By NAH Online Editor Josh Dahlke
SHOT Show happens to conveniently fall during January … on the cusp of spring turkey season. Every year, during the mayhem of the show, I find myself roaming the aisles and keeping an eye out for new turkey hunting gear. Here are some fresh finds that I hope to add to my gobbler-getting arsenal this year, and maybe you will, too.
- Quaker Boy Turkey Thugs Lil’ Big Time
The Quaker Boy Turkey Thugs Lil’ Big Time waterproof box is a compact (only about 8 inches long) call that throws out ultra-realistic, high-pitched hen yelps. If you’ve hunted turkeys and heard real hens screaming in the field, you’ll have flashbacks when you run this killer little call. MSRP: $21.99. QuakerBoy.com.
The Snoods From Hunter’s Specialties
This year marks the launch of the first-ever turkey decoys manufactured by Hunter’s Specialties. “The Snoods” are a rubber-bodied, extremely lightweight family of blow-up decoys designed with dynamic visual details. As shown in this video from last spring, they’ve been field-tested and proven to lure ornery longbeards to death row. MSRP: Suzie Snood (hen), $79.99. Jake Snood (jake) $99.99. HunterSpec.com.
Tenzing Turkey Pack And Vest
Tenzing has been offering premium hunting packs for years, and they’re finally jumping into the turkey market with two new offerings for 2014. The Tenzing TZ TP14 is being called a turkey “pack,” but it’s essentially a super-high-end turkey vest with adjustable spring-loaded aluminum legs. The TP14 is constructed to take on the toughest turkey trails, yet also made to offer one of the most comfortable, versatile (no need to lean against a tree) ground-level setups you’ll ever experience. It features a cushy seat with magnetic fasteners for quick deployment, a padded backrest and adjustable waist and chest straps. Twenty-eight strategically placed pockets will accommodate a pile of calls and accessories, including snap-off pockets that you can remove and set on the ground next to you for easy access when you’re in position. If you’re looking for a more traditional vest, be on the lookout for the new TZ TV14 Turkey Vest to hit retailers later in the year. Both products are available in Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak Obsession camo patterns. MSRP: $299.99 (pack), $179.99 (vest). TenzingOutdoors.com.
Bogs Big Horn Rubber Boots
If you’re seeking a durable rubber boot to cut through spring slush, mud and all the other elements that stand between you and a boss gobbler, check out the 17-inch Big Horn from Bogs. Offered in Mossy Oak Infinity and Realtree Xtra, these lightweight boots provide 3mm of insulation and a sweat-wicking system to keep your feet dry and comfortable while running and gunning. MSRP: $130. BogsFootwear.com.
Pop-Up Blinds From Browning Camping
At last year’s SHOT Show, the Browning Camping team made a big splash in the turkey hunting community by releasing their own series of ground blinds. New for 2014, they’ve tweaked and improved existing designs of their Phantom and Mirage (shown above) models. The biggest enhancement is the addition of an innovative Silent Track Window System (pictured in lower right of the photo above). Forget about loose window flaps and noisy Velcro—just quietly slide the windows up and down to the position of your choice. Both blinds come with bow holders and beefy carrying bags, and both are offered in Realtree Xtra camo. MSRP: $239.99 (Phantom), $199.99 (Mirage). BrowningCamping.com.
MAD Shooter’s Aid
It’s not often that things go perfectly according to plan when turkey hunting. A tom makes his way toward your setup, gobbling his head off. You shoulder your shotgun and prop it on your knee, ready for the moment of truth. But then, he hangs up out of range and you’re stuck without a free hand to work a call or scrape some leaves to pull him into your party. The MAD Shooter’s Aid solves that problem by allowing you to keep your gun shouldered, while freeing up one hand for trickery. MSRP: $25. FlambeauOutdoors.com.
Badlands Intake Rain Gear
If you’re willing to drop some serious coin for dead-serious rain gear, check out the new Intake line from Badlands. With ridiculously rugged Kevlar reinforcement and a lifetime warranty, this could literally be the last rain gear you’ll ever need to own. No more worrying about puncturing your protective layers while belly-crawling to a strutter. Built-in vents allow you to unzip body heat when needed, while taking in fresh air to cool your turkey-chasing core. The pants include suspenders, so you won’t drop trou unintentionally. This set offers plenty of well-placed pockets and a variety of useful accents. MSRP: $349.95 (jacket), $269.95 (pants). BadlandsPacks.com.
Primos Hook Up Magnetic Box Call
You can belt out sweet turkey music this American-made hardwood beauty, but it’s the proprietary magnetic hinge that makes the Primos Hook Up a standout new box call. The magnet automatically applies the perfect amount of pressure between the lid and the base, making it easier for callers to talk turkey. Apply the included green “Gobble Band” and shake the call for decent gobbles. MSRP: $34.99. Primos.com.
Esky Coolers From Coleman
It took 3 years of thoughtful development to launch the new Esky Coolers from Coleman. If you’re a turkey hunter who cherishes freshly harvested organic white meat just as much as long beards and sharp spurs, this cooler is right up your alley. This is the best hunter-friendly cooler I’ve seen. From an integrated cutting board to an antimicrobial interior finish, an Esky is at the top of the totem pole for new-age “super coolers.” These made-in-the-USA beasts are built to take a beating and, most importantly, keep your hard-earned wild flesh ultra fresh for impressively long periods of time. MSRP $339-$749 (depending on size). EskySeriesCoolers.com.
For all you traveling meat heads out there, you’ll be excited to learn about Arctic Ice packs. These aren’t your typical, dime-a-dozen reusable ice packs. The plant-based magic solution in Arctic Ice is guaranteed to stay colder much longer than regular ice or the cheapo blue ice packs you find at most retailers. Arctic Ice might be the closest alternative to dry ice. You’ll get the most out of this product by using it in a high-quality cooler (such as the Coleman Esky). The Arctic Ice Alaskan series packs freeze at 33.8 degrees F and are perfect for keeping food and drinks chilled; the Tundra series freezes at 5 degrees F and maintains a constant freezer temperature. The creators of Arctic Ice were even wise enough to create a Chillin’ Brew version to keep golden swill at a perfect temp for post-hunt swigging. MSRP: depends on size and type. ArcticIceLLC.com. (You can buy directly from the Arctic Ice website.)
For more coverage from the 2014 SHOT Show, visit HuntingClub.com/SHOTshow.