Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hunting Vest- An Update on Wing Works Vest

Chukar Hunting with Wing Works vest.

Robert with Bandit, Idaho 2012
Here is the short and sweet.  This vest is the best one I've seen, bar none, for long casts in the field.  It puts the weight on the hips (and shoulders), has lots of room for shells, sweaters, cameras, Astro's, transmitters, licenses, etc.  A back pouch for a sandwich, two huge water bottles, a camera pouch fitted to the one of the straps, orange reflective straps and orange on the back give this vest tremendous capability.  Shown above is my dog, Cap, and me on a Chukar hunt in Idaho last February.  Note that I've taken my jacket off and tied it to a convenient strap (just for that purpose).  You can see the chest connector strap in the picture, too, which keeps the shoulder straps in place.  It is apparent to me a lot of thought through a lot of miles on the ground has gone into this vest. My initial evaluation: http://www.abirdhuntersthoughts.com/2011/02/hunting-vest-initial-evaluation-of.html.  

If you are going to be jumping in and out of the hunting-mobile all day, a simple strap vest may be more appropriate. It takes more than 2-3 seconds while hoofing it after the dog to get this vest on and tight.  In fact, I carry my old Filson strap vest in my truck vault just for those days. 
Here you can see the reflective shoulder straps!

North Dakota November 2011

Wing Works has been busy dreaming up cool options for the vest.  I invested in the reflective straps (shown above) that glow bright white when hit with light at night.  Also, I bought a special carrier for my Garmin ASTRO handheld which attaches via a snap to my waist belt.  That way, I keep it our of my shell pocket for protection and ease of use.  I recently added a camera pouch that I attached to my right shoulder strap (I shoot left-handed) to have my camera immediately available. It works great for small, digital cameras.  (I meant to ask him about one to fit my iPhone 5, since I use that for pics now.) There are other nice-to-have items listed on the website. (http://wingworks.biz/)

The only down side to this vest is actually a plus.  It is sturdy, strong and takes a beating; and, therefore, it is not light.  To my mind, I would rather carry a few more ounces and have the strength.  In my opinion, this is a must buy for the serious bird hunter.