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Women's Turkey Hunting Gear Guide

By Andrea Rothove


Turkey season is fast approaching, and if I’m being completely honest, I feel like every year it creeps up more quickly and I am left trying to scramble around at the last minute to gather up my hunting gear.  If you haven't started shopping for turkey hunting gear, now's a great time so you’re not left trying to get everything together the evening before the season opens! 


Here’s a thorough list of turkey hunting gear and women’s hunting apparel that I use and recommend for spring turkey hunting, plus a couple of cool product suggestions to help capture your hunt on video!

 

Hunting License

First and foremost, make sure you purchase your hunting license/tags and make sure you make yourself familiar with the hunting regulations and requirements for your state so you are hunting legally.

 

Gear and Accessories


Shotgun and Sling

A few things I consider when deciding which shotgun to turkey hunt with are the weight of the shotgun, gauge size, and color.


You can certainly use a 20 gauge shotgun for turkey hunting, and it is a great option due to the smaller, compact size as compared to a 12 gauge. Plus, they are more lightweight, making it easier to tote around in the woods chasing turkeys.


I personally like my 12 gauge Browning Maxus for turkey hunting since it puts more shot downrange than a 20 gauge. While it is still heavier than most 20 gauges, my Maxus is really pretty lightweight compared to other 12 gauge shotguns, and paired with a good, comfortable sling, I can still get around in the woods pretty quietly and easily with it.


As far as color, I opt for either a black or a camouflage shotgun, as a turkey's eyesight is pretty impressive!




Ammunition and Turkey Choke

There are many options to choose from, so I suggest trying a few different combinations out while patterning your shotgun on paper and seeing which gives you the best results for your setup.

For turkey ammunition, you’ll probably want a shot size of either #4, #5 or #6. A shot size of #4 has more killing power, but there are more pellets in a #5 and #6 load.  I prefer to use either a #5 or #6 Winchester turkey load, like either of these at Ammunition To Go. 





A turkey choke gives you a tighter pattern at longer distances, which is what you want in order to make a clean kill on a turkey. They are tough birds, so the more pellets in the turkey’s head or neck, the better. Along with the turkey loads above, I use this turkey choke from Indian Creek Shooting Systems:




Turkey Calls

Several types of turkey calls can be used: mouth calls, slate calls, box calls, push-and-pull calls, etc. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. A mouth call is probably one of the hardest to learn but sounds the best and minimizes movement. I think slate calls are the next hardest to learn. They produce some great sounds as well, but you have the disadvantage of having to move your hands to use it.


My personal preference is a push-and-pull type of call. My absolute favorite over the years is the Primos Bombshell.



It is super easy to use and you can yelp, purr, cut, and even change the pitch. My favorite feature: You can mount it to your shotgun and attach a pull cord to it, so you can simply pull the cord to call, with very little movement.

 


Turkey Vest

A few things to consider when purchasing a turkey vest are the style of hunting (run-and-gun, or long sits), storage and pockets, size and fit, weight, and camo pattern. Find out what options you think you will need and choose your vest accordingly.


One of my favorite turkey vests is the Grand Slam Turkey Vest from ALPS Outdoorz.



It has plenty of pockets for a variety of different calls, room in the back to carry decoys, and a comfortable padded seat with adjustable legs. This vest is a bit on the heavy side, as far as turkey vests go, but I don’t do a lot of run-and-gun hunting, so it works well for me. You can check out more of their great vests here. 



Decoys


Decoys are optional and not always necessary. In fact, sometimes I have worse luck when I do use decoys. I learned from a seasoned turkey hunter that the type of posture/head position of the hen decoy I was using was actually working against me in my hunts. So, when searching for decoys to use, I suggest reading up on the different postures/decoy types and what situations each one is best for.


I have found that Avian X has a really great variety of turkey decoys in different postures at an affordable price. They are also lightweight, easy to pack around, and very realistic looking.




 

Field Dressing Kit

This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s really nice to have on hand after a successful hunt! Wicked North Gear makes a handy, compact turkey field dressing kit that includes everything you need to field dress a turkey. It includes a blood containment head bag with removable zip tie to help keep blood off of your pants, gear, and vehicle; gloves; zip tie to attach your hunting tag to the turkey; freezer bag; and carcass bag. Just throw the kit in your turkey vest and you’re good to go!







Headwear and Face Concealment


Face Mask or Face Paint


Turkeys have great eyesight, so you will definitely want either a face mask or some face paint in order to stay concealed. If I do use a face mask, I like this mesh one from Cabela’s. They are more breathable and help keep mosquitos off of my face, which is usually a problem in spring turkey season.


For face paint, I love Nature’s Paint brand because it is super easy to remove. Unfortunately, they have closed, so if I find one in the future that I like as much as theirs I will update this post.




Hat

No need to get fancy here...I really feel like a hat is a hat. Just make sure that it’s comfortable and is either a solid color or camouflage that will blend in well with the surroundings.

 

Apparel


Lightweight Camouflage Apparel


Turkey season is usually pretty warm and muggy, but the early mornings can still be a bit chilly. I like to opt for a lightweight, breathable top, a lightweight jacket or hoodie (if it’s colder), and lightweight pants that are comfortable and easy to move in.


I recently discovered this lightweight line of women’s camouflage from FORLOH that not only features cooling technology, it also can help repel insects! That sounds like a game changer for turkey season, as that’s usually when insects like ticks, chiggers, and mosquitos really start to become a problem.


You can check out the women’s FORLOH Insect Shield Solair Lightweight Pants, Insect Shield Solair Hooded Lightweight Shirt, and other women’s FORLOH apparel here.

 



 


Gloves


I don’t feel that gloves are always necessary, but they do add more concealment and warmth. When I do use gloves, I prefer to use fingerless gloves so I can still feel the trigger and easily use my turkey calls. The Talus Fingerless Merino Glove from FirstLite is my go-to.

 




Socks & Boots


A lightweight, breathable sock is perfect for turkey season. The Mercury Lightweight Crew Sock from FirstLite is specifically designed for warmer weather, is breathable, and also features a cushioned heel, toe, and arch.

 

Comfortable boots that are waterproof, yet lightweight, are perfect for turkey hunting. My favorite is the SHE Outdoor Timber Buck Waterproof Hunting Boots, available at Bass Pro.




Just For Fun


Here’s a couple other accessories that aren’t a must-have item for turkey hunting, but they can both help you re-live your hunt afterwards, which is especially rewarding if you bag a bird!


Action Cam


The ASPECT CAM from Browning Trail Cameras is the perfect way to capture your hunting adventure in 4K UHD video! You can mount it to your shotgun, so you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect camera angle, and it connects to your smartphone via the ASPECT CAM APP! What’s even better is this camera is on sale right now!


(Image below from Mike Clerkin)




Trail Cameras


Another fun way to capture videos of your hunt is with a trail camera! This may not be too feasible if you are running and gunning, but if you are set up in a blind and have a decoy out, place a trail camera nearby on video mode to catch the action! Browning Trail Cameras has a lot of great trail cameras that feature full HD videos with sound, and they also have camera mounts that can aid you in getting the camera set up in the perfect location.


My favorite trail camera for videos is the Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 




 

Andrea Rothove is the Founder and CEO of Huntress View. Follow her on Instagram at @andi_rothove.

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