The Best Waterfowl Gear for 2014
March 26, 2014
Whether you're looking for a new jacket, an ATV or an e-collar, there's plenty of new gear on the market in 2014 to cover all your waterfowing needs. Joe Genzel rounds up the best waterfowl gear of the year, only at Wildfowl.
Cabela's Northern Flight Dry-Plus
Ever wished you had a waterproof sleeping bag in that layout blind? If you're in the throes of snow goose season, this is a coat that is warm to the core. Cabela's Northern Flight Dry-Plus
offers unrivaled flexibility and warmth, perfect for the unpredictable spring seasons. Double-layered protection in high-wear areas holds up day-after-day in some of the most rugged field conditions.
Designed for advanced level training, the 2300NCP
from Dogtra has been used by police K-9 units, and will transition seamlessly into the marsh. Completely waterproof, the e-collar has a ¾-mile range and is equipped with precise nick, constant and non-stimulating vibration levels displayed on an LCD screen. The 2300 is also available in a two-dog model.
FA Brand Wood Duck Decoys
Woodies love to fly early and then shut off for the day, so be ready for those gorgeous drake squealers with FA Brand's wood duck decoys
. Created by nationally acclaimed artist Marty Hanson, these six-packs (four drakes, two hens) have a vivid custom paint scheme that brings out the flawless anatomy of each decoy. The paint is also very durable, and highly visible even on overcast mornings.
Garmin Delta Sport
Young sporting dogs require an e-collar that delivers proper training in the field and at home. Garmin fulfills both these requirements with the Delta Sport
, which offers 36 correction levels with a built-in BarkLimiter. This feature recognizes the difference between wanted and unwanted barks, properly correcting your pup to keep quiet. Expandable to three dogs, Delta can recall individual training settings, has a range up to ¾ of a mile and the entire unit is waterproof.
Whether you're taking the trip of a lifetime to Canada or just want to record an epic hunt at home, the VIRB
from Garmin can capture it all. The HD camera records video in 1080p (up to three hours), is waterproof and rechargeable. Adjust the film speed for crisp, slow motion, to catch those dramatic kill shots over the decoys — and the video can be easily edited with a free software download. Several mounting options are available as well. That LCD screen is awesome for instant playback.
Hardcore-Brands Wader Bag
This wader bag
traveled with us from Saskatchewan to Stuttgart, standing up to the rigors afield'¦and airport security. The bag is vented to help dry wet waders, and is invaluable after finishing up a morning shoot and hopping a plane home — no suitcase full of wet clothes. There's a waterproof side pouch to keep an old sweatshirt and jeans dry should you take the plunge, and a mat zips out from underneath, giving you a place to stand after sliding off your waders.
Killing ducks can be an expensive habit, especially if you hunt rocketing green-wings or pellet-sponge sea ducks. Hevi-Steel
will hammer the toughest of fowl without putting a hit out on your bank account. The new loads are available in a smattering of 20- and 12-gauge options, from 3½-inch BBBs to 2¾-inch No. 3s. They fly at 1,550 fps, a hot bang for your buck.
You're in the pre-dawn marsh and reach for the e-collar remote to give pup a quick correction as he has gone too far ahead. But it's gone, too, because you had to set it down. Never lose another transmitter with the R.A.P.T. 1400
, which slides on your hand so you can keep right on shooting and using those fingers while holding the remote. The collar is waterproof, and the remote actually floats, another form of loss prevention. Expandable to three dogs with a range of 1,400 yards.
This is the kind of camo pattern a timber hunter can get behind. Just look at this image; with camo like this duck blinds may soon be obsolete. Realtree Max-5
blends you in amongst the flooded trees and can also be utilized on mud flats, in ag fields and open prairie. Max-5 is filled with cattails, reeds, cane, grasses, corn, wheat, oats and sunflowers, so there's no place you can't hide.
Rig'em Right 12-Slot Deluxe Decoy Bag
Walking the soft bottom of a honey hole is tough enough. Trying to do it with a dozen decoys and a shotgun slung over your shoulder is down right impossible. Rig'em Right's 12-Slot Deluxe Decoy Bag
keeps floaters organized, and gives you something to stabilize yourself with every sludging step. Three internal mesh pockets store extra gear, and the bottom drains, so decoys won't develop marsh rot.
SportDOG WetlandHunter 425
If you've been a hardcore Lab man all your life, it's a likely that loyal retriever has had a SportDOG e-collar around its neck. The WetlandHunter 425
is one of the industry's premiere dog training devices with a range of 500 yards and seven instantly selectable stimulation levels. A DryTek waterproof design keeps the unit working in the marsh, and it also includes a remote beeper option if your Lab likes to get after roosters in heavy cover.
Tri-Tronics Pro 500 G3 EXP
We've seen a lot of Tri-Tronics devices around the necks of well-trained retrievers, and if you have a little extra cash, the Pro 500 G3 EXP
is the Cadillac of e-collars. The waterproof unit has a consistent one-mile range with 36 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation. Long lasting and rechargeable (in two hours), the batteries for both transmitter and receiver are replaceable. Stainless steel contact points keep neck irritation to a minimum.
Yamaha Viking SxS
Rip through muddy trails with a couple of buddies on the way to the blind in Yamaha's Viking SxS
. A powerful 686cc liquid-cooled four-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, four-valve fuel-injected engine provides peak performance. With seating for up to three hunters, Yamaha's On-Command system lets drivers switch between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with differential lock. The optional Electric Power Steering provides balance on difficult terrain, and we highly suggest this upgrade.
Want those drake greenheads to light right in the decoys? Of course you do, so start controlling mallards with the Yentzen One
. Makers of the original Yentzen (the first-ever double-reed), Sure-Shot's One features an upgraded reed system for better control. It's also a much louder call for catching the attention of high-flying migrators.
Banded Atchafalaya Jacket
We put the Atchafalaya
to the test, and it held up against the biting winds and frigid temps of this year\'s polar vortex. It looks more like a base layer, but tuck it into your bibs or waders, and it seals in the heat thanks to a weatherproof and wind-resistant polyester shell. There\'s plenty of extra pockets for shells and the YKK zippers keep the water out.
Lucky Flapper Canada
If you want to kill pressured honkers, motion is key. Stagnant spreads flare wary birds. Give your flag man a break, and add the Lucky Flapper Canada
to your rig this season and watch the white-cheeks dive-bomb the decoys. The remote-controlled magnetic flapping wings mimic geese landing in a field, finishing spooky cacklers and giants.