November 11, 2022
By Scott Haugen
DON'T MISS Episode 41 - 2022 Giant Gear Issue Series - Blinds & Accessories with Rig'Em Right!
Tetra Hearing – Waterfowl AlphaShields
The hearing doctors at TETRA have seen what years of waterfowl hunting does to their patients. Recent studies show that people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer's and other chronic health problems. Enter the TETRA Shield Series. Using their patent-pending Specialized Target Optimization, voices and calling are clear and natural while AlphaShield Compression reduces loud sounds to safe levels. Their advanced hearing enhancement devices are optimized for the most prominent and important sounds for the duck hunter (calls, wings, voices) while providing hearing protection from loud calling and gunshots. We have used these, a lot, and they'll improve your hunting experience. $750 starting | tetrahearing.com
$750 starting | tetrahearing.com
Polaris Ranger - XP 1000 Waterfowl Edition
Built for waterfowl hunters, the RANGER XP 1000 Waterfowl Edition is designed with added strength and the capability to navigate flooded, muddy terrain. Rise above logs with the high-clearance arched A-arms that offer 14” ground clearance, crawl over obstacles with 29” Pro Armor Mud XC tires, navigate water with high-mounted air intakes, be ready before first light with the high-output LED headlights, and blend in with a camo pattern made for waterfowl hunting.
$22,000 | ranger.polaris.com
Yeti - Rambler Bottle HotShot Cap
I’m a big fan of YETI’s Rambler Bottles, one of those things ya can’t have too many of, and the practical options just keep coming! Now, save some space by transforming your Rambler Bottles with a heat-locking, two-in-one companion—the Cup Cap. Not only is it compatible with every Rambler Bottle, but it also offers twice the functionality. As an insulated cap, it helps keep your coffee, tea, or even whiskey at the perfect temperature. And when you twist it off, you’ve got a double-wall vacuum insulated cup. I’ve found it to be perfect in the duck blind. $
$30 | yeti.com
Quack Rack - Complete System Package
Looking for the ultimate gear hauling rack system? Quack Rack’s Complete System Package consists of four integral parts. The Guide Series Front Rack is designed for carrying smaller gear such as blind bags, gun cases, dog stands and more, and the folding design allows quick access of the hood area. The Roof Basket is a one-piece all aluminum design to ensure ultimate protection and durability, and its low profile keeps elements outside the cab. The 8” walls of the Roof Basket maximizes cargo space for carrying larger equipment. The Rear Rack is designed for the bed of your UTV and features 7 carabiner attachment points, and hauls 15+ dozen decoys using any common length Texas Rig. Four spinning wing decoy holders double for hanging bird straps, hose lines, and more.
$4,700 | quackrack.com
OnX Maps - Tree Species Maps
Whether you’re hunting swamps in the south, goose and crane fields in the midwest, or rivers and creeks out west, the OnX Tree Species Maps could be what you’re looking for. Understanding forest compositions is important, even for waterfowlers, but it’s also historically one of the hardest things to scout using traditional aerial imagery maps. OnX wanted to solve this problem for hunters and provide a new mapping solution that allows you to evaluate forest composition including forest diversity, tree species, and other habitat types such as wetlands.
Premium/year: $20; Elite/year: $99 | onxmaps.com
Can-Am - Defender X MR
The first time I drove a Cam-Am Defender, I loved everything about it, especially how it handled in mud and loose, heavy sand. Duck hunters will appreciate both the X mr and the MAX X mr models. They’re the ultimate mud workhorse with an 82 horsepower Rotax HD10 V-twin engine, Smart-Lok™ front differential, 15” ground clearance and a 4,500-pound winch with synthetic rope and roller fairlead. Comes with 30-inch ITP Cryptid tires, 14” cast-aluminum wheels, twin tube gas-charged shocks, Dynamic Power Steering and a drive train selectable Turf Mode/2WE/4WD Trail/4WD Mud. Tough, durable, comfortable with true Can-Am DNA!
$22,000 starting | can-am.brp.com
Rig ‘Em Right - Lowdown Floating Backpack
Founder Matt Cagle never set out to sell the most; only to build the best. The Lowdown Backpack reflects that, and features the quality and durability of a high-end pack with all the features needed to sling mud in the duck marsh. Full foam floatation, deluxe molded EVA bottom, built-in sunglasses case, paracord handle, thermos holder, side and front handles with daisy chain for attaching decoy anchor clips, air foam backrest and straps, and a large internal compartment with a laptop pocket so it can double as a travel bag. Home run.
$140 | rigemright.com
Leupold – Performance Eyewear
So you’re too cheap to replace that crappy old cooler with the rusty hinges and the foam sticking out of the cracks in the lid, but you only have two eyes. Time to spring for eyewear that will protect you from misfires or the low-lying tree branches when running the boat in the dark, and sport some stylish shades that you can actually see to shoot with. We have been running these sunglasses all over the planet since they came out, and they are tough, easy on the eyes (heh-heh) and have a solid cool factor. The Packout is the go-to option for any hunter or shooter. No-joke ballistic protection and proven optical clarity make them perfect for every duck hunting misadventure. Get the Bronze mirror to avoid the bug-eyed shine of the louder blues and greens. Leupold’s In-Fused Polarized Technology uses an advanced manufacturing process that fuses the polarization film in-between two of the lens layers. This process provides permanent polarized protection that won’t scratch or deteriorate.
$190 | leupold.com
Pelican - Utility Ruck Case
Keeping valuable gear organized, accessible, and dry on waterfowl hunts can be a challenge. I’ve used a Pelican R60 Utility Ruck Case on multiple hunts throughout the West and in many remote parts of Alaska. Be it in driving rains, thick mud, snow, saltwater, on boats, bushplanes, or ATVs, the contents in my Ruck Case were always dry, dust-free, and in perfect condition. I like the snap-in organizer that securely holds a portable charger and cell phone cord. Features a co-molded rubberized exo-skeleton, organizational options and is built to take a punishment and is waterproof.
$50 | pelican.com
ALPS OutdoorZ - Vault Blind Bag
The Vault Blind Bag hits ALPS innovational sweet spot. Day in and day out, faithfully depend on the Vault to comfortably haul a horde of waterfowl gear afield. Confidently secure your gear with the stowaway tree straps that offer 62” of length to reach around most trees. The oversized, padded waist belt affords high-quality comfort and acts as a secondary tree anchor reaching 66”. Rely on the cleverly designed internal shelf to quickly access items during the hunt, and stow unused gear or extra shells below when the shelf is deployed.
MTM Case-Guard - Shotshell Box Caddy
Whether practicing or on the hunt, having a secure way to carry shotgun shells is a must. This 100 round shotshell carrier is designed to take only shotshells and a cell phone to the shooting line or afield. It comes with four MTM Shell Stackers (12 ga., 2 3/4”) clear shell boxes and easily holds four 12 ga., 2 3/4” cardboard shell boxes. Strong, comfortable, fold-over handle has two 12 ga. only grippers for extra shells. Slot alongside caddy is for storing box lids or smart phone. Also, it can be used with 20 ga., 28 ga., down to 410 ga. 12.6”Lx7.1”Wx4.8”H with handle down.
$20 | mtmcase-gard.com
Dive Bomb Industries - Dry-Backpack
At the end of a hunt last year, my gear-head hunting buddy, Brent, tossed his new Divebomb Dry-Backpack into the creek for a proper test, letting it float downstream where he grabbed it, rolled it around and fully submerged it multiple times. The contents in both bags were dry. Fabricated from high-grade 500D PVC Tarpaulin, with Mil-Spec webbing and quality Duraflex® hardware, the material and RF-welded seams provide a durable and watertight seal. All stress points are additionally bar-tacked for added strength and durability.
$55 | divebombindustries.com
Rig’Em Right - Flashpoint Floating Gun Case
Rig’Em Right’s Flashpoint Floating Gun Case is built for demanding waterfowlers who don’t have time to baby their gear. It's truly anindustry-leading gun case—just go buy one. Our first-gen model is 10 years old, has been all over the world, and works like new. Durable and tough, this gun case features a thick water repellant outer shell, metal hardware, thick floatation, rigid EVA tip to prevent the barrel from busting through the end, and a full-length Velcro opening to aid with drying. At 53” long it accommodates extended chokes.
$85 | rigemright.com
Mallard View Outdoors - Ice Eater
These heavy-duty designs feature adjustable stands to work in just about any depth, and can be easily angled to place the warmer water exactly where it needs to be. The design of these ice eaters’ venturi shroud (housing) with outwardly flared ends draws warmer water from greater depths than other conventional de-icers, making them more effective. Additionally, the Mallard View Outdoors models are more energy efficient than most on the market, saving gas in the generator for longer run times. Kits come with just about everything you need to keep the ice away this winter.
$740 and up | mallardviewoutdoors.com
MOJO Outdoors - Mud Seat
I carried around an old mud seat last season that was a pain. It was rusty, took an extra hand, and the plywood seat was most uncomfortable. MOJO’s Mud Seat, is now designed with a padded camo seat and a comfortable shoulder strap and is what I plan on turning to this season. The shoulder strap makes carrying it easy, freeing-up a hand, and the padded seat offers total comfort. Constructed of rugged steel shaft and supports, the MOJO Mud Seat is also stable and user-friendly.
$65 | mojooutdoors.com
River Refuge Seed Company
I live less than an hour from River Refuge Seed Company and hunt ducks and geese around some of their properties. What I’d give to be able to hunt some of their properties, because the waterfowl are thick on them, that’s how good their products are, and everyone in our valley knows it. When flooded, the ducks will forage through the wet straw to find the seed that has shattered from the seed head. This mix is easy to grow and produces a lot of seed. The ducks will always leave plenty of seed so it will volunteer year after year.
$7/lb. | riverrefugeseed.com
Leupold - BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42 Binocular
Optics are an important part of waterfowl hunting. For the past few season’s I’ve been using Leupold’s BX-4 10x42s for scouting, tracking bird movement during hunts and for identification. This bino is waterproof, built for extreme temperature variations, offers excellent low-light transmission, is crystal clear and I’ve never experienced glare or fogging. I love the ergonomic design and how quickly the open-bridge adjusts, which is great when sharing with a buddy. Weighing only 24 oz, the bino fits in a gear bag and is compact enough to easily carry on airplanes. Firm to the hold, even when wet, it carries a lifetime warranty.
$600 | leupold.com
Benchmade - 15500R-2 Meatcrafter Knife
During the season my family eats waterfowl at least five days a week, often twice a day. Our favorite way to eat it is fresh from the field, stripped or cubed, then cooked in a stir-fry. Last year I sliced through hundreds of ducks and geese with the Meatcrafter and never sharpened it one time. I like removing the legs and thighs and boning out the breast with small, thin blades, but when it comes to cleaning up breasts and slicing and dicing for cooking, the Meatcrafter is my go-to knife.
$400 | benchmade.com
Camp Chef - VersaTop Grill System
On a recent swan hunt with Fried Feathers Outfitters in Utah, they wanted to stay out hunting all day and the Camp Chef VersaTop Grill allowed us to do just that. Rather than heading in for lunch and losing valued hunting time as the season was winding down, they broke out some marinated teal taken the day before and grilled it up. It smelled and tasted delicious on that cold day, and was so easy to do. The VersaTop Grill System comes seasoned and ready to cook on. The compact design and ease of use makes it ideal for waterfowl hunters, be it in the blind, on the tailgate or back at camp. My wife and I have been big fans of Camp Chef gear for years, for a reason.
$170 | campchef.com