Wild turkeys can see in color. They can see detail at long distances. Their eyes are mounted on the sides of their heads, so they have about a 270-degree field of vision (your vision, by contrast, only allows you a 180-degree view). They’re much smarter than you would ever expect a bird to be. They know that people are trouble, and they seem to get better at dodging us from year to year. Your turkey hunt will be a true war of wits—so be sure to arm yourself ahead of time with the gear to help fill your limit.
By Wendy LaFever, Photos by Hannele Lahti
Know When To Show When you’re on your way into and out of the woods, it’s a good idea to show your true colors as a human being. Avoid all confusion by putting your turkey decoys and any game birds you’ve taken into a blaze-orange bag, like this Hunter’s Specialties Blaze Orange Safety Bag. While you’re at it, why not slip on a blaze-orange hat and vest to wear when you’re not incognito? Bass Pro Shops offers a Polyester Safety Vest for Youth; Cabela’s has blaze orange caps for kids. Both will fold easily into the pouches of your turkey vest, so there’s no excuse not to bring them with you. Those pouches will also hold a packet of baby wipes, which you can use to remove any camouflage paint from your face. One key tip is to never wear red, white or blue into the woods during turkey season. These are all colors that are part of a tom’s breeding display, and at a distance, might fool another hunter. Be safe—save the patriotic colors for another time and place.
Here’s a winning strategy: Blend completely into your surroundings so old Tom can’t see you. Start by thinking about the area where you’ll be hunting during turkey season. Is it spring woodland? Open meadows? Then think about what pattern of camouflage will best blend in. (For this article, we’ve chosen Mossy Oak New Break-Up for most of our gear.)
Turkey Terror If you’re tall enough to tote an adult-sized gun, does Remington ever have some cool news for you! Check out the brand-new Remington Model 11-87 Sportsman ShurShot Synthetic Turkey shotgun. Completely decked out in Realtree APG HD camo, this scattergun was clearly designed with just one thing in mind: taking turkeys. It comes with fully adjustable TruGlo fiber-optic sights and a Wingmaster HD Extended Rem Choke to help you reach out and touch those tough turkeys. It sports a 23-inch barrel, 75⁄8-pound weight and a 13¾-inch length of pull.