Chris Bee’s Archery Turkey Setup
The sound of a gobbler closing the distance is plenty enough to get your heart racing no matter your weapon of choice – and with a bow in hand, Chris Bee can guarantee your heart will beat just a bit faster.
Arrowing a longbeard is an excellent way to sharpen your skills and challenge yourself as an archer. However, taking a turkey with a bow is no easy feat. If you’re lucky enough to get a bird in bow range, you’ll have to count on your equipment to get the job done. Luckily, Chris has a few tricks you can do to adjust your bow and arrow setup to tip the scales in your favor.
You’ll most likely be on the move or in a confined space such as a ground blind or tucked behind some sort of cover for concealment. This makes a small, compact bow ideal for turkey hunting. Chris’ weapon of choice is the Mathews Phase4 29. With some slight adjustments, Chris modifies the Phase4 into the ideal bow for arrowing gobblers. To start, you’ll want to lower your draw weight 10-15lbs. You can easily do this on Mathews bows by simply switching out the Switchweight Mods to a mod with a lower peak draw weight. Chris typically runs a 75lb Switchweight mod for big game hunting, but changes this to either a 60lb or 65lb mod for turkeys.
Stabilizers & Accessories
Big stabilizers serve their time and purpose, but aren’t necessarily a great option for turkey hunting in ground blinds. Chris runs the Bridge-Lock Stabilizer system for his turkey set up. The quick disconnect knob on the Bridge-Lock Stabilizer system allows you to quickly adjust the stabilizer to a shorter length, which provides optimal clearance for shooting out of ground blind windows. Chris simply loosens the quick disconnect knob and runs his 12″ stabilizer in a few clicks until he’s confident the length is short enough for hunting out of a ground blind. Another great addition Chris likes to add to his turkey set up is a pair of Engage Limb Legs. Limb legs are a great option for ground blind hunting to keep your bow at the ready and easily accessible at all times.
There is a never ending debate when it comes to selecting the best broadhead for bowhunting. When it comes to turkey hunting with a bow – selecting a large cutting diameter broadhead is a must. Turkeys have a relatively small vital zone roughly the size of a softball. A large cutting diameter increases your chances of catching the vital zone especially on less than ideal shots. Chris prefers to aim for the head of the turkey in which his broadhead of choice is the Magnus Bullhead D.O.C. fixed blade. You can also take a more traditional route and aim for the body of the turkey. For this, Chris prefers a large expandable 3-blade broadhead such as a G5 Megameat, NAP Killzone, or Grim Reaper.
Arrows & Vanes
Chris’ preferred arrow for turkey hunting is either an Easton Axis 5mm 300 spine or Victory Archery VAP TKO 300 spine. It’s crucial to select a stiffer arrow for your turkey setup, even though your bow will be set at a lower poundage than normal. With the additional ‘drag’ created from the large broadhead and vanes, a stiff arrow will provide the best arrow flight at short distances. Chris also leaves his arrows uncut at full length. The extra length provides optimal clearance for large broadheads and eliminates the risk of the broadhead hitting your arrow rest during the shot.
For a large fixed blade broadhead, Chris highly recommends stocking up on some flu-flu arrow feathers. Flu flu’s have a tremendous amount of steering power and are a great choice for your turkey set up. His flu-flu of choice is the 5 1/4″ Cut Section feathers from Gateway Feathers. Chris likes to customize his feathers slightly by trimming the ends down a little bit with scissors. This will ensure that that feathers don’t hit your rest and deflect the arrow during the shot. If you prefer to take a more traditional route with an expandable broadhead, Chris finds that a 4-fletch system is best. Some of his favorites are Bohning 3.5 X Vanes or a Ozark 4″ Parabolic feathers.
Watch the full video to see how Mathews Team Shooter Chris Bee sets up his bow and arrows for turkey hunting.