Upland game hunting—where you use a dog to find, flush, and retrieve game birds—is a great way to get outdoors and watch your (or a guide’s) dog work the fields in search of sometimes-elusive prey. After the canine locates, or points, the bird (usually chukar, quail, or pheasant), it’s up to you to take it down once it takes flight with one (or two) well-placed shotgun blasts. But slogging through fields in pursuit of flighty fowl in the fall and winter offers a lot of challenges. Only good upland hunting gear can adequately handle them.
There are many obstacles out there that you must navigate to successfully find a bird—wet grass in the morning, muddy terrain all year around, briars and more briars and then some thorns, frosty weather that turns warm in the afternoon, and dogs that don’t want to obey. Thankfully, there’s a ton of gear out there that will help you overcome each challenge and make your time hunting a blast (no pun intended). This year, hit the fields with the latest upland game hunting gear that’ll help you bring down more birds—and have fun doing it.
Here are our top picks.
1. Duck Camp Lightweight Hunting Shirt
Walking through fields and woods searching for birds will get you sweaty even if it’s chilly out, which is why the Duck Camp lightweight shirt is a great choice. It’s durable enough to shed briars, has a UPF of 30 to banish bright sun rays, and has an integrated mesh venting system to keep you cool. Pick the Pin Oak Upland color with blaze orange flaps and shoulders to keep you visible to other shooters even if you shed layers.
2. KUIU Guide DCS Vest
For truly cold days hunting upland game, layering with the KUIU Guide vest will give you the option to keep your core warm if you decide to shed other outerwear. Not only is the vest treated with a water-resistant coating to keep early morning dew away, but it’s made with a special spiral yarn construction that makes the fleece flexible without stretching out over time. It’s available in three camo options and six solids, including blaze orange.