If you are a turkey hunter then chances are you love all the gear that goes along with it. Personally I have more gear than I know what to do with, but every year something new comes out that I can’t live without…I am sure the thousands of other turkey hunters out there no exactly what I am talking about!
However there might be some gear out there that you haven’t had the chance to use yet or purchase for yourselves. Whether it’s because of the price tag, availability, or you simply have not heard of it yet. So, we here at the Iowa Sportsman put together a list of turkey gear that any hunter would be envious of. Listed below are our picks for gear that every turkey hunter should have the privilege of using…at least once.
The Mad Max Blind
Not one for a completely enclosed blind? Do you like to run and gun for turkeys yet still want the concealment of a blind? Well then the Mad Max is a perfect fit for you.
Given the option, some wild turkey hunters will hunker down in natural cover. Others prefer the reliability of a blind system. The MAD MAX blind is for those times when you don’t have a place to hide and you need it quick—especially when a hard-gobbling bird is bearing down on your position.
It works as a portable ground blind you can carry in your vest while running-and-gunning, or it can just as easily be set up for sitting on a field edge. It offers a shooting stick framework, and the shotgun rest is covered with die-cut blind material. It allows you to rest your firearm and maybe even run friction calls too while you do it. As size goes, it’s 36 by 36 inches, so it should cover up most hunters.
DOUBLE BULL® DOUBLE WIDE™ DOOR
When it comes to turkey blinds the Double Bull has long been revered as the industry leader. With design improvements over the years to meet the needs of demanding turkey hunters needs Double Bull has always been high on the list of a “must have”! The only knock against the Double Bull Blinds is that for some people it was hard to get into and out of the blind using the door. That is no longer a problem as the new model of the blind features a doublewide entrance and exit, making difficult in and out trips with all that gear on a thing of the past.
The blind is still equipped with the patented Double Bull hub system, and the same 180-degree front window that hunters have grown to love.
As with any industry leader there may be some sticker shock with the Double Bull, the newer models come in with an MSRP of $521. However if you can manage the price and are looking for a top-notch blind this would be our pick!
Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey
Who says you need a 10 or 12 gauge to shoot a turkey? With Hornady’s 20-gauge Heavy Magnum Turkey ammo you won’t! The three-inch, 20 gauge option is loaded with 1 3/8 ounces of #5 nickel-plated lead shot. Shot deformation is minimized, thanks to the thickest nickel-plating in the industry, which reduces fliers and keeps more pellets on target for dense patterns.
The Versatite® wad does the patterning, and typically patterns best with an improved cylinder or modified choke. The wad strips cleanly from the pellets in flight without disrupting them, resulting in a shorter shot string that delivers more collective energy on impact. At 1200 feet per second for the 20 gauge load, Heavy Magnum® Turkey ammunition allows hunters to achieve lethal results similar to that of a 10 or 12 gauge load.
Winchester® Double X High-Velocity Turkey Loads
Arguably the best beak buster on the market is the Winchester Double X High-Velocity Turkey Loads. Winchester has an excellent turkey load with its Double X High-Velocity Turkey Loads. These shells throw lead at around 1,300 fps and scored four straight victories at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s National Still Target Championship. In this competition, shooters take aim at a target from 40 yards away with various shotguns, loads and chokes. For four years straight, the winner had a Winchester Double X High-Velocity Turkey Load in the chamber. They are not only the fastest on the market, but they also deliver denser patterns. Offered in six different 12-gauge combinations, you are sure to find the load that patterns best in your gun.
Hevi-Shot® HEVI-13 Turkey Loads
The cream of the crop for ammunition has to be the Hevi-Shot Hevi-13 Turkey Loads. This load is a gobbler’s worst nightmare! An environmentally friendly load that is downright unfriendly to gobblers in the zone. Buffered and moly-coated pellets produce a denser pattern than conventional shot. Hevi-Shot broke the World Record with a pattern that scored 42 pellet holes in a 3″ circle at 40 yards, and holds world record titles in every class! It also delivers 20% more knockdown energy and up to 40% longer range than lead shells. HEVI-13 pellets are about 20% denser than lead and penetrate far deeper. This greater downrange energy gives you the lethal edge on turkeys. With its awesome density advantage, you can use smaller pellet sizes and dramatically increase your pellet count on target. In addition to more knockdown energy and penetration, HEVI-13’s irregular pellet shapes cause a halo of tissue damage far greater than lead.
Dave Smith Decoy
If you are a hunter that wants the best then you have to get yourself a Dave Smith Decoy! When it comes to realism with plastic decoys there simply is nothing better than a DSD. DSD offer a full line of turkey decoys available in five unique, carefully designed, original poses. Be sure to bring your video camera when you hunt over these decoys because your buddies are never going to believe your stories! DSD turkey decoys are lightweight and easy to pack. They are always the perfect shape and ready to set up quickly without having to inflate or work out wrinkles. Made of legendary A.C.E. Material, so they’re quiet and ultra durable and even stray shots won’t dampen their effectiveness!
Avian X Decoy by Zink Calls
Realism in a collapsible decoy, impossible right? Don’t tell that to the folks at Zink Calls as they have created an ultra lifelike collapsible turkey flock! Still not convinced, then just ask a person who uses an Avian X decoy and they will tell you the same!
While the price tag may be less than that of a Dave Smith Decoy you sure wouldn’t of guessed by the quality, durability, and realism these decoys possess.
5 distinctly different true body postures, incredible feather detail, and a revolutionary No-flake paint help create a turkey decoy that’s difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Crafted from rugged Dura-Rubber, the Avian X turkey decoys fold and fit easily into a vest, yet won’t crease or dent like earlier foldable decoys not to mention they will take a beating and are designed to last for years. Natural motion is supplied via a unique one-piece collapsible staking system that allows for ample movement, without the spin of lighter decoys. For the price, quality, and realism you would be hard pressed to find a better plastic decoy on the market. That is probably the reason that Avian X decoys are quickly becoming one of the most popular decoys on the market today.
Spur Collector Decoys
If you want a real decoy, no plastic, and you want the best then Spur Collector Decoys is what you need. The realism is off the charts, well because what you are getting is real! Every head on the Spur Collector decoy line is the real deal! No cast or plastic heads allowed! On the real head from the actual bird is used, with its original feathers to create that substantial difference in realism. This gives every Spur Collector decoy a true, soft life-like appearance that is heads above the rest. Years of hands on hunting research has shown time and again that when placed side-by-side in the field with faux headed decoys, real gobblers prefer the real feathered heads over the cast or plastic heads….hands down!
Down n Dirty Bird Flu Call
Only around for about six years now Down-N-Dirty calls are relatively new to the turkey call industry, but you couldn’t tell that from the quality of their calls. I came across these calls a few years back and absolutely fell in love with their entire line of calls. My personal favorite hands down has to be the KYH5N1 diaphragm call or the “Bird Flu” call. This little 2 reed with a modified Ghost Cut will do it all. Raspy Yelps? Check, Cuts and cackles? Purrs? Check, and it even Kee Kees to perfection! Created by champion turkey caller Jeff Noel this is a must have in your call arsenal. Jeff has been quoted saying “this is the deadliest thing to hit turkeys since the bird flu.” Hence the name, the KYH5N1. I tend to agree with him, as this is my go to call every spring.
Bully Game Calls – Hookbuster 3
If scratching the glass is more up your alley then you have to check out Bully Game Calls Hookbuster 3 pot call. I ran across Bully Game calls at the Iowa Deer Classic several years ago, not by chance either. I kept hearing these beautiful turkey calls echo through the aisles at the show and kept thinking to myself “Gosh that call sounds great!” Well curiosity killed the cat and I wondered over to Bully’s booth and picked myself up one of their glass pot calls. Chances are if you see me striking a pot call in the field it will say Bully’s on it.
The main surface is a glass call, which produces sharp, clear yelps and clucks. It will produce authentic purrs and cackles as well. The rear of the call reveals a slate soundboard, which gives this call the secondary function of a slate call. This slate surface may be used to make the deeper yelps of the gobbler, Jake or mature hen. It is easier to purr and cut on this surface. The slate surface on the Hookbuster 3 is raised and flush mounted to the rear of the call to make it easier to use. This call really has and does it all!
The I-Beam Turkey Vest takes all the innovative pocket features that put Ol’ Tom on the map and combines them with an incredible new comfort feature – the I-Beam back pad. The I-Beam design provides comfort and protection for hunters of all shapes and sizes. While most vests only offer protection for a small portion of your back, the I-Beam protects your shoulders, spine, and lower lumbar area. This added protection is vital to waiting out stubborn long beards no matter what kind of tree you lean against. If comfort is important to you while in the turkey woods, and I am guessing it is, then you have got to get yourself one of these vests, you won’t be sorry!
Decoy Motion System
Another item from Avian X is their Lifeline 360 Turkey Decoy Motion System. If you want to create the ultimate lifelike decoy then you have to get one of these little units. The 360 uses a small disk-and-pulley system to impart realistic hunter controlled motion to almost any decoy on the market. Once secured to the upright stake, and with the hunter positioned 15 yards away, the decoy can swivel in a 360-degree arc. This product sets up in seconds, and could just be that final thing needed to bring a weary longbeard into range.
Our nod for must have chokes goes to Kick’s Industries “Gobblin Thunder” turkey chokes. These chokes easily convert most 10, 12, 16 and 20ga. factory threaded barrels from a mild mannered bird gun into a turkey slaying machine! These chokes are the original extended-ported chokes that set the bar for every other choke tube on the market. Kick’s chokes are manufactured from the highest quality 17-4PH stainless steel and have a matte-black finish. These chokes will extend from the barrel approximately 1 3/8″ and are angle ported to reduce recoil and deliver extremely tight and consistent pattern performance.