Ground Seats for Turkey Hunting | Which Fits Your Hunting Style?
Why Ground Seats for Turkey Hunting Matter
Who stands while they are hunting turkeys? Unless you are moving or caught off guard by an unexpected gobbler, you are probably sitting most of the time. This is why ground seats for turkey hunting matter. These butt saving hunting accessories come in a variety of styles and vary in function depending on the turkey hunting strategies you may be using this spring.
Types of Ground Seats for Turkey Hunting
There are three types of ground seats for turkey hunting out there. These include seat cushions, lounge chairs, and platform seats. Portable hunting seats vary based on function and need while hunting turkeys. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of turkey hunting you are doing and where you may be hunting.
Hunting seat cushions are by far the lightest and most carry friendly ground seats for turkey hunting. They range from simple 1” thick closed cell foam pads to more advanced, thicker padded seats wrapped in camo. Others are designed not only for comfort and portability but also to keep your butt warm on cold spring mornings. Included in this type of turkey hunting seats are those complete hunting seat cushions with an added plush backrest, usually attached with clips and foldable for easy, lightweight transport. Both the cushioned pads and seat cushions with backrests are a good all-around hunting seat for mobility and short sits.
Advantages – Lightweight, inexpensive and very mobile friendly.
Disadvantages – Not comfortable enough for an all-day sit and need replaced every few years or so depending on use.
Lounge chairs are perfect if you are looking for comfort and do not mind the extra weight. Turkey hunting chairs are some of the most comfortable ground seats available. They offer mesh fabric seats and backs to stay cool, stability while sitting on the ground and just enough height off the ground for turkey hunting. Low profile hunting chairs, like many of the new versions on the market, work best when you plan to sit all day and comfort is a big deal.
Advantages – All day comfort with back support and they keep you off the ground if you are hunting in wet areas.
Disadvantages – Expensive, are an added weight to carry on top of your decoys and other turkey hunting gear and are hard use directly against a tree when trying to break up your outline.
Platform seats are basically a low profile hunting chair without a back. Platforms are a compromise between a lounge chair and a seat cushion when it comes to turkey hunting seats. They are a mesh or fabric seat on top of a frame that puts you a few inches off the ground but they have no back rest. You can use one against a tree and use the tree trunk for your backrest, which helps you to stay concealed better. Platform ground seats for turkey hunting get you off the ground unlike a seat cushion and weigh less than a full out turkey hunting chair but the compromise is they provide no back support.
Advantages – Keeps you off the ground and weighs less than a lounge chair.
Disadvantages – No back support and can be awkward and bulky to carry compared to a hunting seat cushion.
Most turkey hunters choose to use a seat cushion but more and more are moving towards lounge chairs because of the comfort and support they provide. Innovative turkey hunting vests typically come with a seat cushion or some form of a fold-out chair built right into the vest itself. Choice when it comes to ground seats for turkey hunting comes down to balancing the advantages and disadvantages among the different turkey hunting seats against your hunting strategies.
Two Turkey Hunting Strategies Where Ground Seats Matter
Ground seats for turkey hunting are a must, but deciding on what type depends heavily on your hunting strategies. Two of the more commonly used tactics for hunting gobblers in the spring include the run & gun approach and the sit & wait approach.
Run & Gun Turkey Hunting
Run and gun turkey hunting is a style for those who are impatient and for when times call for making something happen to get close to a gobbler. For those times when birds are with hens, or later in the day when gobbling activity may slow, a strategy like run & gun allows you to cover ground and find a receptive bird to work. Basically, start by making some calls with a box or slate call to project sound as far as you can. Keep moving until you get a response then once you do, estimate the distance and try to close it even more without spooking him. Resist the urge to over call once you find a gobbler. Often if you close the distance enough, you can setup and let him come to you. Additional calling may spook a call shy bird or one that is less vocal for whatever reason.
When you are run & gun turkey hunting, a seat cushion is by far the best turkey hunting seat to use. It is lightweight and compact enough to stow in your vest or pack and easy enough to throw down quickly when you run into a gobbler.
Sit & Wait Turkey Hunting
This low impact approach to hunting turkeys has been an effective technique year after year. Whether birds are gobbling or are silent with hens, eventually if you sit and wait in a good spot for turkeys they will come in. Pressured birds, especially older ones and those on public land, get smart fast. Sometimes they can be vocal all day and other times you may not hear a peep. Times when you have to wait them out or know there are turkeys around but they are not talking require a comfortable seat. To minimize movement and increase your comfort, lounge chairs work best for this style of hunting turkeys. Choose a standard height chair if you are going to be hunting from a ground blind, but most turkey hunters who will be in pursuit on the ground should use a low profile turkey hunting chair. You may have to put up with the extra weight for your hike in and out but since you will be stationary most of the day, its comfort beats out seat cushions and platform seats when it comes to sit & wait turkey hunting.
Portable hunting seats matter and can make the difference depending on the type of hunting strategies you are deploying this spring. If you know you will be running and gunning all day then the choice is simple, a seat cushion will be more than enough. However, if you are going to be set up waiting on birds, a lounge chair is going to probably be your best bet. When it comes to ground seats for turkey hunting, remember the type and function of each seat matters as you chase down spring gobblers.