Cabela’s sells an almost endless selection of hunting shirts for all kinds of conditions and weather. We recently bought and tested the Cabela’s Supertec II Seven Button shirt during a hot opening weekend of the Texas dove hunting season.
A good dove hunting tip is to wear camouflage so that the birds don’t detect unnatural colors and flare off. We’ve found that wearing a long-sleeve shirt does a better job in the long run at keeping the hot sun off your skin, while also adding extra protection against bugs, particularly when treated with Sawyer permethrin pesticide. The trick is finding a long-sleeve shirt that it light and breathable enough to be comfortable in warm temperatures. The Cabela’s Supertec II Seven Button shirt has some attractive features that make it a good contender.
First, it is made of lightweight and breathable polyester mesh that wicks moisture to keep you cool. The mesh is fairly fine – this is not the mesh of your old high school summer football jersey – and so it looks like real shirt. And it is very thin and lightweight, so even when it gets wet with sweat, it doesn’t hang heavy on you. The only downside of the material being so light is that it is not likely to stand up to thrashing around in heavy brush – you and the shirt will likely end up worse for wear. But for hunting in a field it’s great.
The shirt also has some more open mesh panels behind the shoulder and arm pit, and along the side of the shirt, which provide even more airflow and breathability.
It is a button-down shirt, with seven buttons (hence the name), and two breast pockets, one on each side, with button enclosure flaps. These pockets are fairly small, and because the material is so light, you can’t really carry anything very heavy in them. I carried my hunting license and a pack of gum and that was enough. Even a few shotgun shells seemed too heavy for the pockets.
The shirt is available in two versions of Cabela’s Zonz camouflage, Zonz Western or Zonz Woodlands. The Zonz Western is a nice year-round pattern for the Edwards plateau and would work in any high-desert environment. The Zonz Woodlands is better suited for thick fall forest environments.
Cabela’s also touts that the shirt has some kind of odor-suppressing treatment to reduce your scent that might spook game. There is no other information provided about what the treatment is or how long it might last with multiple washings. We didn’t test the shirt for that feature, and would be surprised if it really provides any advantage.
Real-World Performance Testing
Over a weekend of wearing the shirt, we found it to perform well overall. The lightweight mesh keeps the sun off your arms but never feels hot or heavy even when sweaty. The polyester mesh material has some stretch to it, and moves well with activity (like mounting your gun).
One potential negative aspect of this shirt is the fit. Other reviewers on the Cabela’s website have reported it to run a bit small. I wear all my clothes in size medium and I have a fairly slim build, and the shirt was a bit snug on me. But it never felt too small and stretched enough that it felt fine. But if you have a thicker build or are borderline on sizing, I would recommend going with the next size up.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I’d say this shirt fits the bill. It’s a good-looking, lightweight shirt that comes in good camo and fits like a glove. The regular price looks to be $39.99, but I found it on sale for $29.99, which made it an even better buy. Check it out today on Cabelas.com.