Between shed hunting and getting ready to plant spring food plots, we all have time to chase turkeys. This month, we will be featuring bonus articles from our crack staff at Turkey & Turkey Hunting. Use these insights to supplement your venison supply with fresh wild turkey!
Among all the gear some turkey hunters tote into the woods each spring, one of the most important things very well could be a good binocular for scanning fields and brush.
By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor
Binocs may not be as important if you’re sitting on a small chufa patch or food plot, or in the woods. In those scenarios, a turkey often are close enough that you almost immediately can determine if it’s a jake, longbeard or hen. Moving around to use your optics likely would be the kiss of death.
But in larger fields where birds may be loitering in the shade or a good distance away, or if you’re slippin’ and slinkin’ around trying to find some birds, having some binoculars can be a lifesaver. If you’re targeting longbeards, being able to quickly determine what’s what can give you a leg up on a setup or Plan B to get closer to a gobbler.
I asked Trent Marsh with Hawke Optics for some suggestions on binoculars and a shotgun scope. Hawke makes some fine products at reasonable prices. Whether you’re chasing turkeys or in a stand for whitetails later in autumn, having good glass definitely is a plus.
Marsh recommended three options: the Hawke Sapphire 8×25 compact, the Endurance 8×32 and the Nature Trek 8×32. You’ll find multi-coated glass, a comfortable fit and the benefit of spying birds with minimal movements that could give away your location.
As for your shotgun scope, traditional optics to holographic sights provide turkey hunters with numerous options. One other to consider is Hawke’s XB 1×32 crossbow scope. Now, don’t wince or dismiss that out of hand just because it says “crossbow.” These little scopes are tough, reliable and have a red dot reticle that works in bright or low light.
“The 1x … really is where it begins and ends as far as I’m concerned, ” Marsh said. “It has all the upside of a red dot, with none of the downside. Superior eye relief (up to 9 inches), the ability to shoot with both eyes open and dual color illumination. Unlike a red dot though, the reticle is etched in the glass. You’re not reliant on the illumination package, so if the battery goes dead, or the sun gets really bright (I hate when it does that), you still have a functioning scope.
“A bonus, because it is in a traditional scope chassis, is this features a lifetime warranty instead of the standard 1-year warranty on red dots. It’s an awesome little piece. We are getting hammer with orders on it.”
When you’re getting ready for turkey season, don’t forget your optics. They’re a critical component of a good game plan for wily gobblers.
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