Years ago, I had the perfect turkey hunting vest, one that comfortably stored a selection of box calls, pot calls and their accompanying hardwood strikers, mouth diaphragm calls, locator calls, five shotgun shells, a bottle of water, a Little Debbie oatmeal pie (a must for every spring turkey hunt in my opinion) and even my first generation collapsible decoy.
Sadly, that vest eventually began to wear out and give up the ghost after too many trips into thorny cactus and mesquite tree flats on my Texas hunting grounds, a development that necessitated finding a replacement.
And truth be told, I’ve never really been satisfied with the models I’ve used since then, remaining on an ongoing quest to find the perfect new turkey hunting vest offering all of the storage features and options I want in a friendly layout that is rugged, dependable and easy enough to use.
Here are seven of the best turkey-vest options I’ve found.
Alps Outdoors NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest
With a kickstand frame and padded fold-away seat, there is virtually no spot in the spring woods where a gobbler getter can’t get comfortable and sit a spell thanks to the new NWTF Grand Slam Vest. Add in a smart-phone sleeve that allows a hunter to see the phone while it’s still tucked away in the pack, not to mention a variety of call pockets (for mouth calls, friction calls, locator calls and a box call), striker pockets, water storage options and shell loops and this vest has a serious leg up on its competitors. With side compression straps, this new vest from Alps Outdoors, which comes in both Mossy Oak Obsession and Mossy Oak Bottomland, is a sure fire winner in the woods.
Alps Outdoors NWTF Super Elite 4.0
With a total of 22 storage pockets, this Super Elite vest gives hunters two large slate call pockets (with padded dividers included), three striker pockets, a silent box call pocket, two mesh diaphragm call pockets and a blood-proof breathable game bag. Add in a removable 2.5-inch thick fold away seat cushion, a chest cell phone pocket, a variety of mesh panels, a quiet cotton liner, two sizes (Medium/Large and X-Large/XX-Large) and a Mossy Oak Obsession exterior complete with a NWTF patch and it’s easy to see that this Alps Outdoors vest packs plenty of cost-effective storage for hunters.
H.S. Strut UnderTaker Turkey Vest
A modular-style vest with interchangeable box and pot call options, there is plenty of opportunity to customize this H.S. Strut UnderTaker vest. With silent magnetic pocket closures, external striker pockets, a Power Mesh locator call pocket (and a lanyard D-ring for another locator call), a good number of turkey calls can be easily stored in this vest. Add in multiple sizing points, padded shoulder straps, raised back cushions that give cooling ventilation and support against a tree, mesh pockets to hold rolled up ground blinds or water bottles and even a Big Cheeks foam seat that flips down in the rear and there is plenty to like about this new Realtree XTRA Green vest option from Hunter Specialties.
Ol’ Tom Time & Motion Vest
With 30 total pockets – 10 custom-call pockets and 20 other pockets – there is a wide variety of storage options in this Time & Motion vest from Ol’ Tom. Add in a removable gun cradle, a spine pad for tree leaning comfort, a Magnattach seat cushion and adjustable chest and waist straps and this vest provides ample options in an almost custom-fit kind of package that is available in either the Mossy Oak New Bottomland, Mossy Oak Obsession or Realtree XTRA Green camo patterns.
Primos Rocker Turkey Vest
The new Rocker gobbler-getting vest from Primos offers hunters the ultimate in concealment, storage and comfort. With a waterproof cell phone pocket, a decoy-stake pocket, a molded box call pocket and a molded pot call pocket there is no shortage of storage options. Thanks to a flip-down lounge seat, a hunter can find a comfortable place to sit even if no tree is handy, something that is often the case here in my neck of the woods. Slip a hydration bladder into the pocket designed to hold such a thirst quenching option and a hunter is ready to go chase down the wiliest longbeard in the woods no matter how warm and dry conditions get. And all in a vest that comes in both Mossy Oak Obsession and Realtree XTRA Green camo patterns.
Primos Gobbler Vest Gen 2
Like the Rocker vest mentioned above, the new Primos Gobbler Vest Gen 2 model is never short on storage options thanks to a variety of zippered and molded pockets that house such items as pot calls, mouth calls and decoy stakes. Add in accessory straps that will accommodate a wide range of gear including a Thermacell and a hunter is set for a day in the turkey woods. And with a drop down seat cushion along with comfortable back padding, a comfortable spot can be found up against almost any tree in a vest that comes in both Mossy Oak Greenleaf and Realtree XTRA Green camo patterns.
Tenzing TV14 Turkey Vest Pack
Like a hunting pack an elk hunter might use out west in the fall, the Tenzing TV14 Turkey Vest Pack offers big game options for the springtime woods. With two slate call pockets, three striker sleeves, a box call pocket, a mouth diaphragm pocket, locator call pockets, seven shot shell loops and even two handwarmer pockets, there is no shortage of storage options thanks to 28 total pockets and/or compartments. Add in a channeled, air-cooled back pad along with a thick fold-down padded seat and there is much to love about this vest that comes in either Mossy Oak Obsession or Realtree XTRA camouflage.
There you go, a look at seven exciting new hunting vest options for spring turkey hunters.
With so much storage capacity, specialty pockets, comfort enhancing features and camouflage options, even a picky hunter like me should be able to find that perfect vest for the springtime woods.
As long as there’s an oatmeal pie handy, that is.