Photo by Tory Kallman/

Turkey hunters are a pretty technical group. They tend to combine some of the elements of big game and waterfowl hunters into the pursuit of just the right bird. This means specialized gear and countless hours of practice, preparation and scouting. Crossbow shooters have found that the range and compact nature of the bow lends itself perfectly to the pursuit of Mr. Longbeard, and like hunting turkeys with a vertical bow, selecting the right turkey broadhead is important. Here are some of the best turkey broadheads you can use with your crossbow this season.

Rage Xtreme Turkey Broadhead

Expandable turkey broadheads are a great choice for your crossbow, as there are no clearance issues. When it comes to expandables, there is no bigger name in the game than Rage Broadheads. The Rage Xtreme Turkey Broadhead has their Meat Hook cut-on-contact tip and two surgical steel blades that expand on impact to a cutting diameter of 2.125 inches. The Rage Shock Collar keeps the blades from opening in flight. These 100-grain rage turkey broadheads are designed just for hunting big long beards and are sold in a two pack.

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Dead Ringer Turkey Kill Switch Broadhead

The basic plan when selecting crossbow turkey broadheads is to maximize the cutting area so that you can separate the tom’s head from its neck. The Turkey Kill Switch broadhead can do just that with a massive 5-inch cutting width when open. If you get a body shot, the wound channel is something no turkey will walk away from. This mechanical turkey broadhead has a 150-grain weight and is sold in a three-pack with a practice tip for sighting in your crossbow. The best part is, these turkey hunting broadheads will fit in any quiver and will make your turkey season much better should you get the bird in range.

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NAP FOC Turkey

NAP created the FOC broadheads specifically for crossbows. The FOC Turkey broadhead is made just for those of us that use a horizontal bow for chasing gobblers around. It starts out at 1-1/16 inches when closed, but opens to a massive 3 inches in the open position for lethal results on a turkey. The tip is designed for hard hits, too, so much so that NAP claims the FOC hits harder than any other turkey hunting broadheads on the market. The FOC Turkey Broadhead come in three packs and at a whopping 170-grain weight. They come with a matched weight practice tip.

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Magnus Bullhead

If clearance isn’t an issue, the flight characteristics of the Magnus 100-grain Bullhead broadhead make it hard to beat for whacking a big tom turkey. These turkey broadheads were designed to do one thing – separate the head from the neck of the bird. It makes for a quick and efficient kill. These crossbow turkey broadheads have a 2-3/4-inch diameter and have razor sharp .048-inch thick blades that can easily be replaced for years of use. The shape of the blades and the tip makes these turkey hunting broadhead fly extremely well and the 100-grain weight means you can spend less time sighting in and more time scouting for birds. Sold in packs of three.

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Swhacker Crossbow

Anyone who has hunted with Swhacker Broadheads knows just how effective they are on all types of game. While not a true dedicated turkey broadhead, these 150-grain two-blade expandable broadheads will fly true and make quick work of any boss gobbler with their razor-sharp blades that give this broadhead a 3-inch diameter when opened. They come with a practice head to let you get zeroed right on and dead-on accurate. When you see just how deadly these broadheads are on turkeys, just imagine what it’ll do in the fall when you’re back at it after a bruiser whitetail buck? Sold in a three pack.

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Where Do You Aim at a Turkey with a Crossbow?

There are basically two areas that give the best results when aiming at a turkey with your crossbow. The neck at the base of the head is a good area with the right show because it makes for a swift kill and also lets the turkey quickly bleed out, making the processing part quicker and easier.

When looking at body shots on a turkey, you have to remember that while the tom looks big as it struts in, the actual body area is dramatically smaller. All of the feathers are sticking out straight as he puffs up to make himself look bigger and more appealing to the ladies while spooking off any other suitors. It is best to get yourself a decent archery target with at least the outline of a turkey for practice. Study turkey anatomy, too, and you’ll see where you should aim. Practice makes perfect and the way to perfect practice is to do your homework beforehand.

Do I need to use crossbow-specific turkey broadheads?

The biggest issue you need to be aware of when selecting a turkey broadhead for your upcoming season is clearance. Some of the larger-diameter turkey broadheads simply will not clear the foot stirrup of some modern crossbows. You need to see exactly where your bolt sits on your crossbow and where the broadhead rests and then take measure of things. If you’re using a mechanical broadhead, there shouldn’t be any issues. But if you’re looking at a fixed-blade, like the Magnus Bullhead, you need to make sure that there are no clearance issues.

What Makes a Better Turkey Hunting Broadhead – Fixed or Mechanical?

It’s all a matter of personal preference as long as there isn’t a clearance issue, such as we discussed above. Mechanical broadheads have the advantage of flying more like a field tip so you have a bolt that is less prone to wind drift in flight, and one that will behave more like your practice tips. Once the turkey hunting broadhead hits the target, it makes quick work of the bird, especially if you’re going for a body shot. Just make sure you practice with a turkey target. As you probably know by now, turkeys are notoriously hard to kill and improper shot placement can have ill effects. The last thing you want to see if the bird taking off with your bolt hanging out of it and you scratching your head wondering just how did THAT happen.

The flip side of that is, a mechanical needs to make direct contact to open. A fixed blade, however, does not. If you’re going for the head shot and the bird ducks or moves slightly, your blade can still make contact and do the job, even if the bolt misses by a hair.

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