Like most hunters, I carry much more to the field than necessary. For several seasons, I have shrugged it off to the adage, “It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” I vowed to become a minimalist turkey hunter this spring after some lengthy turkey vest hauls in the lingering southern heat last spring. In actuality, what turkey hunter needs four slate calls, nine mouth calls, three locator calls, two box calls, and all the other doodads we pack into our vests on a hunt?
I searched the internet, stores, and even the inventory of bags I already own, looking for an answer. I found cross-body bags, hip packs, and fanny pack style bags, all perfect for field use and storing my gear. However, none fit my minimalist idea. Cross-body bags came the closest, but they still left a slinging bag of goods hanging around you when you tried to close the distance on a hot tom. The fanny pack style was more what I was looking for, but I couldn’t find one large enough but still out of the way, or they didn’t have the pockets I needed.
Sitka Gear solved my problems and met my expectations of a minimalist solution by releasing the new Turkey Tool Belt. The perfect fanny-pack style pack with pockets dedicated to everything needed on a turkey hunt.
Sitka Gear put all the bells and whistles into the new Turkey Tool Belt. The practical feature-rich tool belt is an excellent solution for lightening their load or the ideal run and gun gear belt.
This call and gear management system starts with a lightweight belt that easily adjusts 30-46 inches with a snap buckle closure. The belt incorporates two hip pockets for gear essentials such as flashlights, headlamps, extra shells, chapstick, turkey tote, and a rangefinder. One of the gear pockets has a sewn-in elastic sleeve to hold up to three additional shells. Also on the belt is a removable water bottle pouch that secures to either side of the belt and a smaller magnetic top pouch that holds up to two locator calls.
The lightly padded belt securely holds the workhorse of this product, the call management bag.
Call Management Bag
The call management bag is small but mighty. It features a molded front call pocket to hold two pot calls, four strikers, and six diaphragm calls. The bottom portion has a side-entry box call pocket padded for a snug fit to minimize noise from the box call while moving. The box call pouch secures with a magnetic closure and a stretch loop band with a catch loop.
The zippered top portion of the call management bag has internal mesh pockets for smaller items and ample room for a Thermacell, gloves, a snack, and a few smaller accessories. The back zipper pocket can hold your license and a turkey tote, and it even includes a deployable waterproof rain fly that protects your gear from those crazy spring rains or heavy dew.
Adjustable compression straps on the underside can host rain gear, extra layers, or a lightweight seating system. A waterproof, accordion-style seat cushion attached is lightly padded and removable. It is also suitable for a boot-changing mat or additional padding in a turkey lounger.
The Perfect Call Management System
I am not much of a run-and-gun hunter, but I can see how this would be the perfect system for that style of hunting. The Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt features all the essentials of a traditional turkey vest without the turkey pouch on the back—a turkey tote stores easily in the tool belt for carrying that prize tom out of the woods.
This spring I will appreciate that the Turkey Tool Belt will be lighter and cooler than a traditional turkey vest, and for once, this system will fit me without annoyingly flopping around when I am in hot pursuit of a tom. Another bonus is that it will not interfere with my binocular harness. The MSRP of the Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt is $229 and it is available in earth, Optifade subalpine and waterfowl timber. You can read more about the product at the Sitka Gear website.