Just as athletes get “up” for a game, wingshooters must properly prepare for hunting season. This involves not only getting ready mentally and physically but also making sure they have the right equipment for peak performance. The following items can help upland hunters excel in the field and may just set them up for their best seasons yet.
IRISH SETTER ELK TRACKER XD BOOT
For chasing chukar, mountain grouse, mountain quail or any gamebird in challenging terrain, the Irish Setter Elk Tracker XD Boot provides stability and comfort. Based on the company’s original Elk Tracker boot, the new XD (Extra Durable) version has a full-leather camo upper with a leather-gusset overlay to protect the foot and keep out debris. The waterproof boot has welted construction, a wraparound rubber rand for abrasion resistance, and TempSens technology for regulating the interior temperature. Other features include a removable EVA foam footbed and a Vibram rubber outsole with air bobs and an aggressive tread that releases mud and dirt and offers superior traction. The boot comes in three styles: 8" non-insulated (shown), 8" with 200-gram PrimaLoft insulation and 10" non-insulated. Sizes: whole and half sizes 8 through 12 plus 13 and 14. Widths: D, EE. Prices: starting at $250.
Irish Setter, irishsetterboots.com.
KUIU PRO BRUSH PANT
Hunters who brave extreme terrain and thorny places will appreciate KUIU’s PRO Brush Pant. The pant’s upper features lightweight, four-way-stretch Primeflex fabric for mobility and breathability, and high-contact areas in the lower legs, knees and thighs have high-density, double-weave Primeflex panels for protection and durability. Pocketing includes open hand pockets and zippered cargo and back pockets. Zippered hip and inner-thigh vents are mesh lined for air circulation. Additional features include adjustable and removable suspenders; articulated knees; a gusseted crotch; wraparound gaiter cuffs; and bootlace hooks, to keep the lower pantlegs in place. Weight: 1 pound 4 ounces (without suspenders). Colors: Ash (shown), Gunmetal, Valo, Verde, Vias. Sizes: even waist sizes 30 through 42. Inseams: short, regular, tall. Price: $199.
MOJO DOVE/GAME BELT
Perfect for the dove field or any upland hunting that doesn’t require a full vest, the Mojo Dove/Game Belt offers mobility, flexibility and an efficient way to carry gear and birds. There is a shell pouch with a large zippered opening, a cellphone pocket with magnetic closure, a zippered accessory pouch with choke-tube straps and holders, and a drink pouch. The large, vented game bag has a bloodproof liner and a separate zippered pouch for Mojo poles, wings and accessories. The 2" nylon belt has a double-snap/pushbutton buckle and adjusts from 28" to 56". Colors: Mossy Oak Bottomland (shown), Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades. Price: $40.
Mojo Outdoors, mojooutdoors.com.
GARMIN ALPHA 300i HANDHELD
Garmin’s new Alpha 300i handheld is purpose built for training or hunting with dogs—or even hunting dogless. The unit has a 3½” touchscreen and offers multi-GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) support and enhanced mapping systems, like preloaded TopoActive mapping and direct-to-device satellite imagery. It is also compatible with Garmin Outdoors Maps+, which provides access to content like landowner names and boundaries of public and private land. The “i” in 300i stands for inReach satellite technology, which, with an active satellite subscription, allows users to send and receive messages, track and share hunts, and even send an interactive SOS message. For dog training and hunting when paired with a compatible Garmin collar, the unit has dedicated buttons for fast training cues and offers 18 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation as well as tone and vibration. The lithium-ion battery will last up to 55 hours between charges. Weight: 9.9 oz. Price: $850.
SAWYER PERMETHRIN FABRIC TREATMENT
Early-season hunters can take the bite out of dealing with insects with Sawyer’s Permethrin Fabric Treatment. Odorless after drying, the broad-spectrum, non-systemic insecticide can be sprayed on clothing, tents and other outdoor gear to repel or kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites and more than 55 other kinds of annoying bugs. It is said to be as effective as 100% DEET. Specially formulated not to stain or damage clothing or other gear, Sawyer’s Permethrin bonds to fabric fibers and is effective for up to six weeks or six washings. It is even said to be safe enough to use on dogs to control fleas, lice and ticks. Price: $14.50 for a 12-oz trigger-spray bottle.