This vintage hunting vest was probably made in the 1930s or 1940s. Dating these vintage hunting vests can sometimes be a bit difficult without labels, as the designs followed what was practical rather than what was fashionable. I have seen other examples of this vest design, but all were like this, without label. It’s an unusual design, deviating from the standard “vest with loops on the front and maybe a belt on the back”. There are two pleated breast pockets, one with a snap closure, the other with a grommet. Instead of the usual button front, this one has snaps, but it goes one further by concealing them. Snaps are “United Carr”. There are closed bottomed canvas pockets for eighteen shotgun shells. The back of the vest has a large bellows game bag, with a waterproof lining.
As someone who has been collecting and researching vintage hunting vests, this one strikes me as particularly interesting. It’s not as old as most of the ones I’m selling, probably dating from the 1960s, but it’s made in an earlier style. Although hunting vests were a purely functional garment and didn’t really change with fashion, certain details did change over time, largely with innovations in materials and hardware. By the time this vest was made, the closed bottomed canvas loops has largely been supplanted by elastic knit loops, which were easier and less expensive to construct, and lay flat when not in use. This vest has the older style loops, heavily reinforced at the bottoms. This vest is reinforced throughout with green textured naugahyde, making for extremely strong seams. Another unusual thing about this vest is its color. Most hunting vests of this type are in shades of brown canvas. This one is in a minty gray green with forest green trim. The vest has DOT snaps throughout, and a removable, vinyl lined game bag.