Part one of this series was all about turkey calls. Now that you have decided on your call(s), it is time to address one of the more important considerations of turkey hunting: camouflage. Regardless of the type of game you are hunting, camouflage is important. However, because of turkeys’ incredible vision and the close proximity required to get a kill, it may be more important with turkeys than with any other game.
The first thing that you need to consider is personal camouflage (the clothes that you are actually wearing). A couple of obvious factors to consider while choosing your camouflage are where you are hunting and when you are hunting. In Washington State, we have spring season (April 15-May 31), early fall season (Sept. 20-Oct 10), and late fall season (Nov. 20-Dec. 15). Although my terrain will be the same, the environmental considerations (snow, vegetation growth, etc.) can have an impact on the patterns of camouflage I use. Make a habit of checking the areas you will be hunting before you actual hunt them (scouting/recon). If for some reason you cannot scout your area, Realtree has a tool on their website that can help you select camouflage appropriate to the game you are hunting and the area you are in. However, nothing is as good as actual boots on the ground.
Now that you have a pattern suitable to your game and geographical location, you should strive to have as much coverage of your body as possible. Your personal camouflage should include: boots, pants, undershirt, lightweight top (depending on season), coat, full-finger gloves, balaclava or face cowl, and a ball cap. Your accessories are just as important to camouflage as your person, unless you plan on leaving your gear in the truck. A day pack (or ruck), your weapon, sitting pads, and generally everything you plan on bringing to the hunt needs to be camouflaged with a print, or with local vegetation.
A cheap and effective DIY solution for creating camouflage is to bring with you strong elastic bands, flex ties, and/or 550 cord. Simply cut vegetation (tall grass, small branches, leafy bush, etc.) and secure them in overlapping patterns on your gear. Don’t overdo it. You don’t need to strap 15 pounds of vegetation on your gear, just enough to help break up the hard outline of its profile. Additionally, make sure that the added vegetation doesn’t interfere with your equipment (can you reload, will it create a jam, can I open my pack, etc.).
If money is no object, or you own the property that you are hunting, then a permanent blind may work for you. Blinds range from a small pop-up-tent type design to something that you actually construct and leave somewhere. The idea behind the blind is that it is camouflaged so that everything inside doesn’t necessarily need to be. Having a blind can also allow you to bring more comfort items because they will be concealed. A small heater, extra food, a chair, these are just some of the luxury items that a blind can allow you to have.
If you are hunting with a partner, take turns looking at each other’s hunting spot and gear. If you can see something strange, odds are the turkey will as well. Also remember to pack an extra layer in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. You can always take something off if it gets hot, however you cannot put something on if you didn’t bring it.
(Featured image courtesy of billkonway.com)