June 16, 2016
Thankfully, we upland-bird hunters get our share of new gear offerings each year. One standout is the new Benelli Ethos in 28-gauge with it's fine walnut stock and practical beveled loading port. Danner's Sharptail in 8 inches is also fine. It's light, has a Gore-Tex laminate and sheds water like a Lab in a slough.
Check out the best upland hunting gear for your 2016 season.
BENELLI | 828U
This is Benelli's first over/under. It looks a little futuristic, but is made to fit. The 828U allows a user-adjustable fit with stock shims. Also, its steel locking-plate action is contained inside a lightweight alloy receiver, which, combined with a carbon fiber rib, keeps the gun's weight down to around 6 pounds, 10 ounces. MSRP, $2,499.
STEVENS | 555
The 555 fits a big niche in the shotgun market. I could buy the 28-, 20-, and 12-gauge versions of this over/under and only pay a little more than I did for my semiautomatic Benelli. The Stevens' 555 retails for just $692. The 555's actions are scaled according to their respective gauges. MSRP, $692.
BROWNING | CITORI 725 FEATHER
This gun is made for upland hunters who walk miles a day but still need to snap shoot a bird with a responsive gun that points well. Weighing just 6 pounds, 7 ounces in the 12-gauge, 26-inch barrel model, this shotgun won't wear you out. MSRP, $2,650.
REMINGTON | V3
The V3 Field Sport was introduced to the shooting public in 2015 but didn't become widely available until February. It features Remington's innovative Versa Port gas metering system, designed to cycle light 2 3/4-inch target loads to 3-inch magnums. The 12-bore tips the scales at just a little over 7 pounds. She's equally at home upland or in a duck blind. MSRP, $850.
BROWNING | A5 SWEET SIXTEEN
Loved by many old-school shotgunners, it's great news that the Sweet Sixteen is back! Browning reintroduces the age-old favorite in their 16-gauge Auto-5, and it's taking the shotgunning world by storm...again. The new SS A5 is available in 26- or 28-inch barrel versions and tips the scales at 5.12 pounds. MSRP, $1,700.
BENELLI | ETHOS
The semi-auto has Benelli's Inertia Driven cycling system, which can reliably handle light game loads to 3-inch magnums. It has a AA-grade satin-walnut stock and engraved, nickel-plated receiver and blued vent-rib barrel. The beveled loading port along with a redesigned carrier and new two-part carrier latch means faster reloading. For 2016, it's available in 28 gauge. MSRP, $1,900.
MOSSBERG | PRO-SERIES SPORTING
Designed in collaboration with renowned shooting instructor Gil Ash, Mossberg has introduced its Pro-Series Sporting Model. The Model 930 Pro-Series features everything the competitive sporting clays shooter would want, and then some, like an ergonomically sculpted stock incorporating Mossberg's stock drop customization system. MSRP, $1,029.
LEGACY SPORTS | POINTER 1000 FIELD
The Pointer Field is a new line of fine over-under sporting shotguns. Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410 gauge, the Pointer line sports.
TENZING | BV16 BLAZE UPLAND
This vest isn't the conventional look, but Tenzing's upland bird vests are well thought-out. This vest-pack crossover comes in a new blaze orange style to provide improved comfort and mobility for hunters of every size and shape. MSRP, $219.
L.L.BEAN | ULTRA-TECH UPLAND PACK
This is a rugged, single-strap backpack made for the upland hunter. It has an easy-to-access game bag, ample shell storage and room for your electronics. $99
BROWNING | BIRD'N LITE JACKET
The Bird'n Lite Jacket is loaded with features well-suited for a long day in the brush after birds. It's built with a lightweight cotton-polyester shell and comes with a blood-proof, front-load game bag with a zip-top opening and a load stabilizing strap. MSRP, $119.
CABELA'S | UPLAND PRO STRAP
With its mesh back panel and hydration-compatible feature, it is a good warm-weather vest. Bloodproof game pouch, multiple pockets and blaze orange. $74-$89 at Cabelas.com.
CABELA'S | ROUGHNECK UPLAND JEANS
This is a case where function meets style. Cabela's Roughneck Upland Jeans are built with rugged, yet soft 14-ounce stonewashed denim. MSRP, $49.
BROWNING | PHEASANT FOREVER PANTS
These upland pants feature a briar-resistant overlay that is smooth and comfortable. The deep pockets and cotton canvas material feel great. $120
CABELA'S | DRY-PLUS PERFORMANCE
Optimize mobility and stay dry without overheating in Cabela's Dry-Plus Performance Upland Pants. A three-layer laminate and waterproof finish ensure you'll stay dry in wet grass and rain. MSRP, $129.
CABELA'S | UPLAND PRO HUNTING
Cabela's says they took the best parts of their classic upland boots and combined them with its high-performance X4 technology to make a sleek, modern design made for versatility. MSRP, $189.
L.L. BEAN | TECHNICAL UPLAND
This is the boot with a one-twist BOA closure system and a "Superfabric construction." It is a radical new look filled with functionality made for the bird hunter. MSRP, $229. Llbean.com.
IRISH SETTER | HAVOC
The Havoc line of hunting boots have tanned leather, Gore-Tex booties and "Flexlock" hand-sewn construction. They also have a padded boot tongue. MSRP, $224.
LACROSSE | SILENCER 400G BOOTS
These 3-pound boots from LaCrosse are designed for use in any terrain. They have 400 grams of Thinsulate, which make them a great midseason option for hunters who want a dual-threat boot for both upland and big-game hunting. MSRP, $100.
ROCKY | SPORT UTILITY PRO
These insulated boots are waterproof and feature 600 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation for warmth during late-season hunts. The full-grain brown leather and tough nylon upper provide durable and abrasion-resistant protection. MSRP, $135.
DANNER | SHARPTAIL 8-INCH
The Sharptail 8-inch upland has a durable, waterproof full-grain leather upper with lightweight 900 Denier nylon. The boots are waterproof and breathable, thanks to their Gore-Tex lining. The pair weighs in at 51 ounces. MSRP, $190.