1. Cabela’s Ripstop Upland Dog Vest
When you’re pushing through a tangle of briars so thick a squirrel couldn’t pass through, you make sure to wear clothing that’ll protect your softer parts from stickers and burrs. Give your dog the same coverage. Made from 600-denier nylon and reinforced with ultra-tough 900-denier nylon to protect your dog’s underbelly and chest, the vest has adjustable straps and elastic panels for a custom fit. Reflective stripes add to the visibility of the ultra-bright hunter-orange vest. It’s lightweight, and the open-top design allows plenty of air flow. MSRP: $24.99; cabelas.com.
2. Garmin Astro 430/T5 Dog Tracking System
With a 9-mile range and the ability to track up to 20 hounds via GPS with a single handheld device, this collar and remote system comes preloaded with Topo U.S. 100K mapping and a free one-year satellite imagery subscription. Color display provides access to more functions than we can list, including multiple location and tracking settings, the “Covey Counter” for tracking details of game encountered, and “Hunt Metrics Data” to analyze your dog’s patterns and behaviors such as distance traveled and “treed” events. MSRP: $649.99; garmin.com.
3. Browning Dual Dog Dish and Dog Boots
This portable dog dish houses collapsible bowls for food and water. Carry the bowl in your pack preloaded with food, or keep it handy in the truck for an on-the-spot meal. Wether retrieving geese from a cut cornfield or chasing tails through cactus country, these dog boots will keep your pal’s pads protected from sharp things that could put an end to your hunt. No-slip silicon gripper soles provide traction. Boots are made from a breathable mesh and designed with an easy-on, back-entry system. MSRP: $19.99 bowl, $39.99 boots; browninglifestyle.com.
4. SportDOG Brand SportTrainer 875
Use this function-packed e-collar as a training tool in the off-season, or to ensure your gundog’s behavior won’t embarrass you during the real deal. Get your dog’s attention with three types of stimulation including vibration, tone and 10 levels of static stimulation. Easy-to-use controls and display make this one of the most user-friendly e-collars we’ve seen. It’s waterproof to 25 feet with an 800-meter range and the ability to handle up to three dogs with one remote. Rechargeable batteries reboot in two hours. MSRP: $224.95; sportdog.com.
5. Adventure Medical Kits Workin’ Dog Kit
Just about everything you need to handle an emergency situation is included in this first-aid kit for your hunting dog. Kit includes: disposable skin stapler, QuickClot gauze, emergency blanket, splinter/tick remover, triple-antibiotic ointment, cold pack, various bandages, saline solution, antihistamine and much more. Also included is “Canine Field Medicine,” a how-to guide for evaluating injury and illness if it occurs, and for administering backcountry medical care when needed. MSRP: $110; adventuremedicalkits.com.