The Best Camo for Turkey Hunting of 2024

Stay hidden from a turkey's insanely good eyesight with our picks for best camo for turkey hunting

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One slip-up against a gobbler or hen can turn your turkey hunt into a head-hung walk back to the truck or lodge. Movement is one of the worst things you can do after getting a bird’s attention. Unless you’ve got a bird that’s gobbling its head off and you can pinpoint where he’s at,  it’s best to sit stone still. Turkeys are skittish enough, and sometimes they’ll spook even when you do everything right. But if a turkey does spot you, chances are he’ll be gone. That’s why having the best camo for turkey hunting is important for staying hidden when you’re chasing wary spring gobblers.

One spring morning, I propped against a large water oak inside a shady treeline with my shotgun resting on my knee. While I played a few lovelorn hen noises in an area where I saw and heard a gobbler a few times, a hen popped out of the woods across the field at 70 yards. She slowly made her way to me, and I hoped she might attract a searching tom.

A gobbler never showed and she kept sauntering through the field, until she stopped 20 feet from my setup and turned her head to look at me. I was barely breathing. But when I closed my eyes she gave out a sharp, “Putt!” and stomped away. Even though my camo did its job, that slight movement gave me away. Had I not moved, that hen probably would have walked past me without another thought. That’s why it’s important to have the best camo for turkey hunting — and sit still — when you hit the turkey woods. 

Types of Camo

Original turkey camo consisted of military issue fatigues or khakis and a spring-looking plaid shirt. Then Jim Crumley introduced TreBark in the mid-1980s, which eventually paved the way for all modern camo and hunting clothing today. Back then, we just went with what we had; today, turkey hunters have myriad options from palmettos and green swamps, to drab hardwoods and bottomlands. For western hunters, light-colored mesquite camo gets the nod. The key is to blend, so here are eight options for the best camo for turkey hunting that cover the various regions and habitats you might encounter turkeys.

READ NEXT: Essential Turkey Hunting Gear

Best Camo for Turkey Hunting: Reviews & Recommendations

Best for Pre-Greenup: Mossy Oak Bottomland

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Key Features 

  • Looks like dirt and trees
  • Proven pattern
  • Year-round option, if needed

Pros

  • Blends well with hardwoods
  • Great in shadows and low light conditions
  • Works pretty much anywhere east of the Mississippi

Cons

  • Stands out against lighter foliage

I’ve worn Bottomland camo since it came out, and I believe it works, especially in drab and non-green situations. It’s a great year-round option for all kinds of hunting, and when I hunted turkeys more frequently, it was my go-to for early spring outings. Plus, it just looked cool while I pumped gas or hit the café for a meat-and-3 after a hunt. Bottomland is great before everything greens up, but if you’re using it in a vivid green pasture or woods, you’ll probably stick out like Bigfoot. But in the early season, if you find a good tree to lean against, you’ll blend right in with the trunk.

Best for Greenup: Realtree EDGE Hot Shot Men’s Camo Performance Shirt

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Key Features

  • Blend of bright leaves and earth tones 
  • Works throughout spring, especially later
  • No blob effect at a distance

Pros

  • Geographic elements help you disappear at a distance
  • Natural elements designed in the pattern
  • Effective almost anywhere

Cons

  • Could use more green

After everything turns green in the woods and fields, you want camo that has enough green to help you blend. If you’re too green you’ll stand out. You need a good combo of green and brown to blend with vegetation and shadows, and Realtree Edge has a decent amount of both to make sure you don’t stand out when turkeys are in range. The depth on this pattern is effective for breaking up your outline, but it could use more green, especially if you hunt in places where the greenup happens early. 

Best for Dry Region: King’s Camo Desert Shadow

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Key Features 

  • Quick-dry polyester
  • Left chest pocket
  • Raglan sleeves

Pros

  • Realistic camo pattern
  • Comfortable bird’s-eye mesh fabric
  • Left chest pocket is great for holding mouth calls

Cons

  • Might stand out in bright green vegetation

Every time I hunt Texas or Oklahoma, I try to pack camo that isn’t dark so I can blend into the lighter, desert backgrounds. The King’s Camo Desert Shadow replicates the mesquite and scrub quite well, and the pattern has a great mix of light and dark areas, so it doesn’t stand out or blob up. The long-sleeve shirt is a quick-dry, 100% polyester birds-eye mesh fabric that wicks sweat, so you can wear it in spring for turkeys, summer for axis or hogs, and early fall for deer.

Best for Snow: TrueTimber Tundra 

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Key Features

  • Clean white background with a brow-gray textured overlay

Pros

  • Blends in perfectly in snowy woods
  • Printed on affordable clothing

Cons

  • If you’re wearing this, you’re hunting turkeys in the snow

Turkey hunting in the snow? You betcha. In northern states with early turkey openers (like my home state of Minnesota), it’s not uncommon to have a few inches of snow during the first week of the season. Plus, there are plenty of fall and winter turkey seasons around the country that get snowy. If you wear your typical bright green turkey camo in the flat-gray, snow-covered woods, gobblers will pick you out well before they get into shotgun range. TrueTimber’s Tundra pattern is a perfect option. With a little gray-brown texture over the white background, you’ll melt right into the tree you’re sitting against. —Alex Robinson

Best Low-Key: Voormi Blowdown

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Key Features 

  • Subtle vertical pattern, ideal for breaking up the human profile 
  • Water repellent finish
  • 3-panel hood

Pros

  • Wear it to the woods or casually
  • Surfaced Hardened wool sheds water

Cons

  • A little dark for late season hunts

More and more folks are realizing that they don’t need to wear camo to kill game. I’d argue that the turkey woods are one of the few places that camo clothing, or at least some earth-toned clothing, is a real requirement to success. That’s why the Voormi Blowdown pattern is an ideal option. It has enough texture and vertical lines to break up your outline when you’re sitting against a tree, but it’s not your typical sticks and leaves camo pattern either. You can throw this on for casual scouting trips (or serious hunts), and then show up at your kid’s track meet without your shirt screaming “I’m a turkey hunter.” Because sometimes, I like to keep a low profile even after I’ve left the woods. —A.R.

Best Late-Season Camo: Mossy Oak Obsession

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Key Features 

  • Bright green leaves 
  • Good mix of foliage

Pros

  • Splotches of bright green blend with late-season foliage
  • It’s printed on a wide variety of turkey hunting gear

Cons

  • Bright green doesn’t work well before spring pops

When the woods are fully leafed out and radiate with the electric-green of late spring, this is the camo pattern you want to wear to tag your last gobbler of the season. You’ll notice it’s brighter and greener than any other pattern in our lineup. It blends perfectly with tall, new grass and young saplings that have burst with fresh leaves. The only downside is that this pattern is not ideal for earlier in the season. Because of this, it wouldn’t be my first choice for the camo pattern on my gun. But every turkey hunter should have a pair of pants and a hunting shirt in Mossy Oak Obsession. You’ll put them to good use in the late season. —A.R.

Best Budget Camo: TrueTimber Strata 

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Key Features 

  • Nicely textured, looks like tree bark
  • Available in a wide variety of clothes at Cabela’s and Bass Pro

Pros

  • Blends well with hardwoods
  • Slightly darker pattern, looks good in shadows
  • Printed on affordable clothing

Cons

  • Stands out against bright green foliage

TrueTimber is a relatively new camo company (when compared to the likes of Mossy Oak and Realtree) and it has become popular in big outdoors stores like Cabela’s and Bass Pro. The Strata pattern has a similar color scheme to Bottomland, so it matches nicely with hardwood tree bark. It’s slightly darker, so not the perfect choice for an electric green woods. It has a modern, textured pattern (not just sticks and leaves). The best thing about Strata is that it’s printed on a wide variety of clothing that can be had at affordable prices. If you’re a turkey hunter on a budget and just need a simple camo shirt to wear under your vest, this is a great option. —Alex Robinson

Most Versatile: Sitka Optifade Subalpine

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Key Features 

  • Modern camo that fits a variety of environments
  • Specifically designed to break up human outline at close range

Pros

  • Blends well in timber, mountains, spring foliage
  • Designed by animal vision experts
  • Printed on high-performance clothing

Cons

  • Lighter pattern, not ideal pre-greenup

In 2017, Sitka designed its Optifade Subalpine pattern specifically for early season elk and mule deer archery hunters. The green and tan digi-camo works wonderfully in the spring turkey woods, too. Sitka realized this quickly enough and started introducing turkey specific items under its Equinox series. 

You’ll find serious turkey hunters wearing Sitka gear in the Deep South all the way out to the mountains of the West. One of the main reasons for this is because Sitka makes a ton of high-performance (and spendy) gear. Turkey hunters who are looking for slimmer cuts, better materials, and more features in their clothing tend to go with Sitka. It certainly helps that the company has a camo pattern that works well in a variety of turkey hunting habitats. —Alex Robinson

Early Season Leafy Suit: First Lite Specter

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Key Features 

  • 3D leafy design breaks up outline
  • Fits over a variety of different clothing types

Pros

  • Blends well in most wooded environments
  • Ideal for hunters on the ground
  • 3D camo is most effective

Cons

  • Can get hot during warm late-season hunts

First Lite designed its Specter pattern for hardcore whitetail hunters, so its pattern is meant to blend with a fall canopy. That concept works pretty well in the early and mid-spring turkey woods, too. 

The author has used the First Lite leafy suit for several seasons. Alex Robinson

I’ve been wearing the leafy suit for several seasons now and fully believe in it. On several occasions I’ve been walking slowly through the woods and spotted turkeys in the distance, before they spotted me. I was able to sit down, totally undetected. Would this be possible without wearing 3D camo? Certainly, but I think it’s less likely. First Lite’s suit is simple and straight forward. Its color pattern is perfect for hunting the upper Midwest until late May. —Alex Robinson

How to Choose the Best Camo for Turkey Hunting

When you choose the best camo for turkey hunting, you need to consider the habitat you’ll be hunting. If it’s early spring and the woods aren’t green yet, something drab and brown like Mossy Oak Bottomland is a good idea. If everything is awash in emerald, a good leafy suit might be the best option. Since foliage tends to change a lot quicker during spring, it’s a good idea to have a few options, so you can blend in naturally no matter the conditions. 

FAQs

Q: How much does camo for turkey hunting cost?

Camo for turkey hunting tends to be less expensive than other hunting pursuits, but you can expect to spend $125 or more for a shirt, pants, gloves, mask, and a hat if you want a matching and popular camouflage pattern.

Q: Is camo necessary for turkey hunting?

Camouflage isn’t necessary for turkey hunting. You can hunt and kill turkeys with a green plaid shirt, tan pants or jeans, a mask, and gloves. However, turkeys are extremely wary, so having a camo pattern that hides you exceptionally well only increases your chances of not getting busted. 

Q: What color should you not wear turkey hunting?

Avoid wearing white or red, which are colors of male turkeys’ heads while turkey hunting. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid any bright colors or unnatural ones that might tip off a turkey. When in doubt, it’s best to wear colors that naturally occur in nature like greens, browns, grays, and other earth tones. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks to their wary nature, phenomenal eyesight, and hearing, turkeys are challenging critters to hunt. Make a squawk on a calling sequence and they’ll notice it. They can pick up movement at long distances and spook at the drop of a hat. Even though long-range ammo and optics have helped hunters knock down birds that hang up at long distances, there are situations when turkeys end up in your lap before you know it. That’s why it’s critical to have the best camo for turkey hunting. Once you decide what camo works best for where you hunt, make sure you’re covered from head to toe. Then, just sit still until he’s strutting down your gun barrel.  

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Alan Clemons

Contributor

Alan Clemons is a full-time freelance outdoor writer who has worked in the news media industry since 1984. He has contributed to Outdoor Life and Field & Stream since 2001. Clemons previously worked with Grand View Outdoors, Deer & Deer Hunting, the Professional Anglers Association, Outdoor Wire and two newspapers in Huntsville, Ala., along with contributing to numerous other outlets.

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