Hunting and Shooting Attire

Gentlemanly Pursuits: Hunting & Shooting Attire

I once walked into Cabela’s and asked for a tweed jacket and a pair of breeks. The salesperson gave me a puzzled look. They had neither. Instead, they had rows and rows of camouflage, racks of mass-manufactured guns and a man standing in front of me with one hand holding up a fishing rod and the other down the back of his trousers searching for what I can only assume was gold.

While most men in the U.S. think of hunting as a sport for hooligans driving oversized pickup trucks and drinking cheap beer, few remember it was once a gentlemanly sport and in the British countryside, remains that way today.

The Hunt

The Hunt

Despite what you may have heard, camo is not a prerequisite of hunting. Will it increase your chances of successfully nabbing your prey? Possibly. But let’s not forget that for the thousands of men who don tweed coats and a tie with their gundog beside them, finishing a successful hunt has been a longstanding tradition in country attire. And today, much of it remains the tradition for the most dapper shooters visiting Britain’s vast and exquisite countryside estates.

History of Recreational Hunting

Traditionally, the benefit of owning property meant the right to hunt and rather than living on someone else’s land, the noblest of men would seek out their own estates. Hunting has, for the most part, been a recreational sport since Assyrian kings hunted lions from their chariots. As Royals, they believed any land within their kingdom was their entitled property, and so hunting was also a way for the nobility to demonstrate dominance over their people. As the game moved away from inhabited lands, forests became known as hunting reserves, and Royals would mount their steeds and with a hound beside them, tread into the reserve. As the 12th century came about, gamekeepers were charged with monitoring the big game population in the forests and smaller game in the warrens. Despite hunting being a sport enjoyed by all demographics, England decided to regulate it due to the dwindling numbers of wildlife and those without a status of nobility were no longer hunting, but poaching and, therefore, subject to severe punishment by the courts. It became a stylized pastime of the aristocracy and an arena for fellowship as well as military training. Hunting was no longer a right, but a privilege and measurement of one’s class.

A traditional shoot lunch following a day of hunting

A traditional shoot lunch following a day of hunting

Fast forward a few centuries and just as formalwear dwindled from white tie to black, so did the legislation regarding who could hunt. No longer was it reserved for men of nobility, but now, hunting was open to everyone, yet still a sport respected by and participated in by the noble class.

Today, hunting is enjoyed by men and women from all backgrounds. While there are certainly some connotations of social structure within groups of hunters, it is a pastime treasured by many and one that is growing in popularity around the world.

A Change in Attire

During the Edwardian and Victorian eras, country clothing was the attire of choice for those living in and visiting the British countryside. Today, in much of Britain it remains the same. However, trends have sparked in North America where most hunters have adopted a far more casual wardrobe comprised of camouflage and war paint.

Country gents toasting

Country gents toasting

It began simply because experts believed that by disguising yourself into the environment, you would be less likely to spook your prey and, therefore, enjoy a far more successful hunt. Adopting patterns and colors from various military units, men began painting their faces with war paint and donning ghillie suits to blend in with their surroundings. As years passed most men living in North America started to associate this attire as a uniform of sorts and for the few gentlemen left who enjoy dressing for the shoot, it’s become difficult to find proper shooting attire and even harder to convince fellow enthusiasts that you’re going hunting and not attending a wedding.

I am often shocked by how many people I meet who don’t believe me when I tell them that a tweed jacket, a tie and a pair of breeks are traditional hunting apparel. In fact, to prove this, I stood outside a local hunting store and asked men and women how they would react if a friend showed up in a jacket and tie to go hunting. The answers ranged from laughter to shock and surprise that men actually dressed like that. One woman, however, remembered seeing similar apparel in an episode of Downton Abbey. I won’t repeat what her husband said.

Cabelas is the modern hunting store for camo and guns

Cabelas is the modern hunting store for camo and guns

Unfortunately for the dapper gentleman, shooting apparel has dwindled in the same sense that men stopped wearing slacks and blazers in the 50s and 60s and reverted to sweatpants and hoodies as being the socially acceptable attire for a day out. However, there is a contingent of us still who enjoy dressing for the event, and there’s no reason we can’t wear traditional country attire for a day of shooting. Any man who claims you won’t have a successful hunt should be reminded that camo has been used for just a few decades whereas men have been successfully hunting in elegant attire since the Romans.

A Dapper Gent in his Shooting Attire

A Dapper Gent in his Shooting Attire

Standard Country Dress

The most important thing to remember when dressing for a day of shooting is to layer based on the weather and the season. Wearing bulky coats is a hindrance, but a proper outfit for hunting will be easy to move in, comfortable to shoot with and will keep you warm and toasty in even the most inclement weather.

First Layer

Long Shooting Stockings

Most shooting socks are long, come in various attractive patterns and a multitude of colors. They are usually made of wool with a little nylon for reinforcement. To prevent them from falling, it is highly recommended that you wear garters with your socks to help keep the seam between them and your breeks weathertight. Click here to get a pair of basic shooting socks.

Exquisite craftsmanship on this bespoke gun

Exquisite craftsmanship on this bespoke gun

Breeks

Also known as Plus Two’s and Plus Four’s, breeks – or breeches as they are sometimes called in the US – are trousers cut with either two or four inches of fabric beneath the knee. A proper pair of breeks will be made from weather resistant and warm British tweed and will either match your waistcoat and jacket or be stark in contrast. They are usually adjustable at the side and calfs and can be used in all sorts of outdoor activities such as a hike, a game of golf or a leisurely stroll with loved ones. Click here to get a set of Musto breeks.

Downton Abbey has brought shooting back into popularity

Downton Abbey has brought shooting back into popularity

Check Shirt

There are many different shooting shirts available, but most come in a check pattern such as a tattersall or a gingham. Although they look identical to most dress shirts, it’s important to wear proper shoot shirts as they are thinner, longer and are made to allow free movement when shooting. A traditional dress shirt will limit your range of motion, and you may also find that it comes repeatedly untucked as you draw. Often made from a blend of cotton and wool, these shirts are warmer and slightly heartier than most dress shirts.

Braces

The standard method of keeping one’s trousers up when hunting is to wear a pair of braces (or suspenders). The ones sold by proper shooting purveyors are typically made from box cloth and are far sturdier than other braces you might own. Despite their heft, they are still far more elegant than the contemporary hunting suspenders worn by most today.

Neck Tie

The neck tie is a standard accessory worn by gentleman during a hunt. Held down by the waistcoat and often pushed up with a collar pin, they are usually made of wool rather than silk to withstand the weather and often come in bright colors or with hunting-related prints such as running hares, birds, or hounds. Click here to find the perfect Fort Belvedere necktie for shooting.

Second Layer

The second layer of clothing is always worn in addition to the base layer, regardless of weather.

Wellington Boots or Brogues

Wellington boots are the standard while hunting, but recently men have begun to wear brogues as well. The benefit of the boots is that they are made to withstand water and mud. Even if you hunt while mounted on a horse or from a dry hunting reserve, the risk of having to trudge through wetlands is all-too-normal in the world of hunting. Like a Boy Scout, it’s best to be properly prepared, and a good pair of wellies will get you where you want to go and back again. Save the brogues for the lodge. Click here to buy a pair of traditional Wellington boots from Hunter.

Various Odd Waistcoats for the Country Gent

Various Odd Waistcoats for the Country Gent

Waistcoat

Today, unless you’re a member of the royal family, odds are you’ll load your own ammunition and not have a loader assigned to you during the shoot. The best waistcoats to wear for a warm-weather shoot are actual shooting waistcoats with large, baggy pockets for cartridges and built-in shoulder pads to protect the fabric from wearing out and your shoulder from the butt of the gun. In cooler weather, a warm wool waistcoat that’s sleeveless is ideal. The lack of sleeves is to allow a far greater range of motion, so your sleeves don’t bulk up as you draw, aim and fire. Since you’ll be wearing a jacket or coat, you won’t have to stop and pull your sleeves down after each shot.

Prince William inspecting a hawk

Prince William inspecting a hawk

Third Layer

Tweed Jacket or Field Coat

In warmer weather, classic country attire calls for a three-button, single breasted jacket made from tweed. In most cases it will feature a notch lapel. However, some men have opted to wear peak lapels as a bold sign that their jacket is bespoke. Unfortunately, some experts argue that the larger peak lapel can impact the quality of the shoot if it interferes with the butt of the gun. For colder weather, a proper coat is ideal. There are many different ones to choose from such as the quintessential covert coat, the Norfolk jacket and the hacking jacket featuring larger pockets that are ideal for carrying ammunition.

Well dressed hunters

Well-dressed hunters

Cap

A gentleman’s hat is a traditional accessory in Britain. Historically, men would never leave home without one, and the hat worn often identified a man by his class. This is no more apparent than in the hit television show Downton Abbey. If you’re a fan, you’ll notice that the nobility will wear a homburg or top hat with formal wear whereas the staff will usually wear a bowler instead. Just as these hats were worn in society, caps were worn by men during a hunt.

The most common cap was the flat cap which should be snug and worn front facing to protect your eyes from the sun. Another option that became quite popular in the 1920s and onward is the fedora and even the trilby. However, the classic choice is always the flat cap which is usually made of tweed. Click here to get a tweed cap.

The modern hunter apparel of Duck Dynasty

The modern hunter apparel of Duck Dynasty

Accessories

There are a few basic accessories many men choose to wear during a shoot:

Scarf

From a style standpoint, a gentleman should never wear a coat without a scarf. Adding a scarf is what finishes the outfit, and while it’s certainly not a requirement, it is another way to add some sprezzatura to what can sometimes be considered a rather bland outfit. Not only will a scarf keep you warm, but it adds an element of sophistication and allows you to showcase your flair for style. Click here to find the perfect scarf for a day of shooting.

Gloves

Shooting gloves are almost mandatory. Cold fingers can be dangerous to your health as well as impact the quality of the shoot. Traditionally, the gloves worn would be a relatively formal lined leather glove made from deerskin or capeskin, thin enough that one could still pull the trigger.

A traditional fox hunt underway

A traditional fox hunt underway

Cufflinks

Cufflinks remain another way of showcasing some style in an otherwise restrained outfit. This is a perfect time to pull out your novelty cufflinks and put on the dog or horse-shaped ones. It’s great to be creative, but you also want to make sure it doesn’t come across as gaudy. Click here for a set of novelty sterling cufflinks.

A Royal Hunt

A Royal Hunt

Flask

For the record, we do not suggest consuming alcohol when handling firearms. However, for those who do enjoy a drink during the shoot, pulling out a flask is far more elegant than simply grabbing a bottle of beer. Whether it be a leather-wrapped flask or a metal one, you can find them on sale starting at just a few dollars and upwards of hundreds. Click here to get an inexpensive leather-wrapped flask.

Hunting Outfitters and Merchants

A few brands specialize in shooting attire and proper country wear, and we listed some of them below in random order.

Cordings of Piccadilly

“Without question Cordings is the complete outfitter, you have everything under one roof.” – Duke of Wellington, Customer.

Our top pick for country attire, Cordings is known as the preeminent purveyor for the discerning gentleman. They sell everything you could possibly need to outfit yourself for a shoot, minus the guns and ammunition.

Cordings Entrance on Piccadilly

Cordings Entrance on Piccadilly

Musto

A more contemporary version of the traditional country attire, Musto is another high-quality merchant supplying hunting apparel to the distinguished shooter. Click here for their website.

Hunter

Hunter makes some of the finest Wellington boots on the market and is the only brand of boots recognized by Cordings of Piccadilly. If you’re looking for a top drawer boot that can take a beating, Hunter’s should be your top pick. Click here to buy a pair of classic Hunter welly boots or click here to visit their website.

Picture from Livre de la Chasse showing relays of running hounds set on the path of the hart

Picture from Livre de la Chasse showing relays of running hounds set on the path of the hart

Horse Country Carrot

Sometimes, for those in North America, the thought of spending thousands on British apparel and then having to pay duty at Customs is too much to bear. For those in the United States, there is this merchant in Virginia that sells tweed country clothing. You may not find everything you’re looking for, but you’ll certainly find some of it. Click here to visit their website.

Dubarry

Another traditional outfitter, Dubarry is an Irish merchant with a US presence online. With a more contemporary appeal, Dubarry carries clothing for the entire family and specializes in women’s apparel. Click here to visit their website.

The common pheasant is a popular game for recreational shoots

The common pheasant is a popular game for recreational shoots

Härkila

Far more casual and modern, Härkila is perfect for those men who want to fit in with their friends who wear camo but still look better than the bunch. Rather than being the odd man out in tweed who never gets invited back, consider this brand a stepping stone if you’ll looking for a more elegant outfit. Click here to see their website.

Schöffel

Another very contemporary brand, the big selling point with this German merchant is that they are recognized by Cordings and even sold in their stores. It’s another ideal stepping stone into traditional British country attire. Click here to shop for their products.

House of Bruar

If Schöffel is casual wear and Cordings is business attire, the House of Bruar is business casual. A renowned retailer of countryside attire, Bruar is another top pick when you’re looking for something slightly more modern and yet still refined. Click here to find their website.

Brandecosse

This Scottish boot maker is renowned for their leather Wellington boots. They offer a fairly wide range and are often considered a more formal boot than what’s produced by Hunter. Click here for their website.

Aigle Parcours

Known as the first anti-fatigue Wellington style boot, Parcours makes their boots with comfort in mind. They claim that after a full day trudging through the forest, your feet won’t be tired or sore. We haven’t tested this, but they have developed a superb reputation. Click here to see their site.

The history of the shoot lunch

The history of the shoot lunch

John Field

The Belgium clothier is best known for their rainwear and casual shooting attire. They have developed a stellar reputation for shooting in wet conditions, so it’s wise to consider them if you’re in need of some extra rain gear. Click here for the official website.

Le Chameau

Another top boot merchant from France, Le Chameau offers handmade, reinforced, water-resistant Wellington-style rain boots made for shooting. The best part is that they’re quite inexpensive. Click here to visit their website.

Woodcock & Snipe

Another classic sporting purveyor, Woodcock & Snipe manufacture the most traditional hunting attire for the British countryside. Offering a similar selection as Cordings, they are slightly less known which means they also tend to be a little less expensive. Click here for their website.

Conclusion

Don’t allow the clothing you wear to be dictated by trends and friends. If you allowed that in other parts of your life, you would be wearing sports jerseys and sunglasses at night. There is no reason one cannot dress elegantly for what was once considered the noblest of sports. Chances are if your hunting friends poke fun at you, they’ll stop quickly when their girlfriends and wives start complimenting your attire later that night.

What do you wear to go hunting? Would you like to see more articles on shooting in the future?

Summary
Article Name
The Hunting and Shooting Attire Guide
Description
The ultimate guide to gentlemanly attire for a day of hunting or shooting with recommended brands, history and more.
Author
38 replies
  1. Larry Leadingham says:

    Great article! I hunt annually in the UK and I love the tradition and the clothes. I have even began dressing “properly” when hunting in the US. For me, this is an important part of a memorable hunting experience. US hunters need to clean up our image. You forgot Orvis as a source for gentlemen’s hunting attire. They have a good selection. Also, drop the scarf; you will seldom see one on an actual hunt. The most you may see is a Balfour scarf that will be removed before the shoot/hunt begins. I would love to see more of these types of articles. Last note: Print your book. A gentleman will always prefer a real book over an ebook. 🙂

    • Peter Bazan says:

      Hello, I have a question for you given that you hunt in the UK. Do you have to wear those ugly, high visibility vests over your hunting attire over there?

      • Graham Booth says:

        Good heavens no! You’d be asked to go home and dress properly if you turned up to shoot in such a ghastly thing.

      • LL says:

        Never! My hosts have always taken care of me. I hate those vests here and surely will not wear them when not required.

  2. Dan says:

    Among many Americans, hunting is still considered to be the noblest of sports. However, to too many, hunting is a blood sport and killing is less than noble. Which is, of course, debatable. The issue of dress, however, or to dress for hunting success, many American hunters feel they must dress in camo, so as, not to be seen, since most wildlife have keen vision, much better than the hunter. I don’t necessarily agree, since most wildlife, excluding waterfowl and turkey, only see in shades of gray and not color. I have hunted red and roe deer in Germany, where traditional colors of green, brown or gray are worn. There is another issue, however, to consider when wearing sublime color…of being seen by other hunters, especially when hunting big game and upland fowl. I actually prefer the English dress of tweed and sublime coloration, but I don’t want to be a victim, either mistaken as a game animal, or unseen in the line of fire or covered by the shooter while swinging on a game bird. Hunting accidents in the United States, statistically, are very low, but it doesn’t matter if you are the victim.

  3. AaronW says:

    So glad to see something related to hunting and shooting. Despite so many decrying hunting, and expressing the idea that firearm ownership is something to be shunned, mocked and ridiculed, these are legitimate activities that millions of people participate safely in.
    I don’t get particularly dressy when going target shooting or competing, but I did wear a French cuff dress shirt and cufflinks whilst pursuing deer up in Sullivan County last year…

  4. John W says:

    A vast improvement on recent articles although hunting with dogs as shown in the photo has been illegal in England and Wales since 2005 and in Scotland since 2002 – Hunting Act 2004 and Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002

    As long ago as 1893 Lord Illingworth had said “The English country gentleman galloping after a fox—the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable” endorsed by Steed as “the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable” – S5 E01

      • John W says:

        I except Currier Bell. That was a good article, but even then J.A. followed it by stereotyping women as worthy recipients of a cookery book or some sort of cooking utensil
        and I suggest that the number of comments this one has attracted shows that it is more popular than others recently

        • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

          Comments are not at all a good indicator of an articles popularity or quality. Simply because you do not like an article, doesn’t mean it is not good. Ddi you read how to host a poker night, How To Buy Gloves That Fit, Scotch 102…
          If were just interested in comments, we would add a controversial statement and add a few mistakes to the article, that would attract way more comments than most articles ;).

  5. Ljb says:

    Enjoyed the article. Excellent survey of proper British driven-shooting attire for pheasants, partridge or grouse. However, the author obviously doesn’t hunt and has only a passing knowledge of proper American hunting attire. Filson, Orvis, Russell moccasins and others sell traditional American upland or bird hunting apparel. Camouflage, in Britain and America, has become standard apparel for hunting deer and wildfowl.

      • Tweed says:

        I have a handful of Filson products, which I enjoy very much. However, I’ve seen their product line changing in ways that I would not favor over the past couple of years.

  6. Dodson roberts says:

    In the UK hunting and shooting are two distinct things. The British wear tweeds and Welles on driven shoots on which the shooter stands in one place usually in an open field. Very little walking. American “hunting” is different and requires much walking often through brush, briars and woods. British clothing other than Barbour is not suitable. Leather boots are better for walking. Different countries, different needs. British waterfowlers dress much like Americans.

  7. Tweed says:

    How do mud, thorns, and blood affect this clothing? If it was traditionally worn by the wealthy, did they have servants to do the dirty of of cleaning, gutting, and carrying their kills? I’ll admit the clothing you highlight in the article looks good, and I do believe it could be comfortable for woods walking and shooting, but I’m not convinced that it is durable and functional when worn during those parts of hunting that are hard and dirty work.

  8. Alexandros A Lavdas says:

    I enjoy gentleman’s gazette immensely – it is both entertaining and informative.
    However, I would not be honest if I would not express my objection to this day’s theme.

    Let me quote a real gentleman, Sir Roger Moore: “In a world with boundless opportunities for amusement, it’s detestable that anyone would choose to get thrills from killing others who ask for nothing from life but the chance to remain alive. The animals whose lives he has so cold-heartedly snuffed out have precisely the same capacity to feel pain and suffer as we do. ”

    As a neuroscientist, I can assure you that he is right. If you shoot an animal, it feels exactly the same way that you would feel if you were shot. They cannot do math-but they can feel pain. Moreover, the intelligence level of some mammals is comparable to very young children – the fact that they have fur should not fool you.
    The great philosopher Jeremy Bentham, founder of UCL, where I did my PhD, had said it all 200 years ago:

    “The French have already discovered that the blackness of skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse?…the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?”

    So, I understand that some hunters perhaps do not know this. But whoever reads this post – and bothers to look the subject up, in case I am not a neuroscientist but some crazy animal activist – cannot pretend not to know any more. When you shoot an animal you inflict THE SAME kind of suffering that your child would feel if he/she were shot. You may choose not to care. But you cannot pretend not to know.

    Dr Alexandros A Lavdas
    Center for Biomedicine
    EURAC, Bozen/Bolzano
    South Tyrol
    Italy

    • Peter Bazan says:

      I agree, animals do feel pain, and the unnecessary killing of them is something absolutely terrible; but what have you to say about people that hunt for food? Specifically people that live in more remote locations where their choices of sustenance are limited.

    • Oliver says:

      Well said Mr. a Lavdas.
      To hunt for fun, as a “sport”, is simply pathetic. No matter how well you are dressed when doing it.

  9. Colin Michell says:

    What’s next. Proper attire for the modern slave owner, or how to dress well while beating your wife. Perhaps it’s time to relegate hunting to things we don’t do anymore because we’ve evolved and are no longer savages, albeit well dressed savages.

  10. Omar says:

    Hunting is a violent form of recreation that contribute to the extinction of animal species. It inflicts unnecessary pain and suffering on animals; hunting should not be encouraged in any form including promoting any”gentleman attire”.

  11. David says:

    Interesting article. In the UK “hunting” normally refers to chasing a fox (and occasionally catching up with it) with hounds while sitting on a horse, or running after it with beagles. Sneaking up on deer wth a rifle is usually referred to as “Stalking” and shooting birds with a shotgun is just “shooting” or game shooting to distinguish it from bombarding clay targets.

    Hunting attire is relatively formal so as to mark out hunt servants from followers for the benefit of the field master whose job is trying to organise something between a game of vulpine chess and a cavalry charge.

    Very formal shooting events require a proper shooting suit, but most shooting is done in breeks (tweed or moleskin) under a waistcoat (tweed, melton or often a Schoeffel or Musto waistcoat, with a goretex lined shooting coat on top (Chrysalis, Musto, Schoeffel & others make these) and a hat to suit the weather : caps rarely provide day long protection in the rain, whereas a broad brimmed Akubra is perfectly acceptable (a Stetson probably isn’t unless you’re Garth Brooks).

    Even informal shooting tends to follow the same dress code to some extent. Before the advent of goretex there was an unofficial competition to see who could wear the tattiest Barbour. Breeks are very comfortable and practical and in the UK, serious hillwalkers will often wear them in preference to trousers – you even see them worn out shopping in provincial market towns.

    Stalking ironically is a sport that might benefit most from technical camouflaged clothing yet tends to be performed by individuals who are effectively trying to complete a mountain top assault course while dressed for a period drama – usually looking like an explosion in a tweed factory.

    I note your comments on Hunter wellingtons. I would observe that they don’t seem to be what they once were – certainly LeChameau leather lined models and Aigle are the choice here of those who put performance over appearance.

  12. James de Saxton says:

    Well, this is a touchy topic. The fact remains that herds must be thinned to prevent the spread of disease and famine, which affect the entire wildlife cycle, not just the species which is the subject of the hunt. In the United States, televised hunting programs would go a very long way indeed toward improving the public image of hunters were their subjects to dress as Mr. Schneider suggests. Dress affects bearing and demeanor. What we need in the States is for one or two prominent hunters to adopt the traditional style, create a fashion, and raise the bar for all.

  13. Bob says:

    This is obviously written by somebody that doesn’t hunt. The hunting you are romanticizing is a driven hunt, which is more or less limited to hunting clubs. Nobody, Royals included, dresses in tweed, breeks and ties for waterfowl hunting or stalking.

  14. Stephan says:

    Touchy subject indeed –

    Great post and insight into the history of hunting, loved the read. The Cordings video helped put everything together.

  15. Larry P. Burton ll says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article. I have hunted for the last 50 years, but only in the states. The following company’s, are the purveyor’s of the products I wear. Barbour, Beretta, Filson, and Orvis.

  16. Cesare says:

    Sven,
    I greatly enjoy your work both for it’s thoroughness and call to return a certain sprezzatura to our daily lives. While this piece was typically thorough I think you rather gloss over the fact that Hunting may mean many different things circumstantially. I have dressed for English style shoots and it is great fun. I have also stalked Red Deer in tweed, but while also great fun it is distant and pricey. If I want a freezer full of deer I must be locally minded. This entails an entirely different and vastly more solitary type of endeavor than what you describe. Lots of scouting, lots of patience while sitting motionless, perhaps waiting for a deer you have only seen sign of but never actually seen. I do not employ either servants or ATV’s so when it works it’s a long drag and gut. It is challenging and pushes you to the limits of endurance and cunning, at a successful day’s end you will be exhausted, almost certainly wet, muddy and bloody. As is very much the case with waterfowl only then you add in marshland, boats, decoys, and wet dogs. I am afraid that in those events Cabela’s is your location of choice, what they offer is virtually indestructible, readily cleaned, and user friendly. As far as the vehicular choices, tree stands, rucksacks, firearms, bows, chest waders (wet), hunting clothes, deer and waterfowl always take up a bit more room than you seem to remember they did. It isn’t a case of ‘either or’, but I would suggest rather resort to what is appropriate for the situation.

  17. Simon says:

    Interesting and detailed article but I have to admit that the idea of hunting and killing another animal for fun really puts me off.

    To answer your questiions:
    Q: What do you wear to go hunting?
    A: I don’t go hunting.

    Q:Would you like to see more articles on shooting in the future?
    A: No, stick to your great articles about menswear and accessories.

    As much as I enjoy reading G.G I find that there seems to be an attitude of the writers and some of the readers that anything gentlemen did in the “good old days” is still ok to do today.

    Slavery was once considered ok and wealthy gentlemen owned slaves. I don’t think anyone would advocate bringing back salvery just because some well dressed gentlemen did it in the past. Some aspects of the “good old days” are best left forgotten, especially for the modern gentleman.

  18. Flairball says:

    Wow. While you may know clothing, you clearly don’t know much about the American sportsman. Hooligan? Over-sized truck? Beer swilling? It might surprise you to know that there are a lot of serious sportsmen and sportswomen in The States.

    While I happily wear the requisite tweeds when shooting in the UK (highly recommend the Musto line) I can say that camo is seen regularly. Maybe not on an estate, but at a syndicate shoot, or fowling.

    Also, should be mentioned is the role of blaze orange clothing, and what it represents in The States. While it may not be as sharp as tweeds, blaze orange is a product of the US having a tradition of public land use, allowing anyone to enjoy hunting, and the need to introduce a bit more of a safety factor while using a firearm in a place where you may not know if there is someone over the next rise.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      I think you both have a point. The majority of people who go hunting in rural America like pickup trucks and go to places like Fleet Farms, but I am certain there are more sophisticated people in the U.S. and Canada.
      You can always find different kinds of people, but sometimes there is a clear majority and in this case more hunters are poorly dressed in the U.S. than well dressed, but I guess that is also true for general public.

      Instead of orange, something like dashing tweeds could work well too.

  19. Pete says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article and think you should do more.
    I’m from the uk, and although camo is brilliant for sneaking around some things are just poor form, although I think it’s not that bad if you are stalking deer alone in the Highlands alone as its a less formal situation. I go “rough shooting” mostly and even though it’s for want of a better description, shooting for the lower classes (of which I belong) i trust barbour and le chameau wellies to keep me in comfort.

    I would like to point out to those concerned about animal welfare I share your concern but please don’t assume people go out hunting solely for the thrill of taking a life, I don’t know of anyone who does thankfully.
    As a meat eater I have gained far more respect for animals and their welfare hunting than I ever would have at supermarket, whilst not everyone can do it I think getting out into nature and connecting with your food every now and then is a humbling experience and keeps me grounded.
    I once saw meat as a commodity and something merely to be consumed like most people. That was until I killed my first rabbit, the thing dropped back down the hole but I felt so ashamed and bad at the thought of letting it die for nothing that I dug it out and took it home. I believe if it is not for the table, is absolutely necessary for pest control and you cant ensure a clean as can be kill you should leave the animal alone.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Well said Pete. Once you know how to kill and butcher an animal you have more respect for meat. I am sure there are people out there who get excited about killing animals etc. but it remains the fact that crazy people exist. Just because we have crazy drivers on the street killing others doesn’t mean we should stop driving altogether.

  20. John says:

    When I was younger I used to do quite a bit of upland bird shooting in Minnesota and Alaska. I usually wore a Filson gray coat and a tweed cap; my wife wore a woman’s version of the coat. As you said, Filson’s quality is now nowhere near what it used to be. I suspect that writing about hunting and shooting will irritate many of your readers, since most modern Americans and Europeans are not aware that the meat which they eat comes from animals which someone has killed.

  21. M Neale says:

    Interesting and fun to read but incorrect with reference to the UK. Hunting is done on horses after foxes ( until the ban, now a scent trail). It does not involve a gun. Thats , as above, stalking if after deer with a rifle, shooting if after game with a gun ( that’s a shotgun but n ever called that) and thats a side by side, rough shooting after anything else or less formal shooting. Modern American style clothing is worn when rough shooting or maybe woodland stalking but never on polite shoots.

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