The Best Hunting Gear for Upland Bird Hunting

The Best Hunting Gear for Upland Bird Hunting

Whether you are an experienced upland bird hunter or a beginner looking to venture into this thrilling outdoor activity, having the right hunting gear is essential. Upland bird hunting requires specific equipment that can enhance your experience and increase your chances of a successful hunt. In this article, we will explore the best hunting gear available for upland bird hunting, including shotguns, boots, clothing, accessories, and more. Get ready to discover the top-notch gear that will take your upland bird hunting adventures to new heights.


Upland bird hunting is a thrilling and popular outdoor activity that requires the right gear to enhance both safety and success. Whether you are an experienced hunter or just starting out, having the best hunting gear is essential to ensure a memorable and productive hunting experience. This article will guide you through some of the top gear options available in the market, ranging from clothing and footwear to firearms and accessories. By investing in the right equipment, you can maximize your chances of a successful upland bird hunting excursion while also enjoying the overall adventure to the fullest. Let’s explore the essential gear every upland bird hunter should consider.


When it comes to upland bird hunting, choosing the right firearm is crucial. The right weapon can make a significant difference in your hunting experience. There are two main types of firearms commonly used in upland bird hunting: shotguns and rifles.


Shotguns are the most popular choice among upland bird hunters, and for good reason. They offer versatility and effectiveness in bringing down fast-flying birds. The wide selection of shotgun gauges allows hunters to choose the perfect option for their needs.

Pump-Action Shotguns

Pump-action shotguns are a common choice for upland bird hunting. They are reliable, durable, and offer quick follow-up shots. With their ability to handle different loads, they are suitable for various bird species and hunting scenarios.

Semi-Automatic Shotguns

Semi-automatic shotguns have gained popularity in recent years due to their rapid-fire capability. They offer reduced recoil, making them easier to handle, especially during long hunting trips. Their quick cycling action ensures minimal disruption between shots, improving your chances of bagging multiple birds.


While shotguns are the go-to choice for upland bird hunting, some hunters prefer rifles for specific situations. Rifles provide increased accuracy and longer effective range, making them ideal for hunting birds in open fields or at longer distances.

Bolt-Action Rifles

Bolt-action rifles are known for their reliability, precision, and versatility. They offer exceptional accuracy, making them a preferred choice for hunters who prioritize precision over rapid-fire capabilities. Bolt-action rifles are particularly suitable for upland bird hunting scenarios where longer shots are required.

Lever-Action Rifles

Lever-action rifles have a classic charm and are often favored by traditionalists. While they may not offer the same level of accuracy as bolt-action rifles, they excel in quick follow-up shots. Lever-action rifles are lightweight and maneuverable, making them suitable for hunters who prefer a more mobile hunting style.

In conclusion, shotguns are the primary firearms used in upland bird hunting due to their versatility and effectiveness. However, rifles have their place in specific hunting scenarios, offering increased accuracy and longer effective range. Choosing the right firearm ultimately depends on your personal preferences, hunting style, and the specific requirements of your upland bird hunting adventure.


When it comes to upland bird hunting, having the right ammunition is crucial. Whether you are using a shotgun or a rifle, choosing the appropriate shells or bullets can greatly impact your hunting experience. In this section, we will discuss the importance of shotgun shells and rifle bullets in upland bird hunting.

Shotgun Shells

Shotgun shells are the go-to ammunition for most upland bird hunters. They are designed specifically for shotguns and come in various sizes, known as gauges. The most common gauges used in upland bird hunting are 12 gauge and 20 gauge.

When selecting shotgun shells for upland bird hunting, it is important to consider the shot size and shot material. Shot size refers to the diameter of the individual pellets within the shell. For upland bird hunting, smaller shot sizes like 7.5 or 8 are commonly used as they provide a dense pattern and are effective at shorter distances.

Shot material is another important factor to consider. Lead shot has been traditionally used for upland bird hunting, but in some areas, it is now prohibited due to environmental concerns. In such cases, non-toxic alternatives like steel or bismuth shot must be used.

Remember to check the regulations in your hunting area regarding lead shot restrictions and choose shotgun shells accordingly. Additionally, consider the specific species of upland birds you will be hunting, as different birds have different flight patterns and may require different shot sizes and materials.

Rifle Bullets

While shotguns are the preferred choice for upland bird hunting, some hunters may opt for rifles, especially when hunting larger game birds or in specific situations where longer range shots are necessary.

When using a rifle for upland bird hunting, the choice of bullets becomes crucial. Unlike shotgun shells that disperse multiple pellets, rifle bullets are single projectiles. The most common calibers used for upland bird hunting with rifles are .22 and .17.

When selecting rifle bullets, it is important to consider factors such as bullet weight, bullet type, and velocity. Lighter bullets are generally preferred for upland bird hunting as they offer flatter trajectories and less recoil. Bullet types like hollow point or soft point are commonly used for their expansion capabilities, ensuring effective kills while minimizing damage to the bird.

It is also essential to match the bullet velocity with the distance you expect to shoot. Higher velocities are beneficial for longer range shots, while lower velocities are suitable for shorter distances where precision is key.

In conclusion, whether you choose shotgun shells or rifle bullets for upland bird hunting, selecting the right ammunition is crucial for a successful and ethical hunt. Consider the specific requirements of your hunting situation, including shot size, shot material, bullet weight, bullet type, and velocity. By doing so, you can ensure an enjoyable and rewarding upland bird hunting experience.

Clothing and Accessories

Hunting Apparel

When it comes to upland bird hunting, having the right hunting apparel is essential for both comfort and functionality. The proper clothing can help you blend into your surroundings, stay warm, and protect yourself from the elements. Here are a few key items of hunting apparel to consider:

  • Hunting jacket: Look for a jacket specifically designed for upland bird hunting. These jackets often feature durable materials, water-resistant or waterproof coatings, and ample pocket space for carrying essentials like ammunition and calls.

  • Hunting pants: Opt for pants made from sturdy, breathable fabrics that offer flexibility and freedom of movement. Reinforced knee and seat areas can provide added durability, especially when moving through dense brush and rugged terrains.

  • Shooting vest: A shooting vest is not only a practical accessory but also a great way to keep your essentials within easy reach. Look for a vest with plenty of pockets for storing shells, calls, and other small items. Additionally, some vests include a recoil pad to absorb the kickback from your shotgun.


Having the right pair of boots is crucial for upland bird hunting, as you’ll likely be covering a lot of ground, often through uneven and challenging terrains. Here’s what to consider when choosing hunting boots:

  • Waterproof: Look for boots that are waterproof or have water-resistant properties. This feature will help keep your feet dry when navigating wetlands, crossing streams, or walking through damp grass.

  • Traction: Upland bird hunting often involves traversing slippery surfaces and rugged terrains. Opt for boots with excellent traction, such as those with rubber soles or aggressive tread patterns. This will provide stability and reduce the risk of slips and falls.

  • Comfort and support: Since you’ll be on your feet for extended periods, prioritize boots that offer proper cushioning and arch support. A comfortable fit is essential to prevent blisters and foot fatigue, allowing you to focus on the hunt.

Hunting Backpacks

Carrying the necessary gear and supplies is essential during upland bird hunting. A well-designed hunting backpack can make a significant difference in your hunting experience. Here are some features to look for:

  • Size and capacity: Consider the size of the backpack based on the amount of gear you typically carry. Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and pockets, allowing you to organize your items effectively.

  • Durability: Opt for a backpack made from sturdy, rip-resistant materials that can withstand rugged conditions. Reinforced stitching and strong zippers are also important factors to ensure the longevity of the backpack.

  • Comfort: Look for a hunting backpack with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt. This will help distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain on your back and shoulders, allowing you to carry your gear comfortably throughout the hunt.

Remember, investing in high-quality clothing, boots, and backpacks designed specifically for upland bird hunting can greatly enhance your hunting experience while ensuring your comfort and safety in the field.


When it comes to upland bird hunting, having the right optics can greatly enhance your hunting experience. Two essential optics that every upland bird hunter should consider are binoculars and rangefinders.


Binoculars are a must-have tool for any upland bird hunter. They provide better visibility and allow you to spot birds from a distance. When choosing binoculars for upland bird hunting, there are a few key factors to consider.

First, you’ll want to look for binoculars with a good magnification power. A magnification of around 8x to 10x is ideal for upland bird hunting as it provides a good balance between magnification and stability. Higher magnifications may make it difficult to keep the image steady, especially when scanning the terrain.

Second, consider the objective lens diameter. A larger objective lens diameter allows more light to enter the binoculars, resulting in brighter and clearer images. For upland bird hunting, an objective lens diameter of around 42mm to 50mm is recommended.

Lastly, pay attention to the field of view (FOV). A wider FOV allows you to observe a larger area without having to move your binoculars constantly. This is particularly useful when tracking birds in flight. Look for binoculars with a FOV of at least 300 feet at 1000 yards.


Another important optic for upland bird hunting is a rangefinder. Rangefinders help you accurately determine the distance between you and your target, which is crucial for making precise shots. When choosing a rangefinder for upland bird hunting, keep the following factors in mind.

First, consider the range capability of the rangefinder. Most upland bird hunting occurs within a relatively close range, so a rangefinder with a range of 500 to 1000 yards should suffice. However, having a rangefinder with a longer range can be advantageous in certain situations.

Second, look for a rangefinder that offers quick and accurate readings. Some models have advanced laser technology that provides faster and more precise measurements, even in low light conditions. This can be particularly useful when hunting during dawn or dusk when visibility is reduced.

Lastly, consider the size and weight of the rangefinder. Upland bird hunting often involves covering a lot of ground, so having a compact and lightweight rangefinder is beneficial for ease of carrying and maneuverability.

Investing in high-quality binoculars and a reliable rangefinder will undoubtedly improve your upland bird hunting experience. These optics will not only help you spot birds from a distance but also ensure accurate targeting for successful shots.

Dog Training Equipment

When it comes to upland bird hunting, having a well-trained hunting dog is essential. To ensure that your furry companion is prepared for the field, investing in the right dog training equipment is crucial. Here are two essential items every upland bird hunter should consider:

Training Collars

Training collars, also known as e-collars or electronic collars, are a valuable tool to aid in the training process of your hunting dog. These collars provide a safe and effective way to communicate with your dog from a distance, allowing you to reinforce commands and correct unwanted behavior.

There are various types of training collars available, including static shock collars, vibration collars, and beep collars. Each collar type offers different levels of stimulation, allowing you to choose the most suitable option for your dog’s needs and sensitivity.

When selecting a training collar, it’s essential to consider factors such as range, durability, and waterproofing. Look for collars with a long range, as this will allow you to maintain control and give commands even when your dog is at a distance. Additionally, opt for a collar that is built to withstand the elements, ensuring it can handle the rugged conditions of upland bird hunting.

Retrieving Dummies

Retrieving dummies are another essential piece of dog training equipment for upland bird hunters. These dummies are designed to mimic the shape and weight of game birds, allowing your dog to practice retrieving skills in a controlled environment.

By using retrieving dummies during training sessions, you can simulate real hunting scenarios and teach your dog the proper techniques for retrieving downed birds. This helps to build their confidence, develop their retrieving instincts, and refine their obedience to commands.

When choosing retrieving dummies, opt for ones that are made from durable materials such as canvas or rubber. These materials can withstand repeated use and withstand the wear and tear of training exercises. Additionally, consider selecting dummies in different sizes and colors to mimic the variety of birds your dog may encounter during upland bird hunting.

Investing in high-quality dog training equipment, such as training collars and retrieving dummies, will greatly enhance your hunting dog’s abilities and ensure a successful upland bird hunting experience. Remember to always prioritize your dog’s safety and comfort when selecting training equipment and to consistently practice positive reinforcement techniques during training sessions.

Hunting Gear Maintenance

Cleaning Kits

Keeping your hunting gear clean and well-maintained is essential for ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. When it comes to upland bird hunting, where you’ll be trudging through various terrains and encountering different weather conditions, it becomes even more important to have a reliable cleaning kit. Here are some must-have items for your cleaning kit:

  • Bore Brushes: Bore brushes are essential for scrubbing the inside of your gun’s barrel. Choose a brush that matches the caliber of your firearm for effective cleaning.

  • Cleaning Rod: A cleaning rod is used to push cleaning patches through the barrel. Opt for a sturdy and flexible rod that can reach all the nooks and crannies of your firearm.

  • Cleaning Patches: These small pieces of cloth are used in conjunction with cleaning solvent to remove residue and debris from the barrel. Make sure to use high-quality patches that won’t leave lint behind.

  • Cleaning Solvent: Invest in a good cleaning solvent that is specifically designed for firearms. This will help break down carbon buildup and dissolve any other contaminants.

  • Toothbrush or Small Brush: A toothbrush or a small brush can be handy for cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as the trigger assembly or the action.

Sharpening Tools

A sharp blade is crucial for any upland bird hunter. Dull knives can make field dressing and skinning a challenging task. Ensure your knives and other cutting tools are always sharp and ready for action with these essential sharpening tools:

  • Honing Rod: A honing rod, also known as a sharpening steel, is great for maintaining the sharpness of your knives. Run the blade along the rod at a consistent angle to realign the edge and keep it sharp.

  • Whetstone: A whetstone is a traditional sharpening tool that is perfect for restoring a dull or damaged blade. Soak the stone in water before use and follow the instructions to achieve the desired sharpness.

  • Knife Sharpener: For quick and convenient sharpening, consider investing in a knife sharpener. There are various types available, including manual sharpeners and electric sharpeners. Choose one that suits your needs and preferences.

  • Strop: A leather strop is an excellent tool for polishing and refining the blade edge after sharpening. It helps remove any burrs or imperfections, resulting in a razor-sharp edge.

Proper maintenance of your hunting gear is essential for a successful and safe upland bird hunting experience. With the right cleaning kit and sharpening tools, you can ensure that your gear is always in top-notch condition, allowing you to perform at your best in the field.

In conclusion, having the right hunting gear is essential for a successful upland bird hunting experience. From shotguns to boots, each piece of equipment plays a crucial role in ensuring comfort, safety, and efficiency in the field. By investing in high-quality gear specifically designed for upland bird hunting, hunters can enhance their skills, increase their chances of a successful hunt, and make the most of their outdoor adventures. So, whether you are a seasoned hunter or just starting out, be sure to gather the best hunting gear for upland bird hunting and enjoy a thrilling and rewarding experience in the great outdoors.