Turkey gear that helps level the spring playing field.
Camo & Boots
Spring's when nature dons a fresh coat of green. Turkeys see color, so suit up accordingly with some new camo and boots.
Patterns such as Realtree's APG (www.realtree.com) or Mossy Oak's Obsession (www.mossyoak.com) blend well in vibrant landscapes.
Outfits such as Bass Pro's RedHead Stalker Lite II Shirt and Pants ($30-$35 each; www.basspro.com) or Cabela's Silent Weave Bowhunter's Shirt and 6-Pocket Pants ($45-$50 each; www.cabelas.com) fill the bill during warmer weather, and in these winning patterns.
New for 2011, Magnus Broadheads offers its Eclipse line of apparel ($15-$60; www.magnusbroadheads.com). Featuring the exclusive Magnus Ground Swat Tactical camouflage, new Eclipse apparel also is reversible to black -- ideal for hunting in blinds with cloaking black interiors. A number of garments, including long-sleeve camp shirt, 6-pocket pants, long-sleeve T and full facemask are available.
Irish Setter's new ExoFlex SwampGhost Uninsulated ($139; www.irishsetterboots.com) are possibly the most comfortable knee boots around, with aggressive tread for muddy conditions and versatile Realtree AP skin.
Calls (Locator, Friction and Diaphragm)
Loud locator calls are designed to elicit pin-pointing shock gobbles and help you pull onto the fast track to success. Friction calls produces more realistic tones. Diaphragm calls are simple, compact and offer the distinct advantage of leaving hands free when the moment of truth arrives.
Locate Calls: Flextone's Crow Shocker or Owl Hooter ($8 and $13; www.flextone.com) are ready made for the occasion.
Newly refined versions of old-fashioned box calls, like Primos' Chick Magnet ($45; www.primos.com) with two interchangeable magnetic paddles for easier use and variable tones, or Knight & Hale's affordable Sweet Lil' Liar ($25; www.knightandhale.com) with more compact size, are obvious answers.
When it come to friction calls, also consider time-honored glass calls for more realism yet. Down-N-Dirty Outdoors' handsome Signature Series Cherry Crystal ($60; www.downndirtyoutdoors.com) is a modern incarnation made to produce tone-perfect, soft or attention-grabbing calls from its rugged glass surface.
Popular compact diaphragm models come from Knight & Hale ($8 Prosecutor), Primos ($13 Will Primos Signature) and Down 'N' Dirty Outdoors ($12 Killin' Krew Jeff Noel), to name but a few.
Killing turkeys with a bow was once considered a parlor trick -- until pop-up blinds. Hub-style ground blinds allow fast, simple setup, uncompromising concealment and plenty of room to wield a bow.
Primos' Crusher Blind ($400; www.primos.com) with "crushed," non-glare fabric, water-resistant inner membrane and black interior.
BARRONETT BLINDS SNAKE EYES VENOM 250
Barronett Blinds' Snake Eyes Venom 250 ($250; www.barronettblinds.com) with easy-concealment brush holders and adjustable six-panel window design -- make perfect bowhunting companions.
Shooting from enclosed blinds can be tricky without a quality blind chair. Prerequisites include packability and adaptability.
S4GEAR FREESTYLE 720
One of the best is S4Gear's Freestyle720 ($140; www.S4Gear.com), which features compact storage, silent 360-degree rotation, height adjustability nad plenty of stability.
AMERISTEP BONE COLLECTOR BLIND CHAIR
Ameristep's Bone Collector Blind Chair ($30; www.ameristep.com) is more affordable, a "scissoring" folding design weighing 4 pounds.
Turkey decoys give bowhunters an edge by providing gobblers visual confirmation and something to focus on other than you.
CARRY LITE HD TURKEY DECOYS
Carry Lite's new HD Turkey Decoys ($40-$60; www.carrylite.com) offer unsurpassed photo-realism to punk the most hunter-savvy longbeard. In other cases, decoys are used to spark jealousy, bringing Old Sickle Spurs on the run.
MONTANA DECOY MR. T
Montana Decoy's Mr. T ($35; www.montanadecoy.com) strutting gobbler is perfect medicine; spring-action, cloth design highly compact and easily deployed.
Turkey broadheads should do one thing above all else -- punch huge holes through tough birds. Day in and day out, aggressive mechanical broadheads are the expert's choice. Three of the best include...
Rage's 100-grain 3-Blade ($45 3/pk; www.ragebroadheads.com), New Archery Products' 100-grain Spitfire Edge ($40 3/pk; www.newarchery.com), and Rocket Broadheads' 125-grain Turkey Tom-O-Hawk ($30 3/pk; www.rocketbroadheads.com), cutting gapping 1 1â„2-, 1 3â„4- and 2 3â„4-inch holes, respectively.