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10 Gear Items You Need as a Beginner Turkey Hunter

Turkey hunting is an exciting and rewarding outdoor activity that requires a mix of skill, patience, and the right gear. As a beginner, it's crucial to be well-prepared for the hunt, both in terms of knowledge and equipment. In this blog post, we will go over the top 10 items of turkey hunting gear that every beginner turkey hunter needs to have in their arsenal to ensure a successful turkey season.

  1. Box Call

A box call is the first essential item for new turkey hunters. This simple yet effective turkey call is much easier to learn than mouth calls or slate calls. Box calls are the easiest turkey calls to use. They produce realistic sounds that can lure in even the most cautious birds. They're great for raspy yelps that draw attention from the most stubborn gobblers. Most turkey hunters will carry mouth calls and a slate call to expand their options, but the box call is the king of turkey calls in my experience.

  1. Decoy

The second must-have item for any beginner turkey hunter is a realistic decoy. You can oftentimes kill a bird with a decoy alone. On rainy spring days when your calls are wet and the birds are quiet, the best tactic is to hide out in a ground blind and set out a decoy. A decoy is a life-like replica of a turkey that can be placed in the field to attract other wild turkeys. Decoys are typically made of plastic or foam and come in various designs, such as hen, jake, or full-strutting tom.

High-End Choice: DSD Strutter Turkey Decoy

  1. Camouflage Clothing

Staying hidden is a big deal when you're hunting wild turkeys. Turkeys have excellent eyesight, and wearing great camo helps reduce the chances of being detected on a turkey hunt. One of the most important investments in your turkey hunting gear is a quality set of camouflage clothing, including a shirt, pants, hat, and gloves, that matches the foliage and terrain of your hunting area.

  1. Hunting Boots

Comfortable and durable hunting boots are essential for any hunting trip, especially when pursuing turkeys. Look for waterproofing, ankle support, and grip on various terrains. Proper hunting boots will keep your feet dry and warm in turkey woods, allowing you to focus on the hunt.

  1. Turkey Choke Insert

A turkey choke insert is crucial for improving your shotgun's performance in the field. A turkey choke constricts the shot pattern, providing tighter, more precise shots at longer distances. Ensure you select a choke thats compatible with your shotgun and test its performance on a paper target before the hunt.

  1. Shotgun Sling

A sling for your shotgun is essential for easy transport during your hunt. A sling allows you to carry your weapon hands-free, making it easier to climb, cross obstacles, and cover long distances with less fatigue.

  1. Turkey Hunting Vest

A specialized turkey hunting vest is an excellent investment for any beginner. A backpack will get you by, but these turkey vests are designed specifically for the job come with multiple pockets to store turkey calls, shells, gloves, and other essential items within easy reach. Many turkey hunting vests also feature a built-in cushioned seat for added comfort during long hours of waiting in the field. Most are one size fits all.

  1. Permethrin Bug Spray

Protecting yourself from insects, such as ticks and mosquitoes, is crucial during your turkey hunting trip. Permethrin bug spray is an effective and long-lasting solution that repels and kills various insects on contact. Apply it to your clothing and gear before venturing into the field to minimize the risk of insect bites and the diseases they can carry.

Mid-Range Choice: Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent (Amazon)
High-End Choice: Duranon Tick & Mosquito Permethrin Spray (Amazon)

  1. Portable Ground Blind

Many a gobbler has been smoked from the base of a tree, but a portable ground blind provides complete concealment and comfort. When hunting turkeys, the more concealment the better. A tree has you covered on your backside, but it's all too easy for a bird to spot you from the front and sides unless there is good cover around the base, and your movements are easily spotted. Look for a lightweight, easy-to-set-up blind that offers enough room for you and your gear. A ground blind with shoot-through mesh windows will enable you to take shots without revealing your position.

  1. Rangefinder

The easiest way to screw up on a bird is to try and kill him before he's in range. Having a rangefinder in your bag will help you accurately judge distances this spring, ensuring you take ethical and effective shots. When choosing a rangefinder, consider factors such as maximum range, accuracy, and ease of use. Some rangefinders also feature angle compensation, which can be beneficial in hilly terrain.