Spring turkey season is right around the corner. Do you have the gear you need to be successful?
Whether you are one of those guys that buys a brand new spring turkey hunting outfit every year or some of your old gear has worn out and is in need of replacement, these suggestions will help you make your buying decisions.
Gear Up Your Gun
Hunters looking for new turkey gun have a lot to choose from. Turkey guns made by Benelli, Remington, and Winchester in either pump or semi-automatic actions will all do the trick, but for a balance of performance, durability, and price, it is hard to beat the Mossberg 500 Turkey model.
Equipped with fiber optic sights, your choice of camo or black matte finish, and an extra full turkey choke, this gun will get the job done in the spring turkey woods.
Amp Up Your Ammo
Get a turkey close and make a good shot and any ammunition will work, but choosing the appropriate ammunition can mean the difference between gobbler hot wings and tag soup when things don’t go perfectly.
If you are looking to make long range kills on hung up birds, look at Winchester’s Long Beard XR. This load uses inexpensive copper plated lead pellets and Winchester’s shot-lok technology to deliver tight patterns out to 60 yards.
Looking for an all around killer and don’t mind paying a few extra bucks? Hevi-Shot’s Magnum Blend mixes heavyweight #5,6,and 7 shot to ensure accuracy and knock down power at any range.
A tight choke is the standard for turkey hunters across the country, and for good reason. These chokes maximize your effective range and are devastating at close range — if you can hit your target.
Inexperienced hunters or those looking to bring birds in close may be better off with a standard full choke, which offers a wider pattern and more room for error at close range.
Crank Up Your Calls
Calling is most hunters’ favorite part of a turkey hunt. Call makers come out with new options every year.
A well rounded spring turkey hunter will carry pot, box, and diaphragm calls and know how to use them. Locator calls are helpful when trying to locate silent birds without giving away your position.
Whatever calls you choose to take to woods, make sure you have practiced so that you don’t make any glaring mistakes when that big ol’ tom is nearing gun range.
Deliver with Your Decoys
Turkey decoys have come a long way since the days of the original foam fakes. The surge in popularity among turkey hunters has also educated turkeys. Therefore, hunters who choose to use decoys should use the most realistic fakes they can afford.
The most realistic decoy is still a mounted turkey. Those looking for a more affordable option can get nearly the same results with either Avian-X or Dave Smith decoys. Both brands offer outstanding realism and will bring even educated toms into gun range.
A Good Vest = Success
Now that you have everything you need for your spring turkey hunt, you’ll need a place to put it all.
A quality vest with a lot of pockets, quiet closure systems, and a thick seat and back pad is the last piece of the spring turkey puzzle.
I have found the Cabela’s Tat’r line to be as good as anything. Trying to pack light? Go with Minimalist.
Taking the kitchen sink? Check out the Instinct. All the Tat’rs are equipped with a thick, quick deploying Speed-Seat, plenty of pockets and are available in your choice of camouflage.
It won’t be long before the birds are gobbling. Will you be ready?