Now entering my 3rd year of accompanying my husband on duck hunts, the major difference was this season, I was not just accompanying and hunting every couple of weekends, but hunting all season long. As in two-a-days every weekend and with all the extra days off for holidays through winter, some very extended day trips. It was time to gear up.
Seeing as I get cold easily to begin with, I needed to invest in not only the right gear, but that actually fit. As any woman that hunts knows, we’re over trying to wear the kids XL version of something because while it sucks, it fits better than a man’s small.
I started digging and found this site by Holly Heyser, Norcal Cazadora. Finally another woman who actually has legitimate insight into what other women hunters need and want. After researching the many brands she recommended (she also field tests for companies) and comparing with the knowledge my husband’s gathered through rounds of gear and years of use, I was able to make some purchases!
Here are the waders I got and for our neck of the woods here in South Carolina, they are perfect. And for the price, you can’t go wrong. Not overly expensive in the event they do have to be replaced in a few years from a snag. They fit super well and keep me really warm and dry; dry being key. These are Cabela’s brand, 3mm Neoprene Waders.
I hunted the first half of the season with these and a combination of layered shirts/sweatshirts and stealing my husband’s Drake Waterfowl Fleece pullover. And then January came with its colder weather, prospective NC trip, and after Christmas sales. It was time to get a jacket. And man did I get a jacket! I dont’ think I’ve paid for one dress coat or cute jacket in my life that’s ever held a candle to the warmth of this puppy. And it’s really truly windproof! While this is a Men’s and not a Women’s made jacket, it’s a Men’s medium (smallest size they make) and it’s a Wader Length jacket instead of full. So these considerations make it perfect for outfitting me. The best part is, as layered and warm as this jacket is, it’s not bulky and it doesn’t hinder me from raising my gun quickly and firmly.
This is the Drake 4 in 1 Wader, complete in Old School Camo. Nothing like paying tribute to the camo I was raised on watching my grandddad and dad take off for hunts as a child.
All in all, I’ve been very pleased and it sure makes those 4:30am wake up calls a lot easier to tackle!