The Complete Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys

Carly Brasseux // February 19

Gobble, gobble… ready to go on a turkey hunting adventure? In “The Complete Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys,” we delve into essential strategies, gear (we've got a massive list for you!), and techniques that will not only elevate your hunting experience but also increase your chances of a successful hunt. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or a newcomer to the pursuit of turkeys, this guide is your roadmap to mastering the art of wild turkey hunting.

The Complete Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys

Here are the absolute best tips for turkey hunting:

Tips for Wild Turkey Hunting

Whether you're a seasoned hunter or a complete beginner, this article shares tips for hunting wild turkeys and will give you the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the field. And trust us, we learned all these lessons the hard way.

How to Hunt Wild Turkeys

The approaching turkey season is like being reborn. It’s not really spring until it’s time to hit the woods for those thunder chickens. And if you’ve never experienced the thunder, we hope these turkey hunting tips encourage you to try your luck this year. 

The Basics of Turkey Hunting for Beginners

Spring turkey season is a popular time to hunt. If you're a beginner, don't be intimidated! You only need a few basics for turkey hunting.

Looking for the best turkey recipes?

Cooking the Perfect Turkey Tenderloin Every Time

Turkey tenderloins are a great way to enjoy the deliciousness of turkey without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. They are also incredibly versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this article, we look at a few delicious recipes that will make your mealtime preparation easier and more enjoyable.

Wild Turkey Recipe: Easy Grilled Teriyaki Turkey

If you’re looking for an easy and healthy way to spruce up your wild turkey, look no further than this recipe for grilled teriyaki turkey. It’s our new go-to because it’s easy to whip together on a weeknight and pleases our picky eating crowd.  

Want to make your own turkey call?

Turkey Calls: How To Make Your Own

So you harvested your first turkey, or maybe your 50th. Either way, you might be like me and think there is a whole lot more to a wild turkey than just breasts and feathers. I hate wasting anything and some may consider me a hoarder of my hunting “firsts.” I recently harvested my first wild turkey Tom and I was determined to utilize all aspects of this majestic bird to the best of my abilities. I knew I was saving as much meat as possible. I plucked as many feathers from the body as possible for crafting and completed a mount using the tail and wings. What I wasn’t expecting I would be doing was to make a wild turkey call with the wing bones of the bird!

The process for making the turkey bone call is relatively simple and dates back to the earliest Native Americans. Part of the process is my personal preference for maceration of meat and the steps have been updated for using more modern-day tools.

Now, you need your wild turkey hunting gear:

Choosing the Best Turkey Vest for Your Hunting Needs

There is nothing worse than forgetting something you need during a hunt. A good, durable turkey vest is key to holding all your tools. During spring gobbler season, I have an all-day vest and a run-and-gun vest. There are plenty of options when it comes to buying your vest, but I recommend getting one that will offer multiple uses with extra baggage. 

The Ultimate Turkey Hunting Gear List

Embark on the thrilling journey of turkey hunting fully equipped with our comprehensive Turkey Hunting Gear Guide. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or gearing up for your first turkey adventure, this checklist ensures you have all the essentials for a successful and enjoyable hunt. From camo to calls, we've got you covered. You can find most of these items on Amazon.

Want your own turkey hunting gear checklist? Download a copy here!


  1. Camouflage Clothing (Jacket and Pants): Blend seamlessly into your surroundings with high-quality, lightweight camouflage gear. Opt for patterns that match the terrain of your hunting location.
  2. Moisture-Wicking Base Layers: Stay comfortable throughout the hunt with moisture-wicking base layers that regulate body temperature and keep you dry.
  3. Insulated Mid-Layers (Fleece or Insulated Jacket): Be prepared for varying temperatures by layering with an insulated jacket or fleece for warmth during chilly early mornings.
  4. Waterproof and Breathable Rain Gear (Jacket and Pants): Don't let rain dampen your spirits. Stay dry and comfortable with waterproof and breathable rain gear.
  5. Blaze Orange Vest or Hat (For Safety During Transport): Prioritize safety during travel to and from your hunting spot with blaze orange, ensuring visibility to other hunters.
  6. Camo Headgear (Hat or Face Mask): Conceal your face and head to avoid detection by sharp-eyed turkeys. A good hat or face mask in camouflage is crucial.
  7. Insulated Gloves: Keep your hands warm during chilly mornings, and choose gloves that allow for dexterity when handling gear and weapons.
  8. Gaiters (To Keep Debris Out of Your Boots): Protect your lower legs from ticks, thorns, and debris with gaiters, especially if you're navigating through thick vegetation. We love Kenetrek!
  9. Extra Socks: Always have a spare pair of moisture-wicking socks for comfort and to prevent blisters during long treks.
  10. Thermal Underwear (For Cold Weather): Stay warm in colder climates with thermal underwear to retain body heat.
  11. Insect Repellent: Ward off pesky bugs with a reliable insect repellent to stay focused on the hunt.
  12. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun's rays, especially during those long hours spent waiting for the perfect shot.
Want your own turkey hunting gear checklist? Download a copy here!

Hunting Accessories:

  1. Quality Binoculars: Enhance your visibility and spot distant turkeys with high-quality binoculars. Look for a pair with good magnification and clarity.
  2. Turkey Calls (Box Call, Slate Call, Diaphragm Call, etc.): Master the art of turkey language with a variety of calls. Experiment with box calls, slate calls, and diaphragm calls to mimic different sounds.
  3. Locator Calls (Owl Hooter, Crow Call, etc.): Use locator calls to locate turkeys. Owl hooters and crow calls can provoke gobbles and reveal turkey locations.
  4. Turkey Vest or Pack with Cushioned Seat: Stay organized with a turkey-specific vest or pack that has compartments for calls, shells, and other accessories. Look for one with a built-in cushion for comfort during long sits.
  5. Blaze Orange Flagging Tape (For Marking Your Location): Mark your trail or setup location with blaze orange flagging tape for safety and easy navigation.
  6. Face Paint or Makeup (For Camouflage): Ensure total concealment by using camouflage face paint or makeup that matches your surroundings.
  7. Bug Repellent: Keep insects at bay with effective bug repellent to avoid distractions during your hunt.
  8. Binocular Harness (For Easy Access): Carry your binoculars comfortably with a harness that allows for quick and silent access.
  9. Map and Compass or GPS: Navigate the terrain confidently with a map and compass or a GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the area before your hunt. As always, we love onX! Read our review, onX Hunt Review: Your Ultimate Outdoor Companion.
  10. Whistle or Signaling Device: Have a whistle or signaling device to communicate with hunting partners or attract attention in case of emergencies.
  11. Multi-Tool or Knife: A versatile multi-tool or knife is essential for various tasks, from field dressing to making quick adjustments.
  12. First-Aid Kit: Be prepared for minor injuries with a compact first-aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic wipes, and other essentials.
  13. Firestarter or Waterproof Matches: Ensure you can start a fire for warmth or cooking in various conditions with reliable firestarters or waterproof matches.
  14. Zip Ties or Game Bags (For Turkey Transport): Securely and cleanly transport your harvested turkey with zip ties or game bags.
  15. Headlamp or Flashlight (With Extra Batteries): Stay visible during low-light conditions and navigate safely with a reliable headlamp or flashlight.

Firearms and Ammunition:

  1. Shotgun Suitable for Turkey Hunting: Choose a shotgun with a tight choke suitable for turkey hunting. Ensure familiarity with your weapon's pattern at different distances.
  2. Ammunition (Appropriate for Your Shotgun and Local Regulations): Select turkey loads that provide effective patterns at various distances and comply with local regulations.
  3. Choke Tube (Specifically for Turkey Hunting): Equip your shotgun with a turkey-specific choke tube to tighten the shot pattern for increased accuracy.
  4. Extra Shotgun Shells: Carry an ample supply of shotgun shells, considering potential follow-up shots or unexpected opportunities.
  5. Gun Case or Sling: Safely transport your shotgun with a protective gun case or a sling for ease of carry.
  6. Gun Cleaning Kit: Maintain your shotgun's reliability by keeping it clean with a portable gun cleaning kit.
  7. Shooting Sticks or Bipod (For Stability): Improve your accuracy and stability during the shot with shooting sticks or a bipod.
  8. Gun Case: Protect your shotgun during transport and storage with a durable and padded gun case.
Want your own turkey hunting gear checklist? Download a copy here!


  1. Rifle Scope (If Not Already Mentioned): If using a scoped shotgun or rifle, ensure your optics are in good condition and zeroed.
  2. Binocular Harness (For Easy Access): Carry your binoculars comfortably with a harness that allows for quick and silent access.
  3. Lens Cleaning Kit: Keep your optics clear and free of debris with a lens cleaning kit.

Blinds and Seating:

  1. Ground Blind or Pop-Up Turkey Blind (If Using): Enhance concealment and comfort with a ground blind or pop-up turkey blind.
  2. Folding Chair or Cushion for Ground Hunting: Stay comfortable during long sits with a lightweight folding chair or cushion.

Food and Water:

  1. Water Bottles or Hydration System: Stay hydrated throughout the hunt with water bottles or a hydration system.
  2. Snacks and Energy Bars: Pack high-energy snacks and bars for quick sustenance during the hunt.
  3. Lunch or Field Meal: Bring a well-prepared lunch or field meal for sustained energy during longer hunts.
  4. Thermos (For Hot Drinks): Keep warm with a thermos filled with your favorite hot beverage.
  5. Cooking Equipment (If Needed): If planning to cook in the field, bring lightweight cooking equipment and utensils.


  1. Hunting License and Turkey Tags: Ensure you have a valid hunting license and the required turkey tags for your specific hunting area.
  2. Turkey Hunting Regulations Booklet: Familiarize yourself with the local hunting regulations to stay compliant and informed about any specific rules for turkey hunting.
  3. Notepad and Pen: Record observations, note turkey patterns, or jot down important details with a small notepad and pen.
  4. Cell Phone With Charger: Stay connected and have a reliable means of communication. Ensure your phone is fully charged or carry a portable charger.
  5. Trash Bags (For Packing Out Trash): Practice responsible hunting by packing out all trash and waste generated during your hunt.
  6. Ziplock Bags (For Storing Items): Keep essentials like licenses, maps, and electronics protected from the elements in Ziplock bags.
  7. Personal Medication and First-Aid Supplies: Carry any necessary personal medications and a basic first-aid kit for unexpected injuries.
  8. Identification and Emergency Contact Information: Carry identification and write down emergency contact information in case of unforeseen situations.
  9. Turkey Decoys (If Applicable): Improve your chances by using turkey decoys to attract and distract turkeys during the hunt. Read our article, Best Turkey Decoy Setups for Successful Hunting!
  10. Turkey Decoy Transportation Bag (If Applicable): Transport and protect your decoys with a dedicated bag.
  11. Turkey Vests or Packs with Seat Cushions (If Applicable): Opt for vests or packs with built-in seat cushions for comfort during stationary hunts.
  12. Additional Turkey Calls or Lures (If Applicable): Experiment with different calls or lures to increase your chances of luring turkeys within range.
  13. Game Cart or Sled (For Transportation): If hunting in areas with challenging terrain, consider a game cart or sled to assist with transporting harvested turkeys.
Want your own turkey hunting gear checklist? Download a copy here!

Before You Go:

  • Research Local Regulations and Seasons: Familiarize yourself with specific regulations and hunting seasons for turkey hunting in your area.
  • Check Your Equipment: Ensure all your gear, including firearms and optics, is in good working condition well before your hunting trip.
  • Safety First: Prioritize safety by adhering to firearm safety rules and informing someone about your hunting plans and expected return time.
  • Plan Your Hunting Strategy: Based on the specific hunting location, plan your strategy, scouting potential spots, and identifying patterns of turkey movement.
  • Stay Informed About Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts, and pack accordingly to stay comfortable in changing weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hunting Wild Turkeys

Are wild turkeys hard to hunt?

Wild turkeys can be challenging to hunt due to their keen senses and elusive nature. Their ability to detect movement and sound makes them a rewarding yet demanding target for hunters.

Where is the best place to hunt wild turkeys?

The best places to hunt wild turkeys are typically in wooded areas with open spaces. National forests, private lands with permission, and regions with diverse habitats are ideal for finding these birds.

How do you attract wild turkeys for hunting?

To attract wild turkeys, use decoys, calls, and camouflage techniques. Employ a variety of turkey calls to mimic their sounds, set up decoys to lure them in, and blend into the surroundings with effective camouflage for a successful hunt.

Why do people hunt wild turkeys?

People hunt wild turkeys for various reasons, including tradition, recreation, and conservation. Hunting can help manage turkey populations, contribute to wildlife conservation efforts, and provide a source of sustainable, organic meat for those who participate in the activity.

Now you're ready to go on a turkey hunting adventure. We hope this “Complete Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys,” gave you the essential strategies, gear, and techniques that will not only elevate your hunting experience but also increase your chances of a successful hunt.

Want your own turkey hunting gear checklist? Download a copy here!

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About the Author

Carly Brasseux

Carly Brasseux is a determined and passionate freelance outdoor writer, published author, business owner and social media/marketing consultant based in Texas. In a world where women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population, she is a major proponent of those women wanting to learn more about the outdoors and hunting. Her handle, Miss Pursuit, is an expression of her enthusiasm for all things outdoors, from educating women through her experiences learning to hunt over the last decade, to getting out with her kids to explore the wild. Her expertise in social media and marketing, as well as her vast network of people in the outdoor industry, have given her the influence to make an impact for years to come. Member of the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Stewards of the Wild and the Texas Wildlife Association.