Selecting a Suitable Cabela's Classic and Deluxe Kennel Jacket™
By: Sam Grothe
Every veteran upland or waterfowl hunter who has a dog that hunts with them knows the golden rule of owning a hunting dog: Thou shall bestow adequate care on thy mighty mongrel.
Personally, I thought I had gotten by nicely
year after year doing the ol' duct tape the sleeping bag or blanket over
the kennel trick for cold-weather transport.
This rookie ritual had been going along smoothly until last year, when one of my hunting buddies asked me, "Do your dogs hate you or has one bitten you lately?"
"Why would they do that?" I asked.
"Because you're embarrassing the heck out of them with those blankets and duct tape. It’s a wonder they even hunt for you."
This stinger was enough to send me to the store that very afternoon to shop for proper dog kennel jackets for my two Brittany Spaniels.
The first thing I had to decide was whether to
get the insulated or uninsulated jackets. Since I don't have a camper
shell on my truck bed, and seeing that I hunt pheasants long into the
season, I knew my dogs would be served best by insulated jackets. Some
of the hunting road trips I take from my home state of Colorado are
sometimes as far away as Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Kansas.
Cabela's insulated jackets also come in a deluxe model that sports three
zippered pockets on top with two mesh pouches for storing things like
electronic collars and dishes; two front-cover mesh pouches for easy
access to things like treats; and a waterproof, detachable bag in the
rear with a sealable hopper to store food in.
I opted for the tan-colored Classic Kennel
Jacket because I usually take a separate duffle bag for my dogs' gear
anyway. If you hunt waterfowl with your dogs and you like to keep a
crate near your blind, there's also Advantage® MAX-4
Cabela's offers Kennel Jackets in three sizes: medium (32"L x 22"W x 25-¾"H), large (36"L x 24"W x 28"H) and extra large (40"L x 27"W x 30"H).
Since one of my Brittanys is fairly large I ended up buying two different sizes—a large jacket for my standard large-sized carrier and an extra-large jacket for my bigger dog's kennel. I was pleased by how easy the jackets pulled on over the kennels. The elastic hem on the bottom corners also helps with giving them a snug fit. The door and window openings have convenient pull tabs on all the zippers. The window rolls up and out of the way with a strap for ventilation.
Best of all, Cabela's Kennel Jackets are made with weatherproof fabric to withstand rain, sleet or snow. This feature was immediately put to the test right after I bought them, as I took a road trip to Kansas to hunt pheasants that following weekend. That Saturday morning I awoke to find that 17 to 18 inches of snow had fallen in the area. My dogs' kennels were nearly three-quarters buried in snow when I went to put my dogs in them. I just brushed the snow away from the front openings, kenneled my dogs and we were ready to hit the road in search of pheasants.