It wasn't too many years back, that outdoor product manufacturers focused most of their attention towards deer hunters. Somewhere along the road, the turkey hunting craze took off and brought a sudden interest by manufacturers. Nowadays, turkey hunters anticipate a vast array of "new" products each spring. Many of these turn out to be improvements on old products, but hidden among the mix are some new, innovative ideas that really make some aspect of a turkey hunter's life easier. This year, the following five products really stood out as forerunners in the world of innovation.
It would be hard to mention turkey hunting, without mentioning safety. Each year, completely avoidable accidents occur and most are caused by poor judgment. So far nobody has figured out a way to make a product that improves judgment, but there is a new product on the market that can reduce accidents that occur with an "unloaded" firearm. The product is called the Saf-T-Plug. Although the design is fairly simply, the resulting improvement in safety can be life saving. The device is made to fit inside the ejection port of most side-ejecting 10, 12, 16 or 20 gauge semi-auto or pump shotguns. To install, simply squeeze the product and roll it into the open ejection port. The product prevents the action from closing and thus inhibiting accidental firing. The "hunter orange" color of the Saf-T-Plug ensures that it can be seen from a long distance and making them mandatory in your camp or home can prevent future "unloaded" firearm accidents. To find out more information about the Saf-T-Plug, visit their website at www.deadeyesupply.com .
Every turkey hunter has their favorite type of call, but slate calls have long been known for the quality and range of sounds that they can produce. Unfortunately, with one hand on the slate and one hand on the striker, a turkey can sneak in and make it difficult to release the call and grab the gun. The Gunslater was designed for one-handed slate call use and to allow the hunter to remain in the "ready position". This innovative slate call holder slides onto the top of your shotgun, is held firmly in place with hook and loop straps and even has a holder for your striker. Simply remove the striker from the holder, use the slate call and replace the striker when a turkey approaches. Any hand movement is hidden behind the slate call and the other hand can remain on the stock of the gun. It is also made to fit both right and left handed guns, includes a rear sight system for improved accuracy and enhances the forward projection of sound from the call. To find out more information about the Gunslater, visit their website at www.deadeyesupply.com .
It seems that just about everybody has a line of camouflage, but very few of them stand out from the rest. Mothwing is a company that is fairly new to the market, but they have been quick to set themselves apart from the pack. What started with a simple observation of the ability of moths to blend into their surroundings has developed into a unique line of camouflage patterns. By using the natural colors of moths accented with seasonal and regional ground cover, you can meld into the landscape and leave your prey unaware of your presence. The vibrant, green colors of the new Spring Mimicry pattern are something that will understandably excite many turkey hunters. Their leafy Apex Tree-D Alive garments are made from soft, quiet fabric and will undoubtedly help to put more than a few turkeys in the deep fryer this year. To find out more about Mothwing and their camouflage patterns, visit their website at www.mothwing.com .
Decoys are a vital part of turkey hunting, but a smart old tom will sometimes shy away from the lifeless look of a plastic girlfriend. Manufacturers attempt to create life-like decoys and some hunters even pay high dollar for custom-painted hens, but they all fall short of the real thing. A-Way Hunting Products has developed a product called Turkey Skinz that can dramatically and easily increase the realism of any hen decoy. Think of it as a sweater for your decoy. It slips over the top of most hen decoys and fastens securely with hook and loop straps. It glistens in the sun and blows in the wind like real turkey feathers, because it is real turkey feathers. When not in use, it folds flat for easy storage. For information about the Turkey Skinz product, visit the website at www.awayhunting.com .
A fanned-out, wall-mounted turkey tail makes a handsome addition to the home of any turkey hunter. Those that wish to mount their own are often discouraged by the thought of having to spread the fan on a board and painstakingly pin the tail feathers in place until it dries. Deady Eye Supply has created a product called the Fan Dangler that makes the drying of a turkey tail foolproof. Simply slide the last two feathers on each side of the fan into the hooks on the Fan Dangler, straighten any misaligned feathers and hang the fan upside down until it dries. The feathers stay in place and there is no tedious pinning to worry about. For more information, visit their website at www.deadeyesupply.com .
The days are gone when turkey hunters had few items to choose from at the sporting goods store. Thankfully, times have changed and now each year we are treated to many creative new products. This year, the five products listed are truly innovative and should enhance any turkey hunter's ability to have a safe, successful and memorable season.
Larry R. Beckett Jr. is a full time freelance writer, photographer and videographer. His greatest joy is spending time fishing, hunting and hiking with his wife and son. Larry discovered his enthusiasm for the outdoors at a young age and devotes much of his time trying to instill that same enthusiasm in future generations.