We went to the drawing board to solve an age-old problem. As you quickly raise a shotgun, that motion pulls the fabric of a typical jacket across your shoulders to the point of restriction. In setting out to design the Hudson System, our product designers aimed to solve this problem, as well as make other movements associated with waterfowl hunting easier—like the bending and crouching that comes with entering and exiting a blind.
“The biggest challenge, historically, with waterproof garments is the lack of stretch, which equates to restricted movement,” says Waterfowl Product Manager, Jim Saubier.
“In utilizing Gore-Tex Stretch material, we were able to have the best of both worlds with the waterproof, breathable protection that GORE-TEX is known for as well as the mobility component for an active pursuit where additional layers are often required.”
The testing phase of the Hudson Jacket and Bib involved numerous iterations of garments with different amounts of stretch mapped in different ways to find the perfect combination for the job, and then putting that finished garment through the rigors of the waterfowl season to ensure optimal durability.
“We’re just guys who hunt. I didn’t set out to be a spokesperson, and never in a million years could I have imagined the response being as big as it has been. We just hunt ducks, write raps and make videos. The DMs we get from young kids telling us we have inspired them to get into hunting—man, that is humbling. To me, hunting is about fellowship, and that’s something that you can’t buy off the shelf.”
As a duck caller and call maker, John Stephens has always been captivated by the people who practiced these art forms before him. “Waterfowl is one of the few sports that has so much tradition,” he says. “There’s so much history behind our sport. There have been so many call makers across the country, and even though they were making tools, they were making functional pieces of art. And to me that’s really just fascinating.”