Watching the gathering around Mike Flautt’s guide assignment table each morning is like watching a veritable fashion show. It’s nothing like a Victoria Secret preview mind you, but all the young duck guides are always decked out in the latest, greatest, best duck wear in just the right camouflage patterns.

What you don’t see are blue jeans, work pants, khaki trousers, denim bib overalls, or cowboy shirts with shiny white fake pearl buttons. The catwalk is replete with guys dressed as though they are getting ready for a catalog photo shoot for Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops.

Showing up to the table out of fashion sync is sure to earn the guilty party a few sneers and jeers.

Serious business

Waterfowl hunting is tough on gear, because the conditions can be tough. You can be sure than during duck season, the weather will be at its worst. This includes cold, wind, rain, sleet, and maybe snow. Hunting out of a blind has rough edges that tear and rip at any fabric. Ditto that for hauling decoys, mud stools, guns and gear into a greentree reservoir. It takes rough and tough materials to hold up against these elements but still function to keep hunters warm and dry, while allowing unencumbered movement for shooting.

As you shop for waterfowl hunting garments or waders, use care in the selection of the fabrics. A lot of high quality synthetics are on the market that resist wear, repel water, and retain heat. Ask around to find what has worked for other hunters.

Buying good duck clothes is more about the reliability and suitability, than the camouflage pattern. The good part is there are ample choices for camo types, too, and that beauty is the eye of the beholder.

Shop for quality

One Mississippi brand I see in nearly every duck camp and one I have had success with in terms of performance and styles are the garments by Drake Waterfowl Systems at www.drakewaterfowl.com. Their camo hunting shirts have become duck and deer camp fashion statements, but they wear well, too.

New to the market are duck garments by Muddy Water Camo out of Madison. They make the basics in jackets, bibs, pants, and pullovers that are well-made specifically for duck hunting. Their proprietary camouflage pattern looks like duck habitat terrain sitting in a mud hole as viewed from above like ducks see it. www.muddywateroutdoors.com.

Other brands that have stood the test of time in duck blinds, potholes, and flooded timber include Browning, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro’s Redhead. Check out their waterfowl hunting garments as well. Just choose wisely. Remember quality pays for itself every time. With what is usually invested to enjoy a good duck hunt, skimping on apparel seems awful risky.