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Orvis Pro Series Vest

Orvis Pro Series Vest

 

The upland game vest may be the single most-utilized piece of gear in upland hunting. Regardless the terrain, bird species, weather conditions…. the vest is always part of the hunt. Depending on the time of year, it has to fit over different layers, carry different loads, securely stow essential gear. And for me it’s gotta fit like a well-worn glove. The Orvis Pro Series Vest has multiple strap adjustments reminiscent of a backpack, so the game pouch and pockets ride exactly where you want them. No matter your frame size, this vest should adjust to exactly how you are most comfortable busting cover. Zipping pockets to lockdown keys, licenses and phones. An expanding game bag could carry a bushel of birds. The hydration bladder compatibility allows me to carry a gallon for dogs to extend our range on hot days. Beefy buckles and materials, lightweight, solidly stitched — this vest is gonna be a constant companion for the foreseeable seasons – $189 click here to learn more.

Filson Ultra Light Weight Jacket

Filson Ultra Light Jacket

 

Filson may have built their reputation on their indestructible Tin Cloth, but if they keep turning out jackets like this Ultra Light Weight made from ripstop Cordura® the mantle could be passed. For a weather-resistant jacket, the warmth-to-weight ratio is amazing due largely to the PrimaLoft Gold® Insulation which retains it’s insulating capabilities even when wet. Worn under an upland vest the absence of bulk allows you to stay warm without changing the mount or pull length of the shotgun for shooting consistency. Zippered pockets give another place to safely stow important items. And in the event you get too warm in changing weather conditions, the Ultra Light Weight Jacket rolls up and is unnoticeable in the game pouch. Most hunters will probably opt for the Field Olive but the Raven looks deadly with a blaze vest –  $295 click here to learn more.

Lowa Irox GTX Mid

Lowa Irox

 

100% vegan boots. Let that sink in for a bit…….a hunter wearing vegan boots. Now what does that really mean? One thing I know for sure is when leather gets wet it gets heavy. And heavy feet aren’t good when covering lots of miles. Whether shale slides, gnarly grouse woods or prairie grasses, upland boots need to perform, preferably just a single pair. That’s a tough ask but the Lowa Irox GTX have risen to the task. Waterproof GORE-TEX® lined, fully synthetic, lightweight with toe and heel abrasion guards, a fairly rigid sole to protect from repetitious pounding. I’ve been impressed with the Irox performance and it may be the first season I can remember where a single pair of boots survives the entire gauntlet. Hardiest vegan we’ve ever encountered – $260 click here to learn more.

Filson Tin Game Bag Vest

Filson Vest

 

When climbing 70 degree inclines to chase Chukar to mountain peaks, I needed a lightweight, durable vest. The Filson Tin Game Bag is minimal and light with abrasion resistant and water repellant tin cloth. Two large shell pockets adorn the front of the vest, while a large game bag sits in back. Be warned: this vest is minimal so it does not have a designated water bladder pocket. However, I had no trouble carrying a two-liter water bladder for my dog, a water bottle for myself, and three mature pheasants in the game pouch – $110 click here to learn more.

 

Sitka Women’s Fanatic Hoodie

Sitka Fanatic

 

Gear fit for women is few and far between, but Sitka has broken the barrier by creating gear designed by women hunters. The Fanatic Hoodie is a perfect all-around insulation layer for chasing birds into the high country. The quarter zip hoodie is made of a spandex grid fleece that is breathable yet warm, wicks sweat and dries quickly, and helps keep odors at bay. I wore the Fanatic Hoodie for a week straight chasing elk and birds in Colorado and didn’t stink my hunting partner out…at least he didn’t say I did – $189 click here to learn more.

Orvis Barbour Wax Jacket

Orvis Barbour Jacket

 

One of the biggest challenges I face hunting the open plains of North Dakota is the wind.  During the winter months the freezing temperature combined with high wind can be brutal.  I love waxed canvas because it not only keeps you dry during snowfall, but it is excellent for blocking out the wind.  The Barbour Wax Jacket is essentially a shell that I can layer differently depending on the temperature, and has the option of purchasing a separate fleece vest that zips in. It has hand warming pockets as well as convenient deep front pockets.  This high quality, great looking jacket is something I wear in the field as well as around town – $349 click here to learn more.

Tenzing BV15 Upland Bird Vest Pack

Tenzing BV15

For the upland hunter looking for a pack that holds more than just birds and shells, the choices are few and far between. I was one of these hunters searching for the perfect pack for a backcountry hunt to chase sharptails in North Dakota. In need of a pack that would hold not only birds, but also extra water for my dog, snacks, emergency kit, camera, extra layers, and more, I stumbled upon the Tenzing BV15 and never looked back.

Not your conventional bird vest, the BV15 is known as a vest/pack crossover—perfect for the upland hunter who leaves their truck for an all day cross country adventure. The pack has 13 total pockets, two radio pockets, and a large wrap-around bird compartment. Two large pockets sit on your hips to hold shells (7 shot shell loops in each pocket), while two adjustable hip straps keep the vest weight up and tight.

The BV15 is H2O compatible, but for those of you who don’t prefer Camelback reservoirs (like me), water bottles fit snug and easily in the bird compartment with extra room to spare. The BV15 is hunter green and comes with a hunter orange pullover for safety while afield.

New for 2016 is the BV16, which is exactly the same as the BV15, only they have updated the color of the pack to be completely blaze orange.  Click here.

Wolverine Bucksaw

Wolverine Bucksaw

Wolverine is a brand known and respected for durable footwear. We’ve tested a number of their boots and haven’t been disappointed.

But now Wolverine is moving into clothing that matches the rugged attitude of their shoes.

The Bucksaw fits right in with that tough Wolverine lineup. Heavyweight fleece on the inside with old-school flannel bonded to the outside — all the warmth with none of the wooly scratch. Add some metal snaps and hood and you’re good for cool mornings under the bird vest or evenings around the campfire.

The only thing that is missing is some permanent stains for character so there’s no plans to wash it until the season is over. Click Here.

Cabela’s Unlined Deerskin Gloves


When afield we like leather gloves that have balance. We need maximum feel and functionality so that we can click off the safety and pull the trigger. But gloves still need to provide enough protection to remove sand spurs from the dog and help weasel our way through thorns in the grouse woods. These deerskin gloves strike that good mix. Here’s a quick tip for once the gloves get good and scuffed; spit in the palm and rub it in really well. It helps to make the leather a little tacky which improves the grip on the gun and thumb safeties. ($25.99) Click here.

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