Turkey hunting vest might just be the most call-reliant sport there is and missing out on a single call can be frustrating. Imagine having a turkey right down your kill zone but you're out of ammo.
Or you spot a gobbler but you forgot to bring your tube call to lure it with a hen's gobbling. Before you go out hunting, always check if your turkey hunting vest checklist has everything ticked out.
These Items Should Be In Your Turkey Hunting Vest
Numerous myths and myth-busting facts are available online and you never really know what works until you've had firsthand experience handling calls. And by calls, I'm referring to bird calls, specifically turkeys.
I choose to bring as many gears that fit in my turkey hunting vest so I have everything I need. But even seasoned hunters forget a few things, so don't be too hard on yourself. That's why we have checklists. Here's my checklist of turkey hunting vest items.
I find the range finder necessary for ruling out the estimates on distance. Furthermore, knowing exactly how far the game gives you an edge and helps you focus on your breathing. It's easier to shoot when you're not having second thoughts about your estimate.
Binoculars are great for spotting gobblers from afar. However, they're not as effective with dense vegetation(as common sense dictates). Although, I still keep it in my vest. I highly suggest getting this pair of binoculars.
The insect repellent might just be my favorite item to bring. I always make sure that it's on the right lowermost compartment of my vest. I find ThermaCell to be very effective and it prevents insects from hunting me while I hunt other game.
For any hunting excursion, a pocket knife is a must-have. You can use it to field dress games or just a go-to survival knife. I prefer the Opinel No. 8 for all of my hunting trips because of the pivot locking mechanism that makes it very safe to use. This is preferential, though. I know of some hunters who opt for the switchblade type.
Face Mask And Gloves
A face mask adds to your camouflage and keeps your breathing in check. Consequently, it has a special place on the vest for easy access once the gobblers show up. The same goes for the gloves as well. Flashlight
Flashlights are very convenient for lighting up your way to and from the truck when the sun's already set And if ever you want to scout the area really early, you've got your handy flashlight with you. A tactical flashlight works best for these types of situations.
Snacks are important items to include in your hunting vest kit as well. Especially for those with low hunger tolerance like me, snacks provide you the energy to think straight and shoot accurately. One of the things I learned in life is that it's hard to focus on an empty stomach.
Now that we've come to the turkey calls, the first item I put on the list is the tube call. I can't help but grin while using these calls because if the gobbler responds, they're up for a booty call.
Tube calls are very versatile, making almost all possible sounds a turkey can make. Thus, the tube call gets the top spot on all turkey calls.
Box Call And Extra Chalk
For purrs and yelps, I prefer to use the box call because they're so easy to use. It may be a bit bulky but it's got what it takes to get those toms drooling over man-made hen sounds. In addition, I also like to bring extra chalk to replenish the dust on the call.
Owl hoots work best during dawn and sunrise. These are the times when owls return to their homes after a night of hunting or just before they leave their nests. Owl hoots are perfect distractions for gobblers, especially if there are actual owls around.
Much like owl hoots, crow calls, however, are used during midday to early afternoon when the crows are active. In the same sense, they're also distractions for turkey and are somewhat effective when paired with natural activity.
Utilize these to sneak up on dominant gobblers while they focus their attention on where the sound is coming from.
The last yet probably the most important piece of gear on the vest is extra ammunition. Running out of ammo(especially if you're a beginner) can be really frustrating. I recommend bringing at least five extra rounds in case you want to bag more game before dark.
To store all these items on your turkey hunting vest, be sure to choose one that's durable and has enough compartments.
You don't want them cramping up on a single pocket because it may restrict your movements. If you think you've got something you can add to this list, feel free to share it with us in the comments below!
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Featured Image via Zink Calls/Avian-X
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 14, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.