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With all the advertising that is focused on us hunters today, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Before long, you will be wondering exactly what gear a new or beginner turkey hunter actually needs. So, I thought I would take a few minutes to put together this ultimate guide for turkey hunting gear for beginners.
Of course, this list will not be all inclusive for all turkey hunts. Depending on where you are hunting you may need to add a few items or there may be items you do not need at all. I have tried to stick with the basics of what a new or beginner hunter will need for their first trip into the turkey woods.
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Turkey Hunting Gear For Beginners – The Basics
Your Weapon Of Choice
Most turkey hunting today is done with shotguns since they are the most efficient weapon for most hunters. However, there is a growing trend in the turkey hunting woods to use a bow to take a turkey. Therefore, I am going to break this fist category down to shotguns and bows. Again, this list will not be all inclusive of all the possible shotguns or bows you might use but it is a good starting point.
Shotguns For Turkey Hunting.
Being well hidden is extremely important in the turkey woods. This includes your shotgun. Try to find a shotgun that is not too shiny or that does not stand out too much. If you can, get a gun with a matte finish or even better a camo finish. If not, you can always cover a shiny gun with some easy to remove camo wrap.
Turkey Hunting Shotgun Recommendations:
- Savage 301 Turkey Single-Shot Shotgun – This single shot shotgun is great low cost, simple, and reliable choice. This gun is a great choice for beginners or experienced hunters that want a low-cost alternative.
- Winchester SXP Hybrid Turkey Pump-Action – This pump action shotgun is a great choice for hunters that want to be ready with more than one shot. It is still a very affordable choice for hunters looking to save some money. If you are looking for the capability to have more than one shot, this is my recommendation.
- Stoeger M3500 Semi-Auto Shotgun – The Stoger is a bit pricier than the other options but it adds a few features.
- If you are looking for a shotgun for your child, take a look at our guide for your child’s first firearm.
There are A LOT of different shotgun shells out there that are designed specifically for turkey hunting. However, this list of turkey hunting gear for beginners is not the place to go into which are the best. What you do need to know here is you need to find a shotgun turkey load that patterns well in your shotgun and that you are comfortable shooting.
Bows For Turkey Hunting
If you are already a bowhunter and have a great bow that works for you, then you do not really need to change bows. However, you will likely be doing some sighting in and fine tuning because you will likely be changing your arrow set up. For those of us that do not want to mess with our set up on our main hunting bow or for hunters that want to get into archery for turkey hunting, I have put together a list of low-cost hunting bows that will work just fine.
Arrows & Broadheads For Turkey Hunting
While you may likely be able to use your deer hunting arrows for turkey hunting, you may want to buy a few extra or consider a different arrow set up all together. The major change will come in the type of broadhead you will be using (make sure to check the regulations to see what is legal).
While you can use your deer hunting broadhead, most hunters will switch over to a broadhead that is designed specifically for turkey hunting. These broadheads usually have a much larger cutting diameter and are designed to allow for more damage in the wound channel. The theory is that they will help to keep the bird from flying away and allow for a quicker recovery.
Camo Clothing For Your Beginner Turkey Hunting Gear List
Yes, I know that there have probably been hundreds, or more likely thousands of turkeys killed by guys wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. However, getting some good camo clothing is a good idea for a couple of good reasons when turkey hunting.
- First, you DO NOT wat to be wearing red, blue, white, or black while turkey hunting. These are the natural colors of a turkey. Therefore, other hunters will be looking for these colors when searching for turkeys and personally, I do not want them looking at me and thinking I am a turkey.
- Second, most turkey encounters you will have will be at a relatively short range and you want clothing that will help conceal you and your movements from them.
Another important aspect of choosing clothing for your turkey hunt is making sure those clothes will keep you dry and comfortable. You will not harvest a turkey if you are back home because you were cold. Choose some clothes that are designed to dry quickly or stay warm if they do get wet. Also, make sure that you are utilizing a good base layer if you are hunting in cold weather.
Turkey Hunting Clothing Recommendations
Base Layers & Outer Layers
- Base Layers – A good synthetic or wool base layer – this includes your underwear. Please, do not get a base layer that will keep you warm and dry and just wear your cotton tightly whities.
- Synthetic or wool socks that will keep your feet dry and warm.
- Pants and Shirts – Synthetic or wool pants and shirt that will dry quickly or still retain some insulating value if wet. Many turkey hunts are taking place in the spring and you could be caught in a rain or even snowstorm. Make sure you are going to stay warm if you are caught in a storm.
- Camo Coat – This of course depends on what part of the country you are hunting for turkeys. During some turkey seasons this may not be a necessity since it is usually a little warmer. However, in the northern states or on those chilly mornings this will be a must.
- Hunter Orange Vest/Gloves/Hat – Make sure that you check your hunting regulations and see what the requirements are for wearing hunter orange.
Shop For Turkey Hunting Clothes At the Links Below
- A camo hat and beanie
- Camo Facemasks – Camo Facemasks are often overlooked but can be essential for turkey hunting. It may not be noticeable to us humans, but our faces shine. When a turkey starts moving in you do not want it to spook it away because of your shining face. I would recommend a shortened face mask at a minimum and a full-face cover if possible.
- Camo Gloves – If it is cold out, you will want a good pair of gloves that keep your hands warm. However, if you are hunting in an area that is hot, you will want to get some lightweight camo gloves. Again, turkey hunting is a close-in pursuit. You do not want your shinning hands spooking the turkey when you move your finger to the trigger.
Good Hunting Boots
Just like everything to do with hunting gear, boots are an area of great debate. This turkey hunting gear for beginners list is not the place to debate those differing opinions. The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure your hunting boots FIT.
A couple of other things to keep in mind when choosing boots.
- If you are hunting in a wet area, choose some good rubber hunting boots.
- For those turkey hunters that do a lot of hiking, choose a pair that has ankle support and are comfortable.
Turkey Hunting Gear For Beginners – Helpful Items For Your List
If you are going to take up turkey hunting, you will likely be trying to use calls to attract them. Again, there are hundreds or even thousands of different turkey calls on the market. I do not have the time to go over them all in this beginner turkey hunting gear list. However, I thought I would cover the main types of calls real quick below.
Remember, when you are just getting started turkey hunting, choose a call that you can use fairly well. You do not have to be the best caller out there. Find a call that you can use well and get started. As you evolve as a turkey hunter, you will find the calls that work best for you and you will have your favorites.
Types Of Turkey Calls
- Gobbler Calls – Gobbler Calls are designed to replicate a turkey gobble. These calls are very easy to use. They are operated by shaking them or by pushing on them.
- Box Calls – Box Calls are very popular with many turkey hunters. The benefit of these calls are that they are very easy to use for beginners but are still versatile enough for the old hands.
- Slate Calls – Slate Calls are more difficult to use than box calls; however, they can be learned by a beginner. The benefit of these calls is the versatility they provide. You will be able to produce a wider variety of turkey sounds with these calls with some practice.
- Mouth Calls/Diaphragms – Mouth Calls may be the most difficult to learn. However, with some practice and trying out different calls, they can be learned by nearly anyone. In addition, mouth calls probably provide the best opportunity to produce a wide variety of turkey sound once they are mastered.
- Locator Calls – These calls do not necessarily imitate a turkey but may sound like an owl, raven, or other animal. These calls are used just to get a turkey to gobble so you can locate them.
Binoculars are not a complete necessity when turkey hunting. However, they can be especially useful for picking out a turkey in thick brush. In addition, if you will be hunting in more open areas, you can use the binoculars to help spot turkeys in the distance.
Not every turkey hunter uses turkey decoys. Decoys can be useful on those toms that need to see another turkey before deciding to come into your calling set up. This is an item that is not a necessity and you should not go out and spend hundreds of dollars on them when just getting started. In fact, this may be an item that you decide to add to you gear list as you gain experience.
If you do decide to use decoys, it is a good idea to get a good mix of upright, feeding, and breeding hens as well as jakes and gobblers.
Pop-up hunting blinds can be particularly useful if you are hunting open areas and fields. However, they are not an absolute necessity and you can build or find a natural blind.
Seat Cushions & Vests
Again, this item is not at all a necessity. However, your butt will thank you after a long cold day in the turkey woods. Personally, I find the Knight & Hale Run N’ Gun 200-Turkey Vest Frame Combo to be a great choice. This is a little pricy, but it incorporates a padded seat in with a vest that many turkey hunters use anyhow.
I have said multiple times that turkey hunting is a close-range pursuit so you might be wondering why you would need a range finder. Well, the answer is simple. You are using close range weapons and a difference of 10 yards can make a big difference with these weapons. Most people realize this with bow. However, if your best pattern is at 35 yards with your shotgun it will be a quite different shot at 45 or 50 yards.
Wrapping Up The Ultimate Guide For Turkey Hunting Gear For Beginners
As you gain more experience in the woods turkey hunting, you will be able to dial in your own personal gear list. You will know which items work best for you or don’t. As with any type of gear, if you have an item that you are toting along with you every year but are not using, it is time to sell it and get something more useful.
The most important thing for you to realize is you will NEVER harvest a turkey if you do not get out hunting. Once you have your license and your weapon, you really have everything you absolutely need. If you can not afford the rest right now, do not let it stop you from hunting. Get out there and start collecting the rest of the turkey hunting gear for beginners you will need as you go
Frequently Asked Questions- Turkey Hunting Gear For Beginners
What does a beginner turkey hunter need?
In addition to a license and tag, a beginner turkey hunter needs a shotgun or rifle, safety gear, camouflage clothing and boots, decoys and calls, and a hunting bag. A Turkey Hunter Education course may also be required depending on where you are hunting.
What gear do you need for turkey hunting?
A shotgun or rifle, safety gear, camouflage clothing and boots, decoys and calls, and a hunting bag.
A Turkey Hunter Education course may also be required depending on where you are hunting.
It is important to keep in mind the laws for your area as well – some areas (especially with high population density) cannot have crossbows or other types of weapons.
What are the best calls for turkey hunting?
The best calls for turkey hunting are the ones that sound the most natural to the animal you are trying to attract. Each type of call has a different function, so it is important to know what you want to use the call for before making a purchase. Some popular calls include the box call, slate call, mouth call, and diaphragm call.
What is the best shotgun for turkey hunting?
The best shotgun for turkey hunting is the one that fits you the best and that you are most comfortable using. There are many different types and styles of shotguns on the market, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase. Some factors to consider include the gauge, barrel length, and weight of the shotgun.
What should you not wear turkey hunting?
You should never wear any clothing that has colors that mimic those of a turkey such as red, white, blue, and black.
What is the best time of day to turkey hunt?
The best time of day to turkey hunt is in the early morning or late evening when the sun is not as high in the sky. This allows for better camouflage and makes it more difficult for turkeys to spot you. It is also important to avoid hunting during windy conditions, as this can make it more difficult to hear the turkeys.
How do you set up a turkey decoy?
When setting up a turkey decoy, it is important to keep in mind the natural behavior of turkeys. Turkeys are social creatures and will often group together in fields, so it is important to set up your decoys in a way that mimics this behavior. It is also important to make sure that your decoys are visible from a distance, as turkeys have poor eyesight.
What is the best camouflage for turkey hunting?
The best camouflage for turkey hunting is the one that best suits your environment. If you are hunting in an area with lots of trees, you will want to choose a camouflage that has more green and brown tones. If you are hunting in an open field, you will want to choose a camouflage with more earth tones. It is also important to make sure that your clothing does not have any patterns that could be easily spotted by a turkey.
What is the best way to attract turkeys?
The best way to attract turkeys is by using calls and decoys. Calls imitate the sounds that turkeys make, which can be used to attract them to your location. Decoys are used to mimic the appearance of a real turkey, which can also be used to attract them. It is important to make sure that your calls and decoys are realistic, as turkeys can be easily scared off by something that does not look or sound right.
What is the best way to kill a turkey?
The best way to kill a turkey is with a shotgun. Turkeys are small birds, so it is important to use a shotgun that is not too powerful. It is also important to make sure that you are using the appropriate ammunition, as turkey shot is different than other types of shotgun ammo. The size of the shot will also be different, as turkeys have very thin skin.
Do I need camo boots for turkey hunting?
You do not need camo boots for turkey hunting, but they can be helpful if you are trying to stay concealed. Camouflage boots can help to break up the lines of your body and make you less visible to turkeys. If you are hunting in an area with a lot of foliage, it is a good idea to wear boots that match the color of the leaves.
How can I make my own turkey call?
There are many ways to make your own turkey call, but the most common method is to use a piece of wood or metal that has been drilled with a hole in the center. You will then need to insert a reed into the hole and blow into the reed to create the sound. Another method is to use a rubber band and a piece of plastic to create the sound. Turkey calls can also be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
Where do you aim a turkey?
You should aim for the head when hunting turkeys. The head is the most vulnerable part of the turkey.
How do I attract turkeys to my property?
There are several things you can do to attract turkeys to your property. One way is to use calls and decoys. Calls imitate the sounds that turkeys make, which can be used to attract them to your location. Decoys are used to mimic the appearance of a real turkey, which can also be used to attract them. It is important to make sure that your calls and decoys are realistic. This is because, as turkeys can be easily scared off by something that does not look or sound right. Another way to attract turkeys is to provide them with food. Turkeys are attracted to areas where there is an abundance of food. Therefore, placing a feeder is a good way to attract them.
How far away can I shoot a turkey?
It is best to shoot a turkey at about 25 yards or under.
Can you turkey hunt with a bow?
You can turkey hunt with a bow. It is recommended, however, that you use special broadheads designed specifically for turkeys.
Turkey Hunting Gear For Beginners – Quick Reference List
|Shotgun||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Turkey Load||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Bow||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Broadhead||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Base Layer||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Pants||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Shirt||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Coat||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Hat/Beanie||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Facemask||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Gloves||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Boots||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Vest||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Gobbler Calls||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Box Calls||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Slate Calls||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Diaphragm Calls||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Locator Calls||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Binoculars||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Turkey Decoys||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Pop-up Blinds||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Seat Cushions||CHECK PRICE HERE|
|Range Finder||CHECK PRICE HERE|
Featured Photo by Kirk Thornton on Unsplash