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Turkey hunting gear checklist


Head-to-toe camouflage that conceals you from turkeys and keeps you dry and comfortable is a necessity. Layer your clothing to fit the weather, and add or remove layers as needed.

  • Base layer – tops and bottoms
    • These will help on cold mornings, but also help you wick sweat as the day heats up.
  • Mid-layer tops
    • Long-sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts (multiple, thinner layers).
  • Jacket and pants/bibs
    • Wind/waterproof. Some waterproof clothing can be very noisy, so walk around the store to ensure it isn't loud.
  • Vest (optional)
    • Many turkey hunters use a camo vest with a variety of pockets for carrying calls and other accessories.
  • Socks
    • Wool is a common choice. It helps to have several pairs, maybe even an extra pair with you.
  • Waterproof boots
    • You may want a lighter-weight boot for spring turkey hunting, as well as for warmer fall turkey hunting condition. Rubber boots work well because they don’t carry scent. Make sure to break them in before the season begins.
  • Hat
    • Besides concealment, a baseball cap is useful for helping keep sun out of your eyes.
  • Head net, facemask or face paint
    • To conceal your face.
  • Gloves
    • Use even when warm to avoid being detected.


  • Firearm
    • Either a shotgun or a muzzleloading shotgun. Full choke is best for turkey hunting.
  • Turkey load ammunition for firearm
    • Specific loads identified for turkey are widely available at sporting goods stores.
  • Firearm case
    • Soft-sided or hard-sided.
  • Gun-cleaning kit
    • Get a kit specific to your firearm.
  • Bow
    • Crossbow, compound bow, recurve bow, long bow.
  • Trigger release
    • Compound bow only.
  • Cocking aid
    • Crossbow only.
  • Arrows
    • Bolts for crossbow.
  • Broadheads
    • Bow only.

Other hunting gear and items

  • Hunting license and tags
    • Available online at E-License or at any license agent. Apprentice licenses are available for those who don’t yet have a hunter safety certificate. See the Michigan Hunting Digest for more information about license types and buying a license.
  • Turkey call and decoy(s)
    • To learn more about turkey hunting gear like calls and decoys, visit
  • Knife
    • A sturdy fixed or folding blade of 3 inches is sufficient.
  • Flashlight, map and compass and smartphone (fully charged)
    • Along with carrying these items, for safety’s sake, always make sure someone knows about your hunting plans – where you’ll be hunting and when you’re expected to return.
  • Watch
    • Phone can be used in place of watch.