I'm on the backside of my quest for cargo. Twenty years ago, I was at the peak of my practice of "success through acquisition." I bought a vest and tried my best to carry every call and gadget I could. Turkey hunting was becoming a grueling task.
Then I went down to Mississippi and hunted with the uncle of a friend of mine and all that started to change. Bobby Leatherman was the patriarch of a turkey hunting clan that hunted their lands near Tunica. He hunted with a single box call, carried in a bread bag. That is all he carried, outside of a wheelbarrow inner tube that he used to sit on. When I got home I put a truck inner tube around my neck and had my buddy take a Polaroid. I wrote "Graduate of the Bobby Leatherman School of Turkey Hunting" and sent it to Bobby as thanks. Bobby liked that. Bobby's gone and the farm has been turned into a casino.
It took a few years for me to figure out the merit of Bobby's strategy. I'm still not there, but about ten seasons ago, I ditched the vest and I have been winnowing out my gear ever since.
At the end of last year I took a quick inventory of what I had:
[ul][*]About half-a dozen mouth calls[*]An Heirloom Double Barrel
[*]An Heirloom Dixie Darlin'
box call[*]Various strikers
[*]A crow call. I do my own hooting[/ul]Non-call stuff:
[ul][*]6 rounds of Federal #4 Magnum Turkey loads 12GA 3"[*] Emergency Whistle[*]Lockback knife[*]License, tags, and pen for filling out same.[*]Pin-on compass[*]Flashlight, 2 AA cell, with change of batteries[*]2 small foam pads-- 1 for back, 1 for butt, attached to bag with carabiners
In the musette bag:
[ul][*] walkie talkie-- I switch to a cellphone when I'm all alone[*]Toilet Paper[*]4x6 leaf-cut camo blind --2sided camo (brown/green)[*]3 dekes -- 2 hens and a jake[*]Stakes for same[*]Hunter orange turkey bag[*]My lunch, and a book