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How to Locate and Take Tough Turkeys Day 4: What Are Five of Phillips Vanderpool’s Frequently Asked Seminar Questions

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Editor’s Note: When you’re looking at versatility in bowhunting, game calling and wildlife videography, Harrison, Arkansas, resident Phillip Vanderpool has done it all. With over 40+ years of hunting experience, Vanderpool is the complete hunting/videography package. After hunting turkeys since childhood with a shotgun, Phillip decided to try the ultimate challenge – bowhunting the wild turkey – and has taken about three dozen turkeys with his bow and has captured some of his turkey bowhunts on videotape. Vanderpool also is in high demand as a seminar speaker.

1) How does a cameraman set-up with a hunter to get the hunt put on film?

Vanderpool: The videographer wants to aim his camera over the hunter’s gun shoulder to get the shot of the hunter and the turkey. The videographer wants to be as close to the hunter as he can and get the hunter and the bird in the same frame. If you accomplish this, the viewer of the video will see what the hunter sees.

2) How do you draw your bow on a turkey?

Vanderpool: You want something behind you to break your outline up, like brush, trees and/or limbs. Your background helps to prevent the turkey’s seeing you when you move to draw. One of the easiest ways to break up your silhouette and draw without the turkey’s seeing you is to use a turkey blind.

3) How much do you call to a turkey when you’re bowhunting?

Vanderpool: When I’m bowhunting, I don’t use the run-and-gun type tactic of hunting turkeys. Instead, I use more of a sit-and-wait style of hunting. I’ll still call aggressively if I need to, but I’ll let the turkey tell me what kind of calling he wants to hear. When I set-up my blind, I generally call every 5 to 10 minutes. If I go for 30 minutes or an hour and don’t hear a turkey gobble, I’ll pick up my blind and move to another location.

4) When do you use a decoy?

Vanderpool: I do, especially when I’m bowhunting. I use a Cally Morris’ Hazel Creek R   eal Mounted hen decoy ( because it’s realistic, and it takes gobblers’ eyes off you, when you’re trying to draw the bow. The decoy gets full attention from both the hens and the gobblers when they come in to it.

5) What broadhead do you shoot for turkeys?

Vanderpool: I prefer the expandable-type broadhead when I’m bowhunting for turkeys. I’ve tried several different brands, and I personally like the Spitfire broadhead

( best. The Spitfire has more knock-down power when you shoot the turkey, and the arrow stays in the turkey rather than passing through the bird.

To learn more about turkey hunting, check out John E. Phillips’s book, “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting,” at, and available in Kindle and print.

Tomorrow: What Are Five More Frequently Asked Turkey Seminar Questions?

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