Are you ready to hunt the undisputed king of the spring woods? Stop here for a peek at some of the latest and greatest new gear—to ensure you go afield this season with the deadliest turkey arsenal possible.
ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest. You’re planning to gear up for spring turkey season, so fittingly we’re starting this gear guide with the new Grand Slam Turkey Vest from ALPS OutdoorZ. It was designed by turkey hunters and faced rigorous testing before the final prototype was approved. This top-of-the-line vest is bursting with features to please the most hardcore collectors of beards and spurs. Its kickstand frame allows for a fast setup, even when trees and cover are at a minimum, and it’s super comfortable for long sits on its padded, fold-away seat. The kickstand is removable, so you don’t have to carry it along when you’re planning to sit in a ground blind or at your trusty “killing tree.” You’ll find numerous call pockets on the Grand Slam, including a removable protective diaphragm call pocket, two slate call pockets, a striker pocket (which holds up to three strikers and one large locator call), a locator call pocket, and a protective and silent box call pocket. Stay hydrated and stay in the game with gobblers by taking advantage of the two side water bottle pockets. The list of features goes on. And it’s especially important to note: The NWTF logo on the vest means a portion of Grand Slam proceeds go directly to supporting wildlife and habitat conservation. MSRP: $179.99.
Thermacell Mega Pack Refills. Die-hard turkey hunters have a tough time finding a downside to this addicting pursuit, but if pressed, pesky spring mosquitoes might be one of them. Unless, of course, you’re packing the unique power of an ultra-portable, easy-to-use Thermacell Repellent unit. Help ensure you won’t run out of bug-repellent refills with the new Mega Pack refill box, which provides 120 hours of bug-free enjoyment and includes 10, 12-hour cartridges and 30 repellent pads. Thermacell Repellent creates a virtually odorless zone of protection that is up to 98-percent effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects. All devices operate on a single butane cartridge, which heats a repellent mat releasing allethrin, a synthetic copy of the natural repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each Thermacell product covers 15×15 feet for up to four hours per mat, or 12 hours per refill kit (one cartridge, three repellent mats). MSRP for Mega Pack Refills: $49.99.
Avian-X LCD Laydown Hen Turkey Decoy. The Lifelike Collapsible Decoys (LCD) from Avian-X continue to be the go-to decoys for HuntStand’s Josh Dahlke. “I hunt turkeys up to 50 days each spring, so I’m pretty critical about choosing my gear,” Dahlke noted. “I’ve been using the Avians since they first came out more than 5 years ago, and now I feel naked when I head to the field without them. Their soft rubber shell makes them quiet and comfortable to carry, and because they can be deflated and folded, I’ll frequently toss a few in my duffel bag for flights to out-of-state turkey hunts. Of course, what’s really key is their stunningly realism. On numerous occasions, I’ve seen birds come into a mixed spread of turkey decoys and go straight to the Avians.” New for 2016 is the Laydown Hen, designed to lay flat on the ground and mimic a receptive hen. Pair it with the Avian-X jake decoy and you’ve got yourself a deadly duo. The Laydown Hen has already cost many longbeards their lives during initial testing among the Avian-X TV crew, and now it’s available to you. MSRP: $79.99.
Turkey Fan. Turkey hunters have been getting increasingly aggressive with tactics for killing gobblers. Two of the most recently popular approaches for getting in gun or bow range of ol’ tom is by “fanning” or “reaping.” Fanning is simply using a turkey tail fan to decoy a bird in for a shot. Reaping is the art of actually crawling behind a fan toward a hung-up gobbler (typically a gobbler with hens in an open field). Both of these strategies can be ultra deadly, and you can use a Turkey Fan to get it done! From now through April 15, ScoutLook users can get 5 percent off any Turkey Fan product by using discount code SL16 at checkout. Just click here to choose your products and order. Watch this video to see the Turkey Fan in action. If that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. As with any style of turkey hunting, just remember: safety first!
Mossberg 535 ATS – Turkey (LPA Trigger, Red-Dot Combo). Looking for an all-in-one turkey gun package? This new 12-gauge combo from Mossberg might be the ticket. Complete with a TruGlo red-dot sight and adjustable fiber optics, you’ll be ready to quickly tune-in lethal patterns at the range and head to the field with turkey-killing confidence. The Lightning Pump Action (LPA) trigger system allows you to safely adjust the weight of the trigger from less than 3 pounds up to 6 pounds; along with a pistol grip, you’ll feel total trigger control during the moment of truth. With a compact 20-inch barrel and overall length of 39.25 inches, you won’t have any trouble busting through brush and getting into tight quarters with sneaky gobblers. Chambered for 3.5-inch shells; camo pattern: Mossy Oak Obsession; weight: 7 pounds; sling included. MSRP: $725.
Stevens S1200 12-Gauge Semi-Automatic. If you’ve ever wanted a semi-automatic shotgun, but thought they were out of your price range, the Stevens S1200 is worth a look. Starting at just $573 it offers extreme value for an entry-level shotgun. When Team ScoutLook shot it at the range, the inertia-driven action cycled smooth and fast. At just 6.60 pounds, with a 26- or 28-inch vent-rib barrel, it is easy to swing and acquire targets. Different models are available with a walnut, camouflage synthetic, or an all-weather black matte synthetic stock. Guns have a 3-inch chamber and the barrel accepts the Beretta choke system. This shotgun, with 14.25-inch length-of-pull, is built for shooters with a large frame. MSRP: $573 to $685.
Winchester Super X Pump Long Beard. The “ultimate gobbler gun” is a tall order for sure, but dedicated turkey hunters everywhere need to check out this ultra-specialized, new-for-2016 12-gauge pump. Winchester seems to have done its homework, dressing the Super X Pump Long Beard with a synthetic pistol grip stock complete with textured gripping surfaces and Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo pattern. To allow for a true custom fit, the gun comes with two interchangeable comb pieces that allow the shooter to adjust the drop at comb for use with iron, electronic or optical sights. Length of pull is also adjustable with two included, interchangeable spacers that are ready to fine-tune stock fit. An Invector-Plus Extra-Full Long Beard turkey choke tube provides a tight, dense pattern, and the 24-inch barrel features turkey-friendly TruGlo fiber-optic sights. Choose from 3-inch ($530) or 3½-inch ($560) models.
Stoeger P3000 Pump. There are likely few wing-shooting enthusiasts who didn’t start their passion with a venerable pump shotgun; now Stoeger has introduced a new workhorse field gun ready to fuel a whole new generation. It’s important to know, however, that this is not a “basic” shotgun from the past, as it incorporates many newer features to keep the gun lightweight and weather resistant. The anodized aluminum receiver keeps the gun manageable at 6.9 pounds, and takes both 2¾- and 3-inch loads. The 28-inch barrels come with a modified choke and wrench, providing the opportunity to add on options. The shotgun is built with a 14 1/8-inch length of pull, with a total length of 49½ inches. This is an economical gun with some checkering to dress it up, but with an MSRP of $299 it is a great entry-level shotgun.
Browning Cynergy Ultimate Turkey. An over/under turkey gun? You’d better believe it, and it’s not just for the sake of doing something different. The 7-pound, 6-ounce Browning Cynergy Ultimate Turkey is a 12-gauge sporting two 26-inch barrels. Choose from the included full, modified, improved cylinder, Ultimate Spreader or Ultimate Full Turkey turkey chokes and constrict each barrel to match the possibilities of your unique hunting scenarios. For a killer close-range pattern, choke the bottom barrel with the Ultimate Spreader; choke the top barrel with the Ultimate Full Turkey for long-range shots. Other notable features include the Cynergy Reflex recoil pad, overmolded grip panels and multiple sighting systems: a durable brass front beat; a rear Marble Arms Bullseye and front fiber optic combo; or use the short 1913 rail for mounting optics. MSRP: $2,340.
Federal 3rd Degree 20-Gauge. Most modern turkey loads have been specialized for killing long-range gobblers. While turkey hunters certainly face their fair share of hung-up toms that won’t break the 30- or 40-yard threshold, a majority of birds are still killed at closer ranges. Speaking of innovation in turkey loads, the 20-gauge has increased in popularity among turkey hunters because today’s technology has significantly advanced the killing power of this “small” load. Now, it’s not just women and youth relying on the smooth-handling, light-recoil 20-gauge for crushing gobblers. The latest 20-gauge turkey shotshell to seriously consider is Federal’s new 3-inch 3rd Degree. The load’s design uses three stages of very different shot types, making it not only is a 40-plus-yard gobbler getter—testing proves it’s outstanding at closer ranges as well. This versatility gives the load its slogan: one load, any range.
Cabela’s Instinct Turkey Pot Call. Are you ready for the turkey-calling big leagues? Something new and different? Featuring a first-of-its-kind Micarta pot construction, the Cabela’s Instinct Turkey Pot Call ($150) ensures you maintain a solid hold on your call in the most extreme turkey-hunting conditions. This durable, new-age material combines with a carbon sound board and solid carbon striker to produce a wide range of true-to-life vocalizations that’ll instantly make you feel fluent in the language of the wild turkey. Any inch of this quality, made-in-the-USA call can be used as a calling surface when conditioned.
Cabela’s SLT Cluck and Purr Turkey Pot Call. Do all turkeys sound exactly alike? Hardly, which is just one reason to check out Cabela’s revolutionary two-pot system, the SLT Cluck and Purr Turkey Pot Call ($40). This unique, made-in-the-USA design features irresistible turkey calls on both sides of the pot, to ensure you always have the right turkey-talking tool on hand while you’re in the woods. Each side produces distinctly different clucking and purring sounds; soft, seductive calls are ideal for bringing toms in those final few yards to close the deal.
Knight & Hale Switchblade. Turkey chasers take note: Knight & Hale is calling the new Switchblade box call ($40) its most-versatile turkey call ever—and the company has introduced plenty of award-winners in its day. To diversify the use and sound a box call is capable of producing, Knight & Hale integrated a patented quick-release system into the Switchblade’s design that’s ultra-simple to use. The call comes with three different paddles made from three distinct types of wood, and each produces its own unique hen sound and makes the call capable of replicating calls of three different hens. Why three different hens? Turkey hunters often struggle to produce life-like inflection with a box call, which often leads them to use a box call only for locating turkeys and then switching calls to seal the deal. The box itself is a custom, one-piece design that allows callers to produce loud, far-carrying tones for windy days—but it can also be worked lightly for soft, ultra-realistic sounds to lure an educated tom those final few yards.
Knight & Hale Dual Threat. Sometimes a relatively simple tweak to a time-honored turkey call can make it deadlier than ever. That’s the case with the new Dual Threat ($35) from Knight and Hale, which features a smart “flip-sided” design that allows hunters to quickly change their call, sound and tone with minimal movement. The 2-in-1 call features a glass surface on one side of the pot and a slate surface on the other, allowing you to sound like two different hens. The glass surface is specifically designed to produce strong, vibrant sounds for long calling, thick woods and windy days, and the slate side creates the rich, mellow tones and deep sounds ideal for close-quarters calling. The Dual Threat comes paired with the new Echotech striker, which is completely waterproof and is designed to produce pure, natural tones—regardless of how nasty the spring weather gets during turkey season.
Mouth Call Mechanics Kit. Shane Simpson is a competitive turkey caller and expert turkey hunter. Bottom line: The guy knows how to call and kill turkeys, and he’s not afraid to share his strategies with the masses. Simpson, host of Calling All Turkeys, also uses and supports ScoutLook. A huge key to his turkey-hunting success is his ability to coax gobblers into range with a mouth call. Mouth calls are hands-free and can sound ultra realistic, but only if you know how to use them properly.
Simpson breaks down the science of mouth calls in his revolutionary video called “Mouth Call Mechanics.” There’s no better video for teaching novice and advanced turkey hunters how to use a mouth call. As you’ll see in the video, Simpson built a special mouth-call kit to accompany “Mouth Call Mechanics” and help you polish your mouth-calling technique.
For a limited time, Simpson is giving all ScoutLook users an exclusive 10-percent discount on his Mouth Call Mechanics call kit. Click here to order the kit and use coupon code “scoutlook” during checkout. (Note: The 10-percent discount applies to any purchases site-wide!)
HuntStand App. You didn’t think you’d get through this gear guide without hearing about HuntStand, did you? Download the HuntStand app to save unlimited turkey hunting locations to our interactive ScoutMap. Revisit your saved locations at any time to view pinpoint weather conditions, including detailed wind forecasts. (Tip: Use our ScentCone Wind Map to approach turkeys from downwind when possible, making it easier to hear their calls.) Use ScoutMarX to store locations of roost sites, scratchings, dusting areas and other clues that will lead you to tom. Save the locations of vocal gobblers by using our GobbleSpot marker. Log specific observations of turkey activities, including kills, with our easy-to-use logging system (weather conditions from time of log are automatically captured). HuntStand helps to put you in the right place at the right time. MSRP: free for Android and iOS.
onXmaps HUNT App. You should never need to wonder if you’re trespassing or hunting on the right property. On those same lines, you should be able to effortlessly tap into the massive swath of nationwide public land for chasing gobblers. The onXmaps HUNT app will help you dominate navigation from the convenience of your smartphone. This powerful app has private/public land boundary data and land ownership information for nearly everywhere in the United States. With onXmaps HUNT, you can view boundary maps by detecting your real-time location with your phone’s GPS, so you’ll never again wonder where you are or where you should be going. You can also choose to get maps via micro SD cards for your GPS, or online from your desktop computer. HUNT App MSRP: 12-month memberships; $15-30 per state.
Hooyman Ratchet Pruner. Whether your turkey hunting involves roaming the country with shotgun in hand, or huddled in a blind with your bow or crossbow, the Hooyman Ratchet Pruner ($35) is an invaluable tool. This handy design helps you clear out a spot for an effective “seat of your pants” shotgun ambush, as well as tucking your blind into thin brushy areas, quickly and silently. The pocket-sized, ruggedly built aluminum “Two-in-One” design features a detachable 3.5-inch, high-carbon-steel lock-back saw blade specifically designed for cutting branches, while the hardened ratchet pruning blade is built to hold its edge much longer than non-hardened models. Why carry both a ratchet pruner and hand saw when you can have both tools in one compact unit?
Bog Pod SB-2 Camo. Drawing a bead on a big boss gobbler that’s 20 to 40 yards away is a whole lot easier, and more accurate, with the help of a premium bipod. And of course, a nice steady bipod will also help if that nerve-testing dominant gobbler is a lot closer. The versatile SB-2C offers 360-degree swiveling and can be used either kneeling or sitting (21- to 40-inch usable height with legs spread); the added matte camo finish on its legs provides helpful concealment and the new rubber retention strap holds the SB-2C to your gun for quick and confident gun/bipod repositioning. The three-section, lightweight aluminum legs feature rapid-adjust twist locks that loosen or tighten legs with just a couple of turns; the removable rubber feet unscrew to a reveal carbide tip for better grip on icy terrain. Height (closed for transport) is 25 inches; weight is 19 ounces.
Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs. Whether you’re patterning your turkey gun on the range or using it to track a big strutting tom with young hunters beside you in a ground blind, smart hearing protection for all hunters makes good sense. The Impact Sport Earmuffs from Howard Leight protect shooters’ hearing by automatically shutting off amplification when harmful sound levels are reached, blocking any continuous or impulsive noise over 82 db. These electronic earmuffs are available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity pattern, making them the ideal hearing protection solution for the beginner to the advanced hunter looking to blend in with his surroundings. The slim earcup design allows for full clearance when handling a firearm stock, and the padded stereo muffs keep ears comfortable. The Impact Sport Earmuffs conveniently fold for compact storage and travel. For those embarking on group hunting trips, the Impact Sport Earmuffs amplify low-level ambient sound, such as conversation, while reducing the sound of gunfire. Lone hunters can take advantage of the built-in AUX jack that allows users to connect to any MP3 player or smartphone.
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System. Turkey hunters are among the wide-ranging group of outdoorsman who can benefit from the ingenious blade-sharpening systems from Work Sharp. A great example is the affordable Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System ($60) that is a complete sharpening solution for every knife you own, and even comes with a 42-year warranty. It features the innovative Pivot-Response System that allows the abrasive to follow the curve of the knife while sharpening—making manual sharpening faster, easier and more precise than ever. The System includes an Angle-Guided Bench Sharpener (17 degrees and 20 degrees), interchangeable coarse and fine 6-inch diamond plates, and an angle-guided field hone. It sharpens pocket knives, hunting knives, serrations, tools and more. (Click here to see a review of the System by HuntStand‘s Josh Dahlke.) While you’re at it, you might want to consider the Guided Sharpening System Upgrade Kit ($35) that includes two additional diamond plates (extra coarse 220 grit and extra fine 800 grit), and a leather strop kit complete with a natural leather stropping plate, angle guides and 0.5 micron chromium oxide honing compound. The diamond plates and leather strop are 6×1.25 inches and are designed to fit the Guided Sharpening System.
Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition. When you spend less time sharpening knives, you can spend more time hunting turkeys. Work Sharp has teamed up with renowned knife maker Ken Onion to deliver the ultimate sharpening solution for your home or workshop. The Ken Onion Edition Sharpener sharpens every knife you own using an adjustable precision sharpening guide (15° to 30°), a variable-speed motor to handle every sharpening task, and premium flexible abrasive belts. It quickly and easily makes your blades sharper than ever.
Cabela’s Influence Compound Bow Package. Bowhunting turkeys is one of the most-extreme pursuits in all of the outdoors, and now Cabela’s is helping you make it happen with a complete, compact and affordable bow package that’s ideal for those “in-your-face” ground blind encounters. Unlike asymmetric single-cam and hybrid-cam systems, the Influence makes use of a Synchronized Binary Cam System, comprised of two perfectly symmetrical cams that are bound to each other, forcing the cams to turn in perfect synchronization. Rotating modules don’t require a new cam or module to set your draw length, and let you adjust draw length between 20 and 30 inches. The Extreme Adjustability Limb System also accommodates growth as it lets you adjust the draw weight from 18 to 70 pounds. Another bonus? A flat-shooting, lethal IBO speed of 315 fps. Both right- and left-hand models are available, both covered in Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands camouflage. Cabela’s Influence Compound Bow Package ($480) includes: R.A.K. Custom 3-Pin Sight, Octane Hostage XL Rest, Octane DeadLock Lite Quiver, rope sling, carbon peep, 5-inch Ultra-Lite Octane Stabilizer, and a BCY string loop.
Elite Impulse 31. The new Impulse series is being touted as Elite’s most-advanced bow ever, and the super-compact, 31-inch axle-to-axle Impulse 31 (343 fps, 4.2 pounds, 6-inch brace height) might be one of the best ground blind bows ever made. The bow reaches speeds to 343 fps with help from the new Impulse 2-track cam system; also adding to the speedy performance is the new “open geometry” 6061 T6 aluminum riser, designed to distribute load over a greater surface area and improve rigidity. The new Perfect Alignment Limb System limb pocket is designed to deliver exceptionally balanced, forgiving shooting. The Impulse 31 retails for $999 and is available in a wide variety of finishes including new-for-2016 KUIU Vias and KUIU Verde camo patterns.
Cabela’s Instinct Order Acu50 Crossbow By TenPoint. Pair a good crossbow with a ground blind and you have some potent turkey medicine, but many crossbows are heavy and awkward. Not this one. The Instinct Order Acu50 weighs in at a mere 6.4 pounds, thanks to its weight-shedding, carbon-injected polymer barrel, and boasts speeds up to a blistering 350 feet per second. The Functionally Superior Bullpup (FSB) stock is designed for optimal balance and extreme durability; even better, the compact 13.5-inch XLT bow assembly packs a powerful 185-pound draw weight into a 13.5-inch axle-to-axle width when cocked. The included, patented ACU-50 cocking aid makes the Instinct Order easy to cock for just about anyone. Cabela’s Instinct Order Acu50 Crossbow Package By TenPoint ($1,100) includes: Crossbow, TenPoint 3x Pro View 2 illuminated scope, patented ACU-50 cocking aid, Instant-detach 3-arrow quiver, three carbon arrows.
Carbon Express Intercept Axon LT. How do you make a great crossbow better? Make it lighter. Carbon Express has taken the original Intercept Axon Crossbow and made it lighter and more balanced, beginning with the Intercept Chassis—a crossbow platform that uses the same reliable, modular component system as AR black guns. The Axon LT features a thinner extruded barrel and machined riser; the result is a lighter, more responsive front end, with improved balance and better shooting performance. In addition, a SilenTech Coating, a rubber-like exterior finish, has been added to reduce vibration and dampen sound, for quieter hunting. The Intercept Axon LT comes ready to hunt with factory-matched components that include a rope cocker, quick-detach three-arrow quiver with side bracket, three Maxima Blue Streak 20-inch crossbolts, rail lubricant, three practice points, and a 4×32 deluxe lighted scope.
Cabela’s Equalizer Crossbow Powered by Excalibur. It’s no secret crossbows are ideal for turkey hunting, and one of the fastest-growing segments in archery. Even better, recurve designs are some of the lightest and most dependably reliable around. The camless design of the Equalizer eliminates tuning or timing issues, and allows you to change strings easily, yet delivers speeds up to 370 fps. You’ll also find a simple setup, and a rope-cocking aid is included for quick and easy loading. In your stand the Ergo Grip stock helps enhance balance for increased accuracy, and a self-contained Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system enhances safety. The included Tact-Zone scope features an updated reticle design, 30mm main tube, red/green rheostat-illuminated reticle, and multicoated lenses for exceptional clarity and light-gathering performance. In addition, the Quad-Loc riser design locks in each limb on four sides for greater strength and consistency. The BCY Dynaflight 97 string minimizes creep and maximizes speed. Draw weight is 250 pounds.; length is 35.18 inches. Cocked width is 25.37 inches; 30.62 inches width uncocked. Weight is 5.7 pounds.; weight with accessories: 7.95 pounds. Camo pattern is Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands. Cabela’s Equalizer Crossbow Package Powered by Excalibur ($900) includes: crossbow, Tact-Zone scope, four-bolt quiver with mounting bracket, four Diablo bolts, four 150-grain field points, and rope-cocking aid.
Muck Boot Company Woody Blaze Cool. Over many states, spring turkey season can span some of the widest-ranging weather of the year. Early on you can see snow, and by the latter stages, temps in the 90s. Even a typical day can start bone-chilling and end with sauna-like conditions. The answer? The new Woody Blaze Cool, an ideal choice for turkey hunts that start out cold and finish in the heat of the afternoon. Muck’s exclusive XpressCool lining displaces moisture while keeping feet cool and comfortable; you’ll also find an aggressive waffle traction outsole for sure footing in the wet, slippery spring woods—even when the terrain is hilly and steep.
LaCrosse 4XAlpha Snake Boot. Do you chase turkeys in the western or southern U.S. where running into springtime snakes is a real possibility? Peace of mind begins with the 4XAlpha snake boot ($160). Mobile turkey hunters will appreciate the Realtree Xtra camo and all-around comfort complete with 360-degree snake protection that won’t weigh you down. LaCrosse Alpha construction provides lightweight, waterproof protection and makes the 16-inch boot easier to slip on and off. Quad Core technology provides four layers of cushioning underfoot by combining a three-layer sponge rubber midsole with a dual density molded polyurethane footbed. The contoured Ankle Fit design ensures the heel is locked in place while the back gusset is adjustable to accommodate various calf sizes and allows for pants to be comfortably tucked in. The rugged outsole is non-loading and offers superior traction in mud and loose terrain.
Wolverine Edge Extreme. As a turkey hunter, a big part of consistent success is being mobile. This lightweight, athletic 8-inch boot features an aggressive Vibram rubber lug outsole for reliable traction even in wet, hilly terrain, and you’ll also find a durable Nubuck/900 Denier Polyester upper and a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. NXT odor control helps the Edge Extreme ($180) stop odors before they start with organic odor-eating enzymes, and 600 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation provides the perfect amount of warmth for cold mornings and active hunts. A compression molded EVA midsole and a removable open-cell polyurethane footbed offer support and cushion in each step.
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. The last pair of hunting boots you’ll ever need. That’s what you’ll get if you buy any boots in the Mountain Extreme series from Kenetrek. HuntStand’s Josh Dahlke has been field-testing the Mountain Extreme 400s for more than a year while filming for THE HUNGER. “From running and gunning for turkeys in Mexico to climbing the Rocky Mountains for mule deer in Utah, my Kenetreks have saved me from countless rolled ankles,” explained Dahlke. “The ankle support and confidence these boots deliver is unlike any hunting footwear I’ve ever tried.” Just read some of the testimonials from Kenetrek customers and you’ll learn how hardcore these boots really are.
Cabela’s Instinct Accelerator 5mm Rubber Boots. Wise turkey and whitetail hunters know high-performance rubber boots deliver serious advantages. The 17-inch Instinct Accelerator’s Zero Gravity Technology delivers rugged neoprene construction that’s lighter, faster, more athletic and more durable than traditional rubber boots, while also providing superior heat retention. Cabela’s built these from the ground up using lightweight, seamless-injected shells and outsoles, and they’re double-taped to seal out water. The cushioned, 5mm TC3 OrthoLite footbeds are designed to offer step-in comfort. Plush fleece linings and a layer of 9mm Airmesh throughout protect against cold temperatures, and wick away moisture to help feet stay dry. Fiberglass shanks deliver enhanced stability, while the large, rugged treads offer exceptional traction. Available in men’s whole sizes: 8-13; Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands camo.
Huntworth Men’s 1/2 Zip Performance Fleece Pullover. Start-and-stop, run-and-gun turkey hunting poses its share of challenges when assembling a deadly hunt apparel arsenal. This versatile, affordable pullover ($55) features 230-gram, four-way stretch performance fleece that offers exceptional flexibility and durability for active hunting. Chilly morning? The newly designed interior uses ceramic print technology to keep cold out via its “Huntworth” print pattern interior lamination. Use it as outerwear, or as mid-layer under a heavier jacket. The super soft double-sided fleece is deadly silent; the forgiving four-way stretch fleece fabric delivers exceptional freedom of movement. Smart details include Huntworth’s exclusive camo pattern, Oak Tree EVO, and a zippered left arm shoulder pocket that will accommodate a large cell phone, including the iPhone 6 Plus.
Woolpower Zip Turtleneck Lite. If you’re not wearing black inside your ground blind, it would be wise to start. Blending with the shadows will help you stay concealed from probing turkey eyes, and one of the smartest garments you can wear is this new form-fitting, ultralight merino-wool turtleneck from Woolpower. It’s ideal as an underlayer for cool mornings, and as your “inside the blind” clothing of choice as temps rise. The new Lite series from Woolpower also includes tees, briefs, longjohns and 3/4 longjohns, as well as more turkey-friendly accessories such as the head- and neck-concealing Balaclava Lite, Tube Lite, and Beanie Lite. All come in ground-blind-friendly black.
X-BIONIC Cabela’s Edition Energizer First-On-Skin Shirt and Pants. Base layers can make or break any hunt—especially when it comes to ultra-mobile, stop-and-go turkey hunting. These next-generation garments actually make your sweat work for you, using thermo-regulating technologies that help cool you down or warm you up depending on conditions. And all while keeping you at the optimum performance body temperature of 98.6 degrees. How does it work? Sweat Traps move perspiration through microducts, allowing it to absorb your excess body heat, then evaporate and release from the warm, outer surface of the garment. Strategically placed compression panels aid circulation through capillaries to increase oxygen levels in muscles for cooling, without hindering range of motion. Odor-neutralizing fibers keep you fresh. Available in merino wool ($200; tan) or nylon ($180; black).
Huntworth Tech Shooters Glove. When cool turkey mornings demand use of gloves, they need the right type of fit and dexterity to work box and pot calls, and operate guns, bows and crossbows with deadly precision. The newly redesigned Tech Shooters Glove ($30) does all that and more, by incorporating new Microban scent control. The next-to-skin fit ensures the sensitivity to confidently operate anything, including knives, weapons, or the sensitive pull of a trigger. The shell is a stretch woven polyester bonded to a soft pile fleece and windproof breathable membrane. Microban, an antimicrobial treatment, has been added to the interior palm material for scent reduction, and the index finger and thumb are made with a touch-screen-compatible material, allowing use of a mobile device.
Cabela’s Instinct Backcountry Ultra-Pack Rain Jacket and Pants. All roving hunters—turkey hunters included—need dependable rainwear that’s lightweight and truly packable, and this premium suit excels in all three areas. Both Jacket ($200) and Pant ($190) pack down to about the size of a 12-ounce soda can—so they’re always handy, never cumbersome. Generously cut designs allow fast on and off in the field. The Jacket has a draw-cord hem, elastic cuffs, adjustable hood and a full-front zipper, and weighs only 7.2 ounces. The Pants (6.3 ounces, including stuff sack) have an elastic waist and knee-length zippers for easy on and off. Both are constructed of 100-percent four-way-stretch polyester. Camo pattern: Cabela’s Zonz Backcountry.
ThermaCELL ProFlex Heated Insoles. If you haven’t spent a cool (or downright cold) morning in the turkey woods anxiously awaiting the warming rays of sunup, you might not be a dedicated turkey hunter. Regardless, the way to take the chill off quickly and easily—and still be ready for chasing the big birds on those cross-country missions—is with help from ThermaCELL ProFlex Heated Insoles. They’re designed to deliver even more comfort and ease of use than the company’s Original Heated Insoles; the upgrades come via a new flexible polyurethane insole material, and a smartly designed removable/rechargeable battery that’s hidden in a unique heel compartment. So you don’t have to remove the insoles to change or charge the batteries. You’ll still find quick and convenient remote operation, and ThermaCELL boasts at least 2,500 hours—about four years—of heavy use. To use, simply cut the insoles to fit, then adjust the temperature utilizing the wireless remote control to the setting of your choice: no heat (standby), medium (100 degrees F), and high (111 degreesF). The heating performance of the ProFlex is the same as the Original. “You’re not going to feel your feet getting hot,” noted HuntStand Executive Editor Mark Melotik. “But if my experience is typical, they should feel remarkably comfortable, well down into the type of temps where you’d typically be forced to bounce/tap/exercise your feet to promote warming circulation.”
PEET Footwear Dryers/Deodorizers. Turkeys might not be able to smell, but smart hunters do all they can to eliminate moisture and otherwise ensure their outdoor footwear lasts as long as possible, and will be ready for big game seasons. For years, PEET footwear dryers have been keeping outdoorsmen more comfortable in the field, and now, with two all-new products, this innovator is also targeting odor-targeting bacteria—using strictly controlled ozone (O³) molecules that penetrate odor and pollution molecules, destroying them by altering their chemical make-up. So odor isn’t covered up—it’s destroyed (read more here). The PEET Ultra Dryer & Deodorizer ($50) is designed with the roving hunter in mind; the twin dryers/deodorizers easily fit into any pair of hunting boots after a full day’s hunt. In addition to drying wetness and sweat, its O³ science destroys odor molecules so you and your boots are ready to go the next morning. The PEET D’ODORIZ’R Module ($70) is PEET’s most-powerful odor-eliminating product. It’s also the most versatile. It can be operated in three distinct ways to overpower odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. The Module may be inserted into boots or waders, attached to several PEET Dryer models, and can also be used as a “stand-alone” unit for deodorizing small room areas.
Cabela’s The Species Ground Blind. For turkey hunters who depend on blinds, one of the most-critical aspects to a successful hunt can be a hard look at your entire gear arsenal, making sure all choices are as ultralight as possible. One of the best ways to shave weight starts with your blind, and the new Species (Currently on sale for $299.99, a savings of $50) delivers. This full-size (73″L x 73″W x 68″H), full-featured blind weighs in at just 20 pounds, yet offers plenty of space and smart shoot-through windows to keep you and a hunting buddy concealed and ready. Extra-large diamond-shaped windows in two corners and wide 180-degree panoramic windows (all feature silent hook-and-MOLLE system) between them maximize visibility and shooting areas. The rugged 7-oz. cotton/polyester construction is polyurethane-coated for moisture resistance; you’ll also find replaceable shoot-through mesh coverings at each window, and integrated brush loops that let you add to the concealment. Includes Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands camo and all necessary stakes, mesh and carry bag.
Cabela’s Stealth Hunter4 Ground Blind. One of the biggest keys to consistent turkey hunting success from ground blinds? A smart window system. The Stealth Hunter4 ($299.99, 25.75 pounds) features an ingenious zipper- and Velcro-free design; innovative window slides offer silent access to shooting windows and allow 360-degree shooting. Independent mesh and panel window coverings each slide smoothly and silently open and closed, ensuring you don’t spook wildlife when you’re ready to take the shot. Polyurethane-treated 7-ounce cotton/polyester material is covered in Cabela’s Zonz Woodlands camo and resists light rain, while the spacious four-wall design (70 inches L x 70 inches W x 78 inches H with five total hubs) ensures quick, easy setup and takedown. These blinds are also available in five- and six-wall configurations.
SIG SAUER ROMEO4. The ROMEO4 is a cutting-edge red-dot sight built for fast, accurate target acquisition—a perfect match for turkey guns. Four different models are available, our favorite being the 4C because of its integrated solar panel and low profile. But most importantly, the 4C features a center red dot with an outer ring: just circle his head and he’s dead! All of the ROMEO4s are waterproof, offer unlimited eye relief, 10 daytime illumination settings, and a 5,000-hour minimum battery life. Weight: 3 ounces; dimensions: 2.65 inches long, 1.6 inches side,1.6 inches tall. MSRP: $300-500.
Nikon PROSTAFF 3S Binocular. Turkeys walk around with a pair of eyes that can rival most optics, so it pays to have a high-quality set working for you as well. A great choice is Nikon’s new PROSTAFF 3S binocular, available in both 8×42 and 10×42 models. These new optics offer Nikon’s legendary optical quality, along with a durable waterproof/fogproof exterior design. You’ll also find light-gathering 42mm objective lenses that offer a large field of view, yet the body is noticeably lightweight and compact to assure portability. Other features include prisms with high-reflective silver-alloy mirror coatings and multilayer-coated lenses that provide bright and clear viewing. Also, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click adjustments allowing easy eye positioning, even for eyeglass wearers.
Nikon ARROW ID 3000 Laser Rangefinder. Knowing the range can be critical for bowhunters, and especially for turkey bowhunters in ground blinds, from which distances can be hard to judge accurately. Unless you’re packing the new Nikon ARROW ID 3000 laser rangefinder, which delivers proven TRU-TARGET Technology and the ID (Incline/Decline) Technology. The high-quality 4x monocular system features multilayer coatings for bright, clear images while offering invaluable field-of-view to easily locate and range targets quickly. That means less time searching for targets and more time preparing for the shot. The ARROW ID 3000 provides 20.3mm of eye relief for a pleasurable viewing experience for any archer, including eyeglass wearers, allowing them to quickly range distances from 6 to 550 yards. You’ll also find a hunter-friendly rainproof housing and wide temperature tolerance. Nikon’s proven ID (Incline/Decline) Technology instantly calculates the horizontal distance to the target. Archers also have the option to simply switch modes to the traditional “linear” distance reading when required. TRU-TARGET Technology offers users the ability to select between First Target Priority (1st) mode and Distant Target Priority (Dst) mode. First Target Priority mode displays the distance of the closest subject– useful when measuring the distance to a subject in front of an overlapping background. Distant Target Priority mode displays the range of the farthest target among a group of targets measured, useful in wooded areas.
Cabela’s Outfitter Series Binoculars. With 20-percent larger eyepieces than previous models in the same category, these premium optics are designed to deliver a better viewing experience that’s easier on your eyes. That means glassing longer and more efficiently and, ultimately, seeing more game. They feature high-definition multicoated objective and eyepiece lenses that feature flat surfaces. The “Flat Multi” construction delivers excellent light transmission and image clarity, and true color reproduction. Choose from 8×42 ($400), 10×42 ($420), and 12×50 ($450) models; the larger eyepieces increase the field of view 16 percent on the 8-power model, and 8 percent on the 10- and 12-power models.
Styrka S7 Series Binoculars. Need an optical advantage in the turkey woods? Styrka is a Minnesota-based optics company with over a century of optical expertise, and it certainly shows in its new flagship S7 Series binocular line. Included are three models (8×42, 10×42 and a very compact 8×30), all backed by the best warranty in the optics industry: the Styrka Pride Warranty. Under Styrka Pride, not only is the optic covered unconditionally, but once a year it can be returned to Styrka for a cleaning and thorough inspection to make sure everything is working as it should. After some extensive field-testing this fall, HuntStand Executive Editor Mark Melotik considers the 8×30 model to be a near-ideal bowhunting binocular. He especially liked the sharp, crisp images in the low light of dawn and dusk, and the super-compact, lightweight design that never interfered with bow shooting and was easily stowed in pack or pocket. The S7 line features extra-low dispersion (ED) objective lenses; coupled with Styrka’s proprietary SXL-MAX flat multi-coatings, the optical design delivers razor-sharp, high-contrast images to help you find more game in any terrain. All models are fully waterproof and nitrogen purged for use in any weather condition.
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill and Smoker. Proceed with caution. Once you eat a piece of wild meat fresh from the high-tech chamber of Camp Chef’s SmokePro DLX, there’s no turning your taste buds back. This grill eats wood pellets, allowing you to grill or smoke wild turkeys and other fine fare to succulent perfection. Mitch Kezar uses his DLX frequently while cooking for THE HUNGER. You can carefully monitor and adjust both the cooking temperature and the actual internal meat temperature with a digital gauge, and the range of temps goes from 160-500 degrees to suit your variable cooking styles. The pellet auger fuels the DLX automatically, so just make sure it’s full … then all you need to worry about is sipping a cold beverage while you patiently wait to impress your buddies with a king’s feast. MSRP: $834.
Engel Backpack Cooler in Kryptek Camo. Ultra-mobile outdoorsmen like turkey hunters are prime candidates for soft-side coolers, because they’re uniquely versatile and portable. And now, the Engel Backpack Cooler, complete with its handy backpack straps, highly efficient insulation and dual radiant barriers, is available in great-looking Kryptek Highlander camo ($180). Any sportsman—or sportswoman—will appreciate the benefits of blending into the surrounding environment as well as the tough, easy-toting performance of this new design. The Backpack Cooler offers easy access with plenty of room for lunch and more—in total, it’ll hold more than 24 12-ounce beverage cans. The top opening features a heavy-duty, two-way, water-repellant zipper that pulls open for full access to the main inner compartment. Next to the main opening there’s a zippered side pocket, an ideal place to hold an Engel Cooler Pak or two. (Engel Cooler Paks will keep the adjacent contents in the main section cold without relying upon ice—freeing up more space for groceries and eliminating sloppy meltwater). Rugged construction includes a durable 500-denier tear-resistant diamond ripstop outer shell with a waterproof TPE coating. On the inside, there are dual radiant barrier liners of reflective foil—an Engel exclusive feature—and sandwiched in between is a 1.5-inch-thick layer of closed-cell foam insulation. Under typical conditions, the Engel Backpack Cooler will hold ice for up to 3 days.
Wilderness Athlete Energy & Focus. Few sportsmen push the limits of endurance and sleep deprivation like dedicated turkey hunters. Up at 3 a.m., chase gobblers all day, eat a few harried meals, plan the next day’s attack, repeat. For those who “have it bad” this pattern can last for weeks. Even casual turkey hunters can benefit from this proven energy drink, which has been uniquely formulated to feed the energy-producing mechanisms in the body while boosting mental clarity and increasing physical output. And who among us couldn’t use that? Originally developed for professional, Olympic, and other elite athletes, Energy & Focus offers a healthy, effective, gluten-free formula that contains no simple sugars to interfere with normal blood sugar metabolism and regulation—a true “no crash” formula.
Midland MXT100 microMobile GMRS 2-Way Radio. The scenario is familiar. You’re in hunting camp with a few buddies. Cell service? Generally poor; spotty at best. The answer for general safety and overall peace of mind? Midland’s newest ultra-compact, affordable MXT100 GMRS 2-Way Radio mounted in your truck or in base camp—paired with Midland’s X-Talker Two-Way Radios that fit easily in the packs and pockets of your entire hunt group. While small in size (a mere 1x4x3.4 inches and just 6 ounces), the new MXT100 microMOBILE ($150) is big on innovation, offering a full 5-watts of transmitting power, along with an external magnetic mount antenna for extended range and reach, making it a great base camp unit for hunting, camping, and more. Plus, the radio works with all other Midland and most other GMRS 2-way radios, so everyone can keep in touch and communicate on the road, especially where cell service is nonexistent or unreliable. The radio has 15 high and low power GMRS channels, and 142 privacy codes to block other conversations. Also included is a high-grade microphone, an external speaker jack, a 12V car power adaptor, and a high contrast, backlit LCD screen making it easy to read, even in daylight.