Wildfowl's Editors Pick The Best Gear For Fall 2017

Wildfowl's Editors Pick The Best Gear For Fall 2017

Here are 17 must-have items every waterfowler will want to check out for this fall.

Choosing the right gear is always a challenge, primarily because there are so many great items out there for waterfowlers. We've made the choosing a little easier this fall by narrowing the field for you. Here are some of the great guns, gear and accessories that caught our eye this season.


Mallard Mashup

Cabela's Northern Flight decoys have proven to be a durable and reliable option for those of us obsessed with late-season greenheads. The new full-bodies have feeder head positions and the oversize design and vibrant paint colors offer high visibility, especially when the sun shines. Includes four drakes (two feeder, two uprights) and two hens (one feeder, one upright). $110 | cabelas.com


Live in the Shadows

Waterfowlers have long loved Shadow Grass, and the recent update to Blades made the pattern even more effective, and popular. Three-dimensional shadows and life-like blades of grass add depth and realism that fools ducks and geese. As the official camouflage of Ducks Unlimited, Mossy Oak will work with the conservation organization to improve and enhance waterfowl habitat. mossyoak.com


The X-Factor

Another nasty load from Hevi-Shot, Hevi-X is straight tungsten so you can expect better knockdown power at longer distances than steel. It's available in 12- and 20-gauge BBs, 2s and 4s, and can run out the muzzle at up to 1,500 fps. Plus, the price is pretty darn good for a high-end metal like tungsten. $29-$40 | hevishot.com


Hot Item, Hot deal

Beretta is running a killer deal from now until Nov. 30. Buy an A400 Xtreme, A350 Xtrema or A300 Outlander, and you'll receive up to $150 in free Beretta gear. And you might as well buy this little 20-gauge (one of our favorites from last season) too. Gas-operated, the A400 Lite handles light loads out of the box, so there's no need to break it in with heavyweight turkey ammo. The KickOff Plus stock tames recoil, and the proprietary steelium barrel with its OptimaChoke HP tubes will put a devastating pattern on birds. The new digital GunPod2 in the pistol grip tracks how many rounds have gone through the gun, miles walked and more. $1,600 | berettausa.com


Mean on Green

Fasteel is the blue-collar workhorse of duck loads, and we've shot 3½" 1s and 2s on big geese for years with great results. Made with clean premium powders and steel in a smattering of offerings for 12 and 20 gauges, this load delivers death at a reasonable price. $14-$22 | kentgamebore.com


Training for Dummies

Tom Dokken engineered the DeadFowl Trainer to make sure your ducks are delivered to hand in one piece. The hard head encourages bird dogs to grab the dummy  by its soft middle. Inject scent into the body for a more realistic training session. A Power Throw Grip allows for long tosses into the field or pond when your dog is ready to fetch beyond the decoys. $25 | deadfowltrainer.com


The Right Hide

This 3-D camo is the gold standard when it comes to covering up everything from homemade blinds to boats or pits. It breaks up hard edges, allowing anything it covers to blend into the surroundings. The material is waterproof and UV-treated for long life. The non-glare treatment won't wear off, and you won't have to spend as much time and effort brushing in. $75 (8'x20') | camounlimited.com


Candid Camera

If you want to catch all those great shots during the season on video (and see where you're missing ducks), GunCam is an excellent option. The camera mounts to any 12-, 20- or 28-gauge shotgun and will record up to 2.5 hours on the internal battery and up to eight hours with an external power back up. A superimposed cross hair shows exactly where the shot string is traveling in full HD 1080p video. This is an awesome tool to settle those "who shot the banded bird debate" too. Plus, you can use it on the clays range before the opener for improved accuracy. $250 | tachyoninc.com


Pump It Up

We still love pumps and always take them on road trips, because they just don't fail. Made in Turkey, the Stoeger P3500 comes with a 26- or 28-inch barrel and screw-in chokes. The stepped rib is a nice feature that normally is found on pricier guns. A synthetic stock and forend add to the P3500's durability. Included shims adjust for a never-miss fit. $449 | stoegerindustries.com


Fatal Flights

Static spreads spook ducks, so on days with little wind, the Fatal Front mallard floaters by Mojo are your best friend. Built with a deployable folding keel, this decoy will provide added movement in light or no wind when the keel is folded in. Fold it back out for days when a steady breeze blows. Color-shifting paint schemes mimic the movement of a drake mallard's head, and hi-definition feathering with natural preening poses make this decoy a can't-miss for big migration days. $90 (6-pk) | mojooutdoors.com


Bad Bird Medicine

Modified uniform patterns crush birds, particularly when they can reach out to 50 yards. Patternmaster's Anaconda Mid-Range (.715") harnesses gas from the shell being fired and applies pressure to the wad, creating a tighter pattern upon exit, keeping the shot string together longer. $60 | patternmaster.com


Chow Time

Speak with the developers at Victor, and you quickly learn why WILDFOWL editors feed their retrievers Victor. Calorie- and nutrient-dense, Hi-Pro Plus derives 83 percent of its protein from meat, poultry and fish. It's also free of unwanted corn, soy and gluten, plus it's naturally formulated with added vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. $45 (40-lb) | victorpetfood.com


Access Granted

You finally found a big honker feed, and the farmer gives you the go-ahead but doesn't want any trucks or 4x4s rutting up his field. That's a bummer, unless you have the Honker Hauler, which is collapsible and lightweight with room for four- to five-dozen full-body goose decoys. With 26" diameter pneumatic 300-pound rated wheels, the HH can traverse mud-sucked fields with ease. This is also a must-have for public-land hunters who make long walks for ducks. The HH is available in a DIY model, a without wheels option and standard, where all materials are delivered to your door. $150-$449 | decoycartz.com


Tree-Huggers Take Notice

Timber hunters rejoice: The Pro Drive X Series TD was built for you. The Timber Deck is low to the water, making entry and exit easy, which we know hard core green timber hunters will appreciate. It has a heavy-duty front bumper, extended front deck, non-skid subfloor, rear seat with storage and LED navigation lights. It also comes with a multi-position gun box. The hull is built with .125-gauge aluminum and 1"x2" ribs running the length of the boat and 2"x2" floor and side wall braces. $6,495 | prodriveoutboards.com


Double the Fun

We've wrecked Arkansas greenheads with this double-barreled beast. CZ's 12-gauge O/U will handle 3½-inch magnums with manageable recoil. The safety clicks on each time the gun is opened for extra security in the blind. Plus, Realtree Max-5 keeps it hidden, and ejectors toss the empties for fast reloads. CZ's extended chokes put your pattern on-target. $930 | cz-usa.com


Mobile Decoy Home

Sometimes the difference between a great duck mash up and getting skunked is mobility. With 80 connection points and 32 stainless steel clips, the Decoy Raft allows you to set the rig before you're even on the water, and pick up quick when you're off the X. The large mesh mat only needs a single anchor, and the raft has become a go-to item for sea duck and diver hunters on big water because they no longer must deal with tangles from long lines. It works equally well in small potholes for puddlers. $250 | decoyraft.com


Best of Both Worlds

A hunting/domestic dog hybrid, the D.T. Systems CC 360 has a 360-yard range and 16 stim levels, plus a training tone "beep" option. The CC charges in two hours, is waterproof and has a built-in battery savings mode and auto safety shutoff, so you won't run out of juice when Fido runs the first blind retrieve of the season. $120 | dtsystems.com

Recommended for You


Sweet Jalapeño Grilled Duck Recipe

Scott Leysath, "The Sporting Chef"

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will...


Waterfowl Workouts: 3 Summer Duck Dog Drills

Tony J. Peterson

Keep your retriever sharp in the offseason.


Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe

Scott Leysath

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

Women's Waterfowl Lineup

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture-wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways!

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads


Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.


Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

See More Stories

More Accessories


WILDFOWL Spotlight: Hard Core

Joe Genzel - June 19, 2014

In a cut pea field on a sunny Saskatchewan morning, Randy Hill thumbs through his iPhone,...


Wildfowl Gift Guide 2015

Wildfowl Online Staff - November 05, 2015

Waterfowl hunters are probably some of the pickiest hunters around, which also makes them...


Wildfowl 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Wildfowl Online Staff - November 13, 2014

Waterfowlers are probably some of the most demanding hunters around, which also makes us some...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.