F&S’s Upland Picks: Our Takes

February 9, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

The interesting part here is "Close Range." (Federal photo)

Field & Stream recently had a rundown of “New Gear for Waterfowl, Turkey and Upland Bird Hunting in 2012,” aka new gear from the SHOT Show in annoying slideshow form. Once again, we save you the trouble by running down our favorites of theirs.

We do wonder how much cool stuff was missed or didn’t make the cut, but here’s what we have to work with.


“You kill birds with your legs.” We all know that, and our feet know it better than our brains so as we’ve said many times, great – not good, but great – boots are a must.

Requirements for great boots are: comfort, lightweight, durable, waterproof, quality construction. Remains to be seen whether these two new boots make the grade, but we look forward to testing ’em out.

Irish Setter 801 Havoc Upland Hunting Boots

(Photo: Irish Setter)

> F&S

> Irish Setter site

Can’t tell from the Irish Setter site exactly how they’re different from the Wingshooters, but Chad Love from F&S had this tidbit: The Havoc features something called CuShin Comfort Tongue Technology, which Irish Setter claims minimizes the uncomfortable pressure some hunters feel from unpadded boot tongues.

LL Bean Technical Upland Boot

LL Bean redesigned its Technical Upland Boot because of some sort of manufacturing issue. Its differnet-looking boot got some raised eyebrows, some loved it – including one buddy of ours who is a diehard “the old way or no way” hunter – and some couldn’t get over it’s space station-ish look.

Here’s how we look at it: Overall, Bean makes the best upland gear bar none, and we will for sure be trying these boots.

> The boots look about the same as the last version but see a photo at F&S.

Other Stuff

Federal Black Cloud Close Range

Wellll, well, well, this is interesting. Like the above companies, Federal continues to push the envelope in the bird niche. Here’s what it says about it’s new ammo, which is for ducks but remember that Black Cloud technology ended up in Prairie Storm ammo, so….

When ducks come out of nowhere and practically land in your lap, be sure your shotgun is loaded with the new Federal Premium Black Cloud Close Range. Engineered to put more pellets on targets 20 to 30 yards away, Close Range achieves a full pattern within a very short distance.

Comprised of 100% Flitestopper Steel for the most lethal payload imaginable, Close Range produces more open and optimum patterns-ideal when hunting timber or decoying waterfowl.

Available in 12- and 20-gauge, 3-inch loads with a variety of shot options.

SportDOG Upland Hunter 1875 E-Collar

Why do we like this product? Aside from the fact that it no doubt works as advertised, it’s ORANGE.

That’s important because #1 you can’t have enough orange on and #2 if you drop it you can actually find it!


> Mud River’s new non-insulated kennel cover.

> Under Armour is getting into this market, eh?

> A Beretta for you auto-loader users.


Category: Beretta, Federal Premium, Irish Setter boots, LL Bean, Mud River, SportDOG, Under Armour

Comments (3)

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  1. lucas says:

    the wingshooters are a few ounces lighter. the pair i had were just an ounce or two over 3 lbs. also, i think the sole is more aggressive and has a pronounced heel. the pair i had were almost smooth except for some little dots in the middle. i want another pair. the mock toe on mine busted open from the grass rubbing through the stitching. if i get another pair, it will be the ones without the mock toe. the F&S article says they also have a taller pair with a side zipper closure.

  2. Norm Doucet says:

    Not sure about the Bean boots but a good feature with the wingshooters is my dealer will resole worn boots for about $60 bucks. If you take care of the uppers-keep clean and mink oil them, etc-and get resoled every few years (i’m hard on boots) they’ll last forever.

  3. Jay says:

    I own a pair of Irish Setter Havocs. First season wearing them. They are great boots. I like that they are 10 inch. I like they they come insulated and uninsulated. And I like they are gore-tex waterproof. I purchased uninsulated for early season and will purchase an insulated pair soon. The flexible top of the tongue is a good idea. I do feel a difference when walking.

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