In the Spring, the weather turns to rain. In the north, it’s a transition from snow to rain, and in the south, from rain to more frequent rain. For most folks, this is a time of year spent indoors looking out, hoping, if not even wishing for the sunny days of summer to come sooner rather than later. For me it’s a time of year where my hunting ambitions quickly come out of hibernation, and with laser-like focus, I’m thinking, or maybe slightly obsessing about one thing, and that is turkey hunting. Hunting these majestic, witty birds is a culmination of putting all the skills of stalking, stealth, and strategy learned from a lifetime of hunting together, to even have a chance to see one.
"...these birds present many hunting challenges that other species lack."
Turkeys are smart; no, they are beyond smart. They are cautious and elusive beasts that have better color vision than anything else you will hunt. They can see in the range of 270 Degrees, but with the flexibility in their necks, and heads always on a swivel, they are nearly looking 360 degrees at all times. They’re also ultra focused on capturing even the slightest of movements. Paired with exceptional hearing, and a high level of curiosity, these birds present many hunting challenges that other species lack.
The best thing we can do as aspiring turkey hunters is practice our tactics and make sure we are as invisible and as still as possible. On the tactics side, much like elk hunting/calling, don’t just think you are going to just dust off that turkey call and thrust into a live fire drill with them, expecting success. Kenny G wouldn’t play in a concert after not practicing with his saxophone for a year, so don’t think you are good enough to fool an already naturally skeptical bird, with some half accurate clucks, cackles and meager gobbles. Practice ahead of time and you exponentially increase your chances of calling your birds into a close enough proximity to get a bead on them.
"The clothing required for spring hunting has to manage a lot of variables..."
Equally as important, if not even more critical, is your choice of turkey hunting clothing and gear. Camo is 100% a 'standard operating procedure' when it comes to turkey hunting, and picking the right pattern that matches the ground flora, as well as surrounding trees and/or brush structure, is going to help you conceal your body, location, and minor movements. The clothing required for spring hunting has to manage a lot of variables, because in most of the country that time of the year, the days can start out quite brisk, and sometimes warm up to almost summer-like hot. Throw in Murphy’s law, and if there's a slight chance of rain, it will most likely do it on the day you're sitting in the woods, then you will also need protection for just about every weather. And to my friends in the south, where the mosquitoes, ticks and all other creepy crawlies will most definitely have come back to life, you have yet another issue to contend with; trying to stay still while mosquitoes are in full attack mode, is virtually impossible. Luckily, we have you covered with gear for any situation you may encounter.
Cold Weather Base Layer
For those cold mornings you’re going to be glad that you have the right heat retention clothing next to your skin. For this, using FORLOH’s Deep Space Base Layer Bottoms under your pants, and either the Deep Space Crew Neck or Half zip, all with the Trizar™ heat reflection technology will ensure that you retain and recycle critical heat that your body is producing. Remember Turkey hunting is not an action sport, and in most cases you locate the flock and then set up on the cold ground and wait. Sometimes that waiting can be for hours, so make sure you are keeping more heat than you are losing.
Warm Weather Base Layer (With Insect Shield®)
"We added Insect Shield® technology which creates a scentless insect safe zone around your body..."
This year the FORLOH product development team pulled out all the stops, and have come to market with the absolute best warm weather system on the planet, and for turkey hunting this gear is absolutely perfect. Leading off with the Insect Shield® Solair UPF Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt. Keeping you comfortable is an understatement, this shirt has brrr® Pro technology with cooling minerals embedded into the fibers of the fabric. These minerals keep your skin temperature up to 3.5F cooler, and expand the wicking ability of the shirt by over 700%. It doesn’t stop there. We added Insect Shield® technology which creates a scentless insect safe zone around your body, keeping likes of mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and other bugs away, and allowing you to stay still no matter what. In true FORLOH fashion we never stop short, so like all base layers, we have added Polygiene® Stay Fresh and Odor Crunch technologies to manage your scent concealment for days (also on our Deep Space base layers).
Two options here are available in the FORLOH arsenal. First, our staple all-season AllClima Stretch Woven Pant. These pants suit almost every scenario that turkey season can throw at you. Use them to layer on those cold mornings, or open the side hip vents when things get hot. Add in the DWR treatment that helps shed morning dew, and light intermittent rain conditions, and the durable closed-cell knee pads, and you have pants that can be worn almost every day of the year.
Pictured: Airalite Pant
For those of you in warmer climates, or where bugs are a consideration, you might want to look at the SolAir Lightweight Pants with Insect Shield®. These pants have all the same brrr® Pro, Polygiene®, and Odor Crunch technologies discussed above in the UPF Long Sleeve Shirt, but are made of a very durable and quiet 4-way stretch woven fabric.
Rain Jacket and Pants
Much the same as the woven pants, there are also two choices of systems when it comes to rain protection. First is our staple AllClima rain pant and jacket. This set is our most durable rain set that will allow you to battle the toughest conditions. On the exceptionally cold mornings, throw them on over everything else and you will gain warmth and comfort. They are also breathable beyond comparison. By using Airadigm™ Double Pulse Plasma technology, we are able to apply the DWR finish by sucking the DWR through all three layers of the fabric, coating every fiber, while keeping all the pores in the membrane open and ready to breathe when you need it.
As a second lighter and more warm weather friendly rain set, you can look to the Airalite Rain Jacket and Pants. Using the same Pulse Plasma technology, but in a lighter three-layer fabric, with more unique venting options (added back vent), you gain a more packable and breathable option that will be comfortable even in the warmest of days.
No Turkey hunt is complete without caps and neck gaiters, for head concealment, and FORLOH’s got your “head” in mind. You can choose between a mesh back or all fabric cap in camos or solids, and a neck gaiter that can be worn as is or up over your nose and mouth to maximize concealment.
About the Author: Andy Techmanski is the Founder and CEO of FORLOH.