Need an opinion: strap game carrier or vest in the winter?

jonnyB

Active member
This is sort of an odd question, but thought I would get some opinions.

Due to a disability in my right arm, I have difficulty mounting the gun, especially when I have a few layers of clothing and a jacket and a vest. Oofda! Getting the stock up and in the right spot is a challenge.

Question: those of you that have switched to the strap type game carrier, do you notice a difference in mounting the gun, especially with winter clothing gear? Easier? No difference?

Please comment on your experiences, especially with winter garb...thanks!
 

mgorvi

Member
I use a game belt from Outdoor Connection to get the weight off my shoulders because of stenosis. Added benefit is no shoulder weight. I notice a difference on long days. I replaced the belt so as I pork out I can adjust accordingly. Nothing fancy, but pretty well made and cheap. I wore suspenders for a while, but ditched them this last trip. View attachment 9578View attachment 9579
 

Vammy

New member
One of my hunting buddy's uses a strap-type vest and loves it; then again, he shoots a lot of trap and wears a similar device at the range...so it may be more of "this is what I'm used to" than any real benefit.

Still, if you're having trouble getting your gun to shoulder correctly, I would think any reduction in clothing would be beneficial.
 

birdshooter

Active member
I like a strap vest as it seems to allow me a little more freedom to move my arms. I don't wear heavy clothing under it either as I hate getting too warm when I'm doing a lot of walking.

I take it the gun is not too long in the stock for you? There are a few little tricks you can try to make the gun come up to your shoulder a little easier.

1. This will be the easiest thing to try. If your a right handed shooter try moving your left hand back slightly on the forend as this will have the same affect as shortening your stock. If your left handed it will be the right hand. Try this at home (with an unloaded gun of course) with the clothing that you will wear hunting.

2. You may also try adding something that will make the butt pad a little slick as in clear nail polish, electricians tape or I've even read where people even used Armor All, the stuff that makes your car dash slick. If you try this be VERY careful that you DO NOT get it on the back of the pad that touches your shoulder as this will cause the pad to slip out of your shoulder pocket. Both the inside and outside edge of the pad that meets up with the wood is where you want to add the tape. The clear nail polish I would add to just the top 1" of the pad. What this does and I have tried this before is allow the pad to slide easily along your jacket and not stick as your mounting the gun. You can experiment on how much to add, start small and increase tape or nail polish till you feel an improvement.

Give these a try and see if it works for you and if not it can easily be removed.

Here is a picture of what I'm talking about.

View attachment 9590
 
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jonnyB

Active member
Birdshooter:

Thanks for the detailed help with mounting...most appreciated.

Have been doing the electrical tape routine on the stock for a long time and it helps. The length of pull on three guns is 12.5", as short as I can make it! This due to the disability in my right arm (bone cancer). Can only raise the right arm about waist high.

Have two posts/handles on the gun to enable me to mount; one to the rear of the forend and the other behind the trigger - similar to an assault rifle. I get strange looks on the sporty range...

Winter hunting is quite challenging with gloves, coats and shell vets. Anything that will reduce the bulk can help with the mount. I do have a strap shell carrier and game bag that I plan on wearing next week in SD.

Thanks again for your comments.
 

birdshooter

Active member
No problem, didn't realize your disability was that severe. Don't worry about the strange looks, it's just human nature to look at something that you don't see everyday.

Give the strap vest a try, it can't hurt. Good luck
 

Toad

Active member
Have you ever considered one of those game belts, with no shoulder straps at all? It puts all the weight on your waist, and nothing on the shoulders. They don't have a lot of storage capacity, but realistically, how much junk to you need to walk around with anyway?

I have one I wear when I am mostly planning to just run the dogs and not go on a bird murdering spree.

Edit: I saw Mgorvi's pics now that I am logged in. What I use is pretty similar to that, a couple more bells and whistles, but same idea.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Thanks for the suggestion...

I have a shell bag I wear for sporting clay's and I probably could add another bag(s) to the arrangement. Also I have a very light weight vest that's a possibility.

In the past I have worn a pad inserted in my shirt; have eliminated this for winter hunting and it seems to help with the mount.

Have missed some very easy shots this season that I never miss on the sporty range...
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
This probably won't be helpful at all to you, jonnyB. But maybe it'll help somebody else.
I wear a vest. Specifically a Mount'n Prairie vest that I've had for over 30 years. It's had some repairs, but has been an absolute workhorse.
I like a vest in winter because:
1. I don't use shell loops & these pockets are big enough for more than enough shells. My gloved hand can easily dig out another shell (or 2 on the rare occasion that I miss on the 1st shot). ;)
2. It's one more layer for a little added warmth. It does a real nice job keeping those northwest winds from whistling through my core.
This pic was found online. Mine is the same vest, although it doesn't look quite as nice. Way more blood stains!
View attachment 9616
 

jonnyB

Active member
You are so right about the vest keeping you a bit warmer and I like the big game carrier pockets, not that I need it that often! I did wear it last weekend in very cold weather - a bit more insulation. If I didn't have the vest I would probably need another layer underneath.
 

Miforester

Member
I have switched to a strap vest, it is 20+ years old and no longer made. I like the flexibility of layering without the bulk of a coat or traditional vest. Compared with today's strap vest mine is very basic, 2 bellow front pockets, game bag and a couple of small pockets on the back. As clothing insulating and windproofness has advanced i don't have near the bulk it did once under my coat, i basically wear a cotton long sleeved t-shirt, my bloodied frontloading hunting shirt and McAllister mock T pullover. Much for freedom in bringing the gun up in my opinion. The down fall is I have to carry my water bottles in the game bag and always forget with one has dog water and which is mine.......also as i'm getting older and my girth is not getting any smaller the strap vest seems to provide more room to "grow" then a sized vest without having to buy a new one.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Good info...thanks.

Last week it was 11 degrees with a 18? mph wind when we started. Can't imagine that situation without a coat of some kind.

Of course we were wearing our "ninja" masks and heavy gloves - I think the birds had the advantage!

Plan to hunt this week with temp. about 30; will try the strap arrangement vs the vest.
 

Miforester

Member
Good info...thanks.

Last week it was 11 degrees with a 18? mph wind when we started. Can't imagine that situation without a coat of some kind.

Of course we were wearing our "ninja" masks and heavy gloves - I think the birds had the advantage!

Plan to hunt this week with temp. about 30; will try the strap arrangement vs the vest.
I have hunted with single digits and hi winds, with facemask and gloves. I'm always impressed with windstopping abilities of my clothes, i also think i tend to run warmer then most...I always have a coat if I can't handle it with my vest but so far so good, as i age i'm sure that will change as well.

Good luck on your hunt, looking forward to your posts.
 

jonnyB

Active member
..."as I age"...it's the hands that become difficult to keep warm; holding on to a gun makes it worse. Battery gloves really work well, but are a bit bulky, especially reloading.
 

Miforester

Member
..."as I age"...it's the hands that become difficult to keep warm; holding on to a gun makes it worse. Battery gloves really work well, but are a bit bulky, especially reloading.
I agree 100%, my fingers go thru the frozen peg stage when I first start out, if I can survive that or birds get up I'm good. I like to use insulated fingerless glomits, I keep my trigger finger out so I can use it but the rest of my fingers are good.
 

jonnyB

Active member
I noticed you have an English Setter - a friend of mine has this breed; fun dog to hunt with.

Visited with a woman in SD that does dog grooming. She told us about an English Setter (show dog) that a fellow hunted. The dog encountered "foxtail" and had to be sheared/trimmed to the belly in order to remove the sticky weed. The owner lamented...won't be showing this dog for a long while!

You're from No. Michigan...I lived in the Detroit area for 2 years, back in i968. Beautiful state!
 

Miforester

Member
Yeah I have a young setter, she is great to hunt with. I have encountered that weed in nebraska and I could basically mold her ears to pigtails that would stick out horizontally from her head.

Yes I live about an hour south of the mackinac bridge. Michigan is a great state.
 

PairOfLabs

New member
I switched to a Browning Bird-n-Lite strap vest two years ago and like it a lot. I can put two big water bottles in the bottle pockets and actually reach them, unlike my previous traditional vest. I asked my wife to sew a Velcro patch on the left strap so I can attach my transmitter to it. I dress for the weather underneath the strap vest in layers so I can change through the day as needed, and sometimes during a walk through the field. I also sometimes use a waist mounted game bag like shown above if it is really warm and then just lay a couple of water bottles in the game bag. If it's that warm, lots of water for the dogs is even more important.

I do not own a traditional hunting jacket or jacket/vest. I use some combination of wicking short or long sleeve undershirts, polypro shirt, fleece vest or fleece zippered jacket, insulated hoody, or Gore-Tex shell---with a lot of orange.

Good luck with your experimentation.
Tom
 
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