- What’s in Your Turkey Vest?
What’s in Your Turkey Vest?
by Jeremy Koerber, Fit to Hunt
I have a belief when it comes to tagging turkeys: He or she who can outlast the birds wins. This means when I set my mind to tag a gobbler, I am not leaving the field until a shell is smoking on the ground or legal shooting light is over. To do that, you need physical prowess, mental toughness and food. Here are a few snack items I keep in my vest when the rumbling tummy hits mid-hunt.
The building block of life
Always have water with you in the field. Staying hydrated is the easiest and most overlooked tactic for staying sharp and performing well in the field. Turkeys have a way of making a person feel foolish and even mild dehydration causes a dip in both focus and physical performance. Ever get to a point in your hunt where you are so thirsty you are guzzling water? At that point, you are already dehydrated. Carry water and sip often. There is always a case of water in the bed of my truck.
What a jerk
Many believe to tag a tom, simply find a good tree and sit. I, on the other hand, like to run ridges, walk creek beds, belly crawl through briars, and tiptoe through the CRP to get close to a tom. I put my body through the wringer and place a tremendous demand on my muscles. To repair muscles and recover you need protein and jerky is a fantastic option for the field. It is lightweight, packs a nutritional wallop, and tastes great. Bonus points if you are turkey hunting with jerky from the whitetail you tagged last fall.
All bars are not equal
If I only had a dime for each time I distinguished between an energy and protein bar? To be clear, I love both and am sort of a bar aficionado. They are lightweight and fit easily into a vest making them a great choice but what bar should you get? That depends on what you need.
For example, a Cliff Bar is loaded with carbohydrates. It is designed to give you quick energy that is easily digestible but it does not contain a lot of protein. The dark chocolate nut Kind Protein Bars are quickly becoming one of my favorites because of the ingredients and taste. They provide 12g of protein and are super lightweight. For longer sits, I also carry the Wilderness Athlete Pack Out Bars. They provide 20g of protein and 11g of fat. Isn’t fat bad? Not if you are in the field all day and logging a lot of miles trying to locate a bird. They keep you full and provide energy making it a great all-around bar option.
My suggestion is to experiment with bars. The purpose of the bar (energy or recovery), taste, and even packaging (some are REALLY noisy) are all important considerations. Find the brands you like and stock up!
The Captain Obvious Sandwich
This one is simple. Keep a sandwich in your truck. I do not like leaving the field to grab lunch but stopping by the truck for a quick pit stop is fine by me. And if I have multiple properties to hunt and I am trying to locate birds, I can scarf it down in transition. This also saves money. Grab a soft side cooler and make a sandwich or two before you head to the woods. No cooler? PB&J also works. No need to get fancy here.
The celebratory Snickers
And after said shotgun shell is smoking on the ground, I always have a bite-sized Snickers in the vest. Some prefer cigars, I choose chocolate to celebrate punching a tag. Feel free to mix it up. If you prefer peanut butter cups, go for it. I don’t judge.
Sometimes you can kill a bird off the roost and be at breakfast before the sun rises above the tree line. On other days, you are grinding it out until the last second. Either way, having a vest full of snacks will ensure you stay full, remain focused, and perform better.
Have a great season and Stay #FitToHunt!
What snacks do you keep in your vest?