March 24, 2024
Must-Have Turkey Hunting Gear Graphic

Here’s what you need to hunt turkey, featuring Hunter Rud of “The Dirt Bag Turkey Tour”

The gear you need for turkey hunting can be as simple as a shotgun, some shells, and decent camo. But to increase your chances at harvesting more toms, building up your loadout will help you adapt to more hunting situations.

We recently sat down with Hunter Rud from Captured Creative, creator of “The Dirt Bag Turkey Tour” to talk about the gear he used in a multi-state gobbler hunt. Here’s what he carried, and how it could help you.

Hunter Rud pictured with a recent turkey harvest.

Alongside Dylan Lenz, Hunter Rud (pictured) went on a multi-state turkey hunting tour, chasing toms in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Red dots for turkey hunting

While the old bead on the end of your barrel works, red dots can improve your effective range and keep you target-focused throughout your shot. (Not convinced? Check out this blog on why you should put a red dot on your turkey gun.)

Vortex® Defender-ST™ red dot mounted on a turkey gun.

Hunter says: “I run the Defender-ST™ 3 MOA on my turkey gun. With the 3 MOA dot, I can precisely aim at a turkey through small holes in thick brush and can also still see the turkey’s head and try to read how he's acting while still aiming.”

Binoculars for turkey hunting

Given that most shots on turkey are within 50 yards, you might not think binoculars are must-have turkey gear. But from getting the lay of the land when the sun is coming up to scouting pressured birds from afar, binoculars are a turkey hunter’s best friend.

If you plan on scouting from your truck or covering more distance—such as open fields—more powerful binoculars can help you extend your reach, and tell the toms from the Jakes and hens. (To glass more effectively from your truck, be sure to pick up a Pro Binocular Adapter and a Pro Car Window Mount to keep your binoculars steady.)

Vortex® Razor® HD 12x50 Binoculars

Hunter says: “I carry the Razor® HD 12x50s in my truck all spring. I can see what I need to off of the road quickly, without spooking wary birds that may move on if I stop the truck for long periods of time.” (Looking for similar power at a lower price? Check out the Diamondback® 12x50 binoculars.)

For a smaller form factor, or for turkey hunters who prefer the “run-and-gun” style of chasing hot birds, a smaller bino can be easier to carry.

Vortex® Razor® UHD 10x42 Binoculars

Hunter says: “Periodically I’ll throw Razor® UHD 10x42's in my turkey vest depending on the terrain. Early in the season when there is no foliage, you can get an advantage and locate a bird on nearby hill sides. This way you can make a move on his actual location and adjust your route based on the gobbler’s line of sight.” (Looking for similar power at a lower price? Check out the Diamondback® 10x42 binoculars.)

Socks for turkey hunting

You read that right: What you have on your feet can make a huge difference in your hunt. Beyond offering comfort and support for long stalks, your socks can help you fight off the menace of the spring woods: Ticks.

Our Game Trail Tick Repellent Hunt Socks include a permethrin-based technology called No Fly Zone® infused right into the yarn. Ticks hate it, and you’ll love it.

Vortex® Game Trail Tick Repellent Hunt Socks

Hunter says: “This is hands down my favorite sock in the spring. After suffering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever once in my life, I no longer mess around with ticks. While wearing these socks I haven't found a tick on my lower body after the hunt yet and it helps your mind knowing you have a line of defense against the creepy crawlies.”

Want to plan your own turkey hunt? Check out this blog. Want to see some of the top turkey cartridges put to the test? Check out this podcast.

It’s our hope you can learn and laugh along with the expert voices we feature on this blog. We want to be clear that the opinions you see featured here are just that: opinions. The content belongs to the authors and is not necessarily the opinion of Vortex Optics.

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