The best wildfowling gear for the season ahead
The Editor of Shooting Times picks out the latest and best wildfowling kit to hit the market
Wildfowling kit has benefitted greatly from advances in materials technology in recent years and so we’ve compiled this guide to the best wildfowling gear.
Decoy bags are now much lighter and easily washed than those of 30 years ago and neoprene has revolutionised legwear. Jackets can now be windproof, waterproof and breathable as well as warm. They can even have in-built battery pack warmers as you will see.
Here is some key kit that we think deserves a place on our list of the best wildfowling gear. (We’ve listed the shooting best wellies here.) If you’re looking for ways to keep warm, cast your eye over our list of best thermals for shooting.
Best wildfowling gear
Best for all-round practicality and price
- Material: 600D polyester
- Colour: Olive
- Size: H: 75cm x W: 43cm x D: 43cm
- Machine washable
+ Elastic cartridge holders
+ Adjustable padded shoulder straps
+ Carry handle and top flap with cord closure
This 120-litre bag is an absolute bargain. With one large compartment for your decoys, it also has two zipped side pockets, one small front pocket and a cartridge strip for quick access if you need one. The material is tough and waterproof and will stand you in good stead this season.
Best for keeping warm, dry and unobtrusive
- Material: Polyester
- Colour: Realtree Max-5 Camo
- Sizes: C48, C50, C52, C54, C56, C58, C60, C62
+ 100% waterproof
+ 5 year membrane warranty
New from Deerhunter, these trousers feature detachable braces, two front pockets and an adjustable elastic waistband. Pre-shaped knees and a fleece lining offer extra comfort.
Best for wet and cold weather
- Colour: Camo, olive, teak
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 3XL, 5XL
+ Robust and quiet
Made from hard-wearing and robust fabrics, this jacket’s three-layer laminated shell is waterpoof and breathable. It is fully seam-sealed with an adjustable hood, three zipped pockets and a storm cover across the long font access zip. (You might like to look at our list of best shooting smocks too.)
Best for warmth
- Material: Polyester
- Colour: Willow green/black
- Sizes: M, L, XL
+ Stretch side panels
+ Stow pocket for powerbank
This lined waistcoat has built-in heating membranes that can be set to the temperature you require. It can also be packed away into the supplied dry bag, making it an excellent choice as a mid-layer.
Best for beginners
+ Easy to blow
+ Good volume
+ Produces all of the natural sounds of the Canada Goose
This call is easy to use and ideal for a wildfowler planning to take up calling for the first time this coming season. It emits a realistic call and weighs next to nothing so is easy to carry. Read our tips on what you need to know about wildfowling calls.
Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco RRP 129 per 250 cartridges
VIP Steel cartridges remain a firm favourite with duck shooters. The 2¾ in cartridges come in boxes of 25 and now incorporate the revolutionary water-soluble Pro Eco Wad. (Read Sporting Gun’s review on the Pro Eco Wad here.)
Eley Hawk says its SSB powder excels in humit conditions. Available in 32g No 3x and 5s, the cartridges are “versatile for a range of duck shooting”, according to Shooting Times contributor Tom Sykes.
Top tip for keeping wildfowling cartridges
Wildfowler Tom Sykes advises: “Saltwater marshes and cartridge heads don’t mix. Exposure to even the tiniest bit of wet or damp will kick-start the rusting process leading to a range of different gun malfunctions from misfires to jamming. To avoid this place wildfowling cartridges into re-sealable plastic bags. These will stop salt water getting to the brasses, it also makes it easier to remove the bag from your coat so that the brasses can be cleaned. It also prevents the writing on cartridges from rubbing off so you always know exactly what you are feeding into the chamber.”
And for the gun?
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3
With a stylish new receiver, the latest Super Black Eagle is the ultimate tool for wildfowling. It features Benelli’s intertia-driven system, which delivers reliability and durability with minimum maintenance. The improved Comfort Tech 3 system reduces felt recoil.
Maintaining your wildfowling kit
It’s well worth going through a thorough cleaning routine at the end of every February to protect your shooting gear and keep it in the best condition for the following season.
Make sure everything is clean and dried and checked for wear and tear before being packed away for storage (away from nibbling rodents). Wash calls, coats, lanyards, waders, bags and hides.