Ten New Turkey Vests for Spring
By Matt Coffey
Gear. It's what every hunter lives for.
Think about it. In virtually every hunter's garage or attic are piles of gear, from old calls and seat cushions to shooting sticks, decoys and pop-up blinds. There's a pile for each hunting season and they rotate like some sort of camouflage amoeba, shifting from deer in the fall and ducks in winter to wild turkeys in the spring. Regardless of your best intentions -- or the promises you've made to your spouse that you'll go through all of that stuff -- your piles never seem to shrink.
If you're like the rest of us, you are addicted to gear. And odds are, out of all of those piles and all of those items, there's one piece of gear that's considered to be your Old Faithful. It's your turkey-hunting vest.
You've reached for that vest every spring for years because it has been good to you and good to the other gear you've carried in it. But now it's tattered and worn, with at least one malfunctioning zipper, a missing clasp or a torn pocket, and its camouflage pattern is faded. Good times and sentimental value aside, it could be time to retire Old Faithful. You won't believe how far technology has come since the last time you bought a turkey vest. From thick seat cushions, like the ones on Mossy Oak's Supreme Elite that guarantees your rump will stay comfy and dry, to the innovative mouth-call change purse on the Cabela's Super Tat'r II, the newest vests promise to bring the ease and comfort to your turkey hunting experience.
The RedHead Striker from Bass Pro Shops has everything a turkey hunter needs for those trips to the spring gobbler woods. The front pockets include a box call pouch with a drawstring to keep your box call quiet while you're walking, a divided double slate call pouch, a triple striker pouch and an elastic mesh pocket for diaphragm calls.
Open the vest and you'll find two large zippered pockets, various accessory pouches and shell loops. The vest also comes with an adjustable game bag, padded back, adjustable padded shoulder straps and padded fold-down seat.
RedHead Full Shouldered Lounger
The Lounger vest from RedHead is like taking your vest, stool and backrest to the woods in one convenient package. This chair and vest system is perfect for those quick setups virtually anywhere. The vest is designed with shoulder support for extra comfort. The exterior of the vest features a double slate call pocket, mesh diaphragm pocket, three shell loops, box call pocket and two zippered gear pockets. Inside, there is even more storage room with four large, zippered pockets to help you carry everything you need on the hunt.
Hunter's Specialties SUV
Hunter's Specialties definitely kept the hunter in mind in designing its SUV turkey vest. Two large exterior pockets are roomy enough to hold all your calls. Convenient box call and gobble call pockets keep both close at hand. Inside the big pockets on the front of the vest is a double slate call holder, striker pockets, pockets for locator calls and even shell loops. The Gun Stock Buddy is designed to keep your hands free when you're set up on a longbeard while the triangular butt pad makes for a comfortable cushion for those long waits.
Mossy Oak Supreme Elite
For the turkey hunter who has it all and wants to take it with him to the woods, there's Mossy Oak's Supreme Elite series.
This vest comes standard with double slate call pockets, a gear pocket with shell loops, flashlight pocket, two zippered striker pockets and two general-purpose pockets on the front of the vest alone. Inside are two large gear pockets, a mesh box call pocket with elastic snap, six additional mesh pockets and two striker pockets. Let's just say there's enough room for anything you could possibly imagine for turkey hunting. And, with the full shoulders on the vest, it's easy to carry the load all day. And don't forget about the 3-inch seat cushion, perfect for when getting down to business turns into a long affair.
Mossy Oak Limbhanger
Mossy Oak's Limbhanger vest has pockets for all the tools a dedicated turkey hunter uses. The vest is designed to ride high when you are standing and yet easily accessible when sitting. Perhaps the most innovative feature on this vest is the slate call holder. Fastened with a snap, the pocket folds out to allow quick access to up to two slate calls that can be held in place with elastic strips. Striker pockets with magnetic flaps let you get to your strikers in a hurry without a lot of movement or noise. The placement and angle of the box call pocket and locator call pockets make this vest a true turkey hunter's friend, and the 3-inch cushion assures your backside won't get numb when you have to wait out that trophy tom.
Walls 10x NWTF Turkey Vest
Sometimes a hunting vest just feels right, like the Walls 10x NWTF-licensed turkey vest. Its 100 percent cotton shell is finished in Realtree APG camouflage and features a removable textured vinyl seat pad and rugged quilting on the front and back yoke for extra support and longevity. You're not likely to fill all of the pockets on this vest, either. It has two pockets for mouth calls on the right chest and a quilted left breast pocket for a slate or glass call. Put your box call in a specially made lower left pocket and strikers in the lower right pocket. Inside the vest are two zippered mesh pockets and two lower bellows pockets with shot shell loops inside and snap flap enclosures. Two lower zippered patch pockets attach to the bellows pockets. The vest's back includes an expandable, coated nylon game bag and a concealed safety flag.
Cabela's Super Tat'r II
With the patented Speed Seat technology, the Super Tat'r II is sure to become a favorite among turkey hunters.
With two zippered slate call pockets on the left side, magnetic striker holders, box or paddle call holder and zippered pockets both inside and out, this vest has it all, including a change-purse-type mouth call holder. Shell loops in the cargo pockets, a separate decoy stake pocket and water bottle pocket combine with a padded shoulder yolk and backrest for comfort for those all-too-common long waits. The fold-down seat lets you set up in a hurry and not have to fool with attaching the cushion when you need to move in a hurry.
Ol' Tom Time and Motion Vest
The Time and Motion vest by Ol' Tom is designed with all the call pockets on the outside of the vest. By using strong magnets and elastic call holders, calls are easy to access without wasted motion.
Unique to this vest is the location of two box call pockets on either side of the exterior of the vest. It reminds you of a Western gun belt, with the calls ready to draw at any time. On either side of the vest are two large cargo pockets that hide an array of smaller, specially designed pockets, some designed to hold slate calls while others are plastic for keeping matches and chalk dry. The cushion is held in place by a strong magnet for easy replacement when it's time to move.
Primos Gobbler Vest
Primos touts the Gobbler Vest as not just another turkey vest, but a "holster for your calls." With double slate call pockets featuring a folding flap over the pocket, getting the calls out without much movement or noise is easy. The numerous striker holders in this vest sit in a front cargo pocket above the slate call pockets for easy access. On the opposite side of the vest, there's another large cargo pocket and a horizontal box call pocket with an elastic snap to help keep the call secure and quiet while you are walking in the woods. And mesh mask and glove pockets on the breastplate ensure you always know where to find those two key pieces of gear.
Gorilla Gear Gobbler Pack
Gorilla Gear offers a lightweight hunting pack/vest that has 1900 cubic inches of storage capacity along with 15 storage compartments and pockets.
The unique system features a comfortable molded backrest, seat and hip belt made from durable closed-cell polyethylene foam. Hunters can readily sort and store calls and hunting accessories among the numerous pockets found throughout the vest/pack. A great feature is the left/right hand hydration bladder compatible compartment built into the storage compartment/backrest. The pack/vest features a bow/gun holder for long-range hikes to your hunting spot or hands-free convenience when hauling your turkey out of the woods. The weight-distributing belt and fully adjustable pack ensures comfortable hunting on long days in the field.