And since he's only 20 yards away, he'd already be dead if I were hunting with a shotgun. My longbow, however, demands another order of patience. For two agonizing minutes, the tom struts without offering a shot. But finally that luminous head disappears behind a mature pine's trunk, and when it reemerges, I'm locked at full draw, concentrating on an imaginary spot at the base of the wing. Anyone who thinks the 10-yard range makes this a chip shot hasn't bowhunted turkeys. But my heavy cedar arrow disappears into the mound of feathers right where it should, dropping the tom in plain sight. Over the course of a long career afield, I've called into bow range species ranging from whitetails to elk to moose, and none have been more exciting than this. ** Little Big Game**
No matter that they're covered with feathers rather than hair and sport beards instead of antlers, the wild turkey is big game in every sense of the term. And no quarry causes more difficulty for knowledgeable firearm hunters interested in making the transition to the bow. No matter your choice of tackle-compound, recurve, or longbow-it's a steep, tough learning curve even for seasoned veterans with dozens of shotgun gobblers to their credit.