Gear Review – Turkey Tuque
There are some inventions that seem a bit strange when you first see them, but after thinking about them you can’t believe how much sense it makes. We would count the “Turkey Tuque” as one of those. It is a product that is so simple as to make one think, “that’s simple… but it makes a lot of sense!”
Wild turkey hunting is becoming an incredibly popular passion for much of North America, and the passion has extended into various provinces across Canada that now have spring or even fall seasons. The popularity in the United States is coming close to rivalling that of whitetail deer, which might surprise many of our readers. After having hunted wild turkey for close to five years now, we can tell you that the draw is enormous. Vendors offer a tremendous variety of calls and accessories for turkey hunting so the competition is intense in turkey gear. The “Turkey Tuque” is getting a great following of fans and is being accepted because of its usefulness as a part of the hunter’s arsenal.
The turkey tuque comes in a nice looking cardboard box with directions and a photo of a young hunter with a “tuqued” bird. Inside the box comes a hunter’s orange plastic container containing two turkey tuques along with a wet nap. The turkey tuques are rubber condoms in hunter’s orange, stamped with the company’s slogan on the side. The first time one looks at this product they are likely to laugh and it offers a wide range of opportunities to make wisecracks… but after any chuckling subsides you can see it makes a lot of sense.
Manufacturers Claim: Remember last year? Blood on your pants, blood on your vest, blood in back of your vehicle and on the seats? How can we help you avoid that mess? The Turkey Tuque is the answer.
In the field: We installed a turkey tuque on a gobbler in 2016 and found that it did help to prevent any mess from blood after the harvest. The turkey tuque avoided any issues and we had zero blood mess in pants, vest, or in the vehicle. It can’t get any simpler than that!
Cost – MSRP $8.99 plus shipping for a package of two tuques along with a carrying case through www.turkeytuque.com or other vendors.
Real World: We have not found any reduced prices on this product to this point, but you may be able to locate it from some local retailers to save the shipping costs.
The turkey tuque does exactly what it is marketed for: it keeps your clothing and vehicle protected from blood after a harvested turkey. An ethical shot at a wild turkey with a shotgun is at the head and neck, and after a harvest the area is often bloody and even may be dripping. The traditional way to carry a turkey out of the woods is by the feet and draped across one’s back, meaning the head and neck of the turkey often will drip blood onto the hunter’s pants. After storing the bird into the trunk or vehicle, blood may continue to find the way onto the upholstery. Installed properly, the product does a good job of covering the head and protecting against most blood. The packaging is designed well and fits simply in a shirt pocket or vest for easy access.
On our last hunting trip in Southern Ontario, my friend harvested a turkey the day of my arrival and complained of getting blood all over his pants on the walk out of the woods. If he had a turkey tuque, most if not all of that mess could have been avoided. He definitely bought into the usefulness when we used it on my own wild turkey!
The first negative of this product is that the turkey’s beak presents a tearing risk when putting on the tuque. You have to be careful when putting it on the bird. The company has prepared for this by packaging them in a pack of two and including a wet-nap now for cleanup. They recommend that you place the wet nap over the bird’s beak to provide an added level of protection against tearing. They further recommend that you consider putting on a second tuque on a single bird (optional) to prevent against the tearing.
Really, the only other negative to this product is in getting it accepted as a useful product among the hunting community because of the non-traditional form. It is exactly what it looks like, and hunters may chuckle over the turkey tuque. Once you can get beyond that, it is a simple product that may save you mess and cleaning.
The Bottom Line:
After testing the product on our first spring gobbler of 2016, we can confidently say that the product does what it says: it protects you and your clothing from a bloody mess. You must be aware of the sharpness of a turkey’s beak, and be very careful when installing the tuque as the company warns. A second tuque could help to prevent against leaks, but we found that a single one works fine if installed carefully and properly.
Whether you put the gobbler safely in the back pocket of your hunting vest or carry it out of the woods over your shoulder, you run the risk of getting blood all over everything. We put the harvested bird afterwards in the trunk of a family sedan… meaning that without any protection that likely would have caused a mess. The turkey tuque avoided all that issue and we had zero blood mess in pants, vest, or in the vehicle. Obviously if it’s a family car or someone else generally handles laundry duties, this product is going to save some headaches!
Contact us and let us know!