This week, in part three of my
report from the Shot Show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference) held recently in Las Vegas, I offer my picks for the best in show accessory equipment, and will highlight a number of different “must have” items for outdorsmen and outdoorswomen.
Communications in the field continue to improve each year, and the five watts of power of Midland Radio’s new GXT850 two-way
radios offer a range of up to 26 miles. Their durable construction is waterproof, with a newly designed antenna using the maximum FCC power allowed (five watts) for
optimal distance and clarity.
Battery packs are fully rechargeable, and the radios have three power settings to help conserve battery life. The GXT850 offers 22 channels with 142 privacy codes, which gives you up to 3,124 channel options. Hunters will like the silent mode that allows you to turn off all tones when that big buck is coming in.
Other features include hands-free use and NOAA All Hazards Weather Alerts, and the twin pack comes with headsets, belt clips, desktop charger and AC and DC adaptors. Carrying a radio in the woods is just good sense, in terms of safety or just when you need help carrying out the big 10-pointer. Suggested retail price for the GST850 radios is $119 (www.midlandradio.com).
Whether you are headed into or out of the woods in the dark, it is much easier, and a lot safer, if you do it with a flashlight. And the new Sidewinder from Steamlight will guide you, as well as help you track game with its multicolored lights. It is really 20 flashlights in one, featuring four levels of output intensities (low, medium, medium high and high), plus a strobe function.
It is powered by two AA batteries, or it will accept two AA lithium batteries. It is waterproof, has white, red, blue and green light capabilities, weighs 4.96 ounces and measures 4.63 x 2.31 inches. With a rotating head that moves 185 degrees up and down and a spring steel belt clip, it can easily be adjusted for hands-free use. It will make finding that tree stand in the morning a lot easier. Suggested retail price is $80 (www.streamlight.com).
Videotaping your outdoor adventures just got better, and smaller, with the Epic Action Sports Video Camera. It measures 1.3 x 2.75 inches, and will store up to 200 minutes of video and shoot up to nine consecutive still images. It has a built-in microphone, with a 2.8 camera aperture and still-image resolution of five megapixels. The LCD display gives image counts and unit status, and has an easy-to-use two-button design.
Supported formats include AVI for video and JPG for photos. The Epic operates on two AAA batteries, and views photos/video through USB or optional card reader.
Accessories include a waterproof casing, adjustable hardware mount and wrist/armband mount. Suggested retail price is $149.99 (www.gsmoutdoors.com).
GAME FACE GEAR
Bowhunter and turkey hunters will like the new quality QuikCamo hat/face concealment system. It is offered in two models.
One has the mask in the back of the hat that protects neck and ears from UV rays and has to be rotated to cover your face, or it can be tucked up into the hat. The other model is in a front-mount style. Both are eyewear-compatible, will not impair your hearing and are constructed of breathable and moisture-wicking scent-reduction fabrics. Available in Mossy Oak New Breakup, the QuikCamo cap has a suggested retail price of $34.95 (www.quikcamo.com).
Bowhunters who shoot with a release will be interested in the Bow Stalker gloves with their exclusive bow release collar that allows the hunter to wear their release next to the skin while still protecting their hands from the elements. The gloves are made with a Polartec windproof fleece shell and fleece with suede palms. They are water-repellent, breathable and have a
Lycra trigger finger and control dots on the thumb for maximum feel.
For the hunter who uses an ATV, Manzella has developed the All Terrain GT glove. It features Gore-Tex inserts, a tough, four-way stretch-ribbed nylon shell, power suede palm, 40 grams of Thinsulate insulation and brushed microsuede lining. They are waterproof, windproof and breathable, and have an under-sleeve neoprene cuff.
Suggested retail price for the Bow Stalker is $40, and the cost of the All Terrain GT is $60 (www.-manzella.com).
Here is a new way to hide when you’re hunting or just taking wildlife photos — the Boiler Room Ground Blind, offering a roomy 76x76x69-inch interior with plenty of room for you to draw your bow. Featuring a zippered, arched doorway, this hub-style blind has 360-degree visibility if you want it and four camouflaged windows with blackout panels that can be dropped down and secured to expose just the right amount of replaceable shoot-through mesh.
Setup takes just seconds, and it all folds into a light, easy-to-carry package. It comes with eight tie-downs and stakes and four ropes to secure the blind for almost any weather conditions. The durable blind bag is scent-free, and comes with a
24-ounce bottle of Scent-A-Way Plus Fresh Earth Advanced Formula spray and two fresh earth scent wafers. Color is Realtree AP. Suggested retail price of the Boiler Room is $299.95 (www.hunterspec.com).
Shotgun shooters looking for quicker acquisition of clay birds and real birds should check out the new Dead Center Shotgun Sights by Limbsaver.
These are the first shotgun sights that work under all light conditions. They have dual-color fibers for fast-track aiming, and are designed to fit all ventilated rib shotguns. They are extremely low-profile, lightweight and are attached easily and securely with powerful rare-earth magnets. Offered in nine color choices, suggested retail price is $27.99.
If your shotgun has a little more kick than you like, chances are it is affecting your accuracy. Limbsaver has a new recoil pad that can get you back on target — comfortably. It’s called the Speed Mount Recoil Pad, and it is designed to reduce felt recoil up to 70 percent. It is snagproof, and the sloped toe and heal also incorporates anti-muzzle jump technology. And you can also get a similar pad for your rifle. Suggested retail price is $39.99 (www.-limbsaver.com)
Tom turkeys are a jealous lot, and when they see Flambeau’s new King Strut decoy, they will be coming in looking for a fight.
The decoy features an ultra-realistic head, and is constructed of tough, durable foam for easy and safe transporting to and from the field. Included is a photo-realistic tail fan that moves in the breeze, a long, synthetic beard and metal-tipped stake to help pierce hard ground. And if you choose, you can dress up the King with a real cured fan using the Flambeau Green Tail Holder, or even add real cured wings and a real beard with the included hardware. Also included is an instructional DVD. Suggested retail price is $69.99 (www.-flambeauoutdoors.com).
Anyone who spends time outdoors in our region is familiar with the layering system for keeping warm. Now, Sitka, in partnership with Polartec, has developed a new core system and traverse base layer lines. The system includes a long-sleeve zip, long-sleeve top and bottom that have superior warmth and wick moisture away from your body.
In addition to this base layer, there is Celsius, a new highly water-resistant soft-shell fabric with insulation incorporated into a three-layer, high-loft soft bib, jacket, vest, hat and gloves.
There are three new gloves, and two new kinds of headwear. Add this new Ascent Pants and a Nimbus Series for extreme cold weather, and you should be able to wait all day for that big buck to show himself, regardless of the weather. There are a number of color choices including Mothwing Mountain Mimicry, Mossy Oak Treestand and Real Tree AP (www.sitkagear.com).
Hunters know that the real work begins when that buck is on the ground. And dragging and pulling up and down those hills can be quite an exhaustive chore. MPI Outdoors has developed a much easier way to get that trophy out of the woods. It is called the Ultimate Deer Drag. Constructed of aluminum, this drag has one single wheel similar to a wheelbarrow with a carrying plate just above the wheel. When folded, it can be carried just like a backpack.
To transport your deer, roll it onto the drag and secure it with the straps that are supplied. This also can be used to carry gear in or out of some of backwoods or even those bulky goose decoy bags out into a field. The Ultimate Deer Drag weighs 13 pounds, and has a carrying capacity of 250 pounds. Suggested retail price is $99.99 (www.mpioutdoors.com).