15 Turkey Vest Gear Items to Pack for Spring Gobblers

A must-have checklist of turkey hunting gear and equipment to pack in your vest; these items will prepare you for most hunting situations and challenges you may face when chasing longbeards in the spring

15 Turkey Vest Gear Items to Pack for Spring Gobblers
Different calls, optics and other equipment can absolutely make or break gobbler hunts. You don't want to be loaded down like a pack mule, but you better have your turkey hunting vest stocked with the right tools for the job. (Travis Faulkner)

With that being said, let’s break down a complete turkey vest pack-list designed to keep you one step ahead of any stubborn longbeard or hunting situation you might encounter in any given spring season.

  1. Mouth Diaphragm Calls: Always pack a full-range of diaphragm mouth calls with a variety of cuts to produce multiple hen vocalizations, different tones and cadences. Sometimes a particular gobbler might be a sucker for a hen that’s raspy sounding, while other longbeards in the area might prefer a high-pitched or clear-noted version of sweet talk from the ladies.

  2. Friction Calls: A natural-sounding box call along with your go-to slate, crystal or glass calls should also be packed. Don’t forget to take a variety of strikers and make sure at least one has a waterproof tip for rainy or damp hunting conditions.

  3. Shock Calls: Throw in at least one crow, owl, woodpecker, hawk or gobbling shock call to locate longbeards. Gobblers in areas that receive intense outside hunting pressure may respond better to a woodpecker or hawk call, because they’ve been beat to death with the more popular owl and crow locater calls.

  4. Call Conditioner Tools: Every turkey hunting vest should have call-conditioning tools such as sandpaper, chalk and a grinding stone to keep all of your friction calls clean and sounding good. Dirt, mud, rain, perspiration and general use or wear can potentially make your favorite turkey call sound more like a wounded goose than a sexy hen.

  5. Rangefinder: Never leave home without a compact laser rangefinder. This handy device will help take the guesswork out of judging distance to target and reduce those gut-wrenching misses. Knowing the exact distance of a gobbler and the effective shooting range of your bow, crossbow or shotgun will dramatically increase your overall harvest ratios.

  6. Compact Optics: A small set of binoculars is a great tool for locating turkeys and to determine their line of travel, especially when hunting open areas with high-visibility. You don’t want to waste your time and a lot of steps getting closer to a flock of jakes or lonely hens with no gobbler.
     
  7. Packable Rain Suit: Spring weather can be extremely fickle and may throw rain or even snow at you on any given hunt. In order to stay warm and dry, bring along a small packable rain suit or poncho for when Mother Nature throws you a curve.

  8. Turkey Decoy: A collapsible decoy might give gobblers visual confirmation they sometimes need, and can help attract turkeys from long distances. Packing a single Jake or hen decoy can payoff big time in tough hunting situations.

  9. Thermacell and Spray Insect Repellent: Feeling like an “all you can eat” buffet for mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-sucking insects is the fastest way to kill the joy of any hunt. Packing a Thermacell and can/bottle of insect repellent spray is the best way to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects from ruining your hunt.

  10. Facemask and Gloves: Pack an extra set of gloves and facemask for complete concealment of hands and face. It’s really easy to accidentally lose or leave these items at home, or behind after a sit, so bringing an extra set is always a good policy.

  11. Water and Snack: Cold water and granola or energy bar will help you make it through an extended all-day hunt, especially when you’re running and gunning long distances from one gobbler to the next.

  12. Small Flashlight: Packing a small LED flashlight can come in handy when entering and exiting hunting areas. It’s also nice to have when organizing gear inside of a dark blind before it breaks daylight.

  13. Extra Ammo: Always store a few extra turkey shotshells in case of a possible miss, bad shot, misfire or unplanned shooting spree on coyotes or snakes with fangs.

  14. Pruners: Carrying a small set of sharp pruners in your vest can be a big help when trimming shooting lanes in thick areas, stalking through noisy briar patches, or cutting sapling limbs to brush-in a setup to provide much needed concealment in areas with limited cover.

  15. TP and Plastic Bags: Toilet paper stored in a small plastic bag is a must-have for those situations when nature unexpectedly calls. Throwing in a small thick-walled garbage bag also is a great thing to have to keep your turkey vest and calls bone dry during a surprise rain or snow shower.

Editor’s Note: A small first-aid kit and/or a snake-bite kit also are good safety standby items to pack, especially when taking a youngster. You probably won’t need them on any given outing, but if/when that moment comes, you’ll never hunt without those items again.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

David Brinkerhoff of G. Loomis shares his knowledge of the new IMX Pro rod series. The IMX Pro rod series comes in 10 new models and will cover five technique-specific categories. Available Fall 2020. MSRP $345-355.

Lure Lock Deep and Thin Boxes

Lure Lock Deep and Thin Boxes

In this video, TakLogic president John Skrabo chats with Game & Fish's Dr. Todd A. Kuhn about what's new in the Lure Lock line. And see how the TakLogic gel will even keep a cell phone in place.

Strike King KVD J-100 Jerkbait & KVD 1.5 Hard Knock

Strike King KVD J-100 Jerkbait & KVD 1.5 Hard Knock

Strike King introduces two, new exciting baits to their already stellar lineup this 2020: the KVD J-100 Jerkbait, and the KVD 1.5 Hard Knock. KVD sits down with In-Fisherman Associate Publisher Todd Ceisner to explain how these two baits are going to help catch you more fish.

Lew

Lew's KVD Rods

As the king of bass fishing says, this new lineup of rods from Lew's—which features the distinctive KVD color scheme—is the most comprehensive lineup of rods ever produced by a single company.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener. Whitetail

10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day

M.D. Johnson - August 26, 2020

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.

See More Trending Articles

More Other Hunting

Fast and easy: Boss Hawg Wild Berry is irresistible. Hogs

Boss Buck Offers New Hog Attractant

Game & Fish Staff

Fast and easy: Boss Hawg Wild Berry is irresistible.

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From tumblers to bottles to flasks (and even clever bottle openers), we've rounded up some of the best bar gear for the outdoors. The Deck

Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup

Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From...

Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced hunter, the right gear is always essential for a successful hunting trip. Other Hunting

7 Essentials That Should Be on Your Hunting Gear Checklist

Game & Fish Staff - September 23, 2020

Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced hunter, the right gear is always essential for...

Summertime is made for enjoying the rewards of last hunting season and prepping for the fall to come. Here's gear that will help you do both in your backyard. The Yard

Get Geared Up & Backyard Ready

Game & Fish Staff - July 29, 2020

Summertime is made for enjoying the rewards of last hunting season and prepping for the fall...

See More Other Hunting

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now