Are you ready to prove your worth as a turkey hunter? If so, it all begins with the right gear! Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just getting started, our beginner’s guide on essential turkey hunting gear will help you find the best turkey hunting equipment for a successful hunt.
From chokes and broadheads to decoys and blinds, learn what it takes to get that big tom running towards you. Plus, stay one step ahead of the pests with the perfect optics and insect repellent combo.
For everything from the basics of turkey hunting gear to advanced accessories, discover the must-haves for bagging that trophy turkey.
The Basics of Turkey Hunting Gear
Turkey hunting is a challenging and rewarding sport, and having the right gear is essential for a successful hunt. A turkey hunter will need a shotgun, shells, camo clothing, turkey calls, a turkey vest, a hunting mask and gloves, a trusty hunting knife, and some sturdy hunting boots.
These are the basics of turkey hunting gear, and they can make all the difference between success and failure.
When it comes to turkey hunting, 12-gauge and 20-gauge shotguns are the two most popular gauges. And since shotguns are the only firearms allowed in most wildlife management areas (WMAs) during spring turkey season, they're the obvious choice.
So, the best shotgun for turkey hunting really comes down to the hunter's experience, preference, and the type of turkey hunting they plan to do. For instance, for more open terrain and longer shots, a 12 gauge with a longer barrel is the way to go. Conversely, for more dense, wooded areas and shorter shots, a 20-gauge with a shorter barrel is the best option.
It's also important to make sure your gun has enough pockets for shells and other turkey hunting accessories.
When it comes to turkey hunting, you'll want to be packing something with #4, #5, and #6 shot sizes, and a gauge of 12 to 20. Winchester Longbeard XR 20 gauge, Remington Nitro Turkey, and Federal Heavyweight TSS are all solid choices for hunters.
Just make sure you get the right ammunition for your gun and keep your shot string tight at any distance. With the right ammunition, you'll be sure to bag your turkey!
Chokes are an essential part of turkey hunting gear. They help to narrow the spread of your shots, making them more focused and accurate. There are several different types of chokes, such as Full, Extra Full, and Turkey. All of these will give you a tighter shot pattern, but the Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike Turkey Choke, Carlson's Long Beard XR Turkey Choke, and the Winchester Long Beard XR are all great choices for turkey hunting.
These chokes are designed to give you the best performance when hunting turkeys. They are designed to give you a tighter shot pattern.
If you are a bowhunter, you know the importance of specialized turkey broadheads. When it comes to taking down a turkey, specialized broadheads like the Magnus Bullhead, Rage Extreme Turkey Broadheads, or DirtNap Shredhead Broadheads are excellent options.
Guillotine-style broadheads are also great choices for aiming and slicing through a turkey's neck or head. Hunters should choose their broadhead based on the size of the turkey they are hunting, the distance they will be shooting, and the type of terrain they will be hunting in.
When it comes to turkey hunting, camouflage clothing is a must. Whether you're looking for a turkey vest or camo pants and a shirt, Mossy Oak Obsession is the top pick for hunters. Not only is it designed to help you blend into your surroundings, but it is also the official camouflage of the National Wild Turkey Federation. A mossy oak turkey face mask is also an essential gear that is often overlooked.
The key to successful turkey hunting is to remain as invisible as possible, and wearing the right camo clothing will help you do just that. For the best results, opt for a full camo outfit (hunting jacket and pants combo) along with hunting caps and turkey hunting face mask in Mossy Oak Obsession and you'll be ready to go.
Make sure to take a look at our article on selecting the best hunting pants
When it comes to turkey hunting, having the right hunting footwear is essential. You need a pair of boots that provide good traction, comfort, and protection from slithery critters. Muck Boot’s Pursuit Fieldrunner, LaCrosse Grange, Danner Vital Snake Boot, and Irish Setter Wingshooter waterproof boots are all great options for turkey hunting.
They have the features you need to traverse different types of terrain, plus they have the extra protection you need from the elements and any snakes that may be lurking. But if you don't want to spend extra on specialized turkey hunting boots, you can pick a pair of lightweight rubber hunting boots for maximum comfort.
With the right pair of boots, you'll be able to stay comfortable and safe while out turkey hunting.
Advanced Turkey Hunting Gear
Advanced turkey hunting gear is essential for a successful hunt. While the basics of turkey hunting gear, such as shotguns, ammunition, and chokes, are important, advanced turkey hunting gear can help increase success rates significantly.
Advanced turkey hunting gear includes calls, decoys, and blinds, all of which can be used to attract and bring in a wild turkey.
Turkey calls are an essential piece of advanced turkey hunting gear. A good turkey call is a must-have for any turkey hunter, as it is the best way to create realistic turkey sounds and lure them in.
Different types of turkey calls, such as mouth calls, box calls, pot calls, wing bone calls, and push pin calls create different sounds and have different levels of complexity. Each type of call has its own unique sound and requires different levels of skill to use.
A turkey mouth call (or a diaphragm call) is the cheapest and most versatile option but it has a steep learning curve and the latex reed used to produce sound can cause a gag reflex. You can pick the Primos Hunting Hook Hunter Turkey Mouth Call if you are willing to master them without spending months before hunting season.
However, if you are a beginner, an ideal choice would be a box call because it is the easiest to use and still creates realistic turkey sounds.
A Woodhaven Red Wasp Diaphragm call, push-pin call, MeatEater x Phelps Box call, and Slate Over Glass Pot call,
Turkey decoys are another important piece of advanced turkey hunting gear. Decoys can be used to create the illusion of other turkeys in the area, helping to draw in an unsuspecting wild turkey.
The most effective decoy for turkey hunting is half- or quarter-strut jake, as it looks like it's ready to submit.
Blinds are another important piece of advanced turkey hunting gear. Blinds can provide the cover and concealment needed to stay hidden while turkey hunting and increase the odds of a successful hunt.
The Primos Double Bull SurroundView Double Bull Wide is one of the best ground blinds for turkey hunting, as it sets up quickly and offers 360-degree visibility.
Turkey Hunting Accessories
Turkey hunting accessories are essential for a successful hunt. From the right shotgun and ammunition to the necessary apparel, camo clothing, and footwear, having the right gear is key to getting the most out of each hunt.
Additionally, turkey hunters should also consider investing in advanced turkey hunting gear such as calls, decoys, and blinds, as well as accessories such as turkey vests, packs, optics, insect repellents, and chairs. These items will help you stay comfortable and well-equipped as you hunt for those wild turkeys.
Vests and Packs
Vests and packs are essential for turkey hunting, as they provide hunters with a hands-free way to carry their gear. When choosing a vest and pack combo, you'll want to look for something lightweight with plenty of pockets, like the Sitka Gear Equinox Turkey Vest and the ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest.
These vests are designed with hunters in mind and are equipped with plenty of pockets to store calls, decoys, and other turkey-hunting accessories.
Additionally, you'll want to choose a pack that is also lightweight and has enough room for all your gear.
Optics are an important part of turkey hunting, as they allow you to spot your target from a distance. Red dots scopes are the go-to optics for turkey hunting, offering lightning-fast target acquisition, unlimited eye relief, and pinpoint accuracy. Regarding the size of the dot, 1-3 MOA is the sweet spot.
If you love to set up shop before dawn and need something a bit more advanced, consider a thermal or night vision sighting system. These systems allow you to hunt even in low-light conditions, and you won't have to worry about the sun's glare getting in the way. However, getting a thermal device just for turkey hunting can be a bit overkill for most hunters.
Insect repellent is an absolute must for turkey hunters. Not only can it help keep the pesky critters away, but it can also help protect against Lyme disease, which is a common problem for hunters.
The best type of insect repellent for turkey hunting is Permethrin, which can be sprayed on clothing and gear so you don't have to worry about getting it on your skin. To use it effectively, spray Permethrin on your clothes and gear before you head out, and remember to reapply it after a few hours or if you get wet.
Having a good chair for turkey hunting is essential for comfortable, successful hunts. Lightweight and portable, with a low profile design, chairs for turkey hunting provide the perfect perch for waiting for that turkey to strut.
Popular picks include the Primos Wing Man Turkey Chair, ALPS OutdoorZ Vanish Turkey Hunting Chair, and Browning Strutter, though some hunters prefer to forego the chair and opt for a foam seat cushion or even a simple log to sit on.
For those who choose to use a chair, there are a few features to look for. Look for a chair that is adjustable, so you can adjust the height.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to turkey hunting, the most frequently asked questions tend to revolve around the best time of day to hunt, the calls to use, and the gear needed. Other popular queries include turkey hunting incidents, why turkeys are so tricky to hunt when turkeys are most active, and which turkey species is the toughest to take down.
As for the best time to hunt, the early morning or late afternoon are usually the most successful, as turkeys are most active at these times. As for calls, the box call, mouth call, and diaphragm calls are all popular options.
What does every turkey hunter need?
Every turkey hunter needs the basics: a shotgun, ammunition, calls, a mask, decoys, safety gear, and an upbeat attitude! Having this checklist complete will set you up for success on your next hunt.
What is the best thing to hunt turkey with?
The best choice for hunting turkey is a shotgun loaded with specially designed turkey ammunition. This ammunition, combined with a good turkey choke with a tight pattern similar to Winchester longbeard XR patterns, will ensure that the shots are effective and humane, ensuring maximum success in the hunt.
For those seeking a more challenging hunt, archery or PCPs may also be preferable.
What colors to avoid when hunting turkey?
When hunting a wild turkey, never wear white, blue, or red. Turkey males have very distinctive colors to the human eye - their heads and some upper body feathers are red, while the rest of the feathers are usually black in appearance.
Wearing these colors could lead another hunter to mistake you for a turkey!
What do hunters call turkeys?
Hunters often refer to wild turkeys as "gobblers" or "hens" when trying to call a group of them into their hunting area. From clucking and yelling to fancy "Gould's" calls, turkey hunters have an array of techniques for attracting the birds.
So don't be surprised if you hear your local hunters chatting away in "turkey talk!"
What is the best thing to hunt turkey with?
The best thing to hunt turkey with is a shotgun. Shotguns offer the most reliable knockdown power with modern turkey loads and are the only legal weapons allowed in many WMAs, making them far and away the most popular choice for hunters.
Who owns Primos Hunting?
Primos Hunting is owned by Bushnell Outdoor Products, a company that specializes in outdoor gear and accessories under the parent company of Vista Outdoor. Founded in 1974 by Will Primos, the company has grown to become America's top-selling brand of game calls and hunting accessories.
For over forty years, hunters around the world have relied on Primos Hunting for their game calls and other hunting equipment. With its commitment to quality and innovation, Primos Hunting continues to be a leader in the industry.
Turkey hunting is a great way to get outdoors and challenge yourself, with a 50% success rate! With the right gear, you can be sure to have a successful hunt. From shotguns and ammunition to calls and decoys, having the right gear is essential for the hunt. Camo clothing and footwear will help you stay camouflaged, while insect repellent and chairs can help protect you from the elements.
Opting for advanced gear like blinds and vests can give you an edge. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before you go out, as they may vary by location.
Lastly, don't forget to create an account on a reputable website to keep track of your turkey hunting gear and purchase it. With the right gear, you'll be well on your way to a successful hunt.