by Shawn Skipper - Friday, June 7, 2013
Another spring turkey season has come and gone, and hunters throughout the country are winding down and anxiously waiting for fall. The summer is a great time to evaluate your gear, though, and determine what you need before you next venture into the woods. Here are a few products that our E-Media editors put to use this spring—and that you may want to consider adding to your collection before next season, if you haven't already.
It's always good to punch holes in a few targets before you actually hit the woods, and this yearBirchwood Casey released a gobbler target that shouldn't take long to catch on with turkey hunters throughout the country. The PREGAME Splatter Target have a realistic look to them, and "splatter" when shot, making it easy for you to immediately spot where your shot hit—even at a significant distance. They're good to have on hand, and with an MSRP of $12.70 for an 8-pack, there's no reason not to have at least a few laying around for the next time you need to sight-in.
A big part of producing comfortable—but still practical—hunting clothing is the fabric, and Rocky took that to heart with its Arid Light T-Shirt collection. Available in bothshort- and long-sleeve, the Arid Light line is soft, lightweight and breathable, thanks to its birdseye mesh fabric build. The 4-way stretch allows you to move comfortably throughout the day, without irritation. Both the short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts are available in either Realtree AP or Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, and have been treated with Rocky's SIQ Atomic scent blocker.
Rocky's Arid Light Button Shirt is lightweight, soft and breathable—which can make it ideal for spring hunts, when temperatures are rising. The fabric is also surprisingly durable, despite its lightweight design, and it holds up quite well, no matter what kind of environment you're exposing it to. The Arid Light Cargo Pants are likewise designed to be put to use in warm temperatures, and share the lightweight design of the Button Shirt. The polyester ripstop fabric used in the design helps resist abrasions, helping the pants survive on any terrain. Both the Button Shirt and Cargo Pants are treated with Rocky's SIQ Atomic scent block, and available in Realtree AP or Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity.
A number of companies have rolled out gear designed specifically for the huntresses out there, including Cabela's, which offers its OutfitHER line. Featured here are the OutfitHER Soft-Shell Jacket and Soft-Shell Pants, which were put to use by Assistant Online Editor Sarah Smith Barnum during a New England turkey hunt this May. The OutfitHER line is equipped with a wind- and water-resistant polyester-tricot soft shell that's bonded to a warmth-trapping, brushed-fleece lining. Both the jacket and pants are equipped with plenty of external pockets, and the overall design is crafted with a feminine cut and style.
Depending on the season and your personal style, there's a chance you'll spend quite a bit of your turkey season on the move—so you're going to want a good pair of boots. Rocky'sAthletic Mobility ULTRALIGHT line offers a design that is ideal for the mobile turkey hunter. Weighing less than one pound each, the ULTRALIGHTs keep your movements swift, and the Air-Port cushion footbed provides ample cushioning and ventilation. They're comfortable, durable and a natural fit for any hunter. Even better, they've been treated with Rocky's SIQ Atomic scent blocker.
You're not going to get anywhere without a good call or two, and the folks atDead End Game Calls offer some of the best. Pictured here you see the Work Zone Slate Call, two of the company's mouth calls and the Caution Zone Locator Call. The Work Zone Slate Call is one of Dead End's many friction calls, and is an affordable and reliable friction call option. The company also offers a Work Zone Glass Call, and offers its higher-quality Roadblock line in slate, glass and aluminum. The Shipwreck is a versatile three-reed mouth call that's designed to be perfect for fly downs, cutting and yelping. The Batwing 2 is designed exclusively for soft calling, and is perfect when you're producing clucks, purrs and soft yelps over those last few yards before the shot. TheCaution Zone Locator Call simulates a crow call with intense volume, and is a sure way to spook the nearest long beard into shock gobbling. It can also make for a handy crow call on its own, if you're in a region where crow hunting is an option.
This handheld easy-to-use GPS system was designed with the hunter in mind, giving users the ability to track sunset and sunrise as well as moonset and moonrise and barometric pressure to pinpoint peak game movement. With its geocashing feature, Bushnell's HuntTrack can be uploaded to a computer to track your hunts utilizing detailed maps with the ability to set waypoints that you want to access in the field. The new HuntTrack will not only get you safely from point A to point B, but can do it with up to 25 different location markers while tracking your travel distance and time.
The advent of laser rangefinding binoculars has made it easier to get away with carrying one less piece of gear into the field, and Bushnell's Fusion design offers plenty of reasons to invest in a new set of field glasses before your next hunt. The Fusion 1 Mile ARC Rangefinding binocular is available in 8x32mm, 10x42mm and 12x50mm. It offers ranges out to 1,760 yards, and can be alternated between a rifle mode and a bow mode—the rifle mode provides bull-drop information, while the ARC bow mode delivers the "shoots-like" horizontal difference.
Not every turkey hunter likes to break out a decoy, but, if you're so inclined, the new Dirty B from Primos is one to take into consideration. Gobblers are known to attack their injured peers, and the Dirty B is designed to take advantage of that habit—it simulates the flopping movements of an injured Tom. The decoy is easy to set up, and all you've got to do to manipulate its flopping action is pull an attached cord. The entire concept is based on the company's already successful Killer B decoy—it just features a Tom in his last throes rather than in full strut.
No turkey hunter should be without a vest, and the Deluxe Sportsmen's Utility Vest from Hunter's Specialties makes for a well-rounded and affordable option. The camouflage vest features padded straps and plenty of pockets, keeping all of your gear in check. Two pan call pockets hold friction calls, and there are additional outer pockets for box and gobble calls. A triangle seat cushion is attached, and held in place with a magnet.
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