Finding the best turkey hunting gear is difficult – there are so many options and so much of it looks the same to most novices. But that's okay, we're here to help you find what will bring in the big gobblers and keep your freezer full.
Note: Since decoys and feeders are banned in a good many areas across the US, we won't be covering those in this article. If you do want information on decoys and feeders, we'll talk about that soon.
For box calls, our favorite is The Hook Up box from Primos.
The Hook Up is a versatile call that lets you chirp, yelp, and growl all day long to get those Gobblers interested. If you hunt more than turkey, you might also be able to call bucks in rut with this thing. We know that sounds crazy, but we've managed to get a good, deep grunt out of it by turning it over and dragging it real slow. Definitely not what it's made for, but hey, nobody dislikes a dual-purpose call.
As much as we like Primos Hunting products, we’re going to say any mouth (diaphragm) call is just about the same as any other. It's a simple design and you need to learn to work it while you're at home – not in the field. Take a minute to play with it and you'll sound just like a turkey in no time.
Here, we're only talking about binoculars. Without knowing what weapon you're carrying, we'd do you a disservice to talk about optics for guns or archery. We recommend that you take some time and go experiment with multiple optics on your (unloaded) weapon at your local hunting supply store.
On to the binoculars, you know Maven makes our favorite binoculars for hunting. The C.1 has won multiple awards and it's a great mid-level option at a reasonable price.
We’re also big fans of Leupold's line of binoculars. With multiple sets and settings available, and most of them widely available everywhere from Cabela's to Academy big box hunting stores, you should have no issue going and getting your hands on plenty of them. For first-timers, they may get a little bit of sticker shock, but remember that these come with an incredible warranty and are up for smacking around in the woods all day.
Camo and Vis Equipment
We don't have links for you in this section because everyone's hunting area is so very different depending on the weather. We're certain that you have camo for all seasons, but strongly recommend bringing your fall, spring, and winter set out into the field. Why? Because one area may be all buds and sprouting leaves while another may still be pretty dead or even frosted over.
Turkeys are very high visibility creatures. They can see you the second that you so much as twitch. The last thing that you want to do is give them the opportunity to notice that the rest of the world is brown sticks and there's an odd sunny patch of fresh greenery sitting up against that tree over there.
So, this leads to another rule that we say a lot here – know your land and scout it well.
Shopping for your first set of camo? Go out and learn your land, first. Take the weekend before the season to poke around where you'll be hunting and take pictures with your phone. Bring those pictures with you when you go shopping. That way you can compare the plants in the terrain with those in your pictures and get a better idea of what sets at the store will help you blend in.
Vis equipment should also always be worn. It can be difficult to hunt turkeys with high-vis equipment on, but it's much more important to be wearing it than to get nailed by another hunter accidentally. Look into your local laws and use them to your advantage – most require at least a 4"x6" patch on a hat or your front in yellow or orange. Try to find something that looks like a local flower or close to it. That way, humans will know that you're another human but the birds will probably write you off as a daffodil.
While some areas will be seeing 80s and perhaps even 90s into turkey season, most won't. A chilled hunter is a miserable hunter and we're glad to show you a few options for keeping warm and still keeping your cover.
This basic item should be in any cool-season hunter's pack. They're cheap, efficient, and they're easy to toss in your pocket when they’ve run their course. Better yet, you can shove them in any part of you that's getting cold – gloves, pants, boots – they work fantastic everywhere and keep you toasty. Order these in bulk if you'll be out most of the season.
You’ll also want a well-insulated tumbler or thermos that will keep your drink warm and at the correct temperature (instead of blazing hot or slightly chilled) all day long.
These boots will last forever and keep you extra warm on cold, misty mornings. They're on par for their range and, while not snake-proof, most snakes will have a difficult time getting through the lining to come at you. For those that hate cold toes after walking all morning, these comfortable boots are the ones for you.
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