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Updated Apr 11, 2022 11:25 AM

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.

Best Turkey Camo for Pre-Greenup: Mossy Oak Bottomland

Mossy Oak

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Key Features 

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

Why It Made the Cut

Bottomland camo works in swamps, hardwood forests, or pine thickets, and when fall rolls around, you can keep using it for deer or ducks.

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

Product Description

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 Turkey Camo for Greenup: Realtree Edge

Key Features

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

Why It Made the Cut

Edge has a blend of brighter leaves and darker, natural colors that occur when everything starts to green up in spring, and the pattern depth doesn’t have a blob effect like darker patterns.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Could use more green

Product Description

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 3D Camo for Turkey Hunting: Nomad Leafy 1/4 Zip

Key Features 

  • Realistic 3D fabric
  • Moisture wicking
  • Zippered front pouch

Why It Made the Cut

The Nomad Leafy ¼ Zip is a great lightweight 3D top that effectively blends your outline in the woods, and it’s more breathable than other competitors.

Pros

  • More breathable than others
  • Fits like a shirt
  • Vivid colors work great with thick vegetation

Cons

  • Size up if you want a loose fit

Product Description

This Nomad Leafy ¼ Zip is the best of both worlds. It mixes vivid natural colors in a convenient quarter-zip that you can throw over a t-shirt and go. The leafy pattern offers great realism, especially when the wind’s blowing, and the quarter-zip provides exceptional ventilation for high spring temps or run-n-gun hunting. You can wear it over a t-shirt or as is. It also makes a great just-in-case shirt for quick unexpected hunts. I keep a leafy suit, boots, handful of ammo, and a slate call in my truck, just in case I get a quick hunt opportunity. You can even add Nomad’s leafy pants for a full leafy suit option for maximum blending.

Best Turkey Camo for Dry Region: King’s Camo Desert Shadow

King’s Camo

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Key Features 

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

Why It Made the Cut

If you’re hunting in the Desert Southwest and parts of the Midwest, you need camo patterns that match open country, dotted with mesquite and scrub. The King’s Camo Desert Shadow pattern provides excellent breathability and realistic colors for dry regions where staying hidden and cool is key. 

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

Product Description

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 Camo for Turkey Hunting on a Budget: Rothco Vintage Camo T-Shirts

Rothco

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Key Features 

  • Cotton polyester blend
  • Digital or woodland patterns
  • Wide range of sizes

Why It Made the Cut

This proven pattern was a staple before more advanced camo came along, and it’s no less effective than it was back then. 

Pros

  • Proven pattern works almost anywhere
  • No blocky designs or sharp edges

Cons

  • Not optimal for desert or dry region settings

Product Description

Years ago, I hunted in Alabama with the legendary Tom Kelly, old school turkey hunter and author of Tenth Legion. He had a cap with this pattern, and I’m sure at some point he, like many others, wore a shirt and pants with the same pattern. These vintage t-shirts are soft cotton-polyester and come in Woodland green/tan or an ACU Digital pattern. I prefer the Woodland, in long-sleeve for max coverage. If you want to try and bag a bird like the old pros, grab a good box call, slip on some khakis and brogans with an old mesh face mask, and sit still while you wait out a tom in your Rothco.

Best Snow Camo for Turkey Hunting: TrueTimber Tundra 

TrueTimber

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Key Features

  • Clean white background with a brow-gray textured overlay

Why It Made the Cut 

If you must hunt turkeys in the snow, you don’t want to wear green.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Product Description

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 Turkey Hunting Camo That’s Not Really Camo: Voormi Blowdown

Voormi

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Key Features 

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

Why It Made the Cut 

Solids are trendy these days—this “camo” is a nice compromise. 

Pros

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

Cons

  • A little dark for late season hunts

Product Description 

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

Mossy Oak

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Key Features 

  • Bright green leaves 
  • Good mix of foliage

Why It Made the Cut

This is the official camo pattern of the National Wild Turkey Federation for a reason: Turkey hunters all over the country wear it to get close to late-season gobblers.

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

Product Description

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.

How to Choose Turkey Camo

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.