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:

Bob 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, 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

See also  OnX Offroad App Review: An Overlanding Essential You Won’t Want to Drive Without

Bill 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 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

Hank 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

Lee & 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

See also  Best Bait For Brown Trout: 5 Most Effective Baits That Guides Use

Tom 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 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

Billy 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!

Justin 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

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

Anthony 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”

See also  12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell

5) Vest: Browning Bird ‘n Lite Strap Vest

Steve 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 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

Matt 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.

Jeff 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.

Previous article
Next articleThe most advanced sniper rifles in the world
Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>