Chukar vest

Before I get into bird vests, I’ll pass on my findings on my last two chukar hunts. First off, after 9 o’clock, it’s hot and the dogs are wearing down. As I walk through the sage and tall grasses, there is a mist of dust and pollen that is even blocking my sinus so I can’t imagine what it is doing to the dogs.

I went to a favorite spot and saw no birds a few days back. The grass was so tall on the steep slope it was hard to navigate without any trails to walk on. I don’t believe the chukars like that much cover. I think they stay away from that much cover because of the inability to catch air fast for getting away. Conner, Mac and I had been on the opposite side of the river the day before deer hunting and saw plenty of chukars. The difference between the two sides was the side that had grazing had good number of birds.

Today I went to another of my favorites and it didn’t let me down. There was plenty of cover but it was reasonable. There was plenty of birds but scenting conditions were terrible. I watched one cripple go down and it took the dogs 15 minutes to find it. When Jake finally found it, he was right on top of it pointing and had walked close to the area at least a half dozen times. Although we saw bird numbers to rival 2015, the dog work was not good. Most birds were busted and I had only three good points and they were about 15 feet in front of the dogs.

If we ever get some moisture on the ground, it looks to be a very fun year with lots of opportunities.

Now to my vest dilemma. I think I’ve gone through just about every bird vest available and handed them down to future chukar hunters. I haven’t found the gem of vest yet. The Quilomene vest I use now has been the best vest yet simply because of the amount of water and accessories I can carry. I’ve actually shot both a limit of chukars and huns and been able to pack all 18 of the birds along with my accessories.

I don’t use a bladder because I like the bottles in case I come across a water source I can refill the bottles with water for the dogs. I’m lucky in the fact that I don’t drink much water on the hunts. But I pack 2 gallons of water for the dogs on these early hunts. My vest carries the extra weight from water, accessories and birds with no problem but sooner or later becomes uncomfortable.

My question is, what works for you? Most people like the strap vests because of the heat. I don’t mind sweating. I’m used to it and anyone hunting with me after a hunt knows there’s probably going to be an odor in the truck on the way home. So, is there a vest out there that conforms to the body more like a tactical vest with compartments for shells, water bottles, an Alpha and few smaller accessories as well as a bird bag and a storage compartment on the back?

I know it would be hot, but I think the comfort of having a tight fitting vest would be worth it. The Quilomene vest I have now would be perfect if it would just fit tight to my body. I get tired of trying to adjust the vest as I lighten or make heavier the load. Even if I carried less I think the tight fit around the chest would make packing easier.

Don’t mean to sound like the old fart out there complaining but any thoughts out there?

Published by jakeandgrady

Hunting has been a favorite past time for me for 55 years but the last twenty five years I have been consumed by chukar hunting and more specifically chukar hunting with fantastic dogs. In this blog I hope to pass on any information I can about chukar hunting but more than anything I want to showcase what will probably be my last two chukar dogs, Jake and Grady. I am 70 years old, Jake is 8 and Grady is 3 and I'm hoping to stay on the chukar mountain until I am 80 when Grady will be fetching my final chukars.

14 thoughts on “Chukar vest

  1. As you know I have a Wingworks that works for me but everybody has different needs. You should hire out as a tester/desi
    gner as there are few that could give them the test you do. My dog Oakley had a wreck with barbwire a few days ago and has 15 stitches on her belly so is out for awhile but I see there is a chance of some….a little….. moisture by next weekend.


  2. I’m not sure if it would suit your needs, but I transitioned to the Final Rise vest a few years back, and it’s been the best vest I’ve owned.


  3. Greg, Oakley likes to keep your life exciting. I remember a few years back when she had a hole the size of a plate in her chest. Hard running pup.

    Tim, I’ve had a couple other referrals on the Final Rise. I just have trouble with strap vests. I need something that buttons or zips up the front to hold the pack tighter to my body. I’m probably doing something wrong but I seem to be constantly adjusting strap vests.


  4. Larry, we see eye to eye on vests, my game pouch is to carry water , I pack 1.5-2 gallons early season and 1-1.5 later. I tie birds to back of vest. Like you constantly adjusting. Also , multiple pouches for the various things needed or might be needed on the course of a 5-7 hour hunt. The vests I’ve used for the past 25 years were made my the once great Cabelas. Like many things we grow to love are no longer available . I had the foresight to buy 3, and they’ve seemed to last ten years each. I’m on the last one. I’ll probably transition to a backpack and a belt with pouches. Wingworks , final rise vests all come up as popular but I hadn’t run into them yet.


  5. I don’t have any personal experience with Chief Upland but their vests appear to conform a bit more to the body than most strap style vests. Might be worth a look. Good luck in your search.


  6. The Chief Upland may have solved my problem. I’ve ordered two more chest straps for my Q5 and hopefully that will hold it tighter to my chest and off my shoulders. Thanks guys for the help and I’ll let you know how it works once I get them.


  7. Vest, I have an older Quilomene vest with Velcro back and side straps. The waist is a cam lock system so I can adjust it on the fly. This keeps the weight on my hips and not on my shoulders. I don’t believe Quilomene makes the vest that way any longer. The last client I guided back in 2015, had a brand new Quilomene and it wasn’t the same as mine. I really don’t know the age of yours, but mine will adjust just as you say very quickly through out the day for me.

    I do use the bladder for my one dog. English Springer Spaniel, so he doesn’t roam as much. I also had one of my past dogs in the bird pouch after a snake bite issue. I carried her for miles and many vertical feet back to the vehicle. It’s big. I have not found a replacement that I like to this day. I had two grouse, my fleece vest, lunch and some new equipment that didn’t work in it again this past weekend.

    If you find something please share.


  8. Hey Larry, don’t forget your old buddy with the 1976 model Bucks Bag camo vest. I think I paid $25.00 for this when most vest cost around $5-6 dollars. Most people thought I was crazy to pay that for a vest. I had a tent shop sew a backpack and straps for carrying clothes on it a little before you and I started hunting together 30 + years ago. It’s a tight fit but I have hauled a limit of Mallards in it more than once. It’s been back to the tent shop many times for a “tune up” but I can’t imagine wearing anything else. I’m sure these other vests are probably better in many ways, but I’m too superstitious to try one. If you don’t believe me as my wife about all the 15-year-old sweatshirts I won’t let her get rid of.


  9. Greg, I tell Barb all the time that I can’t figure out how you do it. You’ve had that same vest for as long as I can remember. I’ve gone through at least ten different kinds trying to find the right one. I’ve busted two shotguns over the years we have hunted together and had to have others refinished and you finally had to have your Ruger over and under refinished for the first time last year. No wonder you shoot so well. With all that said, I don’t have to ask Brenda about your old sweatshirts, I’ve had to ride home with you many times after hunting and I can tell by the smell they are at least 15 years old.


  10. 2 gallons of water! At a Pint a pound the world around I think I would need more than a vest. Jet pack comes to mind. 😂

    Hope to get out looking for Chukar when it cools a bit.



  11. Larry, I love my WingWorks vest. Made in Hailey. The only problem with their business model is the vest is so durable, they likely have to wait 15 years between repeat purchases. Really enjoy reading your blog. Best of luck this year! Robb


  12. 1) WingWorks or Final Rise Both are 20-year vests.
    2) LL Bean Technical Pack Vest Great value. Lighter than the above.
    3) Filson Upland Guide Strap Vest. $250 almost seems cheap for Filson.
    4) Chief Upland, Duck Camp brands. New players, seem slightly less durable.


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