By Kent Danjanovich

Senior Editor

Spring turkey season is upon us and I had a chance to visit with a bunch of the manufacturers at the NWTF Convention in Nashville in February to see, first-hand, just what is new and improved for 2019. You can check out all of these great products and more this spring at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse in preparation for your hunt.

Zink Triple Pack Turkey Calls
This 3-pack of high-performance calls leaves you ready for most common calling situations by combining the X-Lady, Wicked Lady, and Lucky Lady calls. A triple reed call featuring a heavy upper reed with split-V cut, the X-Lady helps you deliver calls with great rasp. The Wicked Lady helps you crank out fantastic soft yelps, whines, clucks, and purrs with its inverted V-style double reed design with unique W cut on top. The Lucky Lady helps you deliver a wide range of calls with its easy-to-use triple reed design with V-cutter top reed and strategically places notches in the middle and upper reeds. The Triple Pack also includes a Turkey Time University instructional DVD from Zink to help you improve your calling skills.

Flextone Funky Chicken Gen 2
Turkey hunters learned long ago the effectiveness of using decoys to get those wary Toms to commit. During the spring breeding season, many hunters opt for hen decoys to attempt to lure the old boy into shotgun range. While love works some of the time, often the best decoy is another male decoy that seemingly threatens the opportunity of the Tom you are calling. This is where the Funky Chicken Gen 2 excels. A slim decoy that mimics a Jake, the Funky Chicken Gen 2 is an easy target for aggressive, older Toms.

Avian-X: HDR Jake
When the spring turns warm and gobblers are strutting, smart turkey hunters know the one thing that can get an old tom to rush into their setup is to make him mad with an inferior intruder. But it can be a delicate balance. Not all toms are as aggressive as the next and it’s important to raise their ire without also intimidating them. Avian-X’s HDR (Heavy-Duty Realism) Jake is the perfect decoy for doing just that. You can increase the attitude of this ultra-realistic decoy with the head design that features a curled, aggressive posture or dial it back with a head design that is more submissive. Both heads are included with the HDR Jake.

Montana FANATIC XL Turkey Decoy
The FANATIC XL is as light and realistic as it gets when it comes to an extended size, full-strut reaping decoy. Its large size and photographic realism create an appearance that’s sure to rile up any gobbler that sees it. The included turkey foot reaping base saves time and easily stands on any surface. It easily folds up for convenient packing and works with other Montana turkey decoys. Just remember, this decoy is so realistic, you need to be careful you don’t fool the other hunters in the woods!

H.S. Strut Slingblade Box Call
As with any call, it takes practice and technique development in order to master perfect turkey sounds. Everything from positioning, rhythm and cadence can affect the tone of the call produced. For Spring 2019, H.S. Strut launches quite possibly the easiest-to-use box call ever created while maintaining excellent tone and sound quality. The new Slingblade Box Call is a single-sided box call that is constructed of a solid billet of American Walnut with an exotic Purple Heart lid. With only one striking side, the open-close operation is fool proof. The offside is taller, which stops the paddle in the same place every time. Like the open and closing of a door, rhythm and cadence is all you need to master. The hand-tuned Slingblade produces fine turkey talk every time.

Quaker Boy Grand Old Master Box Call
The Quaker Boy Grand Old Master Box Call is a perfectly crafted turkey call with a 5-piece wood bottom and cherry paddle that meets the needs of turkey hunters and is priced right. Popular demand has brought back this great call and we are glad they did. Right- or left-handed operation, the Grand Old Master will cut the wind to those long-distance birds or tone down when you need to close the deal.

ALPS Vantage Bino Harness
Binos are an essential tool for many turkey hunters, especially those hunting in open country. The Vantage bino harness from ALPS OutdoorZ was designed specifically with the turkey hunter in mind by combining a secure and convenient means of carrying binoculars along with the other turkey hunting essential—calls. The Vantage harness features a padded back panel for comfortable all-day wear and the harness system is fully adjustable to accommodate everything from light camo to cold-weather clothing. The bino attachment straps are non-metallic to ensure optimal stealth, while an adjustable closure allows the system to be used with most binocular sizes. For easy bino retrieval, the case boasts a generous U-shape cut so optics can be pulled out even when wearing gloves. Coming in at under a pound, the Vantage Bino Harness is your go-to when you need to go in as light as possible.

ALPS Grand Slam Turkey Vest
The ALPS Grand Slam Turkey Vest is the ultimate turkey vest on the market today. Featuring state of the art features such as the “sit anywhere” kickstand frame, fast-locking technology, thick padded fold away seat, a smart-phone sleeve that allows you to use your phone while it’s still in the pack, a breathable game bag and a removable diaphragm call pocket among many others, this vest truly delivers. Other features include shell loops, H2O compatibility, side compression straps, two water bottle pockets, detachable shoulder straps, and a protective and silent box call pocket.

ALPS Long Spur Turkey Pack
ALPS Long Spur is a versatile run-n-gun turkey hunting pack, complete with a removable 500 cubic inch lumbar pocket, perfect for a set of light weight rain gear, snacks or extra calls. This pack also has removable call pockets that are attached to the front of the harness, insuring you that you will always have your calls ready to use. Two removable chest pockets include silent box-call and diaphragm-call pockets. Other storage options include two slate-call pockets, two mesh mouth-call pockets, five shell loops, locator call pockets and the pack is one size fits most, while weighing in at just over three pounds.

H.S. Strut Undertaker Chest Pack
The new breed of turkey hunter is mobile, agile, and prepared to fool a wily old gobbler. The new Undertaker Chest Pack from H.S. Strut carries everything you need. Its unique, compact design is ready to hold all the essentials needed without the weight, bulk and added warmth of a conventional turkey vest. Plenty of room for turkey calls, ammo and accessories in a tight, compact pack that is firmly fastened to your core means less to weigh you down and more mobility when it counts. The Undertaker Chest Pack provides quiet and durable “rapid-access” to accessories and gear. The pack sits comfortably on the chest of the hunter, secured by an adjustable, four-point harness. The molded drop-down front houses interior compartments with ample room for two pan calls, mesh pockets for three diaphragm calls plus more space for gloves, face-masks, binos, ammo, bug spray and even a cell phone. The exterior lower pocket fits a favorite box call and the exterior holsters hold multiple strikers.

Primos Turkey Starter Pak W/3 Calls
This pack has everything you need to get started on your next turkey adventure. The Turkey Starter Pak includes a Sonic Dome Mouth Call, Sonic Dome Slate Call, Slim Striker, and a double-sided box call. The pack also includes a conditioning kit and carrying case. A great choice for those venturing into the turkey hunting world.

Goals of the NWTF:
1. Conserve or enhance 4 million acres of critical wildlife habitat
2. Recruit 1.5 million hunters
3. Open access to 500,000 additional acres for hunting