© Othmar Vohringer
The biggest problem bowhunters face is drawing and shooting the bow without the approaching gobbler detecting the movement. One of the solutions to this dilemma is to use a ground blind. However, if you’re like me you too are not too keen on the time and effort it takes to set up a blind. The drawback with ground blinds is that the hunter is tied down to one spot. Mobility and unobstructed field of view is another reason why I prefer to use natural available cover such as brush and trees to hide behind. One of the best turkey bowhunting setups I found is, what I call, the triangle formation.
Here’s how it works.
In order to make this set up work you need to determine where the roosting tree is, use a locater call right at dawn and listen from what direction the gobbler answers. Find a wide tree trunk, bush or small extension of dense vegetation into an open field that provides you with good natural cover. You do all these things preferably the day before the hunt or by roosting the birds (observing where they go to roost) in the evening before the hunt.
On the day of the hunt, before dawn, stake out a hen decoy about 100 yards from the roosting tree and 20 yards to the side and ahead of you. On what side of you the decoy will be staked out is determined by the direction from which the tom approaches (See the graphic of the setup bellow). When the tom approaches his attention will directed to the decoy as he passes by you. This lets you draw and shoot the bow without being detected. As you can see from the graphic, the location of the decoy, the route the tom comes in and your shooting lane form a triangle, hence me naming this setup for lack of a better word “triangle formation”.
How to hunt the set up.
Right at dawn when the toms fly down start with soft yelps, clucks and purrs to get him interested. Don’t over call, call just enough to keep the gobblers attention. When the tom comes in and sees the decoy quit calling, pick the bow up and get ready to draw the string. If you keep calling the tom will pinpoint your position in heartbeat, and you do not want that to happen.
If the tom loses interest and walks away call him back with clucks and purrs, depending on the situation peak his attention with a short series of exited yelps to turn him around.
If the gobbler has committed and heads straight for the decoy he will walk right past your set up. As soon the head of the gobbler is obstructed by the tree trunk, bush or other cover you sit behind, draw your bow. Alternatively you can wait for the tom to spin around to face the decoy while the fan will obstruct his view behind him. This is another good reason why bowhunters should set out the decoy in such a way that it faces them directly. Toms that approach a decoy almost always will face it head on.