The Holiday Season is well upon us, including the hustle and bustle that tends to leave us all wishing for more time. If you haven’t had the chance to put together your Christmas wish list, consider using the following collection of items perfect for the upland hunter. With the time you save, you might have just an hour or two to spare for another hunt before the season’s final bell tolls.
When I was younger I idolized my older brother and the gear he used, including the Buck knife that came out every time he returned home with a South Dakota rooster in the back of his old Ford Bronco. I borrowed his Buck knife so often, in fact, that our mother had to buy me one of my own just to keep the peace around the house. Innovation put Buck Knives
on the map over 50 years ago, and that same ingenuity backed by quality construction and the Forever Warranty keep Buck a trusted brand today. Choose the new Open Season Small Game Knife
or the classic model 110 Folding Hunter Knife
– both are perfect for helping take your birds from the field to the table and also make for a great stocking stuffer.
Price Tag: $77 - $125 / www.buckknives.com
Irish Setter Wingshooter Boots
A good pair of boots is an essential piece of equipment for the upland hunter, and the 9-inch Wingshooter
boots from Irish Setter
are built to handle a full day of pounding the cover where pheasants, grouse and quail love to hide out. With each step, the Prairie sole absorbs the bump and grind of a long walk through birdy cover, while the full-grain, waterproof leather uppers combined with Irish Setter’s UltraDry™ construction will have your feet dry at the end of the day. These boots are so nice you shouldn’t be surprised to see old Saint Nick wearing a pair himself while delivering the goods on Christmas Eve.
Price Tag: $195 / www.irishsetterboots.com
Rob Roberts Triple Threat Chokes
The deadly patterns thrown by the Triple Threat Choke Tubes
from Rob Roberts Gun Works
are well known in the waterfowl hunting world, but they are equally effective for quail, doves, grouse and pheasants. Precision machined from stainless steel, the Triple Threat Chokes are available in three sizes, producing consistent patterns of lead and non-toxic shot for short-, mid-, and long-range targets. Don’t put your Triple Threat Chokes away in the off-season either, as they will help you break more targets at the trap range or on the sporting clays course. Rob Roberts also offers custom gunsmith work to help your shotgun perform at the highest level.
Price Tag: $80 / www.robrobertsgunworks.com
Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt
Made of breathable, brushed cotton, the Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt
looks equally at home in the field on a crisp October afternoon and at your favorite Pheasants Forever fundraising banquet. The medium-weight fabric is enough to handle cool temperatures and wind and makes for a terrific second layer over a lightweight base when the temperature drops. Top it off with Filson’s Shelter Upland Coat when Mother Nature really gets angry.
Price Tag: $98 / www.filson.com
Pheasants Forever Cold Weather Gear
Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick knows that the winter months can get to be long in the northern reaches of pheasant country, so he recommends staying warm with the help of one of the new cold weather gear items from Pheasants Forever. Constructed of 100% merino wool and featuring the PF logo, the Firstlite Brimmed Beanie
protects your head and ears and also shows your pride for “The Habitat Organization.” The Knit Cap
features the PF logo and black and orange stripes, and the multi-colored pom on the top let’s everyone know that the winter blues won’t get you down. And you can keep the cold wind of a late-season hunt at bay with the Turtle Fur Neck Gaiter
. Every purchase from the PF store benefits habitat.
Price Tag: $13 - $40 / www.pheasantsforever.org/Store
There are few comforts as refreshing as a cup of coffee in the truck for the ride home after a cold day chasing roosters. Though better known for keeping drinks icy cold, the YETI Rambler is equally adept at keeping your mug of Joe piping hot all the way from the field to your driveway. Constructed of kitchen-grade stainless steel, the Rambler features double wall vacuum insulation to keep icy cold or steaming hot temperatures where they belong: on the inside.
Price Tag: $30 / www.yeticoolers.com
SportDOG TEK 2.0
A few years back, SportDOG redefined the e-collar market when they introduced the first electronic dog collar with a GPS system combo. The TEK 2.0 is the evolution of that technology featuring a terrific, full-color topo map and even voice updates. You’ll never lose connection in the woods or field and you’ll always be able to find your way back to the truck. SportDOG is also a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever national sponsor and the official e-collar partner of the organization.
Price Tag: $805 / www.sportdog.com
Darn Tough Hunt Boot Sock
What better stocking-stuffer than a pair of the best hunting socks that money can buy. The Hunt Boot Socks
from Darn Tough
are comfortable and breathable, helping keep your feet cool while pushing the grasslands for September sharptails and warm when those December ringnecks are buried under snow-covered cattails. Once you try the finely knitted merino wool socks from Darn Tough you’ll never wear cotton again. And the best part: they are guaranteed for life. If you wear out a pair of socks, Darn Tough will send you another for free. Made in the USA.
Price Tag: $23 / www.darntough.com
Garmin fēnix® 3 GPS Watch
Designed as a multisport training watch, the stylish but tough Garmin fēnix® 3 GPS Watch
can also be a terrific tool for the upland hunter. You can monitor weather reports, mark track points to be able to find a newly discovered grouse covert, and never have to dig through your vest again to find your smart phone in order to keep tabs on when legal shooting hours are over all by looking at your wrist.
Price Tag: $500 / www.garmin.com
“A Hunter’s Road” by Jim Fergus
First published in 1993, “A Hunter’s Road – A Journey with Gun and Dog Across the American Uplands” by Jim Fergus remains a classic sporting tale today. With every turn of the page, Fergus invites the reader to ride along on this epic road trip, roll the window down and allow his mind and heart to explore the importance of protecting our rural landscape, showing respect for the pursuit and the harvest, and celebrating the soulful connection with a hunting dog.
Price Tag: $18 / www.jimfergus.com
Asking for a new shotgun doesn’t mean that you have to be at the top of the “Nice” list. The Franchi Affinity Semi-Auto 20-ga. Shotgun performs day-in and day-out, is easy on the eyes, and won’t break Santa’s bank. This semi-auto features the Inertia Driven® System, which will cycle both 2-3/4” and 3” shells quickly and reliably. Weighing as little as 5.6 lbs., the gun is the perfect partner for a long day in the field.
Franchi Affinity Semi-Auto 20-Gauge Shotgun
Price Tag: Starting at $849 / www.franchiusa.com
Story by John Pollmann