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Turkey Hunting Seat

“A comprehensive look into the use of chairs and seats for hunting turkeys”

I was recently flipping through a fresh sales flyer I had received from Bass Pro Shops and since spring gobbler season is almost here, naturally it had a wealth of new turkey hunting gear. One of the first things I noticed was a selection of hi-tech chairs and seats for the turkey hunter.

If you have any experience in doing anything that requires the use of a tool, you have probably figured out by now that different jobs require different tools! So it is with turkey hunting, different types of hunts and hunting styles require different tools to achieve the best results.

O.K., you’ve seen some reviews on chairs and seats used for turkey hunting. This article picks up where the others leave off and fills in the information gaps you need to consider before selecting a chair or seat and describes where best to put each to use.


-What Styles of Turkey Hunting Chairs are Available?

There are basically three styles of seats for keeping your butt out of the dirt. The first is the chair with a back, the second is the backless seat or chair and finally, the seat cushion. From there, you have two types of hunts to consider, an open country hunt and a woods type hunt.

There are several styles of hunting chairs for hunting from within a blind. The best choice of these is a chair with a back. This is obviously the most comfortable choice and if you’re going to hump in a 20lb blind and a 5-10 lb. chair you’re going to be there for a while so get a chair with a back. This may sound obvious but Since the windows of most blinds are pretty high, be sure to select a chair that is tall enough that you can see from the blind. Obviously, a Hunting Stool can work in a blind and it will usually weigh a lot less but you will not be able to sit on one for long. In my opinion, stools have little use for hunting. Additionally, if you’re not in a blind you need to be sitting right on the ground with one knee up to rest your gun on, in a shooting position.

For hunting from a pop-up blind I prefer a chair with a back but one that is as light weight as I can get such as the ALPS RHINO or Primos Qs3 Magnum above.

There is a style of chair that probably is more properly referred to as a seat. Basically it is a chair without a back. In my opinion I see no benefit to using one. If you’re not going to use a chair with a back you might as well stay with the ol’ stand by, the cushion.

The third style of hunting seat is the seat cushion. This is by far my preferred choice and covers 95% of my turkey hunting.

-Hunting Seat Cushion vs. Hunting Chair!

Since we have pretty much narrowed the most useful choices for turkey hunting down to a chair (with back) and a cushion, this would be a good point to compare the two.

If you’re not hunting from a pop-up style blind, then the most useful hunting chair is going to be a short legged version. If you like using a chair this is what you want. Remember, the closer to the ground you can sit, the better. I cannot over state the importance of being low to the ground. It is very important to be able to sit in a manor that keeps you gun at the ready at all times. If a gobbler slips up on you, the chance of being able to lift your gun up from your lap and shoot, is not good. You cannot out draw a Turkey!

Each of these tools has its place in the turkey woods but the seat cushion is the most versatile. The only draw back is you have to have some kind of back rest to sit against. Of course, every turkey hunter knows the best way to break up you outline is to sit against a tree that is at least as wide as your shoulders. Sometimes this is not possible. If you have to sit against a small diameter tree, make sure it is a situation where you can shoot the turkey before he gets a chance to scrutinize you.

If you are hunting in open country that has few trees you are pretty much going to need something with a back to support you. In this case, a cushion is not going to work as well as a chair. Another possible choice would be a turkey vest with a build in back support. I would give this a serious look if I spent any significant time hunting open country.

As I spend the bulk of my turkey hunting time in the south, I am usually in a swamp or some kind of timber situation where a tree is almost always available to sit against.

How you sit can be critical to the outcome of your hunt!


-What Are The Drawbacks to Using a Turkey Hunting Chair.

-Difficult and bulky to carry

-Cuts down on your mobility

-You cannot back up to a tree to break up your outline.

-Difficult to sit with your knee up to rest the gun at the ready.


-What Are The Benefits to Using a Chair For Turkey Hunting?

-Keeps your butt out of the water if you have to set up in a wet area.

-It is more comfortable than a cushion.

-You are able to sit still for longer periods of time.

-Gives you a back rest when hunting an area with no trees to sit against.


-Does the chair design make a difference!

For the most part, a chair is much like another and serves the same purpose but when it comes to a turkey hunting chair, the leg design is something to consider, as well as size and weight. There are two leg designs to decide from and this is probably the main consideration. The first is a four individual leg design and the second it a “U” style design. Each has positive and negative points.

The difference in the leg designs boils down to how soft the ground is where you typically hunt. Here in Florida where I spend most of my time I am usually sitting on some saturated muck or soft organics. If you use a four leg chair, you are going to sink. right up to your butt. There is nothing worse than a wet butt. The “U” type leg is the best choice for this situation as it spreads the load over more area and provides more support.

The draw back of the “U” type leg is that you cannot sit close to a tree with it as a rule. If you hunt in any high water table areas, the trees will have somewhat of a swell butt to them. The ground is typically elevated at the base of the tree and the “U” style leg gets high centered on this or any roots or sticks that you cannot more. The 4 leg chair does not have nearly as much of an issue with this.


-What do I use and why?

OK, I admit I have them all! I have a variety of very hunting chair made, a 3 legged stool, a tall, four leg chair as well as several “U” leg folding chairs but for my hunting style, which is based on mobility, the cushion which is built onto my turkey vest is my number one choice!

This covers 95% of my hunting. If I use a turkey chair it is a “U” leg design and is actually a shorty beach lounge chair that is made of light weight aluminum tubing with a web seat that I adapted for turkey hunting. It is about the lightest chair you could get and sits very close to the ground so I can still sit with my knee up to support my gun. Again, I cannot over state how important this is. I seldom use a chair and sitting against the base of a tree is tailor maid for a seat cushion. Just make sure yours is waterproof and it needs to be attached to your vest to keep your hands free. Also, be sure it is at least about an 1 ½” thick.

In conclusion, whether a turkey chair is going to be a benefit to you is going to depend on your hunting style and the circumstances of the hunt. If you know ahead of time you are going to be parked in one location most of the morning or you are going to be hunting some kind of flat or open area that has no trees to back up against then the chair is going to be an asset.

However, in my opinion, the most exciting turkey hunting is when I can be on my feet and mobile, taking the fight to the bird. Sitting for hours on end and calling to the wind is a hunting technique that has little appeal to me. Give me light and mobile any day!

Best of hunts,

Larry Stephens



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