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What's In Cuz's Turkey Vest?

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Over the years my turkey vest gear and the vest have changed greatly. Back in the day, it was most often loaded down with heavy batteries and extra tapes for a bulky camera setup along with my turkey gear. These days, I have streamlined a lot and got the weight down considerably. I’ve retired my Dixon Vest, because I want to preserve it to pass on one day, and went to the Mossy Oak Longbeard Elite strap vest. I love that the straps are similar to the Dixon Vest and the pockets fit my needs really well. Now what goes in those pockets? Well, in no certain order, here’s my gear list.

tube call for turkey hunting
First and foremost is my tube call. It’s on a lanyard looped to the vest and dropped in one of the inside pockets for protection, because the reeds can be easily damaged. I also carry an empty pill bottle with extra reeds that goes in the second slate pocket along with sandpaper for one slate that goes in the other round pocket. The inside large pockets hold gloves and a head net and 3 or 4 20-gauge Apex #9 turkey loads. There’s a pocket for a Thermacell, which I always have along. Two zipper pockets, one right and one left, carry a crow call and owl call. The owl call is a very old aluminum Knight and Hale that still sounds amazing.

Longbeard Elite turkey vest with Thermacell pocket

I carry 5 or 6 mouth calls in a Woodhaven carry case that has a long thick lanyard that is looped on a strap and drops in the inside pocket with the gloves and head net. There’s a couple of Primos True Doubles in that pouch along with 3 or 4 other calls I can get really soft and low with, or as Toxey Haas calls them, “closer calls.” The lower long pocket holds a pair of Primos clippers and a small folding saw for trimming limbs. The striker pockets hold one wooded striker and one small tube of bug spray about the size of a cigar. The custom box call pocket holds a bottle of water. That's right, I don’t carry a box call. In the back game pouch, I throw in an extra head net and gloves - someone always needs those - a zip lock bag with toilet paper and reloads for the Thermacell. I still have a video camera along on most all turkey hunts but these days they are so small I can fit an SD card or extra batteries and my pants pocket. The only other item I carry that will seem odd to most people these days is an old school compass. Like everyone else, I’m addicted the OnX maps on my phone but I still like to have a plan B if my phone dies. If you’ve ever been really lost, you’ll understand. 

Cuz Strickland turkey feet


Full List:

  • Tube Call
  • Extra Reeds
  • Slate Call
  • Sandpaper
  • Gloves
  • Head Net
  • 3-4 Turkey Loads
  • Thermacell + Refills
  • Crow Call
  • Owl Call
  • 5-6 Mouth Calls
  • Clippers
  • Folding Saw
  • Striker
  • Bug Spray
  • Toilet Paper
  • Compass
  • Water

That’s not much gear and most of the people I hang with have way more calls, especially friction calls, 2 or 3 slates and different box calls, a push button call or 2, a paddle box, and more, but I just don’t. Everyone is different; we all have little techniques and routines we do and none are 100-percent right or wrong. It’s all about what makes you confident in the turkey woods. Good luck and above all else, be safe. 

Mossy Oak Store turkey hunting gear

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