Gearing Up for 2005 Hunting Season

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

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Gearing Up for 2005 Hunting Season

by John Dean, Jr.

The excitement of fall and the arrival of cold air have hunters pulling together their gear just waiting for Opening Day. These days hunters need to squeeze every last drop of efficiency from their gear to stay on the cutting edge. This year’s gear helps with everything from training your dog to cooking a meal to laying out your decoys efficiently. So as you are gathering up your gear for the season; take a few moments to review some innovative hunting accessories to help make this year's hunting season fun and rewarding.

Since 1938, Columbia has been a leading manufacturer of some of the most extreme outerwear in waterfowl hunting. Year after year they have provided duck hunters with some of the best outerwear on the market. This year, Columbia has taken yet another step forward toward keeping waterfowlers warm in the duck blind by introducing a new line of waders. Their flagship product, the Columbia Quad Wader, is nothing short of remarkable.

Columbia Quad Wader
New to this year's line of products is the Columbia Quad Waders. As with all Columbia products, no details have been missed. The Quad Wader is constructed from 5mm neoprene, 6-inch Ankle Loc™ with 1600 grams of Thinsulate insulation. The uppers are constructed with a comfort-stretch, abrasion-resistant nylon and built-in reflective Titanium to aid in recycling body heat. Each pair of waders comes with fleece wader pants for added comfort and warmth on those late season days in the duck blind. Columbia did not forget about the little things either. The boots are imprinted with the camo pattern to match the uppers, the center chest pocket has an integrated shotgun shell holder and the hand-warmer pocket is fleece lined. These waders are double reinforced in the seat and knee areas and have added a wader belt and quick-release suspender system - ranking these waders “second to none” in functionality.

Columbia Widgeon Wader
The Columbia Widgeon Wader is constructed of 4mm neoprene, 6-inch Ankle Loc™ with 1000 grams of Thinsulate insulation. The uppers are constructed with a comfort-stretch, abrasion resistant nylon. The Widgeon also has a center chest fleece lined hand-warmer pocket, double reinforced seat and knees and a quick-release suspender system.

Columbia Silent Shell™ Jacket
Columbia Silent Shell™ Jacket is a comfortable, performance-cut waterfowling jacket. The shell is made from 100 percent polyester Precision™ Soft Shell making the jacket breathable, water-resistant and wind-resistant. Car keys or your wallet can be stowed with confidence in the zip-closed chest pockets. The hand-warming pockets are lined with soft and warm MTR™ light fleece making this jacket a great choice for the early season. This jacket is available in the Delta Hunter Marsh Camo pattern. You'll be impressed with the fit and performance of this waterfowling jacket.

Columbia Horn Mesa Wool Jacket and Pants

Nothing says warmth like wool. The Columbia Horn Mesa Wool Jacket and Pants are constructed on 100% wool. The jacket features two large capacity patch pockets with snaps to securely hold a couple boxes of shells, a large zip-closed chest pocket to store your wallet, cell phone and/or car keys. The sleeves have snap adjustable cuffs to allow you the greatest comfort and fit while in the field. The jacket is designed with an action back, so you can move easily and freely to make those tough crossing shots. As with the jacket, the pants are constructed of 100% wool. They feature side entry pockets, two large side cargo pockets with button flaps, reinforced quilted knee pads and seat, and two back pockets with button closure. The waist can also be adjusted with a Velcro hook and loop adjustment and a full set of belt loops. The Columbia Horn Mesa Wool Jacket and Pants are design to maximize warmth, yet offers exceptional mobility with minimal bulk.

While many gun dog enthusiasts are learning about SportDog e-collars for the first time, SportDog is not a new company to electronic collars. SportDog was founded by Radio Systems Corporation and has over 11 years of experience in the dog electronics market. SportDog e-collars are made by dog people for dog people. This has helped them rapidly become a leader in the e-collar industry.

In 2005, SportDog created the SD-2000 Wetland Hunter and SD-1800 SportHunter for dog owners that were looking for a high quality, full featured collar that would not break the bank. Both of these training systems offer the finest in SportDog features; such as being 100% waterproof, fully rechargeable transmitters and collars, and is expandable to a multiple dog system by simply purchasing an additional collar. This “Add-a-Dog” feature allows you to add another dog to the training system without sending the collar back to the manufacturer. Simply purchase the new collar, charge it and synchronize it with your transmitter. Turning your single dog unit into a multiple-dog unit is that easy.

The SD-2000 Wetland Hunter is the first fully camouflaged collar on the market and has been designed specifically for waterfowl hunters. The 100% waterproof training collar is camouflaged in Realtree™ MAX4 that helps it blend in perfectly with most waterfowling environments. This collar has been designed for a specific purpose; it is a retriever collar. The stimulation on the SD-2000 is slightly higher than the standard collar to accommodate for the power of retrievers. The collar has a range of ¾ of a mile and is pre-programmed with 8 levels of both continuous and momentary (Nick) stimulation. For those trainers who wish to incorporate a “tone only” feature into their training program, the SD-2000 offers an independent tone button on the side of the transmitter. The SD-2000 can be expanded to a 2 dog system by simply purchasing a second collar.

The SD-1800 SportHunter is the upland hunter’s dream collar. The SD-1800 offers a 3/4 mile range with standard stimulation levels and can be expanded to a 3 dog system by purchasing additional collars. The transmitter comes pre-programmed with 8 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation. The collar offers stimulation from low to medium power and is perfect for the sport dog enthusiast.

SportDog has designed collars for the sport dog enthusiast and they are one of the only companies that warranties there collars through a lifetime of use. SportDog’s limited lifetime warranty protects their training collars from all defects through the first year and guarantees parts for the life of the collar. This warranty applies to ALL of their products from their top of the line SD-2000 through their DSL-400 Deluxe Beeper Collar.

Final Approach Eliminator Canada Goose Decoys
Final Approach has always been an innovator when it comes to hunting geese. As leaders in the hunting community, Final Approach has brought quality gear such as the Top Gun Eliminator Layout Blind and some of the finest accessories in goose hunting. This year, they have expanded their product line to include a full line of Canada Goose Decoys.

Final Approach Full Body Eliminator Canada Goose Decoys are sharp! These new decoys are lifelike in size, posture, and in feather detail. Final Approach is known throughout the industry for producing quality products and these decoys are no different. While other manufacturers have struggled with paint and flocking issues, Final Approach has taken the time to get it right the first time.

The Eliminator Decoys are built with ultra tough heavy-duty polyethylene bodies, fully flocked heads and realism. Each decoy has been painted with a durable, non-glare, detailed paint scheme. From our initial field tests, the paint has held up under the harshest conditions and is expected to last for years to come. In addition to the realistic paint scheme, Final Approach has created 3 distinct posture styles; Feeders, Lookers & Active decoys. The various postures and head styles change your decoys into a lifelike flock of geese. The Eliminator Decoys have been created in two styles, full body decoys and shells.

The Eliminator Full Body Decoys have additional features that have been designed by hunters in the field. Final Approach’s decoys have a strong locking leg and base system. There are no moving parts and each base can be filled with water, sand, or shot to add weight.

The Eliminator Shells are perfect for the hunter that has limited space to haul decoys to the field. Their ultra low profile design makes stacking them quick and easy, fitting dozens in a relatively small space. The goose shells have the same quality characteristics of the full series offering sturdy construction and quality detailed paint as well as an additional posture. The Eliminator Canada Goose Shells offer a realistic sleeper pose that will help build confidence with even the weariest of birds.

These decoys are some of the best decoys on the market; pick some up for your hunt this season.

Quack Grass
Waterfowl are a difficult game to hunt. When the pressure is on and the birds wise up, they look for a reason not to work the decoys. The slightest unnatural misplaced item can cause ducks to peel off and search for a safer landing place. Quack Grass is the answer to blending into the waterfowl hunting environments.

Quack Grass is made of hand woven palm fronds that helps hunters blend in perfectly with their surroundings. This natural material is somewhat green out of the box, so it may take several days for the Quack Grass to match the vegetation in your area. The longer the grass stays outdoors the darker it will get. Quack Grass comes in large 5’ x 8’ sheets which will cover most boats from the water level to the top of the blind or they can be trimmed to fit any size area. The sheets will not unravel nor lose their form when cut. For those hunters hunting from ground blinds, Quack Grass has made coffin covers that will fit most layout blinds and provide the ultimate in concealment. Hunters need to hide themselves more than ever so cover up and blend into your surroundings and you will be surprised on your daily bag.

Over the years Hevi-Shot has revolutionized high performance shot shells. When Hevi-Shot debuted it sent ripples through the waterfowl hunting world. Everyone was eager to try this new shell that packed a wallop of down range energy and had the ability to reach further than standard waterfowling loads. Hevi-Shot was a huge success, but it did come with a price tag that was a little uncomfortable for some waterfowlers. Waterfowlers wanted the improved performance of a premium load but at a price they could afford. In 2005, Environmetal, the parent company of Hevi-Shot, designed Hevi-Steel as a solution.

Hevi-Steel alloy is 20% denser than steel and its velocity is a screaming 1550 fps (feet per second). This shot shoots like steel, patterns true, and has the down range ability for pass-shooting. According to Hevi-Shot, at 40 yards this load hits with twice the impact of high velocity steel and has virtually no distortion in its pattern. This performance means one thing, cleaner kills and less cripples!

Hevi-Steel comes in shot sizes B, 2, 4, & 6 and is packaged 25 shells per box. This high performance shell is no more expensive than most high performance steel loads, but offers the knockdown capability of Hevi-Shot without the price tag.

Pick up a box of Hevi-Steel and you can compare its performance against your current shell.

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