Like many fly fishermen, I spend a good portion of the winter nights tying flies. My humble Dyna-King Kingfisher vise sees many different hooks as I try to get ahead on filling orders and restocking my own boxes. This winter has been no exception and although a bulk of my time is spent grinding out mini-hoppers, I have also been working on putting together a Pyramid Lake fly box, refilling the empty San Juan slits, and twisting some bigger streamers for the late spring and early summer Arizona brown trout. In order to not be anti-social in my back room, I sprawl hide, feathers, foam, and synthetics all over the dining room table.
The brutal landscape and sweltering heat of the southwest can make Arizona quail hunting a rugged experience. Having the proper equipment is critical. Dan Priest is an Arizona quail hunter with more than 50 years of experience in the desert chasing birds. He has put his vast knowledge to the test and designed one of coolest and well thought out bird hunting vests on the market. The Q5 Upland Hunting Vestis the first generation of this vest and Dan is already working on a new and improved model.
- Made in the USA - The Q5 Upland Hunting Vest is made in right here in the Arizona White Mountains.
- Accesseries – There are so many adjustments and attachments for the Q5 that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
2 Large shell pockets
2 Small shell pockets
2 electronics pouches
1 daypack attachment
- Material – The Q5 Hunting vests is built with 1000 Denier Nylon fabric and comes in Digital or Orange Camo. I am a big fan of the Digital.
- Fully Adjustable – With adjustable straps on the back of the Q5, the vest can be customized to different body types. With a few different straps to pull and tug on, the Q5 can be adjusted so that the hip belt rides comfortably and distribute the weight of the vest.
I spent a good portion of the season hunting in the Q5 Vest and was nothing but impressed. Although the vest is made of a highly durable material, it is extremely lightweight. Fully loaded with shells, water, first aid kit and camera, the vest distributes the weight right onto the hips with a heavy-duty, load-bearing belt.
The main portion of the bird hunting vest has 4 pockets for all the odds and ends that hunters carry into the field. There are also a couple of straps located on the bottom of the pack where a fleece or shirt could be attached after the chill of the morning wears off. I found that the zippers rattled a bit too much for me, but some black athletic tape did the trick. In my opinion, the Q5 excels in the hot southwestern environment. Its light weight, but rugged build can stand up to the harsh desert, while the well-ventilated back makes it ideal for warmer temperatures.
Although I think the Q5 Hunting Vest excels as a bird vest, the creator Dan Priest went one step further. The “bird bag” and pockets are actually able to put taken off and substituted for a daypack. The Day pack is also made of the 1000 denier fabric and seamlessly fits into the shoulder straps and weight bearing belt. It is a pretty cool option for someone who is looking for a bit more than just a bird hunting vest.
The vest comes with a couple of other cool features. Both the “bird bag” and “daypack” are hydration bladder ready and there is a tube clip on the shoulder strap that makes the hydration bladder a very easy addition to the vest. The two front pockets (although plenty big enough) can be substituted for even bigger pockets. The vest also comes with two electronic pouches that fit right on the shoulder straps. All these extras are included with the original vest purchase, so you can customize without having to buy anything aftermarket.
One of best aspects about purchasing the Q5 Hunting Vest is:
A percentage of the proceeds go to Arizona Outdoor Adventures, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing healthy outdoor activities for underprivileged children. Go to www.azoutdooradventures.org for further information.
Made in Arizona
Great design and well thought out
Great for warm weather
Durable 1000 denier fabric
Semi-customizable with different attachments
Cost (although this vest is worth it)
Zipper tabs are noisy (After speaking with Dan about the zippers, future vests will have a rubberized cover on the zippers to cut down on noise.)
Prognosis: I truly believe that the Q5 Upland Hunting Vest is an excellent choice for any upland hunter, but particularly Southwestern hunters. The vest is a great lightweight option that carries a full load very comfortably in the field. I look forward to see what future Q5 vests are going to have in store.
The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The Q5 Upland Hunting Vest was provided for the purpose of this review. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review. My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.
Well, the shotgun has been broken down and given a thorough cleaning and the vests have been defeathered and stowed in the closet. The Arizona quail hunting season has come to an end, and as usual, it is a little bitter sweet. It will be sad to not head out into the desert to chase Gambel’s quail on a Saturday morning, but I am hopeful that with steady rains through the summer, next season will have some better bird numbers.
I was able to get out before the close of the season and put a few more birds in the freezer and stock up on a whole mess of soft-hackles for fly tying. The thought of summer and big fish rising to foam hoppers is the keeping my head up. Until next season…
I need your help. I am in the TFM Spotting Contest and have a 1 in 12 shot at winning a fly rod, but I need votes. It is very simple. Just email, “I vote for Ben Smith” to email@example.com. I really appreciate the help and support. Thanks so much.
My cousin took a ridiculously cool trip to Southeast Asia and sent me these photos to drool over. Many thanks to Don for packing an AZW shirt along for the ride.
The first is me on top of Sigiriya aka, Lion’s rock. It was a king’s palace and fortress built in 495 AD. Following the king’s death it became a Buddhist monastery. The picture is me in front of what’s left of the king’s pool.
The second shot is me in front of it after we had climbed down. The climb up is not at all technical as stairs have been carved into the rock, but it’s a long hike.
All the best,
Pick up your Arizona Wanderings Apparel in the AZW Shop. Thanks for your support.
Headed to the San Juan River with my friends Jason and Kristen for a 3 day fly fishing trip. After the recent cold snaps here in the Southwest, we were happy to see the temperatures climbing back up. The first day was a gorgeous blue bird day with plenty of sunshine. We worked our way through the Braids and up to the Upper Flats. Fish came on red annelids, KF Emergers, eggs, and other various midge patterns. There were many small fish due to the recent stocking overload, but I think by next season, there should be a plethora of really good fish.
Day 2 found us checking out a lower section of river, and while my friends were landing several good fish, I struggled to find my rhythm through the day. Although a few tugs on the line, I could not get anything going. Jason and Kristen both landed several beautiful rainbows and even a couple of browns. I finally got on the board later in the day, and towards dusk, found a couple rising fish to cast dries to.
We woke early on the final day and were on the water by eight. Although we still had a long drive back to AZ, we could not pull ourselves away from the water. I worked one deep run in the Braids for a good while and pulled many respectable fish to the net. I tangoed with two really big fish. One broke me off after a short run, and the other, in a heartbreaking series of events, slipped the hook on a shoddy net job by myself.
The whole weekend was a success and I had a great time with Jason and Kristen, who both are fantastic anglers. I ate my weight in beef jerky and had one of the best green chili burgers at Fisheads Cafe. If you get the chance, it is well worth the time to go over and fly fish the San Juan River.
I recently obtained a new book written by Randall Babb titled An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game. This book is a comprehensive look at the many small game species that we have in Arizona and includes detailed information about habitat, hunting opportunities, tactics, field care, and recipes. Mr. Babb has done a wonderful job putting together a great resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of small game in Arizona and increase their success in the field. This 198 page, color photo book is well worth the price and is an excellent addition to any Arizona outdoorsman’s library
Arizona truly is a wonderful state with some of the most sought after big game in the country. Often, our small game species are over looked and under utilized. Truth be told, hunting small game is a great way to get a young or new hunter into the field and an excellent excuse to get out in the desert and woods.
To get your copy, stop by a Game and Fish office or download the order form here