Monday, February 13, 2012

2011-12 ANOTHER SEASON IS IN THE BAG

Last Chukar of The 2011-12 Season
Saturday was my last opportunity to get out and hunt chukars before seasons end on February 15. I was hoping to take a day off work and get one more hunt in but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Like every season we had good days and we had other days that were… lets just say… not as productive. Overall this year was a little disappointing in the fact that we weren't able to make some of the trips we were planning on. Locally we didn't get into as many birds as I would of liked but that is always the case. Forest Grouse numbers seemed to be down this year. Chukars seemed about the same as last year, maybe a little better and the Pheasants are always scarce and I wasn't able to get after much else. But, scattered throughout the year there were days that were as good as I could ever hope for. 


Both of my dogs showed a positive progression. Hazel has come into her own and has grown into the dog I always knew she could be. She is such a cool dog, I love hunting her. I've never owned such an obedient animal. She has an eagerness to please and do right. I think the europeans bred that into these dogs because I'm not that good of a trainer and she is such a attentive, disciplined girl. When she has it rolling in the field it is a lot of fun to watch. She has all the drive and athleticism you could ever want out of a hunting dog. Some days I just have to step back and just admire what she does. Other days I want to pull out whats left of my hair. But that's how it is with this dog. It's a give and take. Way more positive though. I take responsibility for all of her faults. It's never because a lack of ability or desire with her it's more of take the foot off the gas, if you know what I mean. I swear that there are times she runs past me and you can almost feel the ground shake but at the same time she is so smooth and moves so well in the woods that it seems like she's hardly touching the ground. She is by no means perfect and she has her faults but who doesn't. She creates so much in the field that she compensates for any mistakes made along the way. On top of all that she is the best retriever I've ever owned. She was born with so much natural ability. I love this dog and can highly recommend the Pudelpointer as a breed. From my limited experience they are outstanding animals.

Chief has gone through that crucial first season and I think he did great. The first part of the season he was hunting hard but wasn't initializing many bird contacts. But he naturally progressed and by the end of the hunting season he was hunting so well that I had to constantly remind myself that he is still a pup. He fulfilled all my expectations for his first year. He's holding his points, he is adamantly always searching for game, he is obedient for the most part. He is interested in hunting with me and given the opportunity he will make a retrieve. What else could you ask from a first year dog. He did awesome. I'm very proud of him. I just wish we had another month to hunt. It feels like he was just really getting it and the season is over. I will need to make sure he maintains his progression until next season.

Laurel Mountain Wasatch Chief at 7 mos. Grouse Hunt
Chief is my first setter and I wasn't sure what to expect as far as a pet goes or what kind of personality he would bring to my hunting experience. He has been fun. Like with all young dogs there have been moments when he tries my patience and I have been known to call him "dipsh!t" once in a while but for the most part he's been a real good dog. He's acting more mature all the time and he will be fine. He's just a big friendly goof that still hasn't learned where his body begins and ends. I also love having a bird dog with a long tail. It has been a long while since we've had one. 

In the field Chief  has always been a natural and requires nothing of me other than to shorten up his range at times. He is bigger than I expected but he is not too large. He will probably end up in the 55 pound range. That's a good size for a male hunting dog in my opinion. He is tall and fine boned with long legs.  He is athletic and has all the speed I could ever want. He has good conformation and I think he is one of the most handsome dogs I've seen. I love watching this guy hunt. He's got the power and the speed along with the grace, beauty and style that attracted me to the Llewellin breed. 

A pleasant surprises has been how tough and durable he is. After a long hunt when the older dogs would be walking gingerly and were happy to crawl back into their crates, Chief would look fresh and ready to go for another round. I used to joke "no brain no pain" but that wasn't the case at all. Because he's smart, he's just tough as nails. He has really good, tight feet that have held up well in the chukar hills. .Good feet are a big deal when it comes to bird dogs who hunt the high desert. The dog's feet take a pounding in that terrain so the tougher the better.

I was a little worried about the setter coat but it hasn't been a problem. It does require some maintenance and I do need to spend a few extra minutes at the tailgate pulling burs and such but not much more than I've had to do with the wooly wirehairs I've owned. I brush my dogs daily no matter what coat length they have so the additional minute or so to clean his out is not a problem. I believe getting a dog up on a bench for a couple minutes and giving them that extra attention goes a long way with the dogs attitude. My dogs are usually bouncing off the garage walls when I get home from work but when I throw either of them on the bench and brush them out they calm right down. I usually go through this routine before I do any yard training too. This little bit of attention just seems to help them get their mind right and calms them down so they can absorb the training. Next summer I will clip him when I clip Hazel and give them both a clean up trim just before the season begins. I'm sure it will help with the burs and tag-a-longs we pick up during grouse season. I've done that with Hazel the last couple of years and then just let the coat grow out through the season and by the time chukar and pheasant season gets rolling the dog has a nice heavy coat to deal with the colder weather.

Hazel and Chief with the last grouse of the 2011 season. 

These two dogs together are quite the combination. European Versatile paired with the American Birddog. They are really starting to work as a team and compliment each other. They are quite a pair of canines. Both are excellent bird finders, He still has a way to go to be as fine a hunter as Hazel is but I think he will get there. He showed me so much towards the end of the season. Chief will retrieve downed birds if he sees the fall and if he doesn't f Hazel is more than happy to search out a downed bird. Chief will get better at retrieving, he shows a good desire and with a little work he will be solid. Both dogs are starting to que in on one another and starting to hunt at times as a team. It's amazing to watch and I know it's just going to get better the more they hunt together.  Some days it seems like neither want to honor the other and they will get over-competitive with one another and push birds too hard. But on the days that it all works and both are honoring one another and they are tag teaming coveys… It just doesn't get any better. I'm lucky to have two cool, unique hunting companions like them. The future of my kennel is bright. I can see myself hunting over this combination of breeds or similar type dogs for the rest of my life. I really like the versatile/setter combination.

Besides adding another dog to the lineup the other major change to my hunting style was the addition of an semi-auto shotgun the last couple of months. The Franchi 48/AL is a great gun. I really, really like it. In 12 gauge it weighs less than my 20 gauge New Haven pump. Its a joy to carry and It fits me well. I can't say I'm dropping more birds but I'm having a lot of fun trying. On chukars it has been awesome. It was a nice addition but it won't replace my doubles. I can't imagine not using my over/under 12 on pheasants  or not using my 28 sxs on grouse. Life is too short to always be using the same gun. My wish list still has a 16 gauge or 20 gauge sxs on it and I still need a camo duck/turkey gun semi-auto of some type. There is plenty of room for expansion in my shotgun collection. 

Regrets for the year: I didn't make it to some of the places I really wanted to hunt this year. I have a couple of mountain ranges in mind that I think may hold some chukar and I never made the trip out to see if I'm right. I didn't make it to some of my favorite grouse haunts. The biggest regret was the fact that the trip to South Dakota we planned on never happened. Hopefully next year all of it will work out better. Time and money is all it takes and lately I'm short of both. 

Another regret was my physical conditioning was not what I like it to be. I was hunting slower than usual at the end of the season and I need to get back to were I was a year ago. My dogs are in great shape and I'm sucking wind and having to take frequent breaks on the chukar slopes. My dogs use my treadmill more often than I do. I need to get in the habit of biking, increase my walking and improve my core. I'm getting older and things aren't as automatic as they used to be. I need to make more of an effort for my health sakes. Hopefully that will lead to better hunting.

Goals for next year:
Take a couple of bird hunting vacations, even if it's just a weekend to Idaho. Improve my shooting, get to the clays coarse more often. Get in shape. Keep the dogs progression improving. Get my kids into the field more often and get them more involved. It's hard to take the kids chukar hunting but a grouse hunt here and a pheasant hunt there shouldn't  be a problem. If I can accomplish these things I should have a great 2012-13 season

Overall, I did get into some birds. I brought a young dog along and my other dog keeps progressing nicely. I had some great days and have some great memories from this past season. I'm blessed to have done what I did, to live where I live and have the means to own the dogs and the time to do what I do. Hunting is my fountain of youth, my own personal time machine. When I'm hunting I still feel like that 14 year kid wearing his old, too small ski coat, pockets overflowing with shells. Clinging to a single shot 20 while chasing a bird dog through some thicket during an after school hunt. What's really cool is the same brother who was with me on so many of those adventures 25 years ago is still at my side today enjoying it all with me. We have the same love and passion for it as we always did. This never gets old. We will. But the feelings and experiences won't. I hope it never ends.  Because when it does then I'm afraid that will be the end of me. 

 I'm already excited for next year but I say that at the end of every season.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SUPER BOWL CHUKAR HUNT



Taking advantage of my lack of interest in this years Super Bowl. I decided to go chukar hunting. My family was going over to my in-laws for a party and I figured why not use the time and get in another hunt before the season ends next week. Besides I could record in on the DVR. It was one of the most enjoyable days I've had this year. I witnessed some spectacular points and awesome retrieves. All under a blue sky followed by a crimson sunset with a full moon shining down on me as we finally got back to the truck. It was simply a beautiful day to be in the field.

I got to my mountain about 2:00 pm and started trudging up the mountainside. In about an hour we were in the area where I suspected the birds to be. Both of my dogs switch gears as soon as they were into a lot of chukar scent. All the way up they were just ranging out wide and far. They were hunting but I knew that the chances of us finding birds down low with the warm weather we've had lately were slim to none. As soon as we were within the last 500 yards of the mountaintop the dogs slowed down and their body language was telling me that we were in business. Birds were in the area. Once I caught up to the dogs there were tracks, scratch marks and chukar droppings everywhere. The adrenaline started kicking-in. Where I was sucking wind moments before, I marched up the last ascent knowing that birds could be anywhere.

Chief had the first find of the day. A beautiful point on a covey of about a dozen birds that were held up in a small draw among the deadfall. I called whoa and Hazel backed from about 50 yards above us. Chief held the birds beautifully and I was able to approach from the side. When the birds erupted I had a hard time focusing on a single bird (I need to get some prescription shooting glasses) and by the time I picked one out it was the trailer of the group. 5 ……( yes 5) shots later I was standing there dumbfounded that I didn't see that bird fall. I wasn't surprised I missed. Missing is par for the course, but I felt like I had caught that bird at least once. I gave the "dead bird" command just in case I just missed the fall, Both dogs searched for a few minutes to no avail. Dejected and feeling like I had failed Chief, we move around some rimrock in pursuit of that covey. Chukars will sometimes fly around a hill and it's possible to find them if you look at the same elevation on the opposite side.

As we crested the rimrock that was blocking my view of where the birds flew I saw chief flash point at what appeared to be nothing beneath a burnt juniper. Hazel was right behind him and stopped for a moment and then a lone chukar flew erraticly down the hill. The bird was obviously hurt and Hazel scooped it up in no time. I was so happy to get that bird. I should of had at least a couple out of the covey but I was glad to have dropped the one. Below is that bird. Chief seemed happy about it to.


When I hunt this particular hilltop I usually approach from the south then work around the hill to the edge of a canyon and follow that ridge up and over the top of the mountain. Today I went down instead. The dogs wanted to go downhill so I decided to follow them and see what would happen. We worked back and forth down the hillside to a point where 3 canyons meet. This spot has been productive in the past and I hadn't been there yet this season so I was hopeful. I was watching Chief from afar because Hazel was a little closer and acting pretty birdy so my focus was more on her. I lost Chief for a moment and I became concerned because he was close to where I suspected the birds would be. Then I found him. He was holding a beautiful point and his sickle tail  was sticking up above the cheat grass. It was obvious he had found them. It was such a pretty site, I had to try and get a photo as I approached him. I took the below photo and was moving in for another one when the covey blew up about 10 yards behind where chief was pointing I dropped my camera and didn't get a shot. I picked up my camera and moved in closer to where they where. 


That's when Hazel came through the area. She slams into a point (photo below, I know its hard to see but that brown spot in the center of the photo is Hazel on point) soon after Chief had returned and was now backing Hazel. I reach again for my camera to take another photo and just as I turn it on another half dozen birds come up between us all. I dropped my camera again but kept focus that time and aimed at a single that veered left  while the rest of the covey went right. I got on it and made a long shot and saw the bird get hit and flutter awkwardly to the ground. 


Yes!  I called "Dead Bird". Both of my dogs had followed the covey the other direction. But they broke the chase quickly and started hunting dead for the wounded chukar. Both dogs scoured the area to no avail. They widened their search to the point I didn't think they were looking for the bird any longer. I called both dogs over and gave the "dead bird" command a second time. Same thing but this time Hazel wanted to go North and soon I could tell she was working a track. She ran all the way over to the edge of the hill and disappeared over the edge with Chief in tow. About a half minute later I hear Hazel yipping and barking and I'm guessing they busted a covey on the far side of the hill. But to my pleasant surprise back over the hill came the dogs and Hazel had a nice young but very alive chukar in her mouth. She brought it to me and delivered it to hand. Apparently I had  just clipped this bird and broken its wing. So this bird hit the ground running and ran about 300 + yards across the hillside and down into the far canyon to hide from us. Cleaning the bird exposed that other than the broken wing it only had 3 other bits of shot in its right leg and thigh. I'm glad we found it. It was the retrieve of the year. I can't say enough about Hazel and her ability to find downed birds. She's awesome. 


The sun was beginning to drop behind the mountain and I was a couple of miles from my truck so I hurried back up over the hill for the long descent. What a beautiful day. I know I only came home with 2 birds but I couldn't be happier. I was very pleased with the performance of both of my dogs. It was one of those days that it all came together. I felt justified. A good reminder of why I love this upland hunting game so much and why I put so much energy into it. 

While walking the last descent during the last slices of daylight. I watched my dogs run down into the next canyon. I was about to call them back because a herd of Mule Deer were watching us from the next ridge. Hazel strutted low and cat-like towards the canyon bottom. Behind her Chief was drifting back and forth with his nose up in the wind. They both pause in unison and a few moments later covey of a half dozen birds flush cross the canyon and disappear into the dusk. Wow.

…………. and my camera was ok. Just a little scratched and dented. Like the rest of my chukar hunting gear. :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

JANUARY HUNTING



It's been another good month.. We haven't been bagging very many birds but I've enjoyed some good days in the field. The weather has been good for the most part but my brother and I had one day that was like hunting in a typhoon. Windy, Wet and muddy, Nothing like coming home with 2 muddy dogs. Poor things were so covered that their undersides were caked in it and by the time we got home the mud had  dried and they could hardly walk. I tried brushing them off before we headed home but there was too much mud and nothing to clean them with. Baths for everyone!
 Oh well they needed a good bath.

Had another couple really enjoyable days at the pheasant farm. Chief is really coming along nicely. I really enjoy hunting with him. He has a ton of drive and just hunts hard for a young dog. Hazel tears up the farm birds  and is so much fun to watch.

Had some good moments in the chukar hills. The birds are getting wise to us so you have to change your tactics some to give yourself a better opportunity. With late season chukars you need to get above the birds and then hunt them from above or the side. This is always a good tactic with chukars but late season its even more important to do so. Otherwise the birds will just run up the hill ahead of you and it becomes difficult to get on them. You need to have a dog that is very careful around these birds or they will just fly once they feel pressured. 

Hazel my pudelpointer is a great dog and is a good chukar hunter but she has one fault that drives me batsh!t nuts. If Hazel is pointing scent and the cover is hiding the birds she will remain steady for good long time. But, If she can see the birds all bets are off especially if they are moving. In that situation you have maybe 30 seconds tops before she feels like she needs to move in on them. Chukar cover is probably the thinnest, sparest cover there is. Not much for the birds to hide under. Hazel  has so much prey drive that she has a hard time controlling herself in that situation. Training and and e collars improved the situation but it happens quite a bit with these birds. She's 4 now so I've decided it is what it is with her and there is so much good that Hazel does that I can live with that fault. It's her intensity that makes her special and a good hunting dog. I wouldn't change a thing. But this one thing has led to some frustrating moments. 

I will pretty much let my dogs range naturally when chukar hunting. I argue that chukar country is so big that if you have a close working dog, say a dog that stays within 40 yards I don't think your going to see many birds. I've had people argue however that a close working dog will give the hunter better shots. Well that depends on whether your big ranging pointing dog will hold the birds for you or not and with a slower dog, if the birds will let a hunter and a dog get right up on them. It does happen but my experience is chukars are smart, especially late in the season. If they know your coming they will usually try and move out of the area. By the time a slow dog finds where the birds were at the they are usually beyond their reach.

For me it's a give and take situation. I believe I see more birds and have more opportunities because my dogs are ranging out. I personally believe that a big running dog finds more birds and I believe that those birds would never of been seen by a closer working dog. So, even if my dogs bust a covey or 2 they are still creating opportunities that I never would of had in the first place. Be it a long shot on a bird or seeing where the birds fly to and getting the opportunity for another point on the same birds. Yes, heaven help me, I will shoot at busted birds, I'm a hunter not a field trialer. I've been beat up so many times online about this subject. These are wild birds they don't have a rule book and as long as my dogs aren't charging through them like a springer I will shoot a bird that comes up prematurely. I will pass up a shot if it's a blatant bust though and believe me there has been many days when I see 50 plus birds and didn't fire a shot because the my bird dog decided to go into flusher mode. Hazels first year hunting chukars was a trial in patience but she came around. 

Chief, I believe will be great at the chukar game. He's got the range and the nose and hunts like a cat when he catches scent. Another season and he will be slamming coveys. Hazel and Chief should become a pretty lethal team. Right now he is trying hard and has had some pretty great moments but he needs some more bird contacts before he will totally get it. I love watching him develop. Just watching this kid run is exciting.

My old wirehair Gretchen was a very careful hunter but she still had good range. I didn't realize it at the time that what a good chukar dog she was. Oh how I miss that girl. Its been over 15 years since she died. If only I could go back in time and actually train that dog and hunt her the way she deserved…..….. Partying, career, music all got in the way of what I truly enjoy  and I'm afraid Gretch paid the price and wasn't hunted as much as she should have been.….. Regrets of an upland hunter. Live and learn.

UPLAND HUNTING GLOVES


When hunting, hiking or just working the dogs I like to wear a pair of gloves. I like the protection while packing guns, pushing tree branches, climbing over rocks, using knives, grabbing dog collars or whatever else comes my way. When hunting you need gloves that allow enough dexterity that you can safely and efficiently use your firearm as well as protect your hands. Warmth is another issue. Usually I'm moving enough and the weather here in Utah is such that I don't need much insulation. I just need something to cover the skin and keep the wind out. But there are times I wish I was wearing a pair of thick winter gloves rather than a pair of thin ones. But those days are few and far between. I wear gloves for protection more than any other reason. Below are a few of my favorite gloves and what I can recommend  from my experience.

Deerskin Leather gloves (uninsulated)

These have been my all time favorite hunting gloves. I've owned several brands throughout the years and have had good and bad ones. Cabelas sells a nice deerskin leather glove or you can pick up a pair at any hardware store. CalRanch carries a good selection. My all time favorite glove of this type is from a company called North American Trading. The fit is perfect and they have a small elastic strap inside the back of the glove that stretches across the back of the hand, it helps with the fit. I got mine at Sierra Trading Post at a discount. I think I paid $12 for my last pair. This is my second pair of this brand. That's a good price for deerskin gloves. When buying leather gloves it's all about fit. Your gloves should be almost tight when your first get them.

Deerskin is tough yet it is soft and comfortable. The leather stays soft and pliable even after getting wet. Like all leather it does stretch so I usually buy gloves a full size smaller than I usually wear and they usually don't stretch out too much for a long time. I wear a large glove but in leather gloves I buy a medium. I usually get 2 seasons out of a pair before they become too stretched out to be effective as hunting gloves. When this happens I just use them as chore gloves. It's always good to have a pair of old work gloves in the truck to use for whenever the need arrises. When these gloves are new there is nothing better or more comfortable. Fresh deerskin leather is soft and buttery but beware, you will have yellow hands after the first few times you wear them. These gloves are a little warm for early season but come December and January I love my deerskin gloves. I treat them with the same Nikwax leather treatment as my boots. I don't use a lot of product on them to prevent the leather from stretching.


IronClad Box Handler Gloves

I got my first pair of these from a friend who uses them daily on his job. His employer hands these gloves out for their employees for free and he loved them so much he brought me a pair home to try. I didn't use them for a long time because I thought they were a little funky looking. I'm a traditionalist and love my deerskin gloves. Anyway, I went grouse hunting one day and forgot my leather gloves. I have developed such a habit of wearing gloves when I hunt I would of felt nearly the same as if I left my bird vest at home. To my relief I found this pair of Ironclad gloves my friend had given me in my truck door pocket. I unwrapped them and put them on. My first impression was that they looked funky but the fit was good. I liked the sweatband material on the back of the thumb. That was something I can use. The palm of the glove is covered in a plastic material in a hexagon pattern that is super tacky. After a few times out I was grabbing these gloves as much as my leather gloves and gradually I began to wear them more than anything else. I've been wearing them for the last two seasons. I love them for early season hunting and Summer hiking. They are breathable, machine washable and I've yet to wear a pair out. I know they were designed for box handling and for people in the shipping industry but as a lightweight hunting glove I've not found their equal. They even have reinforced trigger fingers. I also use these gloves for yard work, target shooting and my wife uses them for gardening. They're just nice pair of durable, lightweight gloves.They are not good for cold days but if the temperature is above 45 degrees these are perfect. I highly recommend trying them. The only knock I have on them is that unlike leather burs will stick to them. Checkout the Ironclad website, they have a ton of glove designs to choose from. I've stuck with the Box Handler because the price was soo right but I'm sure they have other styles that would work just as good or better. Online the box handlers sell for $20-$29. 


LL BEAN Technical Hunting Gloves

LL BEAN just put these gloves out on the market this past year. Since the moment I first saw them I wanted a pair. This past Christmas I finally got them. My first impression was  kind of a  "MMMEH" moment. Nothing special and I was expecting more. I put them on and the fit was good. And in my opinion they look pretty cool. I remember thinking that they weren't the most comfortable glove, they felt kind of "scratchy" on the inside. I wore them on a preserve hunt and at the end of the day they were feeling better and my opinion was raised. By the end of the third day I hunted with them I really liked them. Once these gloves were broke-in they are very comfortable. My dexterity wasn't hampered and they seem to be well made. All the materials are synthetic. The only thing about them that I'm iffy about is how wide the neoprene panel on top of the knuckles. I can see why they used that material in that spot. The neoprene flexes with your knuckles making the glove have a nice tight fit over the top of your hand. We will see how durable these gloves are next fall in the grouse woods. For Chuckars and Pheasant hunting the gloves seem perfect. I recommend them for 36+ degree days. They are not very wind resistant. Chukar hunting with a stiff cold wind blowing in my face while wearing these gloves my hands got cold. The mesh between the fingers is what seemed to be were the cold air was getting in.  Overall I would recommend these gloves but I think they could be improved on. I'm not sure I like the material between the fingers and I really need to use them for a year in the woods to see how durable they are. On colder, windy days I would stick with leather gloves. I love my ironclad gloves and I'm a hard sale but I'm sure these will last a long time and I can recommend them. Only place to get them is from LLBean. http://www.llbean.com/

Note: After using these for about half a hunting season I can strongly recommend them. They've totally grown on me. These are my go-to gloves right now.

Note 2: During the 2nd season with these gloves the index fingers on both hands have worn through. Overall I am satisfied with the gloves I only wish they were more durable. I have to say I've never worn throughout the fingertips on the ironclads. The wear on the fingertips comes mostly from climbing over rocks and ledges while chukar hunting.


Outdoor Research Silencer Gloves (Added November 2014)


I found these last spring (2014) on Sierra Trading Post for about $25. I needed another pair of lightweight hunting gloves and these looked like they would fit the bill.

These are tactical gloves made for soldiers and law enforcement. They are very well made and look like they will last a long time. They are pretty basic and don't have any hard plastic inserts or knuckle coverings like other tactical gloves. The cloth side is very tough and protects me from stickers and other pokey things I come across in the woods and fields.

I ordered a pair in large and what I got was a little too big to have the dexterity I like to have while hunting. The thumb was a little long and the fingertips were slightly loose. The fit around the palm and wrist were good. I ordered another pair in medium hoping that they would be closer to what I wanted. They came in a little tight.  Hoping that they would break in I put some beeswax on the leather and used them while I did yard work and after a couple of weeks the broke right in.

These are the gloves I've used this entire past season and I really like them. They breath well the goatskin palms and fingers are wearing very well and I have the dexterity I want.

They are a little difficult to get on but once on they are very comfortable. They clean up well. Blood doesn't seem to soak into the cloth material and washes away easily with a spot washing. They also claim to be fire resistant so they have that going for them. So far I'm very happy with them. Last week while pheasant hunting both dogs were covered in those thick spiky type of cockle burs. I probably pulled a hundred off the dogs during the hunt and was never poked by them while I had these gloves on. I can't say that for some of the other gloves I've discussed in this post. They are very well made, tough, solid gloves and I can recommend them. Prices fluctuate all over on these. These were last years models and like I said I got mine for $25 on STP but I've seen them as high as $75 on other sites so shop around.


Cabela's Thinsulate™ Deluxe Shooting Gloves

These are my current cold weather gloves. Basically they are a nice thinsulate® insulated winter-glove dressed up in camo but the difference is the trigger finger is not as insulated as the rest of the glove so you still have enough dexterity to handle a gun.
They are good warm gloves and I've worn them many times. These are not my favorite for upland hunting but on cold days below freezing I'm glad to have them. When the weather is debatable I will pack these in my bird-vest so they are available if I need them. These are great for duck hunting or any cold weather hunting situation. The new version uses Cabela's Dry Plus fabric and claim to be very water resistant yet breathable. Prices on these fluctuate.  $49 in season but you can pick them up for cheaper during the summer months in the Cabela's bargain cave. I believe I got mine for $29 a couple of years ago. I've been very satisfied with the purchase.