We all know the oldest shotguns loaded with plain old bird shot have harvested many a turkey. However, if you want to test the latest gobbler gear and increase the odds of connecting with a wily, old boss tom, here are the new guns, calls, decoys, and accessories you’ll want to take afield.
Henry Single Shot Turkey
The first dedicated turkey hunting shotgun from Henry is a thumper of a gobbler getter. The H015T-12 – better known as the Single Shot Turkey – epitomizes an American-made, one-shot wonder. The 12 gauge uses a magnum 3.5-inch chamber to handle the heaviest hunting loads.
A quality recoil pad helps negate recoil, along with a weightier 6.78-pound build. The entire gun is covered in Mossy Oak Obsession camouflage, and what appears to be synthetic stocks are actually American walnut. A 24-inch barrel is fitted with an extended turkey choke tube and dressed with adjustable fiber-optic sights.
Savage 320 Turkey Thumbhole
New guns needn’t be expensive ones, and for hunters who can get their hands on the new Savage Model 320 Turkey Thumbhole, there will be ample cash left in the wallet for additional gobbler gear. The new pump builds on the successful 320 family, using a 22-inch matte-blued barrel, OD green thumbhole synthetic stocks, and dual slide bars on the pump action.
Adjustable fiber-optics sights stand out nicely, though the receiver is also drilled and tapped for optics. The new 320 can be had in either 12 or 20 gauge, both with a 3-inch chamber and an extended extra-full turkey choke.
Retay Masai Mara Turkey XT
If you’d rather not rely on a single shot, or you’re not a pump runner, there’s a solid new repeater that guarantees firepower over turkeys. The Turkish-made inertia semi-automatic shotguns from Retay now include a turkey-specific model with a 22-inch barrel and a receiver topped with an optics-ready Picatinny rail. Multiple camouflage options are available.
New for 2021, a 20-gauge chambering joins the twelves. Retay seems to have solved the problems that plague other inertia guns upon slow bolt closing. Both the 12 and 20 gauges use a 3-inch chamber and chew through heavy turkey loads with ease.
Ben’s 100 Tick and Insect Repellent
Let’s face it. Spring turkey season marks a beautiful time to enjoy the coming-alive of a fresh new season in the woods. Also awakening, however, is every tick, mosquito, gnat, and annoying insect hell-bent on ruining your peaceful sit.
Having something as simple as a small bottle of Ben’s 100 Repellent can keep you in the woods longer, which means a greater success rate for encountering gobblers. The 100-percent DEET formula grants up to 10 hours of protection, and the 3.4-ounce size is our favorite for fitting in a pocket or packing for travel.
Primos PhotoForm Decoys
Does it sound too good to be true that you can have realistic decoys that weigh only ounces and pack easily into your vest pocket? Check out the Primos Photoform. What sets this line of dekes apart is Primos’ proprietary process of using photographic imagery from the actual turkey and printing that onto lightweight 3D-molded foam models.
A realistically colored head adds to the realism and draws the greatest focus. Our Hen model, for instance, can be posed in three different positions and pops quickly from folded to full form for the mobile gobbler chaser. The Photoform family now includes the Hen, Jake, Leading Hen, and Strutter.
CRKT Hunt‘N Fisch Knife
Columbia River Knife and Tool, also known as CRKT, hits a winner with their Hunt‘N Fisch knife. It essentially splits the difference between a small bird-and-trout blade and a larger big game hunter, making it perfect for wild turkey work. There’s a 3-inch blade, G10 handles, and friction grooves along the spine.
The knife excels at cleaning downed gobblers, whether you’re gutting, plucking, or skinning to remove meat from the bone. We especially appreciated the included leather sheath, which is designed to sit horizontal to the belt rather than vertically. As a bonus, the backstory on this particular knife and its late designer is heartwarming.
HS Strut Thunder Twister
While slates and mouth calls are more common – and should be used more often – no turkey hunter’s gear list is complete without a gobble call. H.S. Strut produces this easy-to-use, one-handed Thunder Twister call with a simple twist on/off silencing mechanism.
Just give the call a rapid shake to create incredibly realistic gobbles. While this call should be used with moderation, it can be a serious weapon for drawing in the dominant tom in any woods and is especially useful for locating distant longbeards.
Primos 'The Revival'
Wooden box calls for turkey hunting are a staple in every hunter’s arsenal. While they come both cheaper and more expensive, Primos’ new The Revival long paddle box covers all the bases. It runs long yelps loud enough to catch the attention of distant gobblers. Yet it can also yelp and purr softly to seal the deal on closing those last few yards into the decoys. From raspy low tones to sharp highs, even a lightly practiced caller can master the longbeard language.
Mossy Oak Obsession Tibbee Flex
Spring turkey hunting sees new growth in the woods and fields, and blending in with those fresh, bright greens is best accomplished with a camouflage pattern that will make you one with the vegetation. One of the best, and most proven, is Mossy Oak.
Their Obsession is the official turkey hunting pattern of the National Wild Turkey Federation for a reason. Hunters will find Obsession on Mossy Oak’s new line of Tibbee Flex gear, which is purpose-built, ultra-lightweight apparel for those warmer gobbler stalks.