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First-Time Turkey Hunters: This Is the Basic Gear You Need

You don't need a lot of expensive gear to start hunting turkeys. A few essential items can help you pursue those gobblers without spending too much money.

First-Time Turkey Hunters: This Is the Basic Gear You Need

New to turkey hunting? Here's must-have gear, including the Mossberg International SA-20 Turkey shotgun (pictured), to get you prepared.

Beginning a new hobby or sport like hunting can be a daunting task. With so many different pieces of gear to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what's necessary and what's not. Not to mention the financial implications of investing in the right equipment. The sheer amount of money it takes (or appears to take) to get started hunting can turn off a would-be avid hunter faster than a deer can disappear into the forest. While deer hunting may attract many new enthusiasts, turkey hunting is an excellent place for those new to the hunting space to get started without breaking the bank.

To successfully hunt wild turkeys, you only need a few key pieces of equipment. Must-have items include a hunting license, a turkey tag, and any other documents required by the state you are hunting in. Additionally, you will need a shotgun (or bow), ammunition, camouflage clothing, a comfortable pair of boots, and a turkey call. Although not essential, a blind, decoys, a turkey vest, insect repellent, and a turkey chair can be useful in improving your hunting experience. These are the basic items you need to hunt turkeys. Still not sure what to get for that first turkey hunt? Here’s a list of gear to help get you started.


Mossberg International SA-20 Turkey Shotgun

Mossberg International SA-20 Turkey
Mossberg International SA-20 Turkey (Photo courtesy of Mossberg)

Due to its low recoil and lightweight gas-operated design, the SA-20 Turkey shotgun is a great option for both novice and experienced turkey hunters. It features a 3-inch chamber, 14.25-inch length of pull, synthetic Mossy Oak Greenleaf camo stock, FO Ghost Ring sights, and an extended turkey choke. The SA-20 Turkey is a highly reliable and easy-to-maneuver shotgun. | $816

ATA Arms CY Turkey 3-Inch 12-Gauge Shotgun

ATA Arms CY Turkey 3-Inch 12-Gauge Shotgun
ATA Arms CY Turkey 3-Inch 12-Gauge Shotgun (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

If you’re looking for an affordable, dependable shotgun for turkey hunting, look no further than this 12-gauge semi-automatic from ATA Arms. The shotgun features a synthetic stock pistol grip for durable use, a Ramp Up front sight and Ghost Ring rear sight, a 5-magazine capacity, a barrel length of 24 inches, and comes with an Extra Full Turkey Choke. | $299.99

>>More turkey shotguns to consider.

Fiocchi Golden Turkey Shotshells

Fiocchi Golden Turkey Shotshells
Fiocchi Golden Turkey Shotshells (Photo courtesy of Fiocchi)

Fiocchi Golden Turkey loads are the perfect combination of affordability and performance. The three-inch shells use nickel-plated lead shot, an improved wad, and clean-burning powder. These shotshells deliver a payload of 1200 fps and produce dense patterns downrange, making them a great choice for turkey hunters. Best of all, they cost less than $20. | $19.99

>>See more budget-friendly turkey loads that will knock toms dead.

SITKA Equinox Guard Hoody

sitka-equinox-guard-hoody-optifade-subalpine
SITKA Equinox Guard Hoody (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

Turkeys are blessed with incredible eyesight, so it's best to wear camo and avoid any sudden movements when a turkey is present. With the moisture-wicking Equinox Guard Hoody, you can blend in with your surroundings and protect yourself from pesky bugs during the hunt. Its ultra-lightweight, breathable, and tightly knit stretch fabric helps prevent insect bites. It also features a breathable mesh facemask and a long tail that tucks into your pants for maximum chigger and tick protection. | $149

For head-to-toe coverage and protection from insects, pair the hoody with SITKA’s Equinox Guard Pant and Equinox Guard Glove.




Magellan Outdoors Men's Camo Mesh Hunting Gloves and Eagle Pass Mesh Camo Face Mask

Magellan Outdoors Men's Camo Mesh Hunting Gloves and Eagle Pass Mesh Camo Face Mask
Magellan Outdoors Men's Camo Mesh Hunting Gloves and Eagle Pass Mesh Camo Face Mask (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

Wearing camouflage gloves and a face mask is a simple way to hide your hands and face from toms. Made from a lightweight, breathable mesh fabric, the Camo Mesh Hunting Gloves and Eagle Pass Mesh Camo Face Mask will not only help you blend in but also keep you cool and comfortable for hours. Snug poly-spandex cuffing on the gloves ensures a secure fit, and ventilation slits offer extra airflow for added comfort. | $5.99

Game Winner Turkey Flock Decoys 3-Pack

Game Winner Turkey Flock Decoys
Game Winner Turkey Flock Decoys 3-Pack (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

The Game Winner Turkey Flock Decoys 3-Pack will entice toms and jakes (and possibly even other hens) with its lifelike HD feather designs and realistic turkey coloration. The set consists of an upright jake, an upright hen, and a feeding hen. These decoys are lightweight and fold up, making them easy to transport and store. Each decoy fits on a 2-piece plastic ground stake (included). | $29.99

Zink Z-PAK

Zink Z-PAK - 3 turkey diaphragm calls
Z-PAK turkey diaphragm calls (Photo courtesy of Zink)

For those just starting out or who have not yet perfected using a turkey diaphragm call, the Z-Pak from Zink offers an ideal solution. This 3-pack contains the Z-Yelper double reed, Z-Cutter triple reed, and Z-Combo double reed with a V-notch. These calls may seem basic, but they are incredibly versatile. The set also includes an instructional DVD to guide you in mastering them. | $19.99

Recommended


The Grinder Box Call

The Grinder Box Call
The Grinder Box Call (Photo courtesy of The Grind Outdoors)

Box calls are one of the simplest turkey calls to get the hang of, and The Grinder is the go-to box call for many turkey hunters. With two lid holes and a hand-finished surface for extra protection, The Grinder is easy to customize the call to produce realistic yelps, clucks, purrs, and more. In no time at all, you'll be ready to trick a gobbler just like the pros! | $64.99

>>More turkey calls to consider.

LaCrosse Grange Boot

LaCrosse Grange Boot
Grange Boot (Photo courtesy of LaCrosse)

The LaCrosse Grange is a tried-and-true classic boot for turkey hunters, providing 100% waterproof protection, durability, and comfort. These non-insulated rubber boots are 18 inches tall and will keep your feet dry while hunting for gobblers. The adjustable top strap ensures a secure fit around your calf and their revolutionary ankle fit grips the top of your foot and locks your heel into place, keeping your feet comfortable and secure. The LaCrosse Grange is available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo, OD Green, or Mossy Oak Original Bottomland camo with a NWTF logo. If you get a pair of the NWTF Grange boots, LaCrosse will donate a portion of the proceeds to NWTF to aid in wild turkey conservation. | $100-120

>>See more boot options for turkey hunting.

Magellan Outdoors Men's Deluxe Turkey Vest

Magellan Outdoors Men's Deluxe Turkey Vest
Magellan Outdoors Men's Deluxe Turkey Vest (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

With this turkey vest and its plentiful pockets, you’ll be ready for anything in the field. Made from 100% polyester oxford woven fabric, the Magellan Outdoors Men's Deluxe Turkey Vest offers both durability and comfort. The adjustable buckle straps ensure a secure and custom fit, while the two large outer storage pockets and inner call pockets provide ample storage for your calls and other necessities. | $54.99

Insect Repellents from Sawyer

Insect Repellents from Sawyer
Picaridin Insect Repellent, Permethrin Fabric Treatment, and Permethrin for Dogs. (Photo courtesy of Sawyer)

Bugs can be a real problem when you are turkey hunting. Take steps to protect yourself and increase your chances of success in the field by using insect repellents. Sawyer's 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent is a great option. It's non-greasy, fragrance-free, dries quickly, and effective at repelling mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies. You can also add a layer of protection to your clothing, gear, and tents with Permethrin Fabric Treatment. It can be used on a variety of fabrics and offers protection against mosquitoes and ticks for up to 6 weeks or 6 washes. And if you're bringing your pooch along, Permethrin for Dogs is a great way to safely protect them from mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mite and other pesky insects.

Game Winner Low-Profile Camo Mesh Turkey Chair

Game Winner Low-Profile Camo Mesh Turkey Chair
Game Winner Low-Profile Camo Mesh Turkey Chair (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

Sit comfortably in the Game Winner Low-Profile Camo Mesh Turkey Chair while you wait for game to pass. Its large, sink-resistant feet ensure you stay stable, and the collapsible design with a shoulder strap makes it easy to carry to and from your vehicle. | $24.99

Hunting from a blind? Choose a compact chair with a higher-profile design like Game Winner’s Realtree Xtra Blind Chair.

Game Winner Bushwacker 2.0 HUB Blind

Game Winner Bushwacker 2.0 HUB Blind
Game Winner Bushwacker 2.0 HUB Blind (Photo courtesy of Gunpowder Inc.)

A blind, like this one from Game Winner, is a great tool for concealing yourself while hunting turkeys. If you're a first-time hunter, hunting with someone, or have trouble sitting still for long periods, you might consider hunting from a blind. The Bushwacker 2.0 HUB Camo Blind is easy to set up and take down, comes in a Real Tree Edge camo pattern, and features adjustable windows with secure sliders to keep them in place. | $109.99


From the gear you need to the cost involved, turkey hunting is much more accessible than other forms of hunting. So, if you're looking to try something new, give turkey hunting a shot. You won't regret it.

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