This year is bound to get better, because duck season is on the horizon. Here’s a look at shotguns, waders and more for this fall
July’s hot, muggy weather might seem an odd time to think about frosty mornings in the duck woods, but hardcore waterfowl nuts know it’s never too early. In fact, forward-thinking folks are already checking out the latest, greatest duck gear. Here’s a sample of some must-have stuff for the upcoming season, all of it available in Realtree’s hot new Timber pattern.
Designed for superior comfort and all-season performance, these waders feature a new, over-the-boot protective pant with the RZ-Clinchfit strap system. Their Go-Flatseam assembly with single-stitch design provides an ultra-smooth surface, and the RZ-Traction Boot is anatomically molded to match foot movement. Lightweight GO3-Layer fabric construction provides superior durability.
I’ve worn these waders during wildly varying conditions, including miserably cold days in Wisconsin and steamy early season Arkansas pits, and they’ve always kept me comfortable. Moreover, their light weight allows great mobility.
Built for active, hard-working duck hunters, this jacket is engineered with Guardian Flex mechanical stretch fabric, which allows unhindered mobility. It also features Time & Motion zippered chest pockets, front-load cargo pockets, Sherpa fleece hand-warmer pockets, dedicated Magnattach shell pouches, and Magnattach call and whistle pockets.
These breathable, multi-climate waders have a removable zippered liner system for adaptive comfort. With 1,200 grams of Thinsulate in the boots and abrasion-resistant Nylon on the shin, knee and seat, they’re rugged and comfortable in all conditions.
The Wicked Wing Tungsten shotgun, a SHOT Show special, blends a Cerakote tungsten camo finish on the receiver and barrel with a stock and forend in Realtree Timber, creating an eye-catching look and weatherproof performance. It’s shim-adjustable for drop, cast and length of pull, and sports an oversized Briley bolt release and three extended Invector-DS Goose Band choke tubes.
Benelli engineers spent almost 10 years developing this shotgun, focusing on updated design, improved ergonomics and flawless functionality. It features the Comfort Tech recoil-reduction system and Combtech, which greatly reduces facial impact and vibrations. The SBEIII’s time-tested Inertia-Driven System never requires adjusting, cycling light field loads to 3.5-inch magnums in all conditions.
I tested this shotgun during a December 2017 Missouri timber hunt, and I was immediately struck by its great balance and easy-pointing feel. Better, our group never experienced a jam during two days of fast gunning.
This handy pack lets you pack loads of gear to the blind. Hard-bottom construction makes it self-standing, and the padded waist belt provides additional comfort. It features two main compartments with a center aluminum stay and an air-flow channel back. Stowaway game totes on the shoulder straps let you pack out birds with ease.
I loaded this bag with shells, camera equipment and other gear during a Kansas hunt, and it performed splendidly, allowing easy organization, dry storage and comfortable transport.
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Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991.