- Beau Martonik's Turkey Hunting Setup | Turkey Vest, Camo, Calls & Decoys
Beau Martonik's Turkey Hunting Setup | Turkey Vest, Camo, Calls & Decoys
By: Beau Martonik
Turkey hunting is simply two different styles - Sitting and Waiting vs. Running and Gunning. I’ve come to love the running and gunning style of turkey hunting on public lands in the Appalachian Mountains region of Pennsylvania, which requires a lightweight, streamlined gear setup.
This gear setup allows me to cover miles quickly and efficiently without the additional bulk and unnecessary gear.
Turkey Hunting Clothing System
I am using the Sitka Equinox Guard hoody and pants due to their lightweight, fast-drying materials that wick moisture away from your skin.
In addition, they are built with Insect Shield technology that repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges. The clothing is highly bite-resistant and has internal leg gaiters to ensure that no skin is exposed. I had Lyme Disease almost ten years ago, which led me to take ticks seriously.
The hoody has a built-in face mask to keep you completely concealed from the turkey’s keen vision. Inside my pack, I carry the Sitka Kelvin Active Jacket for added warmth, as well as the Dewpoint rain jacket in case of a quick shower.
I am using the East Meets West Stealth Trucker Multicam hat and Sitka Gear Equinox Guard gloves for clothing accessories.
Lastly, I prefer a lightweight synthetic boot like the Crispi Thor II for covering uneven terrain while still being waterproof with Goretex.
For the eastern woods, I like the Gore subalpine camo pattern that has just the right amount of green, brown, tan, and black to blend in as the woods are starting to green.
I tested the new Sitka Gear Equinox Turkey vest last year and will use it again this year.
Until this vest was developed, I felt like turkey vests were either too baggy due to being “one-size-fits-all” or too bulky and heavy. This vest is built more like a streamlined backpack that fits tight to your body, securely fits all of your calls in waterproof pockets, has a place for your water bladder, and a foam seat that can be deployed in seconds.
If I decide not to use a water bladder, I’ll bring my East Meets West Adventure Nalgene bottle with me to mix some Ignite and BCAA supplements from MTN OPS to help give me energy and hydration after multiple 3:30 am wakeups.
In addition to the vest, I always like to carry binoculars on me to glass an open oak flat or field prior to stepping out into it.
The Maven B.3 8x30s are really small and lightweight but offer great low-light capabilities for the size. I attach the Garmin inReach Mini to the lanyard on my bino harness in case I get into an emergency situation outside of cell coverage.
Unlike many turkey hunters, I don’t carry many calls. Well, at least I don’t think so…
I recently tried out a David Halloran checkered short-box call and instantly fell in love. In addition, I am carrying one of David’s slate calls and one of my grandfather, Francis Cherry’s patented Frank turkey calls that are no longer in production. My grandfather’s call has a built-in owl hooter that I use for locating Tom’s in the morning and evening.
I’m not great at using diaphragm calls, but I like to keep them on me for close quarters when I don’t want to create movement.
Finally, the last call I carry is a push-button call from Hunter’s Specialities. Another call works well with minimal movement and low cost.
A decoy is the last item I carry on some hunts. I’ve come to like the Avian X hen breeder decoy, as it’s one of the most realistic-looking decoys I’ve seen.
It packs down relatively small, is quiet, and is set up in seconds. Turkeys have incredible eyesight, so having a good-looking decoy is essential.