What to Wear for Your Kansas Pheasant Hunt
Just short of sounding too much like my “tween” daughter in the morning, sometimes I stand in front of my closet and complain to the clothes.
Deciding exactly what to wear is befuddling when checking the forecasts in Kansas. Wearing the appropriate gear for upland bird hunting can make a more enjoyable trip to the field. Of the many factors to consider, start with checking the hourly weather forecast. Know the forecast and a day or two before your arrival, and check the hourly forecast for the location where you’ll be hunting.
As with most Kansas hunting, most hunters can’t go wrong dressing in layers. As the morning warms up, hunters can always shed a layer and stuff it in a pack or vest. As a base layer, I prefer a dry-fit shirt. After all, walking in thick cover will be a workout. Upland jeans with heavy canvas facing are enough to keep my legs warm on 90% of my hunts. For extremely cold temperatures, I pull on the long underwear.
Be aware of the wind chill. Even on seemingly warm mornings, the north Kansas wind can make it seem colder. A wind breaker or some sort of outer shell layer can make a huge difference in staying comfortable. Any microfiber rain jacket makes a great outer layer.
Inquire about the rigorousness of the fields you are about to walk. If planning to walk hilly ground or in loose soil, be prepared to exert more energy; consequently, you will need fewer or thinner layers to stay warm. If wearing gloves, make sure you can operate your shotgun effectively with those gloves. Better yet, wear thin but warm gloves that you’ve already practiced shooting with at the range.
Finally, be sure that what you will wear doesn’t inhibit the mounting of your shotgun. A jacket or vest that is too loose or baggy might catch the stock of your shotgun as you try to mount it to shoot.
At the same time, your upper body clothing shouldn’t be so tight-fitting and restrictive that you cannot move your upper body and torso to shoot effectively. Look for shirts and jackets that have pleats and/or some means to provide the hunter mobility. Lightly-insulated leather boots that are comfortable for walking are ideal.
Again, practice at the range with the apparel you’re likely to wear on your Kansas hunting adventure to find what works for you.