Spring turkey hunting season is almost here.
Are you prepared with all the necessary gear and other essentials?
Don’t be caught by surprise this season. Instead, plan ahead for the season by getting all your turkey hunting gear in order.
Good planning gives you a higher chance of success for your turkey hunting trip.
Set yourself apart from other hunters by acquiring the right gear. As you continue to improve your hunting skill set, you will need the right tools for a pleasant experience.
How is turkey hunting different?
Turkey hunting differs from other bird hunting in several ways. Tactics, gear, and location for turkey hunts are different.
Other issues such as choosing the proper camo clothing, planning your shooting, and hunting techniques also come into play. Getting your timing right and working on rapid reflexes will also ensure that your new turkey hunt is an absolute blast.
Here are five common ways that make turkey hunting different:
1. Camo clothing
All types of camouflage wear, including gloves, facemask, boots and bug spray, differs when it comes to turkey hunting. Don’t expect to use the same camouflage outfits for hunting deer as you do for turkey hunting, as this approach will surely fail.
Going for turkey hunting with the same camo for deer hunting will make you visible to turkeys because this type of game typically congregates in different areas.
Turkey hunting requires you to blend in with the turkey’s surroundings, so wearing a facemask is vital to disguise yourself from this game.
Unlike deer hunting, where a facemask is optional, wearing one is critical for turkey hunting as they are quick to recognize human faces in the brush.
2. Shooting techniques
In almost any type of game hunting, there are popular areas that hunters recommend for game spotting. The sites you choose for hunting turkey are vital to your success, and you are unlikely to bag a turkey using the same techniques when hunting deer.
Most turkey hunters use shotguns. Shotguns release several pellets that spread out and penetrate various parts of the target.
However, you have a lower chance of making a kill shot for turkey hunting if you think this technique is viable. It isn’t!
If you want to deliver a clean kill shot, you must aim for the turkey’s head or neck; otherwise, you will cause unnecessary suffering to your target.
When using a higher-power rifle when hunting turkeys, you will also cause more damage. You can imagine shooting a turkey with a 20mm. The damage to the body will be immense. When you hit the body, you ruin all the meat. Therefore, always target the head or neck.
What time of day should you hunt turkeys?
Some hunters prefer the evening for turkey hunting or early mornings. Many states in the US permit turkey hunting from noon but be sure to double-check the regulations for the time of day and season when you can hunt turkeys in your state.
Several factors influence the timing of turkey hunting. For instance, most birds are still roosting in trees or favorite resting spots before sunrise.
They are calm and present in large numbers, which increases your chances of hitting a target. Also, this is the right time to stalk them without scaring them off, which also improves your chances of making a kill shot.
When turkeys are out of their roosts, they are more wary of their surroundings and potential threats.
Any slight movement triggers their defenses, causing them to scatter and run or cover. Hunting turkeys while they are resting, is your best technique to achieve your goal.
4. Hunting techniques
Turkey hunting is all about stealth and patience. At times you must sit somewhere for hours waiting for the right time to shoot. Ensure you have the right turkey hunting gear in terms of pants and boots to support your comfort.
Any uncalculated movement by you or other threats in the wild will immediately trigger a flight reaction in turkeys. Brush up on your turkey hunting techniques by practicing patience and stealth.
Get yourself an electronic turkey call or whistle and use decoys to attract turkeys nearer to your hideout. Or use these methods to locate turkeys in their natural surrounds so that you can approach your prey.
Expect to walk for long distances to locate wild turkeys and take the advice of seasoned hunters who have loads of experience in hunting these wild birds.
5. Quick reflexes
Turkey hunting requires the same quick reflexes as other bird hunting. Respond rapidly to signs of turkeys in the area by being aware of the sounds they make and be quick to follow up and hunt your prey down.
Use turkey calls to help locate your target and once you’re in the vicinity, use stealth and precision to stalk your prey with care before taking that shot.
List of turkey hunting gear: The essentials
Hunting turkeys can be quite a complex sport, no matter how simple it may look. For this reason, you should be aware of your turkey hunting gear as it influences your hunting strategy.
Early planning is key to enjoying a rewarding turkey hunting experience. Once the season commences, it may be too late or too expensive to make all your equipment purchases.
But when you plan, you can take the time to get all your essential turkey hunting gear in place, leaving you to identify a suitable location and get there by road or air.
Now that you appreciate planning basics let’s dive in and list the essential turkey hunting gear. You may not need all these items at once, but some are definite “must-haves” for an enjoyable adventure.
These are the “must-have” turkey hunting gear for a good adventure.
Ensure that you have a reliable and accurate shotgun as your success depends on it. You can imagine aiming at the turkey and the gun jams, and just like that, the target runs off and scares the others, leaving you to resume your hunt from scratch.
Also, make sure you have the best shotgun case for protecting your gun and easier portability. If your shotgun case does not have a shoulder strap, make sure you purchase an excellent shotgun sling.
Whether you are scouting or doing the run-and-go technique, you must have a turkey call. Most hunters go for either a box call, slate and glass call, tube call, or crow locator call.
Having multiple locator calls increases your efficiency. You can either go for a couple of glass and slate calls, and around four diaphragm or locator calls for your hunt.
Just like a fisherman uses many tactics, having several turkey calls is essential for hunting. You can use these calls to lure turkeys to your hideout by using multiple call tactics.
Decoys are another essential to add to your turkey hunting gear. Lure the rafter to your decoys by having realistic decoys in the field. Consider having a trio of decoys to attract more turkeys.
A good decoy consists of an upright turkey, one feeding, and one that appears to be moving. Realistic decoys attract turkeys to you and distract live turkeys from noticing your presence. Spread your lures well for the best results.
When going turkey hunting, you need good boots with insulated rubber as part of your turkey hunting gear. Rubber boots are essential because they keep your feet warm when the weather is cold and wet. Rubber-soled boots also protect your feet from when wading through swampy areas.
Ensure that you choose boots that you can comfortably wear for long hours. Choose boots with camo as an additional hunting advantage. You don’t want to be seen by turkey from a distance.
Turkeys’ eyesight is their most effective defense. Any slight movement from a distance is visible to them, so your skin color may not provide the best camo. Cover your hands with the best camo gloves.
Suitable hunting gloves also protect you from cold and injury. Remember you are going hunting before sunrise, and it can be cold out there.
Also, the right gloves prevent injury in case you should fall. Consider a matching head net when purchasing your gloves to boost your turkey hunting gear if you want to take this sport seriously.
Clear sight is vital when hunting turkeys. What you see is what you get! If you don’t see anything, you get nothing except if you invest in the best hunting binoculars.
Ensure that you purchase good hunting binoculars with quality optics. When making turkey calls, you can use the binocular to track their location. Also, turkey spotting from a distance with binoculars will help you plan your decoys’ placement.
Lightweight camo jacket and pants
It gets cold outside, but you must still disguise yourself when in the field. Ensure that you get a lightweight camo jacket that does not add extra weight, as a lousy jacket choice can become an obstacle to your hunt.
Ensure that you match your hunting jacket with camo pants. Water-resistant pants fit any hunting trip and promote comfort and camouflage.
Turkey hunting requires a scouting strategy. Scouting is all about sitting in one place and waiting patiently. Deception blinds enable you to lay low while waiting for the decoys to lure your target.
Ensure that the blinds have good camo for invisibility. Lightweight deception blinds also enable you to change locations easily but ensure the blind is sufficiently high and water-resistant so that you don’t give yourself away when trying to change position.
Banded half camo coats
Consider getting a banded camo coat for carrying other accessories. Strapping, resistance to abrasion, and compartments are considerations when purchasing a good, banded coat.
You can take a flashlight, turkey calls, pocket knife, and a cell phone is a good, banded camo jacket.
Suppose you plan to go turkey hunting with a bow. Ensure you have the right accessories such as arrows, bow case, releases, and broadheads.
Before deciding on a bow hunt adventure, check state regulations. Certain states prohibit turkey hunting using bows. In other areas, some types of bows are not allowed for turkey hunting.
Make-up is essential if you don’t have a good face mask. Covering your face reduces your visibility. Consider good camo make-up as part of your turkey hunting gear to blend your face with surrounding forest shades.
The requirements for turkey hunting differ depending on location and timing. You should consider picking the right hunting gear for each occasion.
Here is a detailed list of the other essential gear to consider for turkey hunting.
- Flashlight: Always take a flashlight with you on hunting trips as you never know when it will come in handy.
- Insect repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be irritating, so pack an insect repellent in your backpack.
- Sunscreen: Protect yourself from the weather with good sunscreen.
- Extra glasses: Hunting glasses protect your eyes from injuries. Make sure you carry an extra pair of glasses just in case one pair gets damaged.
- Toiletries: Ensure you’re well kitted out with everything you need.
- Anti-fog and lens cleaners: If you don’t have anti-fog binoculars, consider purchasing lens cleaners.
- Water: Essential everywhere, all the time.
- First aid kit: Prepare to treat any injuries by carrying a first aid kit. Pack pain killers in case these become necessary.
- Trail ribbon: You may get lost in the forest. Be on the safe side by having trail ribbons to help you find your way back. At times you may go deep in the woods and run the risk of getting lost. Placing trail ribbons strategically as you move into the forest will help you find your way back.
This list of turkey hunting gear is generic and specific. Specific equipment may be needed for separate times of the year and place. Consider checking with an outfitter or a local wildlife agency for more details.
Turkey hunting season is that time of the year full of excitement as every hunter looks forward to being out in the field. Adequate preparations and the right turkey hunting gear are the recipes for an excellent trip.
Understand your shooting, camo, and decoy tactics before you head out. Plan your decoys and camo tactics beforehand. Ensure that your gun is clean and ready to aim and fire for a clean kill. Then – be thankful for your meal and the challenging experience of turkey hunting as it is meant to be.