At its foundation, spring turkey hunting isn’t a “high tech” pursuit. You do your scouting; you try to figure out the birds’ general patterns. You practice calling to get good enough to sound reasonably like a turkey. You shoot a few shells to learn the effective range with your gun, load, and skill. And once you’re finally in the woods, you wear the right clothes … and sit still … so the tom you’re after will come within your lethal range.
Yet in every step of your pursuit, there’s gear designed to up your odds of success IF you put it to the right use. Let’s look at what’s new this spring to help you out-maneuver a tom turkey or two:
1. Primos Double Bull SurroundView 360/270/180 Hunting Blind
Manufacturer suggested pricing: $499.99 for the 360, and $399.99 for the 270, and $299.99 for the 180
Available this spring will be the brand new Primos Double Bull SurroundView hunting blinds. Dubbed as the “blinds without a blind spot” they are constructed with exclusive one-way see-through fabric walls that let hunters inside see out, but prevent game outside from seeing in. The 360, 270, and 180 designations denote whether four, three, or two of the blind walls include the see-through fabric. They’re built around the patented Double Bull hub system for easy and solid set-up. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Click here to find the Federal Grand Slam Turkey Loads at Cabela's
$12.00 - $17.99
The Grand Slam Turkey Load has been around for quite a while, but with the original FliteControl wad, they didn’t provide optimal performance from some styles of choke tubes, especially those with porting. The new Grand Slam 12 and 20 gauge shotshells utilize the FliteControl Flex wad that works in all chokes and copper-plated lead shot sizes 4, 5, and 6. A portion of the proceeds of each box (of 10) sold goes to the efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Click here to find the Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS Turkey Loads at Cabela's
$37.99 (per 5 rounds)
It’s the struggle in achieving the “perfect” turkey load – how do you deliver pellets heavy enough to retain sufficient kinetic energy to maximum ranges, yet make the pellets small enough to maximize the number of vital zone pellet strikes? Well, the new answer is Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS Turkey Loads. Loaded with either #7 or #9 (yes, you read that right #9 shot for turkey hunting!) Tungsten Super Shot, there are as many as 900 pellets in a 12 gauge load. Yet, because of the material’s density, a #9 TSS pellet provides similar ballistic performance to a #5 lead pellet. Heavyweight TSS Turkey Loads are available in 3 ½-inch and 3-inch 12 gauge, 3-inch 20 gauge, and 3-inch .410. Loads in 12 and 20 gauge use Federal’s FliteControl Flex wad for use with any style of choke.
Click here to find Federal 3rd Degree Turkey Shotshells at Bass Pro Shops
$17.99 - $19.99 (per 5 rounds)
The 3rd Degree Loads, introduced last year, now feature #7 TSS shot. The principal of 3rd Degree is a three-stage payload layered for optimal performance. Each shell is loaded with 20 percent #6 FliteStoper pellets for forgiving close range patterns, 40 percent #5 copper-plated lead for lethal performance at mid-range, and 40 percent Heavyweight TSS for extra-dense, extra-hard-hitting patterns at 40 yards plus. Available in 3 ½-inch and 3-inch 12 gauge and 3-inch 20 gauge, 3rd Degree shotshells feature the FliteControl Flex wad to work in all styles of choke tubes.
5. Winchester Xtended Range Bismuth Shotshells
Winchester Xtended Range Bismuth pairs ShotLok Technology with bismuth shot to produce optimum performance for turkey, waterfowl, and upland hunting in areas requiring non-toxic shot. With density greater than steel, bismuth shot gives improved penetration that nears that of traditional lead loads. Winchester’s ShotLok Technology protects bismuth shot from fracturing on setback to improve pattern density and increase downrange energy. Xtended Range Bismuth puts twice the number of pellets in a 20-inch circle at 60 yards. It’s available in 3-inch 12 gauge loads packing 1 5/8 ounces of #5 bismuth shot at 1200 fps.
6. Nikon P-Tactical Spur Sight
Search BassPro.com this spring for availability.
Initially designed for tactical use, everything about the Nikon P-Tactical Spur makes it an excellent choice for the turkey hunter considering a reflex sight for a shotgun. The sight is tiny, weighing barely over one ounce – half the weight of one shell! Despite the diminutive size, it offers a full range of features including a 3 MOA dot with 10 levels of brightness. Extra wide field of view, 1x optics, unlimited eye relief, and Nikon’s TRUCOLOR coating are all part of the package. What puts many serious hunters off of reflex sights is the thought a battery will be dead when you most need it. The Spur boasts 15,000 hour of run time on a single battery!
Click here to find the Flextone Lil' Double Turkey Call at Cabela's
Flextone’s Lil’ line of turkey mouth calls are built for women, kids, or anyone with a smaller pallet. One size does not fit all when it comes to mouth calls. Flextone's Small-Frame Lil' Double Diaphragm Turkey Call fits small palates with a compact size that maximizes calling control. No more trimming, folding, and discomfort. The two .003" reeds deliver the versatility to create a full range of realistic hen turkey sounds when used by both expert and amateur callers. Create higher pitches with more tongue pressure and lower notes with less pressure. Flutter your tongue across the reeds for a purr.
Click here to find the Avian-X Trophy Tom Taxidermy Decoy Mount at Bass Pro Shops
Talk about serving double-duty? Use the Avian-X Trophy Tom as a mounting system and wall display for the dried tail and beard of your trophy tom when there’s no room or budget for a full-bird mount. Then, come next hunting season, take it down and attach it on the included mounting stake to take it to the field to help lure in the next memory in the making. Includes mount, carry handle, and collapsible stake. Super realistic relief and painting.
Click here to find the Dave Smith Decoys Mating Motion Pair Turkey Decoy Set at Bass Pro Shops
The only thing more realistic than Dave Smith Decoys are … real, live birds. This pair of decoys (one submissive hen and one mating jake) are built with DSD’s A.C.E. technology that creates decoys with perfect memory and unbelievable durability. A.C.E. is far superior to polyethylene which has long been the standard for portable decoys. A.C.E. works in extreme temps and holds paint far longer, too! The DSD mating motion pair incorporates a unique, but simple hand motion system giving the hunter total control. The slight motion it imparts proves to drive a territorial tom into rage … and bring him running.
Video by Dave Smith Decoys: Mating Motion Pair accurately mimics a jake trying to mate a hen