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The Turkey Hunter’s Checklist


The shotgun or bow has been purchased along with the required ammunition that will get the job done. Extensive practice has been completed in order to make sure you’re comfortable with the weapon, and shotgun patterning is complete. 

There is other gear specific to the turkey hunter that must also be gathered to help make the day a triumphant one. With over a thousand items available on the market today, finding the essentials can be a intimidating task, but this list of basics should give you a good head start. 

Beginning with the smaller items that are a must-have for the turkey hunter: 

Decoys - whether rubber, collapsible, etc., bringing along the decoys are an essential.

Calls - there are all areas of calls, from friction to air to locator, so choose the ones that work best for you. Reliability and versatility are key factors.

For safety issues, bring along a Blaze Orange vest and hat in order to carry your kill safely out of the woods.

When looking ahead to the triumphant score, make sure a knife comes with you that is sharp enough to field dress your bird.

A headlamp (along with extra batteries) also comes in more than handy, with the recommendation being to use LED’s for their efficiency.

A map, compass, or more likely in this day and age a GPS system, allows the hunter to mark roosting locations that they may wish to return to. And the human basics, such as food, water, water bottles, sunscreen - anything the hunter will need to have a comfortable day out in the field should never be overlooked. 

ESTurkeyGear_llThe challenges get more difficult when it comes to making sure you have the right clothing for the long day ahead. The right clothing is a must while the sportsman/hunter begins this exciting journey. And the norm will not do when it comes to turkey hunting, seeing as that a gobbler is more than aware and definitely focused. We are talking about a species with extremely good vision. The turkey can perceive everything that’s a bit ‘off’ in his surroundings and is not color-blind like most species, so skin as well as oddly colored clothing will not achieve the blending in process. 

We begin with boots. Waterproofing is something to take into account, as well as strong ankle support seeing as that terrain and weather conditions vary dramatically depending on location. The springtime is mild, so having a lightweight, un-insulated boot is a popular choice. Many hunters in the Deep South, however, choose high rubber boots for lowland areas; and a hunter in more rugged, rocky terrain looks for those boots offering the most support.

When fall appears, the boot choice will change; choosing to go with a little insulation to be more comfortable in the cooler weather. Being lightweight so the hunter can be more agile in his long search for the gobbler, however, should still be a concern. 

Pants are along the same line as the boots chosen. Varying on temperature and location, a lightweight pant is still the most used. Some extras to note are waterproof pants or camo rain pants which will allow for hunting to continue whether it be rain or shine.

Shirts, jackets - these will also be chosen based on temperature and habitat conditions. Most turkey hunters recommend layering; that way when weather changes, additions and subtractions can be made to the wardrobe. And although a safety vest should be purchased, a camouflaged turkey hunting vest is also essential because of the vast pockets to hold all the small gear the hunter needs at a moment’s notice.

Camouflage is the key to outsmarting the gobbler, so make sure to choose clothing that’s the most adaptable to the environment around you. We recommend Mossy Oak Obsession or Break-Up Infinity.

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