Let's face it. That cousin-by-marriage who drew your name for the annual holiday family gift exchange doesn't know jack about your hunting needs.
Plus, our Christmas comes early — as in opening day of bird season or the day we pick up our new pup from the breeder. But it's been a long year, and you deserve something nice. So indulge and buy that new over/under. Or splurge on your very best field dog and get him one of the top e-collars on the market. He'll become a gun dog extraordinaire in no time at all, especially if you train with a Dokken's DeadFowl trainer this spring.
And stop going afield with those weak (cheap) shotgun shells. If you're going to buy a well-bred pup, invest in training and spend long days walking the uplands or setting up for waterfowl, it just makes good sense to have a shotshell that performs.
Dokken | Deadfowl TrainerDeadFowl Trainers
are the ultimate in getting your gun dog to retrieve right. They'™re constructed of a soft middle that mimics the feel of waterfowl and upland birds. The swinging plastic heads on the dummies dissuade shaking and encourage dogs to pick up the birds by the mid-section.
D.T. Systems | S.P.O.T. Plus
Whether airing pup out in the pre-dawn before a hunt or just taking him on a nighttime stroll, know where he is at all times with the lighted and reflective S.P.O.T. Plus collar from D.T. Systems
. The Night Sight illumination has a brightness range of one to 16. It can also be set to strobe, constant or factory default (high or low). There'™s also a Vibration Assist so you can correct your dog if needed.
Dogtra | ARC
Today'™s gun dogs deserve the new sleek ARC (Advanced Receiver Concept)
. The completely redesigned receiver/collar features a contour shape that is less obtrusive and less likely to snag debris in the field. Performance-driven and designed for comfort, the ARC is stepping out of the box and into the future with ¾-mile range, nick and continuous stimulation, pager/vibration, and an LCD screen that displays stimulation level and battery life. The fully waterproof ARC can withstand the harshest elements.
SportDOG | Wetland Hunter 425
With a 500-yard range, Drytek waterproof design, and the ability to instantly switch between stimulation, vibration and tone, the 425
was made specifically for the environments we live for. Powering up with only a 2-hour charge, the 1.31-pound e-collar further proves SportDOG understands our needs.
Fabarm | Elos B
We love hunting speeding birds with small-gauge smoothbores, and the Elos B
(available in 28- and 20-gauge) has become one of our favorite field guns. At just 6.9 pounds — the Elos B AL is even lighter at 5.14 — this over/under shoots like a dream. From the hand-oiled Turkish walnut stock to the tapered bore and HP chokes, this stack is as eye-catching as it is deadly.
2,420 (20 gauge); $
2,575 (28 gauge)
Hevi-Shot | Hevi-Upland
Hammer flushing roosters this winter with Hevi-Shot'™s new lead offering. The heavy 1â…›-ounce, 12-gauge loads hit trophy roosters hard, making the job easier for your best pointer. Available in 2¾-inch, No. 5s with a velocity of 1,250 fps.
93.23 per case
ThermaCell | ProFLEX Heated Insoles
The worst part about those little shake-and-go footwarmer pouches is they'™re either too hot or don'™t work at all. Save your freezing tootsies with the Pro Flex
heat insoles from ThermaCell
. Just place the soles in your boot or waders and then adjust the temp accordingly with the included remote. The rechargeable batteries are good for five hours, so no more sweaty socks that turn your little piggies into toesicles.
ATN | BinoXS-HD 4-16X
If you'™re looking for some of the most advanced optics in the world, you can'™t miss the BinoXS-HD 4-16X
from ATN. The BinoXS works day or night, comes loaded with WiFi, Smooth Zoom, records video and takes photos, and has a built in compass. It'™s fully capable of GPS geotagging, so you can mark waypoints as you go. With WiFi technology you can see the viewfinder on your smartphone, take photos and record video in 1080p HD. What'™s not to love?
SPOT | Gen3
For those looking for a critical, life-saving line of communication while adventuring off the grid, consider the SPOT Gen3
, a simple one-touch GPS locator/tracker/messenger. Using 100 percent satellite technology, it tracks your movements and relays them back to a website where others can see your real-time progress. It also sends out prepared text messages/emails to a contact list to let them know you are fine, you need help, or you simply need more supplies. In an emergency, it also features an SOS button that will send out a distress signal with your exact coordinates to rescuers.
CZ-USA | 612 Wildfowl MagnumCZ'™s 612 Wildfowl Magnum
packs a lot into a bargain-priced pump. Chambered for 2¾-, 3- and 3½-inch shells, the 612 is camo-clad for concealment and protection against the worst weather. It comes with a modified choke for waterfowl, and an extra-full tube for turkey. Extra chokes are available. The 26-inch vent-rib barrel is just right for a pump action, and at less than 7 pounds, is easy to carry when you hike into a public area.
Ruger | Red Label
One of the great shotgun 'œworkhorses' of the past century, the Red Label
was recently redesigned and re-introduced to soldier on, and you'™ll enjoy a lifetime of shooting with it. Its mechanical trigger ensures a second shot, and the back-bored barrels with included steel-shot compatible Briley chokes provide excellent patterns. The 3-inch chambered barrels are separated for fast cooling and a free swing.
Patternmaster | Anaconda
Just like its slithery namesake, the Anaconda
uses constriction to achieve its goals, producing tight duck-whacking patterns via its gas-over-constriction design as well as the 'œCoil Zone,' winding gases around the wad to further assist in constriction and pattern uniformity. Short-, Mid-, and Long-Range options are available for a litany of 12-gauge models.
Irish Setter | Havoc
These aren'™t your father'™s Irish Setters
— they'™re better. By utilizing advances in technology and implementing a Gore-Tex liner, the Havoc 7-inch
will keep your feet dry no matter where you hunt upland birds. The Havoc 7-inch has built-in features that ensure maximum comfort from the first mile to the last.
Irish Setters'™ CuShin system includes padding around the top of the boot to reduce the pressure some hunters feel on their shin when they walk. The all-leather boot is attached to a polyurethane footbed and an UltraFlex big game sole for added comfort. The non-insulated boot weighs 3 pounds, 4 ounces and is available in 7- and 9-inch lace-ups and 10-inch side zipper options.
LaCrosse | AeroTuff
Constructed of AeroForm, the AeroTuff
has a lightweight, glove-like feel that provides insulation and durability, Uppers are made of 5mm puncture-resistant neoprene. Injected liquid polyurethane around 7mm neoprene in the foot creates an ultra-insulating shell.
Mossy Oak | Shadow Grass BladesMossy Oak'™s
focus with its Shadow Grass Blades camo
is on waterfowlers who hunt field edges and potholes. Blades precisely mimics wind-blown, broken and bent grass blades; underneath these elements are depictions of lesser and dead grass thatch.