November 09, 2015
By David Hart
From the wide open spaces of sharptail grouse country to the tight, thick quarters of bobwhite habitat, America offers a bounty of upland opportunities. Even better, we have an endless choice of high-quality upland gear to help us put a few more birds in the bag.
Today's bird hunters can choose top-notch, lightweight shotguns, ultra-comfortable boots, pants that protect us from the nastiest cover and stylish and functional jackets and vests that carry everything we need. Here is the best upland hunting gear for 2015.
Danner | Sharptail
Pull on a pair of Danner Sharptails
and it won't take long to figure out the craftsmen at Danner have chased a few birds in their day. These boots aren't just made for hunting, they are made for hunting birds in the biggest country in America.
They'll do great in tight quarters, too. Built with a waterproof Gore Tex liner, open-cell polyurethane OrthoLite footbed, full-grain leather upper and 900 denier nylon, these boots are 8 inches high and weigh 51 ounces per pair.
Danner | Pronghorns
There's no question a good pair of boots will keep you in the field longer. Pull on a pair of Danner Pronghorns
and you'll never want to leave upland country. They aren't a new boot. In fact, Pronghorns have been around a long time, but Danner just made them even better with a softer collar, a lighter foot bed, more breathable material and added pull loops.
A rugged sole make these boots ideal for the roughest grouse country or the flattest pheasant fields. They are the ideal multi-season, multi-species hunting boot. Pronghorns are available in all-leather or nylon uppers, as well as insulated and uninsulated models. They weigh just 4 pounds per pair.
Franchi | Fenice
The birds you hunt deserve the respect that comes with a fine shotgun, don't they? They'll get the highest respect with Franchi's Fenice
, an affordable auto-loader that doubles as a work of art. The nickel-plated receiver not only has fine scroll engraving, it includes gold inlay game birds.
It also has an oil-finish, AA-grade European walnut stock and a chrome-plated bolt. It doesn't just look good. It shoots great, too. Available in 20 or 28 gauge, the inertia-driven action is as reliable as it is functional. The Fenice comes with five flush-mount choke tubes and a hard case. It weighs just 5.6 pounds.
Cabela's | 8-in-1 Upland Coat
Is it a vest? A jacket? A warm-season hunting coat or a cold-weather coat? Cabela's 8-in-1
jacket is all of those and more. Packed with features and an array of versatile options, you'll never have to buy a separate vest or jacket again.
The shell is 100% cotton canvas that doubles as a vest and comes with a comfortable and warm liner jacket with zip-off sleeves. Simply take off the sleeves for a warm-weather hunt or add the full liner for late-season birds in the most extreme conditions. It includes a front and back-load blood-proof game bag, elastic shell loops, hand warmer pockets and front bellows shell pockets.
Cabela's | Prairie Runner Boa Boots
Pull on a pair of Cabela's Prairie Runner Boa Boots
and you'll know right away these boots were made for walking. At just 3.2 pounds per pair, you'll have no trouble covering as much ground as you need to find your limit. Thanks to the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining, you can even hunt in the wettest conditions.
The uppers are made with leather and mesh and comfort collars protect your feet and ankles. The BOA lacing system keeps the boots snug and the TC3 footbeds prevent odor and moisture build-up. The cushioned OrthoLite insoles make you feel like you are walking on clouds.
Browning | Upland Game Vest
Need a no-nonsense vest that will last a lifetime? Browning's Upland Game Vest
is built with the finest materials, but it won't put a dent in your bank account. Available in small through 3XL, it's the perfect multi-species vest for all your upland needs.
It's wrapped with Realtree Xtra camouflage to help you hide in the dove field and it has all the features you need for grouse, quail, pheasants and any other upland game you pursue. Browning's Upland Game Vest includes a blood-proof, front-load game bag, elastic shell loops, oversized bellows pockets and mesh sides and back for cool, lightweight hunting.
Browning | 725i Featherlight
As handsome as it is functional, Browning's new Citori 725 Feather
is the perfect upland gun for hunters who are as hard on their boots as they are on the birds. Weighing just 6.7 pounds in the 12-gauge, 26-inch barrel model, you can carry this over-and-under until you limit out or your legs give up.
Built with Browning's high standards, the 725 Feather comes with an engraved silver nitride receiver, a Grade II/III gloss oil finish shock and two ivory beads. It also comes with three Invector flush chokes and an Inflex recoil pad. The 725 Feather is available in 20-gauge with 26 or 28-inch barrels or 12 with 26 or 28-inch barrels.
Browning | Bird'n Lite Jacket
The Browning name is synonymous with high-quality gear. The Bird'n Lite Jacket
carries that tradition and is loaded with features well-suited for a long day in the field. It's built with a lightweight cotton/polyester shell and comes with a blood-proof, front-load game bag with a zip-top opening and a load stabilizing strap. The oversized shell pockets have elastic shell loops and snap closures.
It includes adjustable cuffs, accessory D rings, an e-collar transmitter pocket, lined hand warmer pockets, water bottle pockets and a zippered front closure. Available in S through 2XL.
Benelli | 828U
Benelli certainly made a splash when they introduced the 828U
, the company's first over-under. It's not just a great-handling gun, it's a great-looking one, too. Available in an engraved nickel-plated receiver or an anodized receiver, the 828U comes with 26 or 28-inch barrels and shoots 2 ¾-inch and 3-inch shells. Both finishes include a AA-grade satin finish walnut stock.
The trigger group is removable for easy cleaning and the vent rib is made from light, strong carbon fiber. Five flush-mount chokes are included and the butt stock is fitted with a Progressive Comfort recoil pad. The stock is fully adjustable and includes five drop and four cast shims. The 828U also comes with a hard case.
Cabela's | Roughneck Upland Jeans
Stylish and comfortable upland pants? You bet. Built with rugged, yet soft 14 ¾-ounce stonewashed denim, you'll feel as good as you look as you chase birds across the wide open spaces inCabela's Roughneck Upland Jeans
A relaxed cut gives you freedom to move while the nylon facing protects you from the fiercest, nastiest thorns and thickets you could ever hunt. A water-resistant treatment on the nylon keeps you dry so you can hunt longer, no matter what the conditions. These pants come with standard front and back pockets and belt loops. Available in even waist sizes 30 through 50 and a 32-inch inseam.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.