Turkey Gear – Camouflage

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Turkeys have eyes like little lasers, and they can assimilate some color shades. So you’d better hit the woods with a finely tuned cap-to-boot concealment system.

Whether you chase Merriam’s in the western high country or Eastern’s in southern swamps, you can’t go wrong with NaturalGear®, Realtree®, Advantage® or Mossy Oak® camouflage. Available in many patterns and color schemes, these prints feature swirls of bark, leaves, limbs, grass and shadows. All this creates a 3-D effect that hides you from the sharp yet monocular eyes of gobblers.

You can get by with the same pattern for both spring and fall hunting, but I say go the extra mile and tailor your camo to the season. In April and May wear a pattern with lots of green hues. When the leaves drop and the brush dries up in autumn switch to a predominantly gray or brown camo to match the barren woods.

Select camouflage to fool not only the eyes but also the keen ears of the big birds. Wear soft, lightweight cotton pants, shirts and jackets on warm spring days, and add chamois or fleece for cool-weather hunts. These materials are quiet in the woods. They don’t make unnatural swishing noises (like some synthetics do) that can tell a tom you’re coming after his beard and spurs.

Face Masks & Gloves

I prefer a camouflage “half mask” rather than a full facemask or head net. Pull a half mask over your head and wear it around your neck as you slip around the woods. When you set up to work a turkey pull the mask up over your nose. The couple inches of open space between your mask and cap allow you to easily cut your eyes left and right to see an incoming tom. Also, you can reach up under a half mask and slip a diaphragm into your mouth with minimal movement.

Choose camo gloves with extra-long upper bands (many turkey call companies sell them). The bands cover your wrists and watch. I clip away the thumb and forefinger tips of gloves. This lets me easily find my shotgun’s safety and trigger when a turkey comes calling. Also, it’s a breeze to dig calls, pegs, sandpaper and other little stuff from pockets with exposed fingertips.

Turkey Vests

A well-designed camouflage vest is the heart of your turkey-hunting system. All the stuff you carry for a day of gobbler calling is organized in this functional piece of gear.

The best vests have a dazzling number of slots and pockets for mouth-call cases, friction calls, pegs, shells and other accessories. Once you purchase a vest, carry your equipment in the same designated slots and pockets on every hunt. When you reach for a call, peg, etc. in the midst of a heated gobbler battle you know it will be at your fingertips.

A good vest has a flip-down seat cushion and a big rear pouch for carrying a couple of decoys, rolled-up rain gear and other large items-and for packing out a 20-pound tom from time to time! Most new vests on the market have flip-out Blaze Orange flaps that are great for toting turkeys from the woods.


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