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Published Feb 14, 2023 11:00 AM
My father and I didn’t wear traditional turkey hunting camos when we killed our first gobbler, a southeastern Ohio longbeard, in 1990. He had on his rabbit hunting gear—canvas pants and jacket—while I was wearing old military surplus cargo pants. Turkey hunting camo today is not only designed specifically for the spring, but you can even find region-specific patterns to match the conditions you hunt in. There is a style, color, and fit for every situation and budget. We rounded up the best turkey hunting camos out there to help you bag a gobbler this spring.
How We Made Our Picks
I based my camo selections on what I’ve been wearing turkey hunting for the past three decades. That means all of these patterns have pretty good resumes of killing turkeys. I like certain patterns for early season vs. late season, and I favor particular patterns for different regions of the country. Here are some of the criteria I look for in turkey hunting camos:
- Concealment: Does the camouflage work as intended? How well does it break up the human outline?
- Pattern Appropriateness: What conditions and regions will the camo excel in? Late season or early season?
- Durability: How long does the camo last? And does it keep the pattern without fading?
- Price Point: Are you getting a good value for what you pay for?
Reviews & Recommendations: The Best Turkey Hunting Camos
Best Overall: Mossy Oak Obsession
- Realistic natural elements, e.g., limbs and leaves
- Ghost shadows
- Fall tones complemented by Spring greens
- Universally applicable
- All seasons
- Multi-species pattern
I put on a pair of Mossy Oak Obsession bibs over a long-sleeve cotton shirt of the same pattern every opening day of turkey season, and that’s what I wear until the bell sounds. I’ve hunted and killed birds wearing this pattern all across the country. It’s the closest thing to a universal camo, and if I could only wear one camo turkey hunting, it would be Mossy Oak Obsession. You can buy it in any type of hunting clothing—jackets, pants, shirts, vests, or gloves. I’ve worn Obsession from start to finish in any number of states and it always blends in.
Best Predominantly Green: Ol Tom (Drake) Old School Green
- Universal applications
- Geographic variety
- Excellent combination of lights and darks
- Many apparel choices in Old School pattern
- Works well in most environments
I started wearing the Old School Green camo pattern before it was known to be vintage. This Drake Ol’ Tom hoodie—featured in Old School Green—has a fleece lining that lends a soft and comfortable feel. Old School Green can be worn all through turkey season straight into crappie fishing and onto early September Canada goose, teal, and squirrel seasons. It might be a little dark for late season gobblers, but it will still get the job done.
Best Budget: Redhead Hoodies/True Timber HTC Green
- Blend of Fall and Spring with browns/greens
- Garment specific: Quarter zip; quiet polyester fabric
- Garment specific: Chin guard
- All-season versatility
- Multi-species usage
- Coast-to-coast application
I am partial to patterns like True Timber’s HTC Green that feature an abundance of greens and/or lighter tones with a subtle background of darks. To me, something like that seems to blend better across the board and has applications from the Southeast to the Northwest. Plus, it works for other pursuits, including predator hunting, September doves and teal, and other small game. I like this Redhead quarter-zip hoodie in True TImber HTC Green because I can throw it on quickly for an afternoon hunt and not have to bother with t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, bibs, or jackets.
Best Late Season: Realtree Edge
- Heavy on darks and lights
- A smattering of greens
- Good depth in the pattern
- Excellent Northern US pattern
- Great for early season
Mossy Oak Realtree Edge is a great early season pattern. It has a background heavy in hues ranging from white to black and captures the shadow concept almost perfectly. Popular among deer hunters in the fall due to the darker base, this pattern will blend in almost anywhere. Realtree Edge is a good camo for the first half of turkey season, but once the green foliage starts to come in, think about switching to something with more light green in the pattern.
Best 3-D: Green Forest Leafy Camo
- Leafy 3-D design
- Light green/brown patterning
- Garment specific: Polyester construction
- Designed zipper won’t snag in material
- Good all-season camo
- Helps keep mosquitos at bay
My biggest gripe with 3-D camo patterns is that the die-cut material, the part of the garment that provides the 3-D look, always gets caught in the zipper. But on the Mophoto Ghillie jacket, the material right and left of the zipper are uncut, so it can’t catch. The 3-D leafy design on the rest of the jacket breaks up the human outline better than any other 2-D camo would. Plus, the Mophoto Ghille is lightweight, breathable, and packable—perfect for a run n’ gun style of turkey hunting.
Best Snow Camo: Gamehide Ambush Jacket (Naked North Camo)
- Snow pattern with branches
- Garment specific: Available in Sizes M to 3XL
- Garment specific: Packable
- Great in early season when snow is still on the ground
- Pulls double duty during whitetail or snow goose hunts
- Stores nicely in a turkey vest pouch
I’ve only worn snow camo a handful of times while turkey hunting. However, when I’ve needed it, this all-white snow camo has been a Godsend, helping me blend into a snowy environment and taking my mind off concealment so I can concentrate on calling in and killing turkeys.
I want my snow camo to be simple, lightweight, and able to fit in the back of my vest when it’s not needed. But I still need it to be big enough to fit over a warm jacket and slim enough to fit under my vest. The Gamehide’s Ambush Snow Jacket fits those criteria and has just enough branches and oak leaves to bust up that all-white blob so you don’t stand out.
Things To Consider Before Buying the Best Turkey Hunting Camos
Think about where and when you hunt turkeys. How drastically does the foliage change throughout the season? Are you looking for one piece of camo to get you from opening day to the end of the season? Here are a few more considerations that will help point you toward the best turkey hunting camos.
Look for a pattern that matches the habitat you hunt in. I wear darker patterns in early season and then transition to lighter greens as the season progresses. Adding a wide variety of patterns to your wardrobe will keep you prepared for the changing foliage throughout the season.
Where you hunt will help determine what camouflage you eventually purchase. You want the camo to best match the conditions you hunt in, but you also want to make sure the fabric is suited for how you hunt. Think about insulated items, breathable clothes, and rain gear. Make sure you can find the right gear with the camo pattern you want.
Price varies drastically among camo nowadays. What you’re really paying for is what that camo is printed on and the brand that makes it. Consider what type of clothes and gear you need camo on and then shop accordingly.
: Is camo necessary for turkey hunting?
Turkey hunting without camo is very difficult. Turkeys have some of the best eyesight of any wild game and being concealed is absolutely crucial to success in the woods. Good camouflage and minimal movement will help you stay hidden.
Q: What should you not wear when going turkey hunting?
It is important from a safety aspect to eliminate the colors red, white, blue, and black from your gear and clothing, as these are the predominant colors of an adult gobbler.
Q: Is it better to have 3D hunting camo for turkey hunting?
I believe 3-D camo is better for a couple of different reasons. Most camouflage clothing is flat and two-dimensional. The woods aren’t flat and two-dimensional. Traditional camouflage does little to break up the straight lines, unbroken curves, and unnatural shape of a human. Three-dimensional camouflage, e.g. Leafy-Wear, works to soften those lines and shapes, blending your form into the natural environment.
Q: How do I wash my camo for turkey hunting?
I like to wash my camo in cold water on a permanent press cycle with very mild detergent and tumble dry on medium heat.
The Best Turkey Hunting Camos: Final Thoughts
Camouflage, whether bargain basement britches or a top-of-the-line jacket, isn’t going to make you a better turkey hunter. It is a tool to improve your chances of a successful hunt. Good camouflage is a pattern that blends into the environment you are hunting. It’s that simple. From there, you still have to make the right sounds at the right time and put those pellets on the mark.