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Location: Wandering the World, Currently at Ft. Campbell, KY
Joined: 10/05/2006
Posts: 205
New to Turkey Hunting

I am planning on going Turkey Hunting this year, but have no clue what basics I need to be successful. I have a 12 ga. shotgun and plenty of camo. but, what do I need as far as decoys, calls etc. I will be hunting in Middle TN area near Ashland City (20 miles from Nashville).

Location: Pa.
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 45
new hunter

I know you said you have plenty of camo, but be sure that the camo you use blends well with the surrounding terrain and that you are covered from head to toe including your face. Since you're a Sgt. in the army I'm sure I don't have to get into the importance of that.
As far as other equipment, a 12 ga. shotgun equipped with an extra full choke and magnum turkey loads will help maximize success. Although a modified or standard choked shotgun can kills birds provided you let them get close enough.
A quality turkey vest is great asset as well. One that can carry your calls and have a comfortable seat built in can make for long periods of sitting bearable. My favorite is the Tactical Tater from Cabelas.
A good variety of calls is also important. As a new caller I would recomend getting a box call, slate call, push button call and a double reed diaphragm call.
The push button call is the easiest to use and requires very little movement to use. The other calls are alternates as some birds just like to answer to certain tones.
The mouth call should only be used if you take the time to practice with it ahead of time. These calls are great for coaxing in those gobblers the last few yards when movement by a hand operated call isn't the best choice.
As far as decoys I like the bobbing head decoys, espesially the feeding positioned one. Although in some instances I have used as many as seven decoys at one time. However, As a new turkey hunter, I wouldn't be in too big of a hurry to use a decoy. Learning when to move, when to call and proper location selection are the three biggest factors to turkey hunting. Decoys complicate things. Positioning them at the proper angles, distances, and type of decoys used can alter the reaction of any given gobbler.
Practice movement and calling first. The key is to bring the gobbler in and make him look for you. Do it right and he will move into gun range and still won't have an exact spot on where you are. Decoys work best in open country and fields.
Any more questions feel free to ask.