Item # and Suggested Retail Price: #06085 - 26” bbls; #06086 28” bbls; $749
This is going to be my new pheasant gun. Every year it seems that I'm getting older and my pheasant hunting group is getting younger. The four mile long fields seem less and less appealing every year. I'm not in as good of shape as I'd like to be.. but I work at it. There are those that say they would rather compensate for carrying a heavier gun by losing a couple of pounds. The reality is that I work in an office most of the time, and while diet and exercise help, I'll take any help I can get on reducing the weight of my gear whenever I can.
When I wrote the Upland Ultralight description for the press release and catalog, I was thinking about an opening weekend a few years back....
I have to laugh at myself when I remember getting halfway through a 2 mile long field in the Flint Hills. It was one of those rare opening weekends where it was 80 degrees in mid-November Kansas. My bird dog was a Brittany named Gertie. She was fairly small at around 35 lbs, but she had a ton of heart and would cover 10 miles for every one that I did. The field had been fairly productive for Gertie and I that morning and there were 2 pheasants in the vest to show for it. Gertie was covering an area near an ancient oak that was the only tree visible for at least a mile in every direction when she stopped and started chewing at her paws. She had found the worst patch of burs we had ever gotten into. I don't know what they are called, but these were the size of marbles, dark brown with hundreds of spikes on each one. I firmly believe that they were especially designed to get tangled up in the long soft hair of a Brittany's paws. On all four legs, a cluster of burrs had become entangled on her feet as well as her ears, chest, legs and every other possible spot. Gertie wasn't going anywhere until one of us got every one of those burs out, and we were still in the thick of them. I started trying to help working on a paw that she wasn't obsessively chewing on, but it quickly became apparent that this was going to take a while. I did the only thing I could do. I walked the remaining mile of that field with 2 pheasants in the back of my vest, 48 12 gauge shells in the front pockets a Brittany under my right arm and my brand new beautiful 9 1/2 lb sporting clays gun in my left. I suppose I should be thankful that we weren't halfway through a four mile field. While it wasn't fun for me at the time, looking back, I wouldn't trade a single field we hunted for anything. We did end up sitting out the next field taking care of some grooming issues for her and a much needed rest and cold drink for me.
Gertie died at 11 years old last winter, and I think that I'm ready for a new bird dog now. Hopefully when pheasant season rolls around this year, I'll have a new hunting buddy. I know that I'll be carrying a lighter shotgun. The lighter weight gun just makes the hunt more enjoyable for me, and you never know when you'll find yourselves in the middle of a patch of burs.