It’s the moment that waterfowlers wait for. The ducks have finished circling and are committed—their wings locked and feet down over the decoys. They seemingly hover between sky and water, as if subjects in a David Maass painting. This is the time that hunters especially appreciate good gear—the clothing and equipment that helped put them on “the X.” As you prepare for this season, consider the following items that may help put more birds on your strap.
Designed as an outer layer for warmer days or a mid-layer on colder outings, the First Lite Origin Hoody is lightweight and quiet. It is made for temperatures from 20°F to 60°F, with a 37.5 fleece lining and a DWR-treated face. Its Shooter’s Cut allows for a full range of motion when shouldering a shotgun. Features include an integrated facemask that can be tucked away when not in use, a zippered “kangaroo pocket” and large chest pocket, and cuffs with thumb loops. The Origin Hoody also incorporates HeiQ Pure odor-control technology.
Colors: First Lite Typha (shown), First Lite Specter, First Lite Fusion, First Lite Cipher, Conifer, Dry Earth and Ash Grey.
Sizes: S through XXXL.
Weight: 15 ounces.
Price: starting at $160.
For long days in wet and sloppy conditions, the ALPS OutdoorZ Deluxe Mesh Wetland Seat will elevate your waterfowling game. A center pole with three foldable arms supports a seat made of durable TechMesh, which allows water to drain through for faster drying. Three folding ground arms offer support and prevent the seat from sinking into mud. Height adjustment is from 24" to 34", and a 360° swivel provides a full range of view and motion. The seat has aluminum tubing for rust prevention and weight reduction, a removable backrest and carry strap, and a carry bag with a TechMesh bottom.
Folded dimensions: 49" (h) x 8" (w) x 8" (d).
Weight: 6 pounds.
On cold, damp days Browning’s Wicked Wing Handwarmer 2.0 is a welcome accessory. The fleece-lined Handwarmer is made of neoprene and polyester with a waterproof PVC backing. It has an adjustable waist belt with buckle, two zippered storage pockets, elastic wrist cuffs, shell holders and two clips for accessories.
Color: Major Brown.
Size: one size fits most.
Everyone knows how important motion is to a decoy spread, and the Lucky Duck Super Swimmer HDi helps create the ultimate ruse. Made of durable EVA plastic and with an ultra-realistic paint scheme, the Super Swimmer has a high-output jet-propulsion system that allows it to mimic the natural swimming motion of a mallard. Three timer modes make for easy adjustment, and the decoy comes with a rechargeable 12-volt lithium-ion battery and smart charger. It also will work with the Lucky HD Remote Kit 2.0 (sold separately).
The Chêne Gear Wader is made from four-layer waterproof, breathable nylon Oxford fabric for superior abrasion resistance and durability. It has two vertical zippered chest pockets, two zippered handwarmer pockets, two interior storage pockets, adjustable shoulder straps and a nylon belt. The YKK Aquaseal front zipper is completely waterproof, and mechanically bonded seams in critical leg areas provide a complete waterproof seal. The wader boots are 5mm neoprene with rubber overlaid on the feet and ankles and have 1200G Thinsulate insulation. An additional cover over the boots’ uppers minimizes abrasion and puncturing.
Colors: Mossy Oak Original Bottomland (shown), Mossy Oak Bottomland, Mossy Oak Habitat and Shadow.
Boot sizes: even 6 through 14. Body sizes: XXS through 3XLT.
Price: $1,100. (Note: Every wader sold in 2022 comes with a Federal Duck Stamp.)
Designed for housing a semi-automatic or pumpgun, the Negrini Duck Ruckus Compact QR Shotgun Travel Case lets you transport your gun in style. The lightweight, airline-approved case will handle one gun with up to a 34" flat- or vent-rib barrel plus an extended choke. The gun’s stock is stored in the bottom of the case and the barrel in the top, and the case opens 180° for easy access. Each case features rigid double-wall ABS technology; a padded, neoprene water-resistant interior; compartments for accessories; and three recessed, TSA-compliant steel combination locks. A Quick Detach sling allows for easy hands-free carry.
Color: Mossy Oak Shadow Grass/Dark Brown.
Dimensions: 37½" (l) x 7" (w) x 5" (d).
Weight: 7.2 pounds.