Turkey hunting in Colorado is essentially a run and gun method. Unless you have birds nearby that are patterned, you will be spending a lot of time on the run. There is no baiting allowed in Colorado, so turkey hunting involves a lot of search, recon, and patience. The terrain is often rugged and spring temperatures flex from cold to hot in a matter of a couple of hours.
Overall, I tend to be a minimalist when I pack, and I find this method helpful for some of the more exertional turkey hunting. It is much easier to pack lightly and efficiently to make for a more productive day.
I have found that keeping my pack stocked and ready is a huge advantage. Not only do I know where every item is, but I also know that when I grab my pack and head out the door that I have everything I need.
Here are my pack recommendations for spot and stalk turkey hunting:
Not a turkey vest. I prefer my Badlands Kali pack for any hunting. It is cut for a woman and the weight distributes evenly across the hips and shoulders. Turkey vests are bulky, loose fitting and not at all conducive to climbing and hiking. I recommend your favorite hunting pack for turkey hunting. You can trust its effectiveness, comfort and function. Additionally, I very much appreciate the gun sling feature so I can pack my shotgun on my back rather than my shoulder when hiking a significant distance.
Merino Wool: Gloves and Beanie
I love merino wool for every type of hunting, but for turkey hunting, it offers lightweight, breathability and camouflage. They take no space in my pack and I keep them in there at all times so I am ready to roll.
Lightweight Neck Gaiter
A lightweight neck gaiter is essential when on the run. It allows for great concealment and little heat retention.
I find a trigger call to be most beneficial to this type of hunting. Trigger calls require only one hand. They fit in my hip pocket on my pack and I can access it easily.
I carry only one decoy when I hunt. Typically a hen, but occasionally a jake. The AvianX decoys are great and they fit in the main body of my pack. I keep the post secured by the side straps so I can grab it quickly. I have tried carrying multiple decoys in the mountains and have found nothing but frustration.
I love them and always keep them in my packs for securing tags to carcasses. They also come in handy when you need to secure small objects or make repairs in the field.
I definitely fancy a smaller knife with a delicate blade for birds. I had one custom made by Bolduc Knives that fit my hand and gave me better finesse inside the bird’s body cavity.
I found early on that every stump looked like a turkey to my aging eyes. I keep a smaller pair of binoculars specifically for turkey hunting that don’t need the distance and take less room.
I found out the hard way that if I was a significant hike out, securing the bird to my pack is crucial. Between the cording and zip ties, you can get that bird tightly secured for a comfortable hike out.
Beyond that, I haven’t found a need to carry much more in my pack for these excursions.