The 41st NWTF Expo Offers Exciting Turkey Hunting Products.
The 41st National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Expo was a fast and furious five days of events with three days on the expo floor. My favorite part of the convention is visiting the booths and finding any new gear available for the upcoming season. There is one growing trend notable among many of the companies this year: Mossy Oak Bottomlands is making a strong comeback.
Several great companies have teamed up with NWTF, and the results are great products combined with support for the Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt initiative. There were so many excellent products and quality gear on the expo floor, some new, some old, some improved, but more importantly something that was on the list of the many turkey hunting enthusiasts. I wanted to share some of the gear that I found getting rave reviews and much attention from the attendees that I talked to at the expo.
The Grand Slam Turkey Vest by Alps Outdoorz received a lot of attention. The sit-anywhere kickstand frame with adjustable locking legs allows the hunter to quickly adjust and lock the legs without removing the vest. Large swivel feet keeps the legs from sinking into soft ground and helps to stabilize the vest. A thick padded fold away seat ensures comfort when sitting out that stubborn Tom and flips up and out of the way when running and gunning.
A unique feature is the detachable shoulder strap for shooting comfort. The Grand Slam incorporates two slate pockets, a locator call pocket, striker pocket that holds three strikers, a protective box call pouch, five shell loops, two inner mesh pockets, two side water bottle pockets, and a large rear game bag. A protective smartphone sleeve is convenient in allowing the hunter to view Aerial and Topo maps on the fly without removing the smartphone. The vest is water bladder compatible for those long days on the hunt. It is fully adjustable to fit different body types with multiple side compression straps. The kickstand frame is removable should the hunter not need the frame for a particular area hunted. The Grand Slam Turkey Vest by Alps Outdoorz is sure to be the most popular turkey hunting products on any turkey hunters wish list.
Nomad Outdoors partnered with NWTF to bring turkey hunters the NWTF Turkey Federation hunting apparel. Combining top quality apparel with a top shelf organization benefits all turkey hunters with a portion of the proceeds from all NWTF licensed purchases being donated to the NWTF Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt initiative.
The lightweight materials allow for comfort while hunting those warm spring days, especially when on the move, while completely concealed. Nomad offers several very functional pieces in both Mossy Oak Obsession and Mossy Oak Bottomland in sizes small to XXX-large.
The ¼ zip lightweight, loose fit, Nomad Cooling Hunting T-Shirt is moisture wicking with breathable panels in the long sleeves for comfort. The long sleeve cooling tee also offers a loose fit and breathable panels in the sleeves. Both shirts incorporate SilverZ scent suppression system making this apparel the perfect early archery season hunting apparel in warmer climates. For cooler days, layer with the long-sleeve button front shirt featuring two button-down chest pockets and a button-down collar. The shirt is a durable lightweight, poly mini-ripstop material.
Pair any combination of shirts with the Nomad NWTF pant made of the same durable lightweight, poly mini-ripstop material durable enough to withstand the briars and thickets a hunter may encounter while pursuing turkey. Nomad didn’t stop there; the company completed the series with a neck gaiter that offers a breathable full-length front panel that will not fog up your optics or eyeglasses. To finish off the ensemble, a lightweight glove made of wicking materials featuring gussets at the fingers for a perfect fit, a grip palm, a cuff for additional coverage, and smartphone compatible index and thumbs. Nomad didn’t cut any corners with “gear built by hunters for hunters.”
With the popularity of turkey fanning or reaping on the rise, the Mojo Outdoors Scoot-N-Shoot was an item that was receiving a lot of attention on the expo floor. The revolutionary Scoot-N-Shoot is a boss gobbler decoy that incorporates a built-in handle allowing the hunter to cover their face and most of their body as they use the decoy to entice turkey to approach the strange gobbler that is moving into the mature gobbler’s area. The decoy’s lifelike flared wings allow for the hunter to have more area to hide behind the decoy. The decoy has a ground stake allowing it to be used as a stationary decoy.
The Scoot-N-Shoot comes with a realistic removable silk tail fan that can be replaced with a real tail fan using the attachable hub for the most realistic looking decoy. If you want to experience a turkey hunt filled with adrenaline or if you have some late season birds that are not responding to calls, the Mojo Outdoors Scoot-N-Shoot is a decoy you will want to include in your arsenal. Mojo Outdoors warns: “This decoy makes the hunter look like a long beard, boss gobbler. Do NOT use on public land, leases or anywhere other hunters might be present and could mistake you for a real turkey! Use only in very controlled hunting areas.”
Banded Gear offers turkey hunting wear known as its Turkey Hunting Series. The mid-weight hunting shirt and pants are available in both Mossy Oak Obsession and Original Bottomland. The breathable poly-blend rip-stop fabric is lightweight design is made for warmer weather but still made tough enough to take on the roughest terrain. The shirt offers articulated shoulders for free range, a vented back, two chest pockets with magnetic closures, roll up sleeves secured with tab and button. The Banded lightweight pant offers four-way stretch with articulated and waterproof knees, a waterproof seat, vent zippers on the rear of legs, adjustable waist, and integrated webbing to keep pant legs tucked into tall boots. The Banded Turkey Hunting Series shirt and pants are available in small to XXX-large and large tall to XX-large tall.
Deception Outdoors Decoys is one of the very few products that made me do a double-take the first time I saw them while walking the isles of the NWTF expo last year. The decoys did the same to me this year with the addition of a new hen to the flock; the feeding hen. I proudly own a flock of Deception Outdoors Decoys and I must admit that the decoys are some of the most realistic decoys I have ever hunted over. I had the honor of visiting the small-town Kansas workshop, spending some time with the designers and workers who finish the decoys out. This process is hands-on from start to finish, and every decoy is airbrushed by hand; no mass-producing assembly line and the product quality reflects that fact.
With warmer weather comes pesky mosquitos, black flies, and other biting insects. ThermaCell released the MR450 handheld insect repellent applicance just in time for the spring turkey hunting season. The new ergonomic design of the unit features armored rubber sides, a re-engineered grill, all new accessory mounting system, belt clip and a zone protection indicator. The new “zone of protection” indicator allows visual confirmation that the unit is working to maximum benefit; visible indicator turns blue when the unit has reached the temperature to activate the insect repelling mat. The ergonomic design allows for one-handed use. Each unit comes with one butane Max Life cartridge, and a Max Life repellent mat for 12 hours of silent, virtually odor-free repellency for a 15’ x 15’ protection zone. The Max Life refills offer a solid 12 hours of protection, and the refill kits include four Max Life butane cartridges and four insect repellent mats. Each cartridge and mat combination has a 12-hour effective range.
The NWTF Expo brings more turkey calls together under one roof than any other event year-round. You can find many handmade custom calls, mass produced calls, calls made of any type materials imagined and calls designed for anyone from the novice to a professional caller. One call brand that will surely be in my turkey vest this season is Houndstooth Game Calls. Offering a variety of top quality mouth calls, pot calls, box calls and locator calls that are some of the most realistic sounding calls I have used to date. Those that have heard the Houndstooth Game Calls Morning Striker Owl Hooter have agreed it is the most realistic sounding owl hooter on the market. With a variety of single, double and triple reed mouth calls, any turkey hunter can find the perfect lethal combination. The company even has a Cordura mouth call pouch to keep up to twelve calls. The mouth call pouch offers metal grommets and a magnetic closure to keep your calls close at hand and safe from dropping them while chasing turkey.
Houndstooth friction calls not only look good; they sound phenomenal with just the right amount of rasp and just enough high pitch when needed. The friction call line-up includes a walnut slate, walnut aluminum, cherry crystal, cherry glass, and the newest addition to the line-up, the laminated walnut and cherry Dixie Hen crystal and Dixie Hen box call with a pecan lid and one-piece walnut body. I have worked a variety of brand calls and never could master a glass surface until I picked up a Houndstooth Game Calls glass surface call with the perfect striker combination. If you are looking for the perfect call to take to the turkey woods with you this season, try Houndstooth Game Calls–“Calls That Kill.”
Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed or mentioned within this writing is an endorsement and the writer may or may not have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product. Logos and photos are the sole property of the rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer or in efforts of product exposure for the manufacturers.