My Upland Wish List: 2010 Season

dog blog upland list danner

The upland bird season is quickly approaching and I've been making a mental list of what I need to get, whether it's to replace gear that's packed away somewhere in storage after a cross-country move or simply a "I wish I had..." piece of equipment.

From a shotgun I've had my eye on since last year to gloves, boots, vests and a vehicle organizer, here's what comprises my "2010 Upland Wish List."

Browning Cynergy: If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember my post from South Dakota last year. On that hunt we got to choose from the Browning Cynergy, Citori or Winchester 101 model shotguns to blaze away on a plethora of pheasants.

Since that hunt, every time I think about returning to the field for pheasant, chukar, quail, grouse, etc, my hands twitch to hold a Cynergy. I'd love to shoulder the Field Grade VI model, with its beautiful inlaid metal work, or even the the Field Grade III. To tell you the truth, I'd even like to take the Winchester Model 101 Field gun out again (and probably a more realistic purchase considering my budget).

Browning Cynergy: Field Grade III goes $3,699-$3,739, depending upon whether you select 20 or 12 gauge. I always opt for the 12...if you've ever had the misfortune to see me shoot you know why...

Field Grade VI runs $5,519-5,549

Winchester Model 101 Field: $1,759

dog blog upland list danner

Danner Pronghorn: The legendary Pronghorns have received an upgrading for 2010. I honestly don't know what they would improve on this boot, as it was the most comfortable boot I've ever worn straight out of a box, but they have (technically speaking, Danner says they've improved the lacing system, souped up the outsole, wrapped the toe and heel in protective "Tech-Tuff" material and some other goodies). It makes me want to get a pair just to walk around the living room.

The "old", or I guess PC-way of saying that is "classic", pair that I have are uninsulated. If I were to buy a new pair, I'd opt for insulated ones so that I would have early and late season covered. The 200- to 800-gram Thinsulate should be fine for active upland hunting, even in the late season, but if you're wanting to sit on a deer stand with them, Danner has a 1,200-gram Thinsulate pair.

Pronghorn boots:$180-$210, depending on camo pattern, Thinsulate level, etc.

dog blog upland list PF vest

****Pheasants Forever Upland Gamehide Vest: While you only need a new vest every so often, I sometimes do something stupid (ask anyone) that requires the need for a new one on a more regular basis. One of the stupid things I've done is leave a couple of chukars in the game pouch of my favorite vest after a tower shoot that Kona and I were picking up at. A couple weeks later I couldn't figure out what all the flies were doing in my garage and why it smelled like death. Picking up my vest, I found the mummified remains of the little birds. ****

I contemplated washing, disinfecting it and using it again, but after holding it up and vomiting a little in my mouth, I just threw it away. It was worse than eating broccoli, which to me is the epitome of punishment. Seriously.

Enter the Pheasants Forever Gamehide Vest. Lightweight but tough, it has a multitude of pockets for all your crap and even a couple of water bottle pouches so you can give your pup a drink or wash feathers out of his mouth. Plus, it helps a great organization protect the resource we all love.

PF Vest: $60

Uncle Mike's Trunk Organizer: If you travel to do your wingshooting, you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be to keep track of everything. Even if you pack the car/truck/SUV perfectly, by the end of the first day afield nothing is where it was, nor will everything you packed fit back into your vehicle.

dog blog upland list trunk organizer

Uncle Mike's has a new trunk organizer that fits in most cars and SUVs. It has custom-compartment sizing, four D-rings for tie down, compartment dividers, two large front pockets, removable hard backers that allow you to fold the entire thing down for storage and a removable lid.

It sounds like a perfect solution to the myriad of crap I haul around on a year-round basis, from hunting gear like shells, boots, gloves, extra clothing, lanyards and calls to dog-training gear like whistles, bumpers, tennis balls, first-aid kits and more.

Trunk Organizer: $166

Cabela's Insulated Buffalo Gloves: ****I have a hunt in South Dakota scheduled for the first of December. It can be biting cold in the Dakotas any time after, say, September. While my Sitka mesh shooting gloves are great for early season, I have a feeling if I'm going to make the all-day hunts that are planned, I better have at least a little more protection.

The problem we run into with gloves is maintaining dexterity. You have to be able to reach into shell pockets and grasp and load shells quickly in the sometimes frenzied shooting involved with upland birds. My first urge is to get rag wool gloves, but damn, I hate how they attract every burr and piece of dead, prickly material in the field, so I'm thinking a nice pair of leather gloves with some Thinsulate insulation would work to block chilly winds while also offering warmth and dexterity.

Insulated Buffalo Gloves: $40

Okay, now what am I missing?