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Hat for Upland Hunting

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Wingshooter, May 20, 2009.

  1. I'm brand new to this forum. So here's the question -- its for those of you who hunt upland birds -- that'd be the kind of birds you need a shotgun to acquire, not the cuddly ones found in bars for which it takes a nice smile, a good look and a good line to acquire. Anyway, what hat do you plan to wear, or recommend wearing for upland bird hunting this fall.

  2. Can't go wrong with an open road twenty five....

  3. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    Dear Tony,
    Welcome to the FL! I'm sure you'll be glad you found your way in here. There are a few upland hunters around--I'm one, as you can probably guess--and we kicked this one around not too long ago. Here's where you can find the evidence:

    Beyond what I said myself "over there" it seems to me that where you are (i.e., what kind of covers you are hunting) is going to decide the question for you. What I need (or want) here in the thickets of New England is almost certainly not what will work out in the Cornfields of the Midwest not hunting sharptails up some mountain somewhere!

    For me, here, I want a hat that will stay put on my head (a good deal tighter than I would wear on the street); has some stretch to it so I can really jam it on; and is quite soft, so every time the brim hits a twig it doesn't knock the hat off when I'm crawling through the thick stuff trying to find the dog that is at a stand SOMEWHERE over there....

    Again: welcome! Glad to have you here.

  4. I wear an Akubra Riverina when I'm dove hunting. It has vent holes to allow head to breathe & a good brim for sun protection but not too much. It comes pre-creased & a low crown, so you sort of have to like that. I did tighten up the front pinch a little.
    I wear it all thru deer & turkey season as well. I hunt is South Central Georgia which is fairy hot & humid in Sept for dove season & get cool enough in late deer season. Turkey season you get both cool & hot/humid with occassional bouts of thunderstorms.

    Adding photo...
  5. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

    I would second Skeet on "it depends" on the type of cover and weather you have to deal with. Grouse in the brush is different than pheasants in the fields, as you well know.

    In states where orange head gear was required I use one of those cheap wool "crusher fedoras" that Cabelas and other companies sell. They have worked well for me. In thick brush for grouse I used to use a British style tweed flat cap, kept my head warm, and did not get knocked off easily. In hot weather, like a early dove season, or almost all my bird hunting here in Hawaii, I use a straw hat with hat cords. Right now its a Stetson fly fishing hat.
  6. I wear a type similar to the Dobbs "Gable" hat, but mine is a Stetson. The crown is a bit lower, and the brim seems not as wide. I got it from Miller, but I can't find it anymore on their site. I should say I wear this in more open country -- sharptails, hungarian partridge in my home state of ND, plus pheasants here in MN or in ND. I can wear my orange on my vest. "Skeet" McD, you might know that northern Minnesota is the top area for the ruffed grouse and woodcock nowadays, superseding eastern North American areas. We also venture into northern Wisconsin for the woods birds. Its mighty wooly in Northern MN, so a different hat is in order, and orange is the way. I also shoot registered skeet and do several tournaments a year. In those cases, as well as for golf, I often wear a panama from Scala to hold back the sun. Thanks all for the suggestions. Bring more!

    Tony Lowe
  7. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    Dear Tony, Yes, I'm ALL too familiar with the decline of N-E pa'tridges :( Enjoy 'em while you have 'em, and pray for a resurgence here! My wife is from Michigan, and her dad (in his mid-80s) is still a heavy-duty registered bird Skeet shooter and grouse hunter. Sadly, when my wife was growing up, he could go out in the back 60 acres and bring home a pat...which he did once a year, on Christmas! No longer...and his other covers, up near Grayling and over in Canaday-i-o are drying up too.

    Here the letter of the law requires a "blaze orange hat or cap" but only one DNR man has called me on my wearing a blaze orange, 3 inch wide hat-band on my fedora, which allows me to comply with the spirit of the law (IMHO, at least) without going to an all-plastic orange hat (they've made our wardens into "environmental police" and I'm sorry to say whereas, once upon a time, our game wardens were men of the woods--hunters themselves to a man, who understood the game--now there are more city folks. They are fine writing up pollution tickets, no doubt, but don't really know what's going on out in the sticks).

    I very much enjoy Skeet, but have never shot registered birds, nor have any intention of doing so: not that there's anything wrong with it...but it's just not my thing. I very much prefer the 1930s rules, which stress the unpredictable (like hunting) rather than suppressing it.

    If you ever get a chance to play under the old rules...give it a whirl, if you haven't already. I think you'd like it.

  8. Skeet McD -- I checked out the thread you steered me onto. Very good. Stormy Kromer is the mode for thicker areas. I also hate day-glow orange -- unstylish color, but I suppose getting shot would be more than somewhat inconvenient. Are you one of the Order of Edwardian Gunners? I participated in the Vintagers SxS shoot in Northbrook Il back in 2005. Won the 20 ga skeet competition with an AyA 453. I could sure use some help also in finding the proper Edwardian era garb.

    Hunting guns? -- SxS's from 20 ga AyA 453, 16 ga Sterlingworth, 12 ga Aya #2, 12 Ga Remington Model 1889 hammer gun (for black powder), to a lovely 10 ga damascus W&C Scott duckbill back-action sidelock with crystal cocking indicators from 1882. O/U's are 24 gauge Beretta 686s, straight grip and double triggers, and several others too modern to mention. I was brought up on Model 12's, still have two each in 12, 16 and 20, most of which are straight gripped. I'm generally not an autoloader guy, but I just gave in to A-5's -- an ancient straight gripped 16 ga from 1921, and a nice old Belgian Light Twelve, both with the safety inside front of the trigger guard. For skeet its a Perazzi MX2000 with tube set. For sporties its a 32" barreled Remington 3200 Trap. There are many others.

    Bang On!
  9. vonwotan

    vonwotan Practically Family

    I don't know how it started, I must have had the hat in my truck on a rainy training day... For years I have worn the same Borsalino Lido trilby when upland game hunting. It held up quite well through five years of guiding hunts at our local clubs and in the years since...

  10. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    Dear vW: Nice lid....looks like you've been known to USE that wind trolley!

    Uhhhh...is that a slight whiff of i Dolomiti I catch in the shape? :rolleyes:

  11. vonwotan

    vonwotan Practically Family

    Over time it certainly has taken the shape of some of my heavier trachten hats.

    [QUOTE="Skeet" McD]Dear vW: Nice lid....looks like you've been known to USE that wind trolley!

    Uhhhh...is that a slight whiff of i Dolomiti I catch in the shape? :rolleyes:

  12. For spring through early fall I mainly wear a hat major moore made, which is a light weight all beaver natural color. It has a crown nearly 5" and brim of 2 1/2". It's just enough to cover my face and not interfere with my shooting. I wear it for the entire sporting clays events up to the beginning of bird season wearing it last in Texas in September for Dove.

    I have hunted with many other hats, including my Akubra Fed, Banjo Patterson, Stetson Gun Club, many more. Though I guess I have no special aversion to it, I do not hunt with a flat cap. I always want a brim, I have great sensitivity to the sun in my eyes.

    My hats generally follow suit with my dress on hunts, I wear classic old style colors and fabrics. I also shoot O/U or SxS, never autos. I have no use for them and hate the way they feel when I shoot them. My SxS include American, British and European makes. Some don't like one style of stock or the other and so mainly shoot American or Euro styles. Me, I couldn't care less. If the guns fits I'll like it. My O/U's are American, Italian and Spanish mainly, with a couple belgian guns tossed in there.

    I must admit to loving the O/U for both sporting clays and hunting, but shoot the SxS on certain hunts and at Vintage and Edwardian events. I must say I also have a great fondness for double rifles and double combo guns. You must experience Africa with a double rifle, especially dangerous game. When I hunt with rifles I shoot classic old calibers, don't go in for the new fangled short mags and such. Most of my rifles would be based on old bolts, like the Win 70 or Mauser guns. By do I ever like an old CZ BRNO Safari, mine in 375 H&H. Unquestionably one of the finest guns ever built from the classic Mauser action. Also a fan of the Mannlicher Schoenauer. Rumblefish has a couple of beauts there if I recall. I like modern pistols well enough, but when it comes to rifles and shotguns, I am an old style kind of man.

    As far as upland hunting, I guess I do my share. Yearly trips include Dove in Texas, Pheasant in PA and SD, grouse and woodcock in upstate NY and MI, sometimes MN too, quail in Texas. Non-yearly trips include Nebraska, Arkansas and Argentina for various upland and waterfowl. Africa is another terrific place for bird hunting.
  13. CRH

    CRH Call Me a Cab

    Thanks for pushing my button and welcome to the forum Mr. Wingshooter.

    Do you have some spots? Can we come along ;)?


    Early season hunting in bluestem and switchgrass mix is downright miserable. The heavy clothing needed for protection vs. the 60 to 80 deg F temperatures call for a ventilated straw.


    As things get cooler then a felt with some brim. Here is an Akubra Campdraft and a Squatter. An outback styled hat would be right at home too.


    Once thing get cold enough that the ears need coverage then it's a newsboy or some type of flatcap with the ever present orange hoody. I'll be back with pics.
  14. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

    Welcome to the forum, Wingshooter. Just returned last night to Michigan from Minneapolis. What a great city - so much fun and so much to do. I work for ThomsonReuters in Eagan so I am in the MSP area at least 2-3 times a year.

    Regardng hats for grouse hunting, I have worn an old Eddie Bauer fedora for several years and just started wearing a Akurba Camp Draft which I am planning to wear this fall. Generally, I prefer a fedora type hat over a ball cap for hunting. In addition to keeping the sun out of my eyes the brim keeps junk and/or rain from falling down my collar. The only downside I anticipate is the warmth of the Camp Draft. Unless it is REALLY cold I tend to sweat quite a bit.

    There are few things in life that I enjoy more than hunting grouse. I prefer D-grade Parkers, the older the better, and I hunt behind English Setters.

    Welcome to the forum - I hope you enjoy the topics and banter as much as I have since joining a month ago.

  15. There was an upland hunting show on TV a couple of years ago, "Hunting with Dez", Dez being the dog. The shooter wore an Arkubra Banjo Patterson and influenced me enough to get one which I find myself wearinng for all but the more dressy occasions.
  16. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    Interesting....actually the show was "Hunting with HANK" and...Hank was the dog. Dez--you remember correctly!--was the hominid in the upland equation, and (as far as I'm concerned) more of a liability to the show than a help....but it was still, for my money, the best upland TV show yet. Hank (who has now gone to the covers in the sky, where there are still all the birds you can find, and no limits, nor population issues) was ALWAYS the star. What a dog!

    We won't talk about the theme song, penned and sung by Dez. I think I'd prefer Hank to sing it. One of the sponsors was Noggin Tops....purveyors of hats, and probably the source of Dez's headgear.

    With respect to my Western brethren--and hoping some day I'll be able to experience your wonderful hunting traditions myself--it always used to make this New-Englander laugh when Dez would get into weeds about knee-high and exclaim "Now this is REALLY thick cover!" I can still hear his voice when I'm twisting my quite large bulk into knots, trying to push my way through some New-England thicket because there's a bird and a dog at a stand in it, or on the other side....everything is, of course, relative!

    Remember: NEVER spoil your bird dog! ;)

  17. WH1

    WH1 Practically Family

    Hmm, my kind of crowd. It has been a couple of seasons since I was able to do any wingshooting. But I am planning for some serious upland hunting after this year. I have several hats I wear depending on the weather. A favorite is an old Stetson fedora. For cooler fall weather I have a charcoal gray, wool billed cap with flaps. And of course my ever trusty Filson tin cloth upland coat. For several seasons I was using my Remington 11-87 Upland Special with the straight stock, but am looking at purchasing a Conneticut Shotgun 12 or 16 gauge RBL side by side. Do any of you have an opinion on their products?

    Hmm perhaps we need to schedule a fedora lounge upland game hunt?
  18. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    Dear WH:
    Welcome to the "Lodge of the Lounge"! As far as Conn. Shotgun goes....ummm...bring money, but I've never heard anyone say a bad thing about their products, and the guns look beautiful.

    Have to love those Filson vests and coats...although, it seems to me, the way the company is going...better buy a second one now, if you think you'll ever need it (they seem indestructible, but...); the company has apparently changed hands, and it's looking more like ANOTHER old-line outfitter has discovered that they can make more money selling their name and reputation to yuppies than they can selling the stuff they've always sold to...us. The real old numbers from their catalog seem to be morphing or disappearing. Sigh.

    A hunt is a lovely idea, but....I think we're pretty wide-spread. I did have luncheon with another uplander here in the Boston area a few weeks ago, however...so who knows?

    Welcome again,
  19. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

    I think the idea of a vintage hunt would be a smashing idea. The problem being the distance apart we all are. Maybe we should set up a pole of where FL members who are upland hunters are? Just a thought...
  20. "Skeet" McD

    "Skeet" McD Practically Family

    I'll play: Massachusetts, on the New Hampshire border.


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