Gear > Other Gear

Finding the Right Turkey Vest

A turkey hunter’s vest is just like a bag of tricks, so keep yours stocked and ready for the season.

Turkey hunters need to tote a bag of tricks-or, in their case, a vest of gadgetry-to fool wary toms. My vest has over 40 items-an owl hooter, a crow call, mouth calls, a boat paddle call, a mini box, three friction pots. Sometimes I forget which pocket something's in, and there I am in the dark woods listening to gobbling as I unzip pockets and compartments. Other times it's necessary to set up in a wet or treeless place. I quietly thank the designer who came up with the seat with back support. (When someone invents a foldout armrest it'll be perfect!) What I'm getting at is that you should take your turkey vest seriously. It can make all the difference. Here is what I look for.


Pockets Aplenty


Look for a vest with customized box and friction-pot pockets on the sides and one or two smaller mouth-call pouches on the top front-this way you'll be able to find things in a hurry! A couple of large pockets with sewn-in elastic loops are also great for securing extra shotshells and your friction-call


Sort Your Stuff 


Why spend so much time touting the top features of a turkey vest? Simple. Choose a good one and then carry every call and accessory in its special pocket or slot every day of every season and you'll hunt better for it. You'll be able to stay focused on calling in and shooting that big bird, not on where your mouth calls are.


Sit on It


A lot of gear manufacturers make a big deal about the size and thickness of a vest's foam seat. More important is how a seat flips down and folds back up. You don't want to have to contort to the side or take a vest off every time you drop or raise the seat. Make sure the seat is easy to access and use. Also, look for a vest that can support your back as you sit. You won't always have a good tree to lean against.


Bird Pouch 


All vests have rear pouches that you can use to tote out a 20-pound gobbler (a blood-proof liner is a great touch). But most days you'll use the bag to pack rain gear and rolled-up foam decoys. Make sure the rear pouch is easy to get to and open. Some of them are impossible to reach back into!


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