One of the great things about a new spring turkey hunting season is all the new products designed to help you bag that monster long beard. From calls to decoys—and most everything in between—a number of new products hit the market just in time to make a big and positive impact on your 2013 spring turkey hunts.
Of course, it’s turkey “hunting,” not turkey “shooting.” Ole Tom takes some work, and any new piece of gear is only as good as the time you spend learning how to use it— and perfecting that use afield. You can practice with your new call for hours on your back deck, for example, and that’s a great way to build familiarity. But out in the woods and fields is where your real gear education starts.
That’s what turkey hunting is all about—being in the great outdoors and seeing if you can coax, cajole or generally fool that big tom within range. If you’re a dedicated turkey hunter, anything that makes this possible—like a new call or decoy—can be well worth the price of admission. Here’s our list of new and innovative turkey hunting gear for 2013:
Cabela's Boa Snake Boots
A lot of turkey hunting happens in snake-infested parts of the country at a time when the slithery creatures are getting very active. Recognizing that fact, Cabela’s developed their new Boa Snake Boots with such turkey hunters in mind.
The boots feature Snake Guard uppers and Snake Guard Extreme gussets to deliver 100-percent snake-bite protection. Turkey-hunting features include a mesh collar pocket made for mouth calls and a leather side pocket to keeps your slate-call striker handy. The boots also feature memory foam padding in the ankles and padded collars. The boots are 100-percent waterproof and are made with breathable Gore-Tex and moisture-wicking linings. Leather cinch straps secure boot tops. Aggressive outsoles provide great traction.
The Boa lacing system secures by unique ratcheting dials at the top and back of the boot’s uppers. Simply push in and turn the dials to tighten the aircraft-grade, stainless steel laces. Pull out the dials and the system instantly releases its grip.
Price $ 230
Flextone Funky Chicken
Based on in-the-field videos of this product, the Funky Chicken Decoy by Flextone seems to infuriate toms precisely because Mr. Funky is such a, well, scrawny punk. Flextone calls it a non-intimidating decoy that triggers instinctive aggressive behavior in the field.
What this means is a big tom sees Mr. Funky and can’t believe this pipsqueak is standing there all erect and fearless. So the dominant tom has no choice but to charge the little guy and show him who’s boss. At which point, you drop the hammer on Big Tom!
Place the Funky Chicken on the edge of an agricultural field, meadow or wide trail—any place he can be seen for several hundred yards—lay down some calls and see if the sight of this diminutive decoy doesn’t bring the dominate males running. It’s also smaller and easier to carry than full-sized decoys, which is a big advantage.
Price: $ 30
Flextone Thunder Cut'n
If diaphragms don’t quite fit your mouth, check out the Thunder series from Flextone. We like their size and sound and love their ease of use. And hey, when the grand master Michael Waddell is impressed with this call, you know it's for real. He gave his stamp of approval and so do we.
HEVI-Shot Magnum Blend
Combining No. 5, 6, and 7 HEVI-Shot pellets, Magnum blend gives you 2 ounces of dense pattern along with tremendous knockdown energy. Pattern-density technology ensures more lethal pellets will end up in your turkey—which means you won't go home hungry. The Magnum Blend also helps boost lethal range and carries 20 percent more knockdown power than lead. More power, we say, is always better.
Hunter's Specialties Strut Lounger
Even with a good pad or cushion, sitting on the rain-soaked ground can lead to a severe case of wet butt. Plus, some turkey hunters prefer to be up higher for better vision—but not so high up as to stand out. Enter the Strut Lounger from Hunter’s Specialties.
Hunter’s Specialties new Strut Lounger is a lightweight, portable folding seat that allows hunters to relax in comfort while waiting for a turkey or other game to come into view. The Strut Lounger is 20 inches wide by 17 inches deep, with a 23-inch tall backrest. It weighs only 6 ½ pounds and sets up quickly.
Price: $ 40
K&H Long Spur
The Knight & Hale Long Spur polycarbonate friction call, with newly designed sound channels, provides true-to-life tones, pitch and sound quality. Each surface is pressure glued to insure identical sound quality in every call.
Price: $ 20
Mojo Shank-N-Jake Decoy
Mojo Outdoors teamed with “Mr. Turkey,” a.k.a. Preston Pittman (many times a world champion turkey caller and expert turkey hunter) to create the Shake-N-Jake decoy. Mojo bills it as the first ever full-body, full-motion turkey decoy. Check out the Mojo video and you’ll see that it shakes and shudders like nobody’s business. All that movement from an upstart jake will pull in big toms looking for a fight—all while diverting attention away from the hunter, in position to make the shot.
Remote controlled up to 150 feet away, Shake-n-Jake raises its tail and fans while simultaneously turning its body, just like a real gobbler. It operates on 4 AA batteries and mounts on a two-foot steel-mounting stake, which stores inside the decoy. It comes with blaze orange safety carry bag with straps.
Price: $ 150
The ability to have one barrel choked Improved Cylinder and the other Extra Full makes the HS12 from Mossberg one heck of a turkey getter. The Maverick isn't your typical turkey gun, that's for sure. It has a tactical look with the matte black finish, but this compact scatter gun is perfect for the run and gun turkey hunter. Give the Maverick a try, and you won't break the bank or go home disappointed.
Pregame Splattering Targets
It’s time to practice some jelly heading of the pre-hunt variety with Birchwood Casey’s Pregame Splattering Targets. It’s just the thing to make sure you and your shotgun are sighted in before heading out to take on Mr. Tom. These new targets feature full-color images for a realistic shooting experience. Pellet (and bullet) holes “splatter” in a highly visible fluorescent red. The Pregame Splattering Targets come in four versions: turkey, duck, deer and coyote. The turkey version measures measure 12x18 inches and comes in packs of eight.
Price: $ 13
Primos Super Freak
Go freak nasty on strutting birds with this new call from Primos. Strap it on your leg, call one-handed, and topple toms in the process. Enjoy the great traditional turkey sound of this box call and easy, one handed operation—all while allowing you to call turkeys with minimal movement.
Real Avid Multi-Cutter
With Real Avid’s new Multi-Cutter, you can field dress your bird with one of two blades, clip off the wings with the stainless steel shears and use the saw blade to remove branches for better shooting lanes.
In addition to the stainless steel shears and a limb saw, the Multi-Cutter also features a claw point knife, a drop point knife, a tree step starter, plus a universal choke tube wrench and a pin punch for maintaining your shotgun in the field. The ballistic nylon sheath attaches to a belt, or you can easily tuck the Multi-Cutter into your pocket or turkey hunting vest. Rubber handles provide a secure grip.
Price: $ 40
Real Avid Score Tote
The Real Avid Score Tote tool carries and weighs your bird, measures beard and spurs to within a 1⁄4 inch, yet weighs only three ounces. With a built-in LCD scale, this unique tool easily turns into a carrying handle. It weighs birds up to 50 pounds, while the Score Tote itself is less than 3 ounces.
Weaver Kaspa VZT 1-4x24
Our favorite feature of the Weaver Kaspa scope is the VZT (Vertical Zone Turkey) reticle, which was designed to both range and slay turkeys with ease. From closer to longer distances, the Kaspa series scopes provide ballistic precision at bargain prices. The scope features multi-coated lenses, fog-free viewing and crisp adjustments for optimal accuracy. You won't be disappointed.