Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - How to Fill a Turkey Vest

By Steve Hickoff

 

Spring turkey seasons begin in March in southernmost places like Florida, so the time to load that vest with all you need is now. No matter where you hunt gobblers north to south, some essentials for a successful hunt follow below:

 

Calls: You’ll need two kinds in your vest’s pockets.

 

Locator calls help you find silent male birds in an attempt to make them shock gobble. Shock gobbling is the tendency for some spring gobblers to sound off at loud sounds.

Natural sounds such as crow caws or owl hoots are traditional options. Goose honks, hawk screams, coyote howls, woodpecker cries and others work too. Industrial noises and even thunder can cause a gobbler to pop off.

Turkey calls can locate gobblers, and pull them to your calling position. Air-activated and friction calls provide options for clucking and yelping. Mouth diaphragms while more portable provide challenges to some. Pot and peg, and box calls, are hand operated.

 

While you only need one call to kill a turkey, we hunters usually take far more in our vest. Use them. They’re called turkey calls for a reason.

 

Seat cushion: Beyond calls, you’ll need a good seat cushion for setups. Some come attached to your vest. Some can be carried on your shoulder or in the vest’s game pouch. Often I pack several.

 

Outside of your necessary firearm and shotgun loads, or archery tackle and appropriate arrows, the rest of the vest list goes like this:

 

Water bottle
Snack
Cell phone (turned off)
Compass or GPS unit
Knife
Turkey tags/licenses
Pen for filling tags, with twist ties
Toilet paper
Pruning shears
Extra shells
Flashlight
Decoys
Binoculars
Extra facemask and gloves
Bug repellent
Small camera
Maps
Waterproof matches
Sandpaper and scrubbing pads (for dressing friction calls)

 

You may think of some others too that I haven’t listed here, including your lucky turkey spurs or rabbit’s foot; whatever you carry in that department. While some of these aforementioned hunting tools are optional, others are not.

 

These may include some Yamaha accessories to make your ride more comfortable.

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