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Turkey Hunting Accessories


The colors of a turkey  season

The colors of a turkey season

If there is one certainty in the world of turkey hunters it is that we love all of the gadgets that go along with hunting turkeys. There is no shortage of accessories a well-balanced turkey hunter desires to own and believes that if he possess them will make him a better hunter.

It all begins with the most basic of turkey hunting tools, the calls. In my pitiful assortment of calls, I have no less than a few dozen box calls, fifteen slate or pot calls, a dozen or so aluminum pot calls, several glass calls, coupled with at least that many strikers. A half dozen trumpet calls, twenty plus wingbone calls, some push button calls, striker calls, tube calls, not to mention the hundreds of diaphragm calls I have and still own. In addition to all of these, I have dozens of calls that looked cool in the packaging but wouldn’t call a turkey in a farm yard.

Regardless of how many calls I have, there is always a need for one or two more. Yet I still find myself going back to the same ones I have used for decades when it is time to not just call turkeys, but kill turkeys.

Next in the array of turkey hunting accessories is the camouflage we wear. Ever since the development of the camouflage patterns we have today, turkey hunters believe they simply cannot kill a turkey without the most modern and lavish camouflage patterns. Never mind the pictures of Archibald Rutledge and Nash Buckingham wearing tweed jackets, neckties and duck pants – all with a turkey draped over their backs. Camouflage was not ever heard of in those days yet they still managed to bag their fair share of Carolina long beards. Even still, in the modern arena of turkey hunting we need the Mossy Oak or Realtree extreme hidden pattern that when donned well, causes us to lose ourselves amongst the foliage we hide ourselves in when chasing turkeys. Leafy, ghillie, you name it and we wear it all in hopes of giving us that opportunity of bagging a wary old Tom turkey.

Following our calls and clothes are the weapons we shoot. The ole standard 12 gauge side by side is no longer sufficient at killing turkeys. Now we see all major manufacturers promoting their ‘turkey’ killing machine as the best and brightest on the market. Semi-auto’s, pump action loaded with shells that cost more than a tank of gas and the extra-extra full choke that is guaranteed to kill turkeys at distances so far it’s hard to tell if they are even turkeys. Alas, I too have a gun dedicated to turkey hunting, it’s a 12 gauge Benelli Nova in Realtree xtra camouflage. Yes I drank the Kool-Aid and bought a ‘turkey only’ shotgun and filled it with a turkey extra full choke. Even so, there are others that are excellent at this trade, short pistol grip shotguns topped with powerful optics designed to help us see the turkey we are trying to kill. And filled with the best lead or non-lead shot shells that are as big as your thumb. As one wise ole turkey hunter once ranted, “the only reason I don’t shoot 4” shells is because they don’t make them.”

Lastly are the decoys used for killing turkeys. These elaborate decoys come in a wild array of configurations, styles and costs. I have seen some of the flambeau decoys selling for less than twenty dollars while some of the Avian-X sell for around $200. A one thousand percent increase for a piece of foam. There are hen decoys, Jake decoys, and gobbler decoys. There are even mechanical and moveable decoys that can be controlled with a remote control.

There is little doubt that turkey hunters love their gadgets and gizmos. The accessories that come with the sport are all part of the fun and allure. And whether you fall into the minimalist who hunts with one call in blue jeans or the opposite where your vest weighs at least forty pounds and your camouflage shotgun sports a video camera to capture the moment of truth the bottom line is that for those who have been bitten by the turkey hunting bug, there is little cure for this disease except for hunting turkeys.