It might be a question you've asked yourself or fellow hunters: why hunt turkeys? Many hunters can tell you that they love the anticipation when calling them to them, the chasing of a turkey off a roost and calling back and forth with them for hours, and the fun that comes from a more laid-back experience when hunting.
You can easily set up on turkeys with a ground blind, decoys, and calls. There are many ways to hunt turkeys, allowing hunters of all levels and styles more options. Regardless of the reasons, there is a lot to love about hunting turkeys. Whether you are brand new to Gobbler hunting or have been doing it for years and looking to brush up on your gear, we're happy to help by sharing our best gear for turkey hunting.
The Basics, A Refresher
Here is a general list of turkey hunting gear. Some are necessary, and some will be luxury additions that will make your time in the woods efficient, enjoyable, and more successful.
- Turkey ammo
- Turkey Calls
- Turkey Vest
- Red Dot Sight
- Insect repellant
- Ground Blind
- Turkey Hunting Boots
Today, we will focus on the best and most crucial gear: shotgun, turkey vest, and ammo. These are the foundations for a fun, successful turkey hunt.
You're set, especially as a beginner, if you've already got a shotgun. However, you'll want to look at the Remington 870 Fieldmaster if you don't have one or its time for an upgrade.
Now, we know what you might be thinking: Remington? After the Express debacle? While it is true that Remington's previous owners had a less-than-stellar track record when it came to quality, when purchased by RemArms in 2020, Remington went back to its roots with the 870 Fieldmaster—premium materials, quality, durability, and affordability.
What are the specifications of a Remington 870?
- 20, 12 Guage
- Pump Action
- 4+1 capacity (2 ¾ inch shotshells)
- 3 ½ inch, 3-inch chamber
- Steel, vent rib barrel type
- 28-. 26-inch barrel length
- IC, M, F chokes
- White bead front sight
- 14 inches LOP
- 4.5 lbs trigger pull
- 7.4 lbs over overall weight
- Pre-drilled and tapped for an optic
The 870 is well-balanced, with the weight centered between your hands. Remington uses a new process for smoothing the action bars, making the action far easier to work. While no shims or spacers come with the Fieldmaster, the 870s have a history of fitting most shooters well enough. If you need more length in the stock, there's always an assortment of recoil pads available to help.
There are different stock materials, but we love the Walnut stock, a premium feature not usually found on shotguns in this price range. The Walnut's fleur-de-lis checkering is stamped and offers a sturdy, solid grip even in damp weather or hands. There's even a channel on either side of the fore-end to rest your fingers and give you a better hold.
The 870 is a finely made, excellent shotgun for the dollar. With the machine work, smoothness of the metal inside and barrel, plus the action bars, and a genuine Walnut stock and fore-end for the price, this is a shotgun you will be giddy to use again and again.
Coming in at the mid-two-hundreds in price, you may wonder why we recommend the SITKA Equinox Timber Turkey Vest. If you've ever owned a turkey vest before, these experiences may be frustrating familiarity to you: if the seat easily stows, it is either too thin or deflates after sitting on it for a while. If the vest has a thick, comfortable cushion, it becomes a frustrating bulky struggle when trying to move silently. Other vests have loud velcro, zippers, or clacky buttons that have given you away whenever you go for your calls or other gear.
If you've nodded along with any of these issues and are tired of it—then the SITKA Equinox will toss them into the past and keep them there.
A few of the features that made us reach for the Sitka Equinox Timber Turkey Vest repeatedly was its completely adjustable nature from small to two XL. This vest is one of the most streamlined run-n-gun turkey vests today, while the exquisite care, quality of materials, and extreme durability make this a fantastic waiting-a-gobbler-out vest.
The SITKA Equinox Timber is a perfectly balanced minimalist vest without sacrificing much-needed storage space, as it maximizes every area in this vest without wasting any. Three water-resistant compartments with magnetic closures that open and close silently on the right portion, the middle compartment for box calls with a snug fit, and the left and right side of the box pouches are two more pockets that can store up to four strikers if needed. Additionally, it comes with the following:
- A smaller pocket on the right side of the box pouch for miscellaneous gear that is water-resistant
- A magnetic clamshell pouch on the left side is designed to hold two slate or class calls and three slots for mouth calls or can be used to store any gear you want
The SITKA Equinox vest is the type of gear built for decades of hard-hunting use; the sort of piece that you invest money into because you know it will be there and reliable so much that the investment is more than worth it. With streamlined seat and storage options everywhere, compared to the competitors, this turkey vest blows them all away.
Last and never least, let's talk ammo. After the lead shot ban in 1991, shotshell manufacturers turned toward steel but eventually began using bismuth and tungsten as non-toxic alternatives. TSS (tungsten super shot) is widely popular and the go-to for turkey ammo as the metal shot is denser, hits harder, and patterns better than any other birdshot. But just because you purchased TSS doesn't magically make it great. Here are the best loads out there:
- Federal Heavyweight TSS 3-inch, 2-ounce No. 7/9. This ammo will grant you a 10-unch circle within 40 yards and 109 pellets, providing consistent head and neck pellet strikes.
- Winchester Long Beard XR. In some areas of the U.S., turkeys are far more wary and like to keep their distance from hunting spots or blinds. The Winchester Long Beard XR will net you a 10-inch pattern circle at 60 yards for long-distance hunting from your selected bird.
The right gear can make all the difference between an enjoyable and miserable hunt. When it comes to quality, affordability, and reliability, Freedom Outdoors is your number one source of hunting.