I’m Hunting Spring Turkey; What do I bring?

OutdoorClass Team

I’m Hunting Spring Turkey; What do I bring?
Filed under:

After the fall big game season, if you’re like a lot of hunters, your hunting pack probably sits in the corner of the garage until April rolls around. But with the snow beginning to melt in the mountains ready to fuel the spring green up, it’s time to take inventory of what you need to add for chasing gobblers.

In many ways, hunting is hunting, and a lot of the essentials carried during big game season get to stay in the turkey pack. Let’s take a look at the gear you should never leave at home.

Spring in many states can shift in a matter of minutes.Let’s take Montana, for example, where spring weather can go from 75 degrees and sunny to freezing temperatures and snowing sideways. That means dressing inlayers with a variety of camo outerwear stowed in your pack to deal with the elements, and in the case of an emergency, survive. A base layer and synthetic pants and shirt are essential primary apparel. Then in your pack you should carry a midweight synthetic or fleece top and heavier down-alternative coat that stuffs into a small sack. Also pack light rain gear, both light and warmer gloves and a stocking hat.

Never forget your safety gear, and make sure you refine it to limit weight while also ensuring serves its purpose. A small first aid kit and electrical tape can take care of small cuts or burns. Tweezers are a must because spring means ticks—one of the worst creatures on planet Earth—are ready to catch a ride. A small foldable saw, paracord, knife, compass, emergency blanket, bear spray, headlamp and two flashlights offer piece of mind. Fire starter, lighters and waterproof matches should always be stashed away to spark a fire for comfort or survival. Bring an orange vest or some flagging tape should you be successful and need to carry a turkey over your shoulder. And a GPS/satellite communicator means navigation and communication where cell service stops. Oh, and don’t forget extra batteries.

Now let’s get down to turkey specifics.  

Turkey hunting can mean some glassing depending on where you hunt. Spotting scopes are great for big game, but for turkeys, just sticking with binoculars is fine. If you’re using a shotgun, no need to bring a rangefinder, as shotguns don’t require the same precision as archery gear. If you’re using your bow, then include your rangefinder.

One method of turkey hunting that works well is to cover a lot of ground and call to locate turkeys. Box calls, slate calls and mouth reeds all work well and it doesn’t hurt to carry a variety in your pack. With a box call remember to carry some extra chalk to get that perfect pitch. The reed call is good for close encounters and in case the weather turns wet and starts to soak a wooden box call or dampen a slate call. Also, it doesn’t hurt to include a crow or owl call to trigger “shock” gobbles from warry toms.  

Packing a decoy can be great, but if you’re hunting public land, it may be a good idea to only carry a hen decoy for safety reasons.    

For your shotgun, attach a sling if you’re covering distance and to keep your hands free for calling. Consider trying an extra-full shotgun choke designed for turkey hunting that keeps those patterns tight.

Once a turkey is located, you can post up at a tree, slip on a face mask and start your calling sequence. A pad to sit on not only provides some comfort, but also tends to keep you dry. Then if everything comes together and you successfully down a bird, a specially designed turkey sling can make a big difference for toting toms long distances.

Spring is a great time to get outside and chase gobblers. Good luck out there!

Join OutdoorClass

Time's Almost Up!

There's still time to save 30% on your first year of OutdoorClass! Just enter the code MEMORIAL30 at checkout and get started learning from the best hunters, outdoor experts, chefs, and more.

Sign up

About the author

OutdoorClass Team

OutdoorClass is the only outdoors-focused streaming platform, built for hunters of all levels to learn and refine their skills. Your annual membership gives you unlimited access to every course and chapter we offer, with skills covering everything from finding animals through cooking them.

More about the author

More from OutdoorClass