Turkey Hunting Gear for Beginners | Turkey Camo, Boots, Calls, & Blinds
By: Cindy Stites
It’s pretty common to feel intimidated when taking on the challenge of learning something new, especially if you don’t have someone to show you the ropes. When it comes to learning how to turkey hunt, that intimidation can keep some people out of the woods altogether. Sadly for those folks, they may miss out on learning that turkey hunting is some of the most fun you can have as a hunter.
The biggest misconception when it comes to hunting, is that you have to have the most expensive and expansive gear, in order to be successful. It’s just not true. Having a few key items to take to the woods with you, and like all hunters, having a little bit of luck on your side, may be all you need to bag that first bird.
The Turkey Gun
The most obvious item you are taking to the woods is a shotgun. It’s critical to have a shotgun that you are comfortable with, whether that be a 12 or 20-gauge, is totally up to you, both will get the job done. There are many different models by different manufacturers to choose from, so take the time to do your research and get a good fit. An entire article could be written on shotgun selection alone, but once you do find one you like, and it has been patterned, you are ready to go.
The Turkey Hunting Camo & Boots
Turkeys can see better than almost any other animal on the planet, so camouflage clothing is critical. It doesn’t matter what brand or what pattern you use, as long as you are covered head to toe and you blend into your surroundings. Speaking of toes, rubber boots are a must for spring turkey season. I like wearing a Muck Chore Boot to keep my feet dry, without having them get too hot. It always seems to be wet during spring turkey season, so rubber boots are a necessity.
Lightweight camo gloves and a facemask are the final clothing items needed to ensure you won’t be seen. North Mountain Gear offers both in the Mossy Oak Bottomland pattern for very reasonable prices. A successful turkey hunt means the birds got close, usually 40 yards or less, so you need to be almost invisible and have the ability to sit perfectly still to keep you from getting busted.
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A Blind & Turkey Decoys
Personally, I also like to use a short turkey blind to aid in concealment. The blind has adjustable stakes that allows you to change the height and is lightweight and super easy to fold up in a hurry. Having a small portable blind also allows you to readjust your body a little more without being seen, which is critical on those long sits.
Having a turkey decoy or two can certainly help pull the birds in once they are close enough to see them, but they are not necessary in all situations. If you’re going to take one decoy, I’d take a hen to draw those Toms into shooting range. One realistic looking hen might just do the trick.
A turkey call however, is the most important tool you will take with you, outside of your shotgun. For a new turkey hunter, a “box” call is a great option, as it is probably the simplest one to operate. “Pot” or “slate” calls would be next for ease of use, with “mouth” or “diaphram” calls being the most difficult to master. A turkey vest is one item I would highly recommend, mainly for the pad that flips down and makes sitting on the ground easier on your backside, but also for the large pockets that can carry your turkey call and a variety of snacks.
Get Out There & Do It
Learning by doing is one of the most satisfying and most frustrating methods when it comes to turkey hunting, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it. Having the right gear will get you one step closer to your first turkey.