Don’t Forget This Turkey Hunting Gear at Home
Depending on where you live, turkey season may already be open in your state. If not, it’s probably not far away. But whether you’re a new turkey hunter looking to get your first gear or a seasoned hunter sorting through all your equipment, it’s important to have the right turkey hunting gear with you. If you leave some of these essentials at home, you could hurt your chances of getting a gobbler. How? Well, you might be so uncomfortable that you just can’t sit still long enough to get a turkey into shooting range. Or maybe you do get a turkey in range, but it busts you for a number of different reasons. Or maybe everything comes together, but you botch the shot anyway. Make sure you include the turkey hunting equipment below in your next turkey hunt.
- Insect Repellent- As we said above, this one really depends on where you hunt and when your season starts, but insects can be really bad during turkey season in many places. When you’re sitting on the ground tucked into a clump of grasses, you can be pretty sure that ticks are going to find you. Plus, there are mosquitoes and flies that buzz around your head and make it almost impossible to hold still. It’s tough to bring a turkey within shooting range if you’re constantly swatting bugs off your face. Bringing a good insect repellent for turkey hunting will help avoid this issue. Since turkeys don’t really rely on their nose, you can use a spray (e.g., DEET, natural options, etc.) without spooking them. Many turkey hunters are fans of bringing Thermacell® units in their turkey hunting gear, which work great for repelling most flying insects.
- Back Support- If you’ve ever hunted turkeys by simply sitting on the ground, it probably wasn’t long before your back started hurting. Ideally, you can find a tree to prop up against or sit in a proper chair within an enclosed blind. But sometimes there’s just no other option. Some turkey hunting vests come with an attached cushion to keep your rear end from going numb, and some also have a built-in backrest to help solve the back troubles. However, the Pioneer 2100 RT hunting backpack also does a good job supporting you while seated on the ground. If you connect the waist belt and adjust the straps a bit, it will provide lower back support and keep you somewhat propped up if a tree isn’t available. It comes in a water-repellent fabric with Realtree Xtra® camouflage to keep you concealed. Plus, you can carry everything you need with you in a turkey hunting backpack, including all of the other turkey hunting gear listed below. As a bonus, it includes a built-in water bladder with a drinking tube on the shoulder strap. When you’re turkey hunting, it’s best to keep movement to a minimum, so this is a nice way to stay hydrated while staying still.
- Turkey Calls- If you have a good idea of how the local birds are using a given area due to a lot of turkey scouting you’ve done, you might be able to rely on an ambush location alone to kill one. But while you don’t always need a turkey call to bring a turkey into range, it sure can help. When a gobbler is going crazy just out of sight, sometimes a few hen clucks is all he needs for motivation to come to check you out. That’s why you should always have one (or a few) in your turkey hunting gear. One way to ensure you always have one is just keep a mouth/diaphragm call in your turkey vest or backpack. That way, even if you forget your turkey box call or pot call, you will have something to speak their language.
- Turkey Decoys- Similarly, have turkeys been killed without turkey hunting decoys before? Absolutely. But do they help? In most cases, yes. For example, if a gobbler comes into view but cannot see a source for the hen clucking he’s hearing, it’s likely he will hang up beyond shooting range. Plus, having a decoy out helps distract him from any movement you may produce while getting ready for a shot. You don’t need a lot of decoys in your turkey hunting gear either. Often, just including a lone hen can be enough to entice a lonely tom. With aggressive birds, you may include a few different hen decoys and a lone jake or strutter decoy too. Importantly, you may want to keep a few extra stakes in your backpack, just in case you lose one on your walk in.
- Face Mask or Gloves- Turkey hunting clothing is very important because the camouflage you use should help you fade into your surroundings. But many a hunter has arrived at their hunting destination at the perfect time, only to realize they forgot their face mask or gloves at home or in the vehicle. Because wild turkeys have such keen vision, you really do need to cover as much of your body in camouflage turkey hunting gear as possible. Your face and hands are no exception. Sometimes the sweat on your skin can cause it to reflect in the sunlight, which can be enough to make a turkey pause. Make sure you keep your camo face mask or gloves in your backpack so you can quickly hide once you arrive. Some people prefer to use face paints instead. These can work well if they’re high quality and you keep a small kit of them with you. Anything to break up your human profile will help.
- Hunting Knife- This one might be a little optimistic, but there’s always the chance that your plan would come together and you could actually kill a turkey. If that’s the case, that’s great, but you need to be able to process it too. Depending on how you like to prepare your turkey, this might be a little different. Some people prefer to pluck their turkeys whole, while others only take the breast meat and legs. Either way, you will need to remove the entrails, clean it up a bit, and maybe validate a license, and that makes having a knife so important. Honestly, this is a piece of turkey hunting gear that should never leave your backpack.
- Shooting Sticks- Even with shotguns, you will shoot more accurately with a steady rest of some kind than without. As such, your turkey hunting gear list should always include some kind of shooting sticks for turkey hunting. This can be very important for youth hunters to keep their balance, but anyone can benefit from it. The Quest T62U is remarkably designed to provide a tripod, bipod, and monopod all in the same product. The rubber-finned, U-shaped yoke easily and securely holds your gun and swivels 360 degrees to reduce your overall movement. The durable aluminum alloy sticks are durable for field use, yet lightweight enough to deserve a spot in your turkey hunting pack.
Whether you’re all set to buy new turkey hunting gear or just need to get organized with stuff you already own, we hope these items will make your own list.