enjoyable spring Turkey hunt, you can check out these “vitals’’ as followed:

Shooting Placement: Broadside


The image above gives you a very clear view of the turkey’s skeleton and heart and lung location. To shoot these ‘’vitals’’ precisely, you have to aim your arrow/gun at the shoulder position of the turkey. Then, only one shot will go straight to the heart of the bird.

However, always use this position as a reference point in your sights because the success rate is quite high.

Exact shot placement is everything

The aim is not simply to randomly determine a certain position. In reality, the stats related to your success rate per shot can be affected by the turkey’s appearance (changes at full strut).

Also, bear in mind a general rule: draw a vertical line right in front of Turkey’s feet. Then aim the gun/arrow at the intersection of this line and the crease on the wing (like the red dot in the above graphic).

Shooting Placement: Quartering Toward

Lungs and heart position

Try drawing a horizontal line from the base of the turkey’s beard, then go on heading up from the offside leg. These two lines intersect at a point, and shooting at that spot is the fastest way to shoot straight to the lungs and heart, even to have a strong impact on Turkey’s spine. This is really one of the worthwhile points of shooting.

Quartering toward

If the turkey is in a fully upright position at this angle, your job is to place the horizontal line of the arrow about two inches below the base of the neck instead of the base of the antennae. Alternately, the arrow needs moving a few inches ahead of the offside foot.

Shooting Placement: Straight On

Straight on

It’s likely to be a rare case, but what do you do when Turkey faces you head-on? The area between the base of its neck and beard has a thin vertical line formed by the turkey breast feathers. Aim your arrow on this spot and shoot. 

This is also regarded as one of the ‘‘vitals’’ you need to bear in mind as it is a critical strike.

Shooting Placement: Facing Away

Facing Away ‘’vital’’

When you see a bird strutting with its back to you, your shot will be a straight line down its spine if it hits the anus. In such a case, the arrow will go straight to the chest cavity, even severing the spine. Most hunters appreciate this aiming position.

Shooting Placement: Neck and Head Shots

One hit and the neck or head will be a fatal blow. However, this is a tricky shooting position as the turkey’s movements are often unpredictable. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this way. Take the opportunity when you are a short distance from Turkey and are standing still. Aim very carefully at its head or neck and shoot.

What Tips For Taking The Proper Shot Placement?

Regardless of prey, deer, elk, or turkey, heart and lung targets are where hunters are most interested. Only one shot and the success rate is very high.

Indeed, exact shot placement is everything. Here are the in-depth techniques for shooting a turkey with a gun or a bow.

How To Take Aim With Your Shotgun

Most skilled hunters will focus more on the head and neck than on the body. Why? Turkey’s feathers are very thick, and a muscular chest can protect its heart quite well. Therefore, if the shooting distance is quite far (more than 20 meters), the success rate will not be high because the Chicken will be challenging to die completely.

In addition, the head of the bird is small but contains the brain and a series of nerves that help control the whole body. A bone-chilling shot to the head or neck will disrupt all circulation and senses, resulting in the bird’s immediate death.

However, the turkey’s head is tough to shoot because its head movement is unpredictable. Many people have targeted the neck or the junction between the body and the chicken’s neck to increase the hit rate.

Tips For Making The Shot

Avoid shooting a full-body turkey, even though it’s entirely within your sights. Because their plumage is so thick, sometimes your shot won’t hurt the burly bird. Even if the bullet just grazed its body with a bit of blood, its feathers would absorb blood very quickly. The bird still had the strength to continue running without leaving a trace of blood.

Therefore, use all means to make the bird raise its head as if making a call. And then, your job is to aim for its head or neck.

Avoid shooting in a hurry. This will only make you more likely to miss the target despite how much effort you have to wait.

Always bear in mind that Turkeys are highly alert and very sensitive to people. You need to cleverly avoid them to detect them. For those who were just starting to hunt, this was a task that required subtle observation after encountering several setbacks.

Tips For Determining The Distance

It is necessary to calibrate the appropriate range to create the ideal spread. According to the Wild Turkey Task Force, run by the National Wild Turkey Federation, the maximum recommended distance is 40 yards to shoot at a wild turkey.

Many experts have acknowledged that this is the ideal distance to reduce errors while shooting Turkey, from 35 – 55 meters. In fact, from 35 meters or less or 55 meters or more can make you miss the target.

How To Take Aim With Your Bow


Professional hunters use arrows with a standard fixed or mechanical wide-head blade. They usually aim just above the bird’s antennae for optimal shot quality if it is facing you.

In case the bird is strutting and facing away from you, aim immediately for the anal opening. Avoid shooting at slant angles as it will be difficult to pinpoint precisely where the body is aligned underneath all those feathers.

On the other hand, an angle is also ideal for most good hunters – a wide-angle shot targeting the butt of the wing feathers. This helps the arrows to pin Turkey’s wings and body and make them unable to fly, so you could keep it in a fixed place until you have ultimately killed the bird.

I recommend you should bring the best night vision crossbow scopes in turkey hunting, it is useful!

The Bottom Line

We’ve just provided well-rounded directions about ”where to shoot a Turkey?” Depending on the situation and “the vitals”, you may have to deal with different disadvantages and advantages. However, thorough research will help you achieve the maximum effect when taking down the target. If you are a beginner, we suggest you seek advice from experts or seasoned hunters.

Turkey hunting is a thrilling pastime. There will be challenges, but you will absolutely love your achievements and delicious meat. 

We hope that our article will be useful for you. If you find it beneficial, forward it! Thanks for reading!

Thank Mathewsinc for the images!

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