When visiting an archery shop to gear up for turkey season, you’ll find plenty of broadheads on the store’s shelves. To choose the best fit, you must understand the pros and cons of each broadhead, and how it would work with your setup.
Nothing penetrates deeper than a compact fixed-blade broadhead with a narrow cutting diameter. These heads cuts more efficiently than other broadheads, which is ideal for bowhunters pulling minimal draw weights or shooting lightweight arrows. Low-profile broadheads break bones and pass through dense feathers, but their narrow cutting diameters aren’t as forgiving as wide-cutting mechanicals. That reduces your margin for error on a wild turkey’s small vital area, and increases the importance of clean shooting opportunities. Those who strive for maximum penetration and pass-through shots consider fixed-blade broadheads a great option.
Despite a strutting tom’s large appearance, wild turkeys have relatively small vital zones compared to other game. That’s why many bowhunters choose mechanical broadheads when pursuing turkeys. These heads usually have far larger cutting diameters than other broadhead styles. Their drawback is that wide cutting diameters reduce kinetic energy and arrow speeds. Their advantage is that they create wide, devastating wound channels that are more likely to slash a turkey’s softball-sized vitals on marginal shots. When paired with a heavy arrow and a fast bow, expandable broadheads are ideal for putting more turkey meat in your freezer.
Mechanical and fixed-blade broadheads are ideal for targeting a turkey’s heart and lungs. Guillotine broadheads, as the name implies, are designed to lop off a turkey’s head for quick kills. These heads have long blades protruding from the ferrule, making it difficult to shoot accurately past 25 yards. At short range, however, they almost always kill instantly without damaging meat. The tom must be close and stationary for these heads to work their best, because a bobbing neck can be difficult to hit. Consider positioning a decoy near your ground blind when using a guillotine broadhead.
Each broadhead functions differently, but they share the same purpose in turkey hunting: quick, humane kills. Let your bowhunting style and setup dictate which broadhead you choose, and then practice with it before opening day.