September 25, 2013
By Wildfowl Online Staff
Tried-and-true methods are still the backbone of our sport, but every edge you gain is one worth having when the migrators get smart and competition for birds ramps up. Today's manufacturers build products that were once available only to those with the prowess to do it themselves.
Everything from lanyards to electronic hearing protection are available at the click of a mouse. While there is still an appreciation for the finer things, like handmade wooden decoys and a fine double gun, even the most refined of hunters can't help but ogle over waterproof blind bags and high-end ATVs.
Nothing is more exciting when a new product arrives in the mail. And when it works as planned, the cost is quickly forgotten in favor of its priceless functionality. To that end, here's some of the best waterfowl gear and accessories that not only make our work easier, but also make us look good doing it.
Yamaha Rhino 700 FI SE
ATVs are nice to transport hunters and gear, but nobody wants to ride piggyback on a quad. Yamaha's Rhino 700 FI SE
side-by-side meets all the requirements of functionality and style. Torquey and powerful, it's a scream to drive and soaks up rocks and bumps like nothing. Tactical black and fitted with a 686cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine, the Rhino has 12 inches of clearance with a towing capacity of 1,212 pounds and bed capacity of 400 pounds. So, you can easily justify some new decoy purchases.
Rig'em Right Shell Shocker
Never dig around for another lost load of Hevi-Metal again with the Rig'em Right Shell Shocker
. Three separate compartments inside this blind bag make it easy to stay organized, and the built-in hard case for sunglasses, integrated drink holder and cell phone pocket with weather-resistant zippers are exceptional features. Available in standard and XL.
Price: $60 to $70
Drake Walk-In Backpack
When two shoulder straps would be better than one, check out the Large and XL Drake Walk-In Backpacks
with a capacity of 5,460- and 8,107-cubic inches. Equipped with plenty of bells and whistles, the Walk-in includes four D-rings, six webbing loops, two spring-open shell pockets, and is made from rugged HD2 water-resistant fabric.
Price: $70 to $80
Rig'em Right Nitro-Deluxe
Hunt the marsh long enough, and you're bound to splash face down in the muck at some point. Your waders may be full of murky backwater, but that new duck gun doesn't have to be. The Nitro-Deluxe
is a floating gun case with rigid EVA protection at the stock action and barrel, keeping your firearm protected from impact.
Banded Fowl Life Floating Gun Case
Let's face it, explaining to your significant other that you need to spend another [imo-slideshow gallery=44],000 on a new fowling piece won't go over well. No matter the circumstances that caused your gun to go into the drink, the Banded Fowl Life floating gun case
will keep it on the surface. Featuring non-absorbing closed cell flotation and constructed of 900D with an armored bottom and dust cover, it will protect your investment.
Steiner Military/Marine 8x30
You can't find the X if you can't see precisely where the birds are landing, and these binos make the task of picking out the next morning's honey hole easy. Thanks to Steiner's
sealed rainproof construction, fogged binoculars are a thing of the past. Built to withstand years of abuse, the 8x30s are packed full of features, including auto focusing, a large field of view, compact design, and slip-proof rubber armoring.
Hogue OverMolded Stocks
From endless tipovers to years of abuse on the floor of the duck boat, our waterfowl guns endure it all. When it comes time to upgrade or replace forends and stocks, look no further than Hogue OverMolded Stocks
. Available in a variety of camo patterns and colors, these easy-to-install stocks provide a comfortable, non-slip and quiet finish for a variety of shotguns.
ESP Elite Classic
Conventional throwaway earplugs muffle gunfire, but they also block out the camaraderie of a hunt and the sounds of those mile-high geese. ESP Elite Classic
plugs save your ears while amplifying the sounds you want to hear. By blocking out damaging sounds over 90db and intensifying the rest, they are the perfect fit for life in the blind.
Bird Hitch H-2
A new addition to Waterfowl Junkie's Bird Hitch line
, the H-2
handles nearly every size of gamebird. Made with a removable Honker Hammer, the new H-2 helps to separate the breast from the back of the largest Canadas, leaving the wings attached. This is a must-have for traveling hunters, who intend to transport waterfowl. It even comes complete with a carrying case.
Rig'em Right 12-Slot Decoy Bag
Many of today's decoys require a significant investment, which is why protective, slotted decoy bags are quickly replacing the old mesh sacks. This 12-Slot Deluxe Duck Decoy Bag
is padded on the top and sides for protection in transit. The top zips shut to keep water out and the bottom has a drain to release any built-up moisture. Convenient pockets for weights, stakes and other miscellaneous gear are also included.
Since 1953, the Nunnally Picker has provided many duck clubs and hunters with an easier way to pick birds. It will pluck birds completely with no wax, mess, or sore fingers. Picked ducks leave that tasty layer of fat on, but plucking them is a pain — the Nunnally makes it simple. Give Mickey Saso a call.
Price: [imo-slideshow gallery=44],199
Heavy Hauler Bayou Meta Sling
On your next long, slogging walk through a flooded ag field, it would be nice to sling those plump mallards on the Heavy Hauler Bayou Meta
with Quick Attach Duck Strap. Made from 7mm neoprene complete with no-slip backing, the strap's perfect for toting full limits out with your gun. The Allen magnum swivels are rated for 300 pounds just in case you shoot a world record greenhead.
Easy Pluck Duck Plucker
You're a 55-gallon plastic barrel and a 3/8-inch power drill away from having an efficient way to pluck ducks. The Easy Pluck DE kit
comes complete with everything else you need, just slip on the picking fingers and you'll be perfecting fresh kills in no time. An excellent option for the frugal waterfowler.
Price: $150 to $300
Propping a loaded 12-gauge against a tree or bush can create some potentially dangerous situations in the marsh. In order to keep hunters safe, StikNtheMud
properly stows your gun until the shooting begins. Simple and effective, it takes no time to setup and is adjustable from 12-42 inches.
Mallard View Ice Eater
While the Power House Ice Eater
will turn frozen duck-less water into an open honey hole, its usefulness doesn't stop there. On windless days when decoys resemble toy soldiers, the Ice Eater is great for churning motion into a stagnant spread. It's also an excellent tool for aerating summer ponds, and comes standard with a screen kit and 100-foot power cord.
MTM Case-Gard Deluxe Shotshell Case
What's worse than a bunch of rusty shells? A bunch of rusty shells that won't fire. Keep your ammo dry with the MTM Case-Gard Deluxe Shotshell Case
. It holds 100 shotshells (12- or 20-gauge) in two removable trays. The shells aren't crammed in like sardines, so they're easy to grab. The large handle and latch are usable even when wearing gloves. The lid offers two convenient compartments for accessories, and features five shell holders for cripple-swatting or goose loads.
Duck Shack Chardonnay
Class up your tar-papered lean-to this fall with a refreshing bottle of Duck Shack Chardonnay
. Sure, your buddies may razz you as they chug from gold tops and longnecks. But once this medium-bodied chard with a round, juicy citrus and delicate spice finish touches their lips, you'll have to hide the entire case. Gold medal winner of the 2013 San Diego International Wine competition.
Hard Core Deluxe Wader Bag
Along with giving you a place to stow your wet waders after the hunt, the Deluxe Wader Bag's
included neoprene mat gives you a dry spot to stand while you put on and take off your waders. The bag includes a two-inch mesh rain hood, allowing air to flow through the bag and dry your waders. Keep a set of dry socks and base layers in the waterproof side pocket.
Hard Core Elite Blind Bag
Our smokin' hot wives tried to turn the Hard Core Elite Blind Bag
into their favorite diaper bag last season. With all the space and the built-in drink holder for double-whipped frappuccinos, how could we blame them? Fitted with oodles of storage pockets and clothing carrying straps, the laundry list of innovations keeps things organized. The water stays out thanks to a 2-inch high-impact plastic bottom and rain cover. Sorry girls, we're taking this one afield.
Phantom Goose Hats
With Phantom Goose Hats
, you can entice geese and ducks alike with these various head attachments, and add to the movement of your spread.