Spring is here: the red buds are in bloom and turkey season is in full swing. Spring turkey hunting has always held a special place in my heart, I love the warmth and the sweet smells of spring while listening for the heart-stopping gobble of one of North America’s smartest game birds.
Turkey hunting is one of the most exciting and enjoyable hunts you’ll ever experience, but choosing the right gear can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are a few items that are tried and true and will help will help you prepare for your adventures in the spring turkey woods.
The North American turkey’s eyesight is amazing: they can see in color and three times better than humans, so blending in matters. The Browning Mirage hunting blind will give you the added edge needed to get them in close. The Mirage is tough, it comes in the Realtree Xtra pattern with 600D fabric, heavy mesh, aluminum hubs with steel tips and pins, strong and flexible fiberglass poles, and oversized #10 zippers. This blind allows for a 360 degree viewing area and has adjustable window straps so you can choose how you want it opened. The Mirage’s longer, stronger stakes will stand up to those strong spring winds and it comes with a carrying bag with straps and pockets and it weighs under 20lbs. Browning really got it right with the Mirage, it is well made and definitely worth the $199.99 asking price.
The Mossy Oak Graphics Gun Skin offers a simple solution to camouflage your guns. The best part is it’s easy. With a hair dryer, you can completely camouflage your gun, old or new, protecting its finish and making it 100% waterproof. They have an easy how to video on their website with simple instructions on how to properly install your gun skin. The kit comes pre-cut and will fit any single-barreled shotgun and you don’t have to worry about any sticky mess sticking to your gun even after years of use. Gun Skins are available for shotguns and rifles in all of Mossy Oak’s most popular patterns, you can decorate your guns in the comfort of your own home in about one hour or less. At $24.95 the Mossy Oak Graphics Gun Skin is the perfect solution for protecting your gun and it gives any shotgun or rifle that brand new look.
It seems like there are never enough pockets to store your gear, especially when you’re turkey hunting. The Hunter’s Specialties Strut Sportsmen’s Utility Vest literally has a pocket for everything. It features two pan call pockets, a box call pocket, gobble call pocket, adjustable, padded, shoulder straps, and a zippered pouch on back. It also comes with an orange flag that drapes over the back of the vest for walking in and out of the field. The removable triangle seat is less bulky, well padded, and is very comfortable. At around 50 bucks, its super-quiet brushed polyester is as comfortable as it is functional.
Having the right load can mean the difference between bagging a bird or going home empty-handed. HEVI-Shot Magnum Blend’s non-toxic turkey loads offer a powerful punch with clean kills. They have a combination of No. 5, 6, and 7, which boost your lethal range by 14 to 17 percebt and pattern beautifully at 40 yards. Each round is loaded with buffered and moly-coated pellets, which creates denser patterns than lead pellets and in turn increases overall performance. The Pattern-Density technology packs 40 percent more pellets into one shell, putting more pellets on the target every time. I don’t hesitate pulling the trigger at 50 yards when I am shooting these loads.
For those early morning and evening shots, Hi-Viz sights draw in the existing light and really make the end of your gun easy to see. The Birdbuster comes with three different magnetic sight frames that easily fit on virtually any ventilated rib shotgun. Each Birdbuster sight kit has four different interchangeable fiber optic light pipes that are easy to change and will suit any shooter’s taste. Each kit comes in a plastic carrying case so it’s easy to keep it all together and change the sights in the field. If you use a Hi-Viz sight once, you will put them on all of your shotguns, they really make it easy to see where you’re shooting.
I am a box call fan–they are lightweight, easy to use, and super versatile. Introduced more than 50 years ago, the Sure Shot Model 1500 Box Turkey Call is one of the most effective calls money can buy. It has a classic design that produces some of the most realistic cackle, clucks, and purrs of a hen turkey on the market. This call will put those spring toms in easy shooting range and it’s as functional as it is effective. The handle up position produces hen calls, while the classic gobbler sound is generated by using the call in the same manner in an upside down position. That’s one less call to carry into the field or to change when every movement matters. At $27.98, this call has a place in any serious turkey hunter’s bag.
Another great Sure Shot classic is the Model 1550 Push Button Turkey Call. This really complements the 1500 and is beautifully crafted in cedar and walnut. It has a classic design that has stood the test of time and is well worth the retail price of $24.98. This call is the perfect for that close range calling and allows flawless control of volume and tone. The Sure Shot Model 1550 Push Button Box Turkey Call is extremely user-friendly and is the ideal choice for the beginner or the seasoned veteran.
Product images courtesy respective companies