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Ultimate Turkey Hunting Gear Checklist: Essentials + What to Wear

WriterAubrey McShan
12 min read
Two turkeys each showcasing blue and red head coloring strut side by side through the forest.

The closer longbeard season gets, you’ll likely already have thought about tuning your shotgun, prepping your shells, practicing with your bow, and choosing the perfect spot. But don’t let your anticipation for this year’s inaugural hunt make you forget about other turkey hunting essentials.

There’s so much more to chasing gobblers than just the basics. Our turkey hunting checklist will help make sure you're well-prepared and stocked up so you can outsmart these clever birds this season!

Key Takeaways

Turkey Hunting Gear Checklist

A turkey hunting gear checklist ensures you're equipped to blend in, outsmart any birds that you set your sight on, and secure your prized gobbler. From decoys to snacks for sustained energy — we've got you covered! Our turkey hunting essentials are expertly curated for both novice and seasoned hunters alike!

A turkey hunting checklist features items like camo clothes, hunting license, bow and arrow, and more.

Turkey Hunting Must-Haves

Before you venture out for turkey hunting, you’ll need the right turkey hunting essentials. From legal requirements to navigation tools, being prepared is crucial for a successful hunt:

  • Hunting License: Always adhere to local and state regulations

  • Tags: Ensure you have the necessary tags for your hunt

  • GPS/Map: Vital for navigation and marking key spots

  • Phone + Watch: Stay connected and keep track of time

Turkey Hunting Gear You Need

Heading out for a turkey hunt? Your choice of weapon — be it a shotgun or bow — is vital. While many hunters choose a compound bow, the 12 or 20-ga shotgun is also a very popular choice.

Turkey Hunting Shotgun + Ammo

Shotguns provide range and power. Use a 12-gauge shotgun to hunt turkeys at long distances and a 20-gauge for closer encounters. Always pack ample ammo for your hunt.

Mossberg 930 Turkey Hunting Shotgun

Expert Tip:

Stuck on which gauge to choose for your next turkey hunt? Learn everything you need about a 12 GA vs a 20 GA shotgun and more.

Turkey Hunting Shotgun Chokes

Shotgun chokes modify shot patterns to suit your hunting style by tightening or loosening the shots within the shell. Depending on which one you choose, you’ll have better accuracy at longer or short ranges.

Carlson's Choke Tubes TSS Browning Invector Plus 12 Gauge Turkey Choke Tube

Expert Tip:

Want to learn more about which shotgun choke is the best one for hunting longbeards? Check out our in-depth, beginner-friendly guide that will help you choose the perfect choke for turkey hunting.

Turkey Hunting Bow + Arrow

Bows and arrows offer a silent yet effective approach to turkey hunting. While they are challenging for complete beginners to learn how to use at first, they offer an exciting hunt. 

Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Ready to Hunt Compound Bow Package

Expert Tip:

One of the biggest hurdles beginner bow hunters have to work through is understanding the best places to shoot a turkey for a clean shot. Learn this and so much more in our turkey hunting with a bow guide.

Weapons + Ammo Accessories

  • Fabric Wrap: Turkeys have keen eyesight. Using fabric wrap can help conceal the barrel of your shotgun. 

  • Firearm Case: A firearm case ensures your shotgun is well-maintained and ready for action. They come in handy for transporting your firearm as well.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Keep your gun in tip-top shape with a gun cleaning kit to maintain the best performance possible. A kit has everything you need to prevent corrosion, rusting, and more.

  • Shell Bag: Keep your shells organized with a shell bag. They offer you quick and easy access to your ammunition. 

Essential Turkey Hunting Accessories

  • Turkey Decoys: Decoys mimic real turkeys, enticing them closer to your hunting spot. Their realistic appearance can result in either a successful hunt or going home empty-handed.

  • Turkey Calls: Turkey calls replicate the sounds of turkeys — drawing them in closer to you. Mastering different call techniques can significantly increase your chances of attracting a turkey.

  • Chair or Stool: A comfortable chair or stool is essential for those long waits in the woods. It ensures you remain patient and focused, ready for the opportune moment.

  • Binoculars + Rangefinders: Binoculars and rangefinders help you spot turkeys from a distance and judge their exact location. This type of turkey hunting gear is crucial for planning your approach and ensuring an accurate shot.

  • Blind: A hunting blind conceals your movements, making it harder for turkeys to detect your presence. It offers an advantage by providing cover and enhancing your stealth in the field.

Two camo hunting blinds are hidden beneath brush in a forest.

Turkey Hunting Essentials You Need

Always be prepared for the unexpected by packing essentials like water, snacks, and a first aid kit. Situations can change. For instance, you might actually stay out way later than you initially intended. In this scenario, a flashlight would become invaluable for you to navigate through any hunting grounds.

  • Knife: Pick up a sharp knife for field dressing your turkey quickly and efficiently. It's an essential tool for any hunter that ensures clean cuts and safe handling.

  • Flashlight or Headlamp: Navigating in the early morning or late evening requires a reliable flashlight or headlamp. It illuminates your path, ensuring safe movement in low-light conditions.

  • Personal Care: Staying nourished and protected is vital during a hunt. Packing food, water, hydration packs, bug spray, and sunscreen will help you remain energized and shielded from the elements and pests.

  • Coolers: Coolers preserve your game meat: keeping it fresh until you get home. They also store beverages and food, ensuring they remain cold during your trip.

  • First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen. A first aid kit is great for addressing minor injuries. It's a safety net every hunter should have on hand.

  • Rope: A sturdy rope aids in various tasks: from dragging your game to securing your equipment. It's a multi-purpose tool that can come in handy in unexpected situations.

  • Game Camera: A game camera captures images of wildlife in your hunting area. It provides insights into turkey patterns — helping you strategize and increase your chances of success.

A hunter wears black gloves and sets up his game camera, which is secured to a tree.

What to Wear Turkey Hunting

When it comes to turkey hunting gear, blending in is the name of the game. Your attire should not only conceal you but also ensure safety and comfort in varying conditions.

  • Full Camo Ensemble: Pants, shirt, jacket, and boots

  • Face Paint: Camo face paint or mask for complete concealment

  • Dress for the Weather: Weather-appropriate layers to adapt to changing conditions

  • Gloves: Wearing protective camo gloves can conceal your hands and make shooting more controlled

  • Colors to Avoid: Avoid red, white, blue, or black to prevent being mistaken for a turkey

  • Orange Vest: Consider wearing orange during transit to your hunting spot for safety

Two hunters in full camo, with shotguns and backpacks, trek up a hill in the forest.

Have Fun Out There!

Eager to bag that elusive turkey? At Academy, we've got you covered with all the essential turkey hunting gear you could ever need. From turkey blinds and fabric wraps for stealth to shotgun chokes and binoculars for precision, elevate your hunt with us. Gear up for the upcoming turkey season with Academy's top-notch selection!