You won’t be getting far without a turkey gun, calls and a decoy. Here is the latest turkey hunting gear for a successful 2017 season. — Game & Fish Editors
Guns and Ammo
WINCHESTER SUPER X4
This is a new version of the Super X3, which is a fine-shooting shotgun. The new SX4 is said to be faster, is definitely lighter, has a balance point farther forward compared to the SX3, and has a larger bolt handle. The InFlex recoil pad has also been redesigned to further decrease felt recoil. Field, Field Compact, Waterfowl Hunter and SX4 models. MSRP, $799.
BROWNING A5 SWEET SIXTEEN
The classic 16-gauge is back in the classic humpback design. But other than the look, it’s actually an all-new gun on the inside. Tops on the new side is the short recoil-operated Kinematic Drive System, which is reliable and clean because it expels gas through the barrel. The gun also comes with the Invector-DS choke system and 100k-round guarantee. MSRP, $1,699.
STEVENS SEMIAUTO S1200
Stevens is getting into inertia-drive chambering systems with the budget S1200. The 6 ½-pound gun comes with vented ribs for quick target acquisition and a 3-inch chamber. The four-plus-one capacity gun comes with five Beretta-style choke tubes, which makes it versatile for clays, upland birds, waterfowl and turkeys. $519 at cabelas.com.
WINCHESTER LONGBEARD XR
Longbeard is a revolutionary shell Winchester Ammo developed recently. They add a resin to the shot so that it hardens and protects the shot from deformities at the charge, which makes them accurate and better for long-range shooting. Now 20-gaugers have the opportunity to shoot 3-inch shells in Nos. 5 and 6, and 2 ¾-inch shells in No. 5.
Box, Pot Calls
STRUT COMMANDER PALLBEARER CEDAR
Here’s the top-of-the-line box call from the Duck Commander folks. The Pallbearer Cedar is a double-sided box call that is made for more experienced callers. MSRP, $41.99.
PRIMOS MERRIAM’S HEARTBREAKER GRAND SLAM
This laser-engraved box call is one that looks too good to use in everyday hunting, but you should. It’s the final in the Grand Slam Series that pays homage to the four slam birds: Merriam’s, Rio Grande, Eastern and Osceola. When you hit on this call, you can get some very crisp yelps. MSRP, $59.99.
KNIGHT & HALE CANYON CUTTER
Need to call in a bird from a mile away? K&H designed a pot call that reaches out to gobblers at a distance. It has an anodized aluminum surface and an acrylic soundboard that makes it loud. This is not the right call if you are on top of a bird, but if it’s far out there, or the wind’s in your face, it might make your day. MSRP, $49.99.
MONTANA DECOYS FANATIC XL
This may be where the “reaping decoy” movement is headed. This is a reaper style, but it’s huge, and covers the whole hunter. There’s a base so that you can carry the decoy and put it down so it stands on its own. Sound great for bowhunters. MSRP, $79.99.
AVIAN-X LCD HALF-STRUT JAKE
Here’s a sneaky little decoy (right) that is sure to get the gobblers on a run. The jake decoy’s posture says he is trying to establish dominance, yet any gobbler would think it’s an easy fight. The body is made of Dura-Rubber and is collapsible. MSRP, $119.