“He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial.”
So you want to go turkey hunting? Awesome. Here’s what we’ve found are the best gear for a successful turkey hunt. Granted, you could bring a lot more, but realistically, you don’t need much more than this. And patience, not kidding, bring all the goddamn patience you have. Turkeys may look dumb, but they’re some of the toughest prey to get in your sights, let alone your freezer.
Or bow, your call, but for your first time out… shotgun. You’re going to want to make sure you’ve got the right size load. One word of warning, turkey loads kick like a stubborn mule. They just do, that’s life. Most people go with 12 gauge. It’s a versatile, common and cheap ammunition. If you’re just starting your collection a good 12 gauge is your best buy.
Here’s a couple 12 gauge ammunition options we’ve used when hunting turkey:
The Winchester Long Beard XR
This box of beauties gives you the best range with the tightest groupings so you can get more turkeys into the deep fryer.
Remington Premier Magnum
I mentioned turkey loads kick right? These puppies’ high speed and hefty copper plated pellets are a staple in the spring woods.
Cant’ Find Those? No Problem.
A good box of waterfowl load will work in a pinch. We recommend either Remington Premium or Winchester Xpert 4 shot.
A good turkey call is essential. Calling is pretty much the ONLY way to get a gobbler to come into range. Here’s the key with any call. Practice! If you need help, our app has a collection of reference calls so you can get your call sounding perfect. Another thing, don’t over call. Turkeys are naturally skittish, so when you overcall you don’t sound natural, therefore the birds don’t come.
Personally, we are fans of either the box call, or the strike call. Both are effective when used properly and fairly easy to learn.
These birds have eyes man, they can spot you like nothing else. For good turkey hunting, you need camouflage clothing. Don’t forget a piece of Hunter Orange, being all camouflage is great when avoiding birds, but keep some orange on you so other hunters don’t shoot at you when you’re moving around.
Having a good ground blind covers up any movements you might make while sitting around calling for birds. Did we mention these birds have good eyesight? They have good eyesight.
Decoy’s are a serious help. Between a good turkey call and a decoy you’re more likely to bring out a gobbler. If you’re buying your first turkey decoy choose a hen. In Canada there are two turkey hunting seasons and both let you murder toms (the male of the species). A tom decoy will likely frighten away another tom so that’s a no go for the first turkey hunting season spring since you can only hunt hens. Make sure you position your decoy within shooting range and set yourself up in front of a tree or behind a blind where you can see multiple approaches. Here’s a pro-tip: when you’re practising shooting (you are practising, right?) do targets at the range you think you’ll be calling turkey into.
Get Out There!
That’s got your basics covered. Make sure to be quiet and have patience! Turkey hunting is wicked fun and a great way to get into hunting! Now go get that bird!