WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Marti Davis Afield: On what’s in her turkey hunting vest

I have been turkey hunting for more than 15 years now. While some might consider me a seasoned turkey hunter, I always feel I have more to learn. Through the years I have had several mentors along the way. I still utilize some of their tactics along with some I have learned myself, the hard way. I’m going to share with you the essential gear I typically use on my turkey hunts.

Marti changes her camo patterns dependent on the

Marti changes her camo patterns accordingly, to blend in with her surroundings. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

A turkey’s sight is one of its biggest advantages and ways of survival. Therefore, good camouflage that allows you to blend into your surroundings is very important. I always wear Mossy Oak camo when I’m hunting. For the early part of spring turkey season I wear the Obsession pattern pants with Infinity or Treestand on my upper body — before the new ground growth has jumped up. When everything is really starting to green up, I usually wear Obsession head-to-toe. Bottom line, you want to blend in to the area you are hunting. As far as clothing, good and comfortable camouflage pretty much “has you covered.”

Boots are a very important piece of any hunter’s repertoire. I highly recommend the Lowa Renegade GTX hikers. Comfortable and not requiring any break-in from the first time I put them on, these boots are my “go-to.” And to ward off those pesky disease carrying ticks, I top my boots with the Outdoor Research Bugout gaiters.

Outdoor Research Bugout gaiters keep the bugs out!

Outdoor Research Bugout gaiters keep the bugs out!

Another item I recommend is rain gear, namely Gore-tex. A little rain doesn’t usually keep me out of the woods. Now, a thunderstorm with lightning cracking all around me is a different story. Lightning isn’t anything to play around with. In fact, when I’m hunting, I always carry my cell phone. I have multiple reasons for carrying it. The first is for safety reasons — in case I have trouble and need to contact someone for help. Of course that only works if you are in an area you have reception. Another reason I carry my phone is to access weather apps. Two of my favorites are Weather Bug and Scoutlook. Additionally, I use Scoutlook to mark spots on aerial maps. I can use this similar to a GPS to help me get around the property and looking for possible set-up locations and ways to get around on a bird. Or, simply to help find my way back to my truck, in case I get turned around after chasing birds in new territory.

Marti Davis with her Knight & Hale

Marti Davis tries to bring a big tom in close. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

As far as the rest of my turkey hunting gear, here is a list of what’s in my vest:

  • Cabela’s Tactical Tat’r 2 turkey vest – Comfort and function is key.
  • Knight & Hale Long Spur glass and aluminum pot calls – I always have various strikers both wood and composite tipped.
  • Knight & Hale Warlock and Sweet V diaphragm call – I always carry more than one mouth call, because you never know which tone a turkey will respond to.
  • Knight & Hale locator calls (owl and crow) – You don’t always want to use turkey calls to get a gobble.
  • Winchester Xtended Range Hi-Density turkey shells – Make sure you’re using the shell that patterns best with your shotgun and choke tube combo.
  • Bushnell Legend 10×42 binoculars – I never go hunting without good optics.
  • Bushnell Laser Rangefinder – You don’t always have a chance to get a range on turkeys, but sometimes when they’re out there a ways, it’s nice to know for sure if they’re within range.
  • Hunting license and turkey tags – Always make sure you have the proper licenses and tags and a way to attach them to the animal.
  • ThermaCELL mosquito repellent – If you’re swatting mosquitoes, you’re moving and going to get busted.
  • Ratchet pruner and small limb saw – Just in case you have a limb or too much brush between you and were the turkeys will be.
  • Extra gloves and face mask – If you’re like me, you will lose some along the way.
  • Decoys – Typically two hens and a jake.
  • Extra decoy stake – Just in case you break or lose one, or too keep your decoy from spinning like a top on those windy days.
  • Bottle of water – You have to stay hydrated.
  • Snacks – For those days you’re out from dark until the very last minute of shooting time.
  • Mesh mushroom bag – Just in case you come across those delicious morels.  They go great with fried turkey breasts.
  • Knife – Because, you just never know when you might need a good knife.
  • Flashlights – I usually have a cap light and a handheld flashlight.
That's a lotta' gear!

That’s a lotta’ gear! Marti is always prepared. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

I know this may seem like a lot of gear, but today’s turkey vests have lots of pockets and most have a nice roomy game bag on the back. Can you turkey hunt with just a shotgun, shells and one call? Yes, and sometimes I just leave the vest sitting on the ground and take off after a big ol’ tom. I just have to remember where I left my stuff after I finally catch up to him.

Happy Huntin’!


Marti Davis Afield is sponsored by HERCAMOSHOP.com

  • About Marti Davis

    Marti Davis is a staff member for Browning Trail Cameras, WoolX and Mossy Oak. She is an authority on most types of hunting in North America, and very active in mentoring the next generation of young hunters.


The Conversation

  • Robin says: May 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

    It’s both helpful and encouraging to hear someone with your experience say there’s still more to learn. My daughter started turkey hunting this morning, and I realized how much I’ve learned by being able to answer most of her questions. There are questions neither of us know to ask. After four years, I still have a lot to learn.

    • Marti Davis says: May 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

      One of my favorite quotes is, ‘in the school of the woods there is no graduation day.’ And, I truly believe that. I believe that’s part of the mystic of the outdoors.

      Marti Davis