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Go-To Gear of the Pheasant Hunting Experts

In my previous life in professional baseball, I worked with ballplayers who exhibited incredibly strong affinities to particular brands and models of gloves, bats or cleats.  Some of those affiliations had to do with sponsorship (some with superstitions), but mostly those loyalties derived from success on the field.  As I’ve written before, I continue to be amazed by the correlations between bird hunters and ballplayers.  Another one of these parallels exists in pheasant hunters’ brand loyalty and that’s what my focus is today.

In my estimation, pheasant hunters are largely gear junkies and that gear, in priority of importance, revolves around: their favorite breed of bird dog, shotguns, boots, ammunition and hunting vests.

So today’s blog post surveys the nation’s most well-renowned bird hunters to poll their favorites in each of these five categories.  My assumption as I send out this survey is that like baseball players, expert pheasant hunters have a wide array of affiliations and there likely won’t be too many common answers.  Let’s find out.

To start, here are my favorites:

TRCP summit 2008 pheasnt, dogs, pidgeon shootBob St.Pierre, Vice President of Marketing at Pheasants Forever and Co-host of FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN

1)      Bird Dog Breed: German shorthaired pointer

2)      Shotgun: Beretta 686 Onyx 12 gauge over/under with skeet chokes in both barrels

3)      Boots: Danner Santiam

4)      Ammo: Federal Premium Ammo’s Upland Steel 12 gauge 3” 5 shot

5)      Vest: Wing Works Upland Vest


Ron Schara

Ron Schara, Host of The Flush presented by Pheasants Forever on Outdoor Channel

1)      Bird Dog: Raven, the black Lab, whistle trained

2)      Shotgun: Benelli Super Black Eagle or Benelli Vinci with Carlson choke tubes

3)      Boots: Irish Setter

4)      Ammo: Federal Ammo’s Prairie Storm 2-3/4” lead 5 shot

5)      Vest: Still looking for a good one; need deep pockets for ammo; easy reach for bird carrying pouch


BillSherckBill Sherck, Co-Host of The Flush presented by Pheasants Forever on Outdoor Channel

1)      Bird Dog: My love of hunting dogs is pretty basic.  I want a dog that can find downed birds, always.  That’s A-1 in my book.

2)      Shotgun: I have a 1929 LeFever Nitro Special 20 gauge that became a best friend of sorts.  It is, by far, my ugliest, most beat up shotgun, but I shoot it well and I love the history. Serious patina.

3)      Boots:  Irish Setter 894s, Irish Setter 894s, Irish Setter 894s….

4)      Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm is over the top!  I absolutely love the stuff.  No wounded birds, only kills (when I don’t miss!).

5)      Vest: I’ve become a fan of mountain tech vests.  I have an old Mother’s lightweight I still use a lot.  A Buck’s is my next big investment.


Scott LindenScott Linden, Host of Wingshooting USA Television

1)      Bird Dog: German wirehaired pointer . . . is there any other breed?

2)      Shotgun: Webley & Scott Model 2000 in 20 gauge

3)      Boots: Meindl Perfekt from Cabela’s

4)      Ammo: Depends upon the situation: Kent Cartridge Fast Lead or Fiocchi Golden Pheasant

5)      Vest: Filson Mesh Vest


HankShawHank Shaw, Author of Hunt, Gather, Cook and speaker at National Pheasant Fest

1)      Bird Dog: Pudelpointer

2)      Shotgun: Franchi Velochi 20 gauge

3)      Boots: Asolo

4)      Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm #5s

5)      Vest: Filson


TiffLee & Tiffany Lakosky, Hosts of The Crush on Outdoor Channel

1)      Bird Dog: Black Labrador retriever

2)      Shotgun: Tiffany shoots a 12 gauge Beretta Silver Pigeon and Lee shoots a 12 gauge Franchi Instinct

3)      Boots: Under Armour Ridge Reaper early season & Under Armour HAW’s late season

4)      Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm

5)      Vest: Badlands Pheasant Pack


DokkenTom Dokken, Professional dog trainer and speaker at National Pheasant Fest

1)      Bird Dog: Labrador retriever . . . or any dog that loves to hunt.

2)      Shotgun: Browning Citori 20 Gauge

3)      Boots: Danner Fowlers

4)      Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm 20 gauge 3” 6 shot

5)      Vest: J.L. Powell, waxed cotton


Nancy 2Nancy Anisfield, Professional photographer, Pheasants Forever National Board member and PF blogger

1)      Bird Dog: German shorthaired pointer

2)      Shotgun: Caesar Guerini 28-gauge Magnus Light

3)      Boots: Danner Pronghorn

4)      Ammo: Polywad Gram Crak-R and Spred-R 28-gauge

5)      Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite Strap Vest


CaptainBilly Hildebrand, Host of FAN Outdoors Radio on KFAN

1)      Bird Dog: American Brittany

2)      Shotgun: Beretta 686 Onyx Over/Under 12 gauge

3)      Boots: Danner Pronghorns

4)      Ammo: Federal Upland Steel 3s or 5s

5)      Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite Jacket

Note 1: Billy also prefers SportDOG Upland 1850, Chevy Z71, Folgers Coffee and “special” sandwiches.

Note 2: Billy’s hunting partners do not like his “special” sandwiches!


JustinLarsonJustin Larson, Outdoors Media Specialist for the nation’s pheasant capital, SOUTH DAKOTA

1)      Bird Dog: Prefers Labs, but doesn’t own his own at the moment

2)      Shotgun: Winchester SX3

3)      Boots: Muck Boots

4)      Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm

5)      Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite


mh, wids, 1-13, ill, 2 (2)Mark Herwig, Editor of Pheasants Forever’s Journal of Upland Conservation

1)      Bird Dog: Springer spaniel

2)      Shotgun: Beretta 391

3)      Boots: Danner Uplander

4)      Ammo: Federal 12 gauge 5 shot Pheasants Forever loads

5)      Vest: A Pheasants Forever strap vest


AnthonyAnthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor

1)      Bird Dog: English cocker spaniel . . . and I wouldn’t mind another

2)      Shotgun: Remington 870 Wingmaster, in the market for my first O/U

3)      Boots: Irish Setter Havoc when it’s dry, Muck Boots when it’s not

4)      Ammo: Federal Premium Upland Steel #4s . . . served “chilled”

5)      Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite Strap Vest


SteveRiesSteve Ries, Owner of Top Gun Kennels

6)      Bird Dog: German shorthaired pointers

7)      Shotgun: Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon over/under 20 gauge

8)      Boots: Irish Setter Upland DSS Gore-Tex hunting boots

9)      Ammo: Winchester

10)  Vest: Gander Mountain Guide Series Hunting Strap Vest



chad HinesChad Hines, Owner of Willow Creek Kennels

1)      Bird Dog: German shorthaired pointer

2)      Shotgun: Beretta 686 Onyx over/under 20 gauge

3)      Boots: Merrill Moab Hiking boots – I use these for almost all hunting.

4)      Ammo: Federal’s Black Cloud

5)      Vest: Bird ‘n Light Vest


MattKucharskiMatt Kucharski, Pheasants Forever National Board Member

1)      Bird Dog: A tandem of German Shorthair Pointer and Labrador, trained to honor each other of course!

2)      Shotgun: Ruger Red Label 20 gauge early season, 12 gauge late season.   Skeet and IC chokes early season, IC and modified chokes late.  Sadly, they’re not making them anymore.

3)      Boots: Red Wing Irish Setter (short uppers) early season and Meindl Scotland GTX (or similar) late season

4)      Ammo: Federal Upland Steel 4 shot.  3 inch in the 20.  2 ¾ in the 12.

5)      Vest: Filson mesh strap vest for short walks, Bird ‘n Lite strap vest if I’m in the field all day or carrying Bob’s birds.


JeffFullerJeff Fuller, host of Sporting Dog Adventures

1)      Bird Dog: Labrador Retriever

2)      Shotgun: Benelli

3)      Boots: Danner Pronghorn

4)      Ammo: HEVI-Shot Upland

5)      Vest: Browning vest


Now it’s your turn.  What are your favorites?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

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26 Responses to “Go-To Gear of the Pheasant Hunting Experts”

  1. russian made 12 gauge over under mod both barrels columbia dog tech vest from PF kent 12 gauge depending on what I am shooting. and i’m the odd duck I hunt with Beagles :)

  2. Matt Hover says:

    1) Bird Dog: German Shorthaired Pointer, whistle trained
    2) Shotgun: Benelli Legacy 12 gauge, always modified choke (practice, practice, practice) I also have an old Webley & Scott 12 gauge double gun I use early season
    3) Boots: Danner Sharptail GTX (I don’t think they’re made anymore) for early season, I also have a pair of Danners with 400g of Thinsulate, GoreTex and a heavier lug for colder Nebraska winters
    4) Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm all the way, I use primarily 2 3/4″ #5, but I keep some 3″ #4s for the 3rd shell and late season
    5) Vest: I have a Cabelas vest right now, but am looking to upgrade

  3. Grant Vaskey says:

    1) Bird Dog: A pair of Vizslas. Life’s too short to hunt with an ugly dog!
    2) Shotty: CZ Ringneck side by side
    3) Boots: Filson Uplander – might as well have the best
    4) Ammo: Federal Prairie storm. 6-4 shot depending on conditions
    5) Pella Bird ‘n lite. Has the water capacity needed for all day affairs

  4. Jamie Bradley says:

    Sweet Sixteen (1929 model, GREAT, When I remember to keep my head down, also use a 1953 A5 12 Ga., and once in a while, a Stoeger Condor DeLuxe 12. I gave my Superposed to my son, and he lets me touch it about once a year.)
    GSP … GREAT dog, for my purposes/use she does fantastic work!
    Other use/preferences: Wolverine boots, Golden Pheasant #5s, Scheels vest (award for being a Hunter Ed. Instructor, it does the job for me.), Wrangler or Scheels brush pants, Sportdog collar, 1987 Cavalier station wagon (Outrageous mileage, grungy enough so the dogs can travel without me being overly concerned about cleaning it up.)

  5. Jon Driscoll says:

    Dog: 2 fox red labs
    Gun: Browning Gold Hunter 12 gauge
    Boots: Irish Setters
    Ammo: Prarie Storm 5′s
    Vest: Browning bird ‘n Lite

  6. Nick says:

    1) Bird Dog: Springer, black lab, golden lab
    2) Shotgun: Beretta 686 UltraLight Deluxe (IC/LM)
    3) Boots: Lowa Elite Desert
    4) Ammo: Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 5′s
    5) Vest: Mother Tech

    In action this fall in ND: http://youtu.be/t6xDK-MncGI


  7. Bret says:

    1) Wirehaired pointing griffons -if you want birds you need an ugly dog
    2) Beretta A-400 or winchester 101 for a double barrel
    3) Kenetrek hardscabble hikers, other boots last me a season these are going on year 4
    4) federal 1-1/8 of #2 at 1500was fps or faster
    5) quilomene hydration strap vest

  8. Alejandro Casillas says:

    1) Bird Dog: Springer Spaniel
    2) Shotgun: Winchester 101 sket
    3) Boots: Cabelas
    4) Ammo: winchester
    5) Vest: Orvis mesh & cabelas ultimate field

    Hunting in Mexicali, Baja California Mexico Area

  9. John says:

    English Springer Spaniels – hunted in pairs. Remington 1100 Special Field, also a top notch grouse gun! Cabelas gore-tex lightweight hunting boot with cap toe. Heavy Load #6′s early, #4′s late season….not brand loyal. An old beat up vest like my old man used to wear! :)

  10. Richard says:

    1) 2 Brittany Spaniels
    2) 16 Gauge Ithica Model 37 featherlight pump
    3) Ithasca
    4) Remington Express or anything I can find in 16 gauge
    5) Remington vest

  11. Russ says:

    1) Labrador
    2) Browing Citori 16ga – Improved in both
    3) Columbia
    4) Golden Pheasant Nickel Plated 5′s or Federal Premiums
    5) Browning or Filson

  12. john iverson says:

    1 chocolate lab who points. 2 browning citori 12 gauge with mod chokes. 3 redwing boots.4 prairie storm 2 3/4 #5 5 cabelas vest

  13. joseph johnson says:

    1. Brittany
    2. Hand me down Rem. O/U 12 mod chokes
    3. Gander Mt. Upland boots
    4. Prarie storm 5
    5. Filson

  14. BIGDOGMARSH says:

    Benelli Montefeltro 20GA.

  15. mike nicholson says:

    GSP, may try a Springer next?
    Savage 440 12ga o/u
    Redwing Iresh Setter
    #5 or #6 low cost Federals or Remmington
    Gander Mt. Guide Series(ok)

  16. Nick says:

    Dog- Labs, I have a yellow right now.
    Gun- Winchester 101 or SX2
    Ammo- Federal ultra pheasant 2 3/4 4 shot
    Boots- Danners
    Vest- An old Columbia vest that was called a “shell holding liability” on this years rooster road trip, and the game hide PF vest they sent me to replace it!! Thanks Anthony, Andrew and Bob!!!

  17. Adam Jaquet says:

    1. Dog: Spinone-Omar the Wunderpuppy. My first ever bird dog which I trained myself.
    2. Guns: Browing 525 O/U Anheiser-Busch limited edition in 28 gauge.
    Savage Fox Model B Side by Side in 16 gauge with fixed chokes.
    Stoeger Condor O/U 12 gauge
    3. Boots: Cabelas Lace-to-Toe steel toe boots with 400 grams Thinsulate (the boots I wear every day) or Bogs “Chore Boot” neoprene. Always paired with Kodiak wool socks from Sportsman’s Guide.
    4. Winchester Super X game loads, 2-3/4″ low brass #6.
    5. Gamehide front loading pheasant vest.

  18. kevin dawson says:

    Dog.. golden lab …tigger
    Gun.. early season IAB parcourse 12ga. OU…. mid and late seasons…baretta 302 a simi 20 ga..mod.
    Ammo.. golden pheasant 3inch #5 for both guns
    Boots…Chipawas viper cordura for the east side of Washington… muck for the west side
    Vest.. filson
    Cover for the rest of me… Eddie Bauer sport shop line.. check this stuff out!

  19. Eric Deters says:

    Dog: Small Munsterlander best dog I have hunted behind yet
    Gun: Benelli Supper Black with Carlson early season prairie storm choke
    Ammo: Federal Prairie Storm #5
    Boots: Danner
    Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite Strap Vest

  20. Brett says:

    2.Browning Citori Superlight / AyA #2
    4.Federal Premium / Fiocci Golden Pheasant / B&P Extra Rossa
    5.Browning/PF Strap Vest

  21. Cody Leonard says:

    1 – My 2 young English setters. Its fun to watch them grow every day.
    2 – Old School Remington pump. Never fails.
    3 – Cabela’s upland boots. Comfortable for long walks.
    4 – Federal Premium
    5 – Cabela’s strap vest. Doesn’t weigh me down.

  22. Brian says:

    1. My two vizslas
    2. Browning Citori White Lightning 20 gauge
    3. Muck Boots
    4. Winchester Super X #6
    5. Browning Bird-n-Lite strap vest

  23. Chuck D says:

    1.Korthals Wirehair Pointing Griffon {only draw back is beard is burdock magnet]
    2.Fausti 28ga s/s or S&W 20ga s/s
    3.Cabelas leather lined kangaroo boots
    4.Federal Premium #5
    5.Filson strap vest

  24. Drew says:

    1. My Old Neighbor’s Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
    2. Benelli SBE II American 12 Gauge
    3. Danner Vandal (in cold weather)
    4. Fiocchi Golden Pheasant #5 Lead
    5. Filson Mesh Strap Vest

  25. Stephen Washburn says:

    1. Small Munsterlander pointer, best dogs ever been hunting them since 1975.
    2. Beretta 20 ga
    3. Cabelas upland boots
    4. Winchester or Remington #5
    5. Columbia upland jacket


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