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What You Need In Your Turkey Vest – 25 Essentials

April 25, 2020
two wild turkeys

What Gear Do You Need In Your Turkey Vest?

Preparing your turkey vest each spring is one of life’s great joys.

This list covers 25 essential items to include in your turkey vest for a full days hunt.

The goal of what to pack in your turkey hunting vest is to make sure you have everything you need for a successful and comfortable turkey hunt in one simple to access place.

The Turkey Vest.

The good news is most of the items you need to put in your turkey vest are small and lightweight.

25 Essential Items To carry In Your Turkey Hunting Vest

Here is a table of turkey hunting essentials you may need to purchase or update.

For more detail on each item continue reading. Other items such as licenses, snacks and drinks are also detailed below.


Why You Should Include These 25 Essential Items In Your Turkey Vest

1. Turkey Box Calls

You will want a variety of calls in your turkey vest to produce different sounds as the situations call for. When it comes to turkey box calls I always carry in my turkey vest the Primos Hook-Up Magnetic Box Call

Carry some spare rubber bands, sandpaper and chalk to keep your calls in perfect working and sounding order. Check out this detailed guide and instruction videos on 9 Of The Best Box Calls For Turkey Hunting

Buy on Amazon

2. Pot and Peg Calls

Include 2 different pot calls. One slate and one glass with different strikers so you can vary the pitch and tone of your calls.

Buy on Amazon

Two good options are the Primos Ol’ Betsy Slate Call and the Hunters Specialties H.S. Struth.S. Strut Sweet Suzie Snood Glass Pan Turkey Call

Buy on Amazon

3. Locator Calls

Valuable in helping you locate the gobblers.

Pack a crow, owl and gobbler locator call into your turkey hunting vest.

Buy on Amazon

In my turkey vest are the Primos Crow Call and the Hunters Specialties H.S. Strut Mega Hoot Owl Call

Buy on Amazon

4. Diaphragm Calls

Bring along the diaphragm calls you are confident in using to generate a wide variety of sounds. Woodhaven makes great custom calls and this kit will cover you.

Woodhaven Custom Calls Ninja Series 3-Pack Turkey Call Kit

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5. Turkey Decoys (and stakes)

An important part of setting up for a successful turkey hunt. I like the hen decoys such as the Avian-X Breeder Hen Turkey Decoy, Lifelike Collapsible Decoy With Carbon Stake and Carry Bag

They grab the attention of that big ol tom and will keep him distracted from you.

Buy on Amazon

6. Hunting Mask

Packing a hunting mask in your turkey hunting vest will serve 2 important purposes.

It will help you stay camouflaged and protect you from the bugs and insects you are likely to experience during turkey hunting season.

On a sunny day it is also worthwhile to use some camo face paint so you are not reflecting sunlight and giving away your position.

ScentlLok masks are made in the USA and do the job perfectly.

Scentlok Men’s Savanna Lightweight Headcover, Mossy Oak Country, One Size

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7. Hunting Gloves

Good quality hunting gloves will serve a similar purpose as the facemask. I prefer to use fingerless gloves for turkey hunting season, it makes using the turkey calls just that bit easier.

These gloves from Spika are a must have.

SPIKA Camouflage Hunting Fingerless Gloves,Military Tactical Half Finger Glove for Hunting Driving Padding Climbing L-XL

Buy on Amazon

8. Ear Muffs Sound Enhancers

A great item to have in your turkey vest are the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff – Kryptek Camo

Electronic Hearing Protection with Sound Amplification and Suppression will help you hear those gobblers from much further out.

They will also protect your hearing when shooting. A hunter’s hearing is one of his or her’s most valuable tools. Enhance it and protect it.

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9. Hunting Knife & or Multi Tool

I carry both in my turkey vest.

My trusty buck 110 folding knife and a Leatherman multi-tool.

This will ensure you have enough tools for your field dressing and any little repairs to equipment that may be required.

Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath

Buy on Amazon

LEATHERMAN – MUT EOD Multitool with Firearm and EOD Tools for Technicians and Military, Black with MOLLE Brown Sheath

Click here for a review of 3 great multi tools.

Buy on Amazon

10. Small Pruning Tools

This little tool in your turkey vest has a wide range of benefits for the turkey hunter.

Help to clear annoying sticks and brush from your shooting position, build a brush blind and set up a clear shooting lane. You may even wish to include some camo netting to help you prepare the perfect brush blind.

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears (91095935J)

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11. Shotshells

One box of shot shells should be enough for a full day turkey hunting.

12. Butt cushion – Seat

A lot of turkey vests have these in-built such as the ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Super Elite 4.0 Turkey Vest

Alternatively you can carry them separately. Invaluable for those long sit and waits.

Your butt will thank you.

Buy on Amazon

13. Bug Repellent & ThermaCell

Spring time, particularly following a rain shower will more often than not mean mosquitoes, ticks and a range of other insects. They are all trying to distract you from focusing on those big gobblers. In your turkey hunting vest you should carry Permethrin Spray to make sure no ticks are getting into your skin.

Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent, Aerosol, 6.5-Ounce, 6-Pack

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A ThermaCELL mosquito repellent unit is perfect for keeping those nasty biting mosquitoes away from you.

Thermacell MR300F Portable Mosquito Repellent (Black) with Camo Holster.

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14. Binoculars / Rangefinder

As the saying goes a good pair of binoculars are a hunter’s best friend. An essential item for your turkey vest is a quality pair of binoculars will help you find those gobblers. You do not need a large pair for turkey hunting, I carry the Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm and wear them on a Crooked Horn harness.

Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars, Realtree AP

Crooked Horn Realtree APHD 1″ Strap

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A good range finder will also help you judge your shooting distance better, when setting up. I must admit when it comes to turkey hunting as the distances are short compared to deer hunting I use it sparingly. One of my favorite rangefinders is the Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Laser Rangefinder

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15. Headlamp or Flashlight

Moving to or from your blind during the dark is sure to have you stumbling into branches and making unnecessary noise.

Having a good headlamp or flashlight in your turkey vest will solve this problem for you.

A red or green light option is less likely to announce your presence to the gobblers. The Energizer Forest Green LED Headlamp with Smart Dimming Technology will cover all your requirements.

Buy on Amazon

16. Licenses

Enough said. Make sure you are legal.

Tuck these into one of the small pockets in your turkey vest. You may be interested in this article for US Hunting Seasons By state which includes links to every state hunting.authority.

17. GPS

A GPS is an essential item that every hunter should carry in their turkey vest. Importantly you need to know how to use it.

I never leave on a hunt without my Garmin Rino. This unit has all you need in a GPS unit, with topographic maps, camera and a 2 way radio built in.

You can even track where your hunting buddies are located.

Even more important when you are hunting in unfamiliar areas. Get to and from your hunting area with confidence. Depending on where you hunt you may even wish to include a map and compass.

Garmin Rino 755t, Rugged Handheld 2-Way Radio/GPS Navigator with Camera and Preloaded TOPO Mapping

Buy on Amazon

18. Cellphone with Camera

Fully charge your phone before heading out and make sure you put it in airplane and silent mode. Great for taking photos of your hard won turkey harvest. It may also help you in an emergency. Google maps should be loaded on so you have a good view of your hunting terrain if you are in an area of signal. I have mine in a padded case in an inner pocket of my turkey vest.