Every year, just when turkey hunters start to think they have seen everything manufacturers can think of to help them up their odds in the field, the manufacturers roll out a few new surprises. Some ideas are simply new twists on old staples of the hunt, while others truly inspire wonder among the sporting masses and take the level of enjoyment in turkey hunting to a whole new level. Here are a few new items that will surely improve a lot of hunts in 2011.
Black’s Creek Turkey Tuxedo
A few years ago, there was a company called MotherTech that made some of the most innovative packs and hunting vests I’d ever seen. The now defunct company’s turkey vest was among one of the best I have used, if only because it was streamlined and minimalist without the bulk and excessive pockets common to a lot of “more is better” designed models.
When they went out of business, I worried about who might come out with something that rivaled their creations. I needn’t have worried. Black’s Creek out of Idaho now fits that bill and then some. Their Turkey Tuxedo is one of the coolest options I’ve seen since, and has some features that make it even more utilitarian.
The Turkey Tux wears like a backpack with an air-flow suspension that allows air to circulate along the wearer’s back and keep clothing dry. It also has an internal fiberglass frame for rigid support. The Tux boasts 20 pockets for keeping gear organized, but in a way that doesn’t add bulk. A mesh cargo bag and side pockets are detachable, and there is a padded seat, shell holders and a safety orange flap. ($130:www.blacks-creek.com)
Mossberg 500 Tactical Turkey Shotgun with LPA Adjustable Trigger
Mossberg has built a reputation on building shotguns that combines affordability and rugged workhorse features and the Model 500 Tactical Turkey delivers with plenty of turkey killing attitude.
A 12-gauge pump-action with a 20-inch barrel, X-Factor ported tubes and adjustable fiber optic sights, the Tactical Turkey now also boasts Mossberg’s Lightning Pump Action (LPA) Adjustable Trigger System that can be adjusted to under three pounds of pull for crisp shooting worthy of a firearm that delivers tight patterns with rifle-like accuracy.
The Tactical Turkey is dipped in Mossy Oak New Break-Up camo and comes with a padded sling. The pistol grip delivers a solid hold for steady aiming and the trimmed-down stock is adjustable for a perfect fit. ($tk,mossberg.com)
i-KAM XTREME Video Eyewear
Add a whole new dimension to your hunts by filming them with ease using i-KAM XTREME video eyewear. Distributed by Hunter’s Specialties, these eyeglasses are fitted with a small digital camera mounted in the frames.
Just hit a button and begin to record whatever you are looking at. The 4GB of built-in memory provides for up to three hours of recording. Add a Micro SD card for an additional 8 GB. An integral mic captures sound. When you get back in from your hunt, you hook the glasses directly to a PC with the supplied USB cable and view the action you captured. Glasses come with four interchangeable lenses to accommodate various lighting conditions, and frames are available in white, black and camo. ($99;hunterspec.com)
The Jester has a flocked finish and a taxidermy-quality head for a more realistic appearance. It also comes with a photo-realistic tail, imitation beard, spike stake and includes a tail clamp in the rear for installing a real fan and grommets on the front and sides for attaching a real beard and wings for the ultimate in decoy realism. ($80; flambeauoutdoors.com)
Knight & Hale Sweet Lil’ Liar
Machined for durable and even sounding one-piece construction, the Sweet Lil’ Liar wood box call delivers smooth, realistic full-sized call sound from a downsized package. Rails are texturized for use without chalking. ($25; knightandhale.com)
LaCrosse Coil Scent HD
LaCrosse has rolled out a new line of snake boots for the coming turkey season and the Coil Scent HD promises to be the most breathable, lightweight model in the collection. One hundred percent waterproof and scent-free, the 18-ich boot protects against snakebite with 1000 Denier nylon construction. A side zipper aids easy on and off, a rear gusset increases comfort and limits pinching and a special holder along the shaft holds your striker. ($150;lacrossefootwear.com)
The Scarface glass pot call is custom made with select American walnut. The pot is turned with a custom design for a better finger grip. The custom striker is matched to the pot and colored dark for better concealment during use. Scarface produces loud, sharp yelps and cutts ideal for clear or windy conditions. ($50; flextone.com)
Montana Decoys Punk Jake
Montana Decoys’ photo-realistic, two-dimensional decoys are preferred by hunters who love to pack light and their new Punk Jake will amaze you at how real it looks from just a few yards away. It will definitely raise the ire of dominant toms in the area. A full 24×18 inches set up, the Punk Jake folds to the size of a pancake and weighs only 10 ½ ounces. It packs as easy as your toilet paper. Add it to other Montana Decoys turkey dekes and tote the whole flock with little added bulk. ($30; montanadecoy.com)
Primos Chick Magnet
Here’s a cool idea: one box call that comes with two, instantly interchangeable paddles that are held to the box via powerful magnet. One lid-made of Purple Heart wood-is designed to deliver raspy yelps and cutts, while the other made of maple produces higher pitched calls on the double-sided box. The box is carved from Padauk wood. ($45; primos.com)
Ameristep Gunner Blind
Whether hunting with a bow, a restless kid or just looking to wait out a longbeard to show, Ameristep’s Gunner Blind is light, quick to set up and makes for the perfect haunt for an ambush. Made of water-resistant Durashell fabric and lined with the company’s Shadowguard lining to eliminate shadows.
The Gunner Blind packs in at a 23-inch diameter and is only 2 inches thick, but opens to provide 54 inches by 56 inches by 57 inches of hiding space. Includes pack, stakes and tie downs. Gotta love the price too. ($63; ameristep.com)
Carry-Lite Pretty Mama HD
While gobbler and jake decoys have gotten much of the press in recent years, the fact is a good hen decoy is still a necessity whether used to give approaching turkey’s confidence all is okay or to entice longbeard’s into gun range. Carry-Lite introduces their HD series of turkey decoys with the Pretty Mama model being a top choice. The decoy features a photo-realistic material “skin” or cover, which conforms precisely to the contours of each decoy’s body. Think Montana Decoy’s meets total three dimensionality. ($40;carrylitedecoys.com).