How to Dress for Success on your Spring Turkey Hunt
- 26 Feb, 2020
Spring Turkey season is right around the corner. You’ve been scouting new property, sighting in your shotgun, and yelping on your slate call in anticipation of early mornings in the woods. There’s nothing quite like watching the sunrise over a rolling field and hearing Turkeys gobble in the distance. Finally, the long winter is over and it’s time to set sights on a strutting tom.
Turkey season can be extremely exciting. Spring gobblers are some of the most visually and auditorily thrilling animals to hunt. The Turkey woods are often action-packed and adrenaline-filled. That being said, it’s easy to get overly excited and miss the opportunity at a trophy bird. Preparing for the season and choosing the right gear helps maximize chances of success and minimize mistakes in the field. After all, Turkeys are known for their keen senses and it doesn’t take much to spook a bird and ruin your hunt.
Camo choices and what you wear in the field plays a major role in capitalizing on the chance at a trophy bird. Camouflage and clothing systems can often make the difference between calling a Turkey into shooting range or spooking a bird that’s just out of range. Sure, shotgun, calling tactics, scouting techniques, and other things play a role in a successful hunt. But concealment and camouflage make a major difference, too.
Dress for the Environment
Before we get into camo patterns and clothing systems for Turkey hunting, it’s worth mentioning a somewhat intuitive philosophy: choose clothing that allows you to be comfortable in the woods. Time in the woods should be enjoyable and extreme temperatures have a chilling way of ruining an outing if you don’t dress properly. In the early season when it’s still chilly out, choose a jacket or lightweight shell with underlayers to keep you warm during an early morning hunt. Later in the season when temperatures get hot, choose a lightweight clothing system to keep you cool.
Time in the woods often means battling bugs, bushwhacking, and extended periods of time on the ground. While it’s important to stay warm/cool, it’s also important to have a durable clothing system that will stand up to everything the woods throws at it. If you plan on covering terrain in a spot/stalk style, choose a pair of durable boots that allow you to stay warm and dry while in the woods. Gloves, hats, etc. are also advisable, especially if you’re hunting in colder weather.
Choose your Camo Wisely
Many hunters prefer to target spring Turkeys from a ground blind. This provides the hunter with cover, shade, concealment, and built-in camo. If you’re hunting out of a blind and dressing for a daylong sit, choose comfortable clothing that blends in on a black background. A blind also provides extra room so don’t be afraid to bring an extra sweatshirt or jacket. Black clothing typically blends in best when you’re sitting in a blind and a black facemask is also worth bringing.
If you’re not hunting out of a blind, match your camo to your surroundings. Sometimes you’ve scouted a piece of woods and plan on intercepting birds on their way to the field. In this case, dress to blend in with the surrounding trees. If you’re primarily hunting in a field setting, choose different camo to blend in with tall grass or hay bails.
Accessories Often Equal Comfort
So you’re dressed for the weather, you’ve matched your camo to the area you’ll be hunting, you’ve scouted and prepared and you’re ready for a full-day hunt. If you’re not hunting out of a blind, chances are you’re going to get uncomfortable sitting on the ground all day. Accessories can help. Take the NE Products Woodleaf Camo Therm-a-Seat for example. This seat is a great way to add extra padding so you don’t get uncomfortable sitting on the ground all day.
Similarly, a product like the Bear Buster Deluxe Turkey Vest will help you keep your gear organized and comes with a built-in seat for long days in the woods. These accessories often have a general camo pattern that works well in most situations but if you need to blend into a specific background, match your clothing to the background and your vest will fade. The best part? You can get both products listed here and more from Foundry Outdoors.
Adjust Your Camo (and Strategies) as the Season Continues
Early season usually means trees are bare and the woods are a drab mix of greys and tans. As the season progresses, trees bud, leaves turn green, and the woods really comes alive. Obviously, as the woods change, so should your camo patterns. Choose a dull pattern with warmth and protection in the early season to match the woods and the weather. As the spring blossoms and fades into summer, shed some layers, choose clothes that are lightweight and breathable, and make sure you add green into your camo pattern to match the grass, trees, etc.
And although this article has a focus on spring turkey hunting, it’s worth noting that your fall turkey camo should have an autumnal flair. Makes sense, right?
First, camouflage is king. Turkeys have a phenomenal sense of sight and you’re simply not going to kill a trophy bird wearing clothes that don’t blend in. While camo is most important, comfortability is not far behind. Turkey hunts can be long and involve a lot of walking, stalking, sitting, and patience. Choose clothes that are comfortable and clothes that will protect you from the elements. Sometimes accessories like a seat or a vest help you stay comfortable in the woods.
And, finally, enjoy your hunt. Whenever you spend time in the woods you should always focus on appreciating time in the great outdoors and enjoying the pursuit. Happy spring turkey hunting!