A feature from the July – September issue of The Vizsla News.
The temperatures are finally falling and as I feel the first whisper of a cool breeze in the air, my mind immediately jumps to all things fall. For me, that’s pumpkin everything, cozy sweaters, and trading in my hiking weekends for bird dog training. In our first ever edition of “Get the Look” what else could we feature but the essentials for hunting with your dog afield this Fall? Sadly, finding upland clothing tailored for our female frames is becoming more, and more difficult. Here, I’ve linked some great products that won’t have you looking like you borrowed your Dad’s hunting duds.
Splurge: Women’s Retriever Hunting Vest – $179.00 – www.beretta.com
It’s often hard to find an upland vest tailored for a feminine figure. This Beretta hunting vest fits the bill without adding bulk. In fact, if you plan on hunting in the winter months as many of us do, go ahead and size up so this beaut will fit over your jacket.
Save: DSG Outerwear Women’s Upland Hunting Vests 2.0 | Padded Shoulders, Built-In Game Bag – $49.99 – www.amazon.com
This vest is a steal at under $50. Purchasers give it a 5 star rating 71% of the time. Four front pockets, game bag, and quilted and padded shoulder panels cover all your bases. Like the Splurge option, go ahead and size up if you plan on layering underneath this vest.
Splurge: HYBRID PANTS LADY (BURNT ORANGE) – $119.00 – arrakusa.com
I found Arrak pants from some friends who use their vests for dog training. The pants have tons of pockets and the right type of material to cut through brush with ease. I’ve worn mine at several events and received many compliments. They have tons of color combinations and it boasts only 4 & 5 star reviews!
Pointer: Sign up for their emails and get 10% off!
Save: DAN’S HUNTING GEAR, SNAKE PROTECTOR GAITERS – $49.99 – dogsunlimited.com
If you don’t want to splurge on a pair of brush pants, consider a pair of gaiters. They are versatile, offer snake protection, and are briar proof. Pair them with your favorite pair of jeans and perhaps some long underwear, and you should be set!
Bonus: Locally owned and run in Colorado, Dogs Unlimited has supported both Vizsla Club of America and Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club events in the past!
Splurge: Women’s Le Chameau Chasseur Leather-Lined Boots – $499 – orvis.com
These boots have over forty 5 star reviews on Orvis.com, and if you are going to splurge somewhere, footwear is the place to do it. Bonus: with their rubber sole, you’ll be able to use them for gardening or wet-weather hikes, and the leather lining gives you a custom fit over time.
Save: WOMEN’S HALE FLEECE – $69.99 – muckbootcompany.com
These boots have over four hundred 5 star reviews! The fleece lining will keep you warm in the winter, but users swear they don’t over sweat in the summer. They are 100% waterproof and should keep you nice and dry on your Fall hunt.
Pointer: Sign up for their email list and save 10% on your first order
And men, you aren’t excluded! I asked for some input and then picked out a few things that I would like to see on my hunting partner.
Splurge – Men’s West Butte Insulated Vest – $159 – www.stio.com
Ok, this totally isn’t a hunting brand, but bear with me. Stio is a mountain company, based in Jackson, Wyoming, where they *know* how to do outdoor gear. This vest comes in several colors, and is low-profile enough to fit under a jacket, or over a flannel to keep your core toasty. A clean, tailored look, this vest is versatile enough for any of your Fall/Winter activities.
Save – Alpine Design Men’s Sequoia Ridge Down Vest – $69.98 www.dickssportinggoods.com
While not officially blaze orange, this vest still looks smart for heading to dinner after a long day chasing roosters. It even has a pull cord at the hem to get the fit just the way you like it. It’s warm without the bulk!
Splurge – BOB ALLEN, HIGH PRAIRIE HUNTING SHIRT, LONG SLEEVE – $74.95 www.dogsunlimited.com
This shirt shirt is made of 100% cotton and features reinforced forearms, a button-down collar, and a shooting pad with contrasting colors. Purchasers say they fit true-to-size, superior quality, and comfortable. Add it to your cart with the gaiters featured in the women’s save vs. splurge and your cart will qualify for the VCA discount!
Save – Guide Gear Men’s Long Sleeve Shirt, Tactical Shirt and Hunting Gear – $37.94 www.amazon.com
This 60/40 cotton, poly blend shirt offers the comfort of cotton, but with some moisture wicking benefit of synthetics. It boasts only 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon, it features quilted front shoulder panels with 3 layers to provide extra cushioning.
Splurge – UPLANDER BOOT – $398 www.filson.com
Filson has been perfecting these wing-shooting boots since 1930, so yes, almost 100 years of design perfection will certainly have you singing the praises of these boots. They are designed for durability, tracking, and comfort. Again, if you splurge somewhere, it should always be on your feet!
Save – Treadfast 6″ Waterproof Work Boot – $114.00 – www.ariat.com
These Ariat work boots are wildly popular, boasting 4.5 stars. They are full grain leather, have a cusioning insole, and come in both medium and wide fits. If you expect to be hunting in snow, you can spend an extra $10 and get the water-proof model. Oh, and join their email list to save 10%!
And then these two categories are good for everyone!
Splurge: Custom Bird Bag – $60~$105 – firstname.lastname@example.org
If your hunting duds will be used more for training and testing, you might splurge on a custom bird bag to tie your outfit together. VCA Member, Deb McCray, can make you a custom piece in a variety of colors and embroidery options.
Save: TBI Game Steward’s Bird Bag – $34.99 – gundogsupply.com
Covers all your bases, mesh sides for ventilation and blaze orange so you won’t lose it in the field if you set it down.
Splurge – Beretta 486 Parallelo – $5799 – www.beretta.com
I happen to be the grandchild that inherited my Grandaddy’s 20 gauge Beretta side by side, and I ADORE that gun. It’s a beautiful, classic shotgun. The 486 Parallelo is a throw back to that golden era, but enhances with today’s technology. Safe and accurate, shooting a side by side is fun, and this model comes in gauges 12, 20, and 28.
Save – BPS Field – $799 – www.browning.com
If you are just getting started, I happen to think learning on a pump shotgun is the way to go. This model from Browning drops the shell out the bottom (bottom ejection,) enabling you to figure out if you are a better shot on the left or right side. Also available in 12, 20, and 28 gauge models.
Bonus — if you end up single, much like I did this year, the sound of that pump-action is a pretty big theft detterant 😉
Whether you choose to splurge or save, here’s to a great Fall and Winter of bird doggin. Cheers friends!