If you're on the lookout for some good turkey hunting clothing, we've got some thoughts.
Sure, it may seem obvious, but not all turkey hunting clothing choices are equal. Of course there are differences in camo patterns, material, and even fit that make one different from another. But it's not so much that we feel one brand or style is better than another, just different.
With the two big camo companies, Realtree and Mossy Oak, making headway in the turkey woods, it may seem like there aren't many options. But the honest truth is that these two vaunted brands have been around so long for a reason. They keep up the quality, the new styles, and the patterns better than most, and the amount of available gear that uses their patterns is almost limitless.
We'll talk mostly about the spring turkey season for argument's sake. For those of you who have access to a wild turkey hunting season in the fall, some of the same turkey clothing styles and camouflage patterns can be crossed over, but you'll want to use common sense each time you choose what you'll wear.
And it's not just the type of camo that can make a difference. The gear you use, or don't use, can spell either success or disaster. Sure, you can kill a gobbler with nothing but a camo pattern hoodie on, but that's an exception. To set yourself up as best you can, a dedicated turkey hunting shirt and pair of hunting pants should become just as important the turkey vest you use to hold all your turkey calls.
Here's what we suggest, knowing that the ultimate decision is up to you. We hope to at least familiarize you with essentials, and point you in a good direction.
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Depending on who you ask, this can be one of the key accessories for any turkey hunter when it comes to success. We'll discuss the other parts of the body momentarily, but it is the hunter's head and eyes that do most of the moving, all while being the most recognizable part of the body for a turkey. Concealing our faces while using the right fabric and fit is extremely important, much like it is for a waterfowl hunter.
A billed hat can come in handy and cover the top of the head. A face mask may or may not go all the way over your hair, the style is up to you. If i doesn't some sort of headwear is highly recommended.
In the spring we have several factors to deal with: changes of temperatures from hot to cold, and unfortunately bugs. A facemask should be breathable and loose fitting enough to move with you as you scan the area. If it's too tight, the shape of your head can still give you away.
In the early season when temperatures still aren't completely comfortable, a loose fit should allow the hunter enough room to use an extra covering underneath for warmth if needed.
As far as the inevitable bugs go, a face mask can only do so much unless you purchase a bug-proof specific model, and there are certainly some good options out there.
They can usually be pulled down and worn as a neck gaiter, which provides some sun protection too.
Turkey Hunting Footwear
This doesn't just mean boots, but the socks you wear as well. If your style includes a run-and-gun version of turkey hunting, you need to know that both of these items are waterproof and moisture wicking to keep your feet dry and in the woods longer.
This can be especially true for those who want or need rubber boots for their hunting since some areas can be quite wet in the spring and feet will sweat inside of rubber like no other.
But they should also be comfortable. Your foot size is as important as ever because at times you will be sitting quite still, and at others you will be on the move.
Either way, foot comfort is mandatory. Hunting boot innovation has come a long way, and whether you need the extra protection of snake boots or not, there's no excuse to not have a good pair.
Early spring turkey hunting often means cold mornings with temperatures rising as the day wears on. Sure, you want base layers to be lightweight and breathable, but to provide a much-needed moisture-wicking feature, which keeps you more comfortable.
Keep in mind, base layering promotes scent concealment too. Even though turkeys can't smell well, their four-legged, hoofed forest friends can. Raise your hand if you've ever been busted by a whitetail while sitting in wait for a gobbler.
Since none of us get to choose what the weather will be like on that day we have time to hunt, it stands to reason that it could be raining or at least wet. A set of lightweight raingear is of great use for those days when staying dry also means staying longer in the field.
Anything with GORETEX is a good option since it is waterproof and breathable like no other fabric and it is also quiet in the woods.
Gloves work best when the fit is perfect. Too loose makes them difficult to handle your call, bow, or firearm, and too tight makes closing your hand uncomfortable or could give its shape away to prying turkey eyes.
A good feature to have is the obligatory open index finger, usually on your call hand and trigger finger, to keep at least one fingertip at the ready. But the important thing is concealing yourself, and that includes your hands.
The Camouflage Pattern
This may come under the heading of outerwear since it is what will cover your arms and torso, and your legs and midriff. Basically, we're talking about shirts and pants.
They might honestly be the most important piece of turkey hunting clothing to buy, since it can be so exclusive to your hunting area. It could come in the form of Mossy Oak Bottomland or Realtree Edge, but there's so many styles that can and will work for your environment. We'll stop short of picking the best camo. As long as it will hide you from a big gobbler's eyes, it's the right choice.
Clothing as Essential Turkey Hunting Gear
Dressing for success usually has a whole different meaning, but for turkey hunters it can make all the difference. Things as simple as easily-accessible pockets and clothes that fit properly can keep your movement to a minimum. When it comes right down to it, the best option is to stay warm, dry, and concealed.
When ol' Tom arrives, the most realistic decoys and the turkey hunting vests with the best star rating can only do so much. What matters most is that he doesn't see you.