Must Have Gear for Your Spring Gobbler Hunt
by Amy Lignor
Believe it or not, there will be many newbies out there this spring hunting season; not to mention those teaching their ‘young’ how to catch that gobbler for the first time. But even when it comes to the pros, with the excitement that grows from spring hunting season, it’s always a great thing to have a reminder of the “must have” gear that makes the gobbler – America’s toughest game bird – far easier to catch.
Let’s begin with the right clothing. When it comes to blending in and outsmarting that bird, purchasing a camouflage facemask and gloves is the right start. The best camo clothing will not help a bit if the gobbler can still see your bare face and hands. Remember, this is a sharp-eyed bird, which means head-to-toe camo is the path to a successful hunt.
Make sure that turkey-hunting vest is also a part of your attire. Made for being able to carry all the turkey-hunting gear you need for the day, the vest is a must for both convenience and accessibility. Shop around for that vest that will offer season-long storage, allowing you to hold everything from calls to extra cartridges, compasses, and more. Having everything in one easy-to-access place gives you the extra benefit of knowing that all the critical gear is always on hand.
Comfort is yet another crucial topic on hunters’ minds. Yes, there are those that want to “be a part of nature,” but the larger percentage is looking for comfort out there in the wilderness. After all, nature was made for the gobbler – not the hunter. So while searching for that turkey-hunting vest, make sure to pick up one that provides extra padding. There are models that give perfect back support while leaning against those trees, as well as keep you warm and dry no matter what the weather throws at you.
Successful turkey hunts come even easier when comfort is key. Not only the vests, but there are also turkey-hunting seats and cushions made available by all of the top names. When the weather turns extra warm the vest will be shed by most hunters, so having the special seats and cushions will allow you to retain the comfort of the vest, but give relief when it comes to sitting in the sun.
Gobbler chasing also requires the best possible hunting boots. There are hours where sitting patiently is a must, but between these times some hiking is usually involved. Therefore, having good ankle support is in order. And remember, the best boots differ when it comes to the area that you will be gobbler chasing: some hunters will need to get those sturdy boots with deeply lugged soles if hiking those mountainous areas; while the hunter based in the flatwoods or swamp areas should look for a waterproof boot, or even knee-high rubber boots. No matter which is necessary, just make sure that they are well broken-in before heading out on the hunt.
Camo colored/dark is best, but also keep in mind that snakes are a matter of concern to many spring turkey hunters. Like that gobbler, snakes become more active as spring sets in. Regular hunting boots offer good snake protection under normal circumstances; however, short or lightweight uppers are less protective. If living and hunting in an environment where snakes are prevalent (AKA: the Rio Grande country) more protection is in order, such as snake chaps or leggings made of tough nylon.
Make sure that before that hunt the right decoys are also purchased and stored in that vest. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that for a successful turkey hunt to occur, decoys are a major necessity. Being able to lure those gobblers into your set-up is a must, and when it comes to bow hunting, decoys cannot be overlooked.
Camo is needed, but so is a great blind that screens all movements – such as, when you need to shift position if a gobbler comes from an unexpected angle. Although Mother Nature provides blinds, in some areas they will not be so easy to find. So when shopping for a blind, make sure to get one that’s portable, light, and easy to set up and take down.
Last, but definitely not least, we come to the binoculars and rangefinders. You certainly must know whether you’re spotting a hen, a jake, a trophy Tom, or simply a tree stump. Yes, turkey hunting is a short-range sport, but for the professionals who can spot them at longer ranges, these are important tools. Add on to that a rangefinder that can help estimate the correct shotgun range, and success will be had.
What do the gobblers need, you ask? If you have these items, that turkey will need good luck.
Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle