With the arrival of each new hunting season, manufacturers serving the outdoors industry are going to have a slew of new products to attract each hunter’s attention and, of course, his or her dollars.
Let’s look at the new gear and gadgets that are hitting store shelves.
I’ve often preached about hunter safety and why it makes sense for anyone climbing up into a treestand to wear a safety harness.
I’ve heard every excuse in the world for not doing so, but the most popular one has always been that harnesses are uncomfortable and far too cumbersome.
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This year, Gorilla Gear is doing their part to make that defense a thing of the past.
G-Tac Air Harness
Gorilla Gear listened to hunters tell them that they’d be willing to wear a harness if it fit well, was comfortable and allowed them to hunt without restriction.
That’s exactly what the new G-Tac Air Harness does by including a longer, 30-inch tether, a strap for perfect ergonomics and an overall weight of only 2.6 pounds.
And what if you do fall? The G-Tac’s tether does away with the traditional break-away box stitching of other harnesses and incorporates a looped webbing that provides a 40 percent gentler fall until the tether bottoms out. The entire design of this system is patented and proprietary to Gorilla Gear.
This harness is available in black ($89.99) and camo ($99.99) and also offers models for women and youth. It’s available at most sporting goods retailers.
Code Blue scents
After years of research, Code Blue is introducing its next generation of deer attractants in the Platinum Estrous Series.
Now, I’m not about to ask for specifics on this one but the company claims that, somehow, they collect the doe urine at the precise time that a buck attempts to breed.
This results in what their tests have shown to be a 63 percent better rate of effectiveness than previous scents, which is the highest buck response rate ever recorded.
For $39.99, you get an ounce and a half of the stuff, but, hey, if it works anywhere as well as they claim it may just be worth it.
For more information, check it out for yourself at www.codebluescents.com.
I’m pretty picky when it comes to my hunting boots and that’s especially true if I’m going to be walking any distance to get into and out of my hunting spot.
That’s always a necessity when I’m on our Kansas farm, so I look for both comfort and light weight in my boots.
Last season I gave a pair of Wolverine boots a try for the first time and fell in love with them. This season I might just be sporting a pair of their newest offering, the Sightline Series.
Perfect for archery and early season hunts, these boots are extremely light and comfortable and are available in a 7-inch model with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation or a mid-cut boot with none.
Prices start around $130. Check it out at www.wolverine.com.
Speaking of lightweight, have you ever tried to tote a 25-pound hang-on stand a mile or more into the woods?
After just a couple hundred yards, that thing starts to feel more like 50 pounds and seems to get heavier with each step.
Millennium’s answer is its new M100U stand. Weighing just a tick more than 11 pounds, this thing is a real beauty.
Unlike other stands that have come before it, this one features a roomy, 20-by-17-inch “comfort max” backrest seat with a 20-by-38-inch platform that’s darn near big enough to dance on.
As if that’s not enough, the stand also includes the company’s “CamLock” receiver system which makes both hanging and moving the stand a breeze.
Though $220 may seem high for a hang-on stand, I can assure you it’s worth every penny. Plus, extra “CamLock” receivers can be purchased cheaply which will allow a single stand to do the job of many.
You can see them for yourself on the company’s website, www.millenniumstands.com.
Getting into and out of the stand is always something that hunters have to be concerned with, too. I’ve tried just about every set of climbing sticks on the market and many are just about impossible to carry with you on each hunt, meaning that most wind up staying on the tree even when we’re not in the woods.
All too often, this results in stands and steps being stolen or allows other hunters to hunt our spots when we’re not there, which is something that most just can’t stand the thought of.
Summit is doing all it can to make both access and portability easy by improving its well-designed Buckstep Climbing Stick Set.
The set is lighter and includes a “silent tree attachment” that holds it to the tree more securely. This new design allows for greater portability along with a safer and quieter entry and exit of the stand.
MSRP for the Buckstep sticks comes in at a fairly reasonable $129. Check it out at www.summitstands.com.
Trophy Cam HD Wireless
What’s the greatest sticker shock you’ve ever gotten from a product used for hunting? We might just have a new winner with this next one.
Bushnell has just brought out the first “carrier-approved” wireless game camera that’ll let you receive pictures instantly via text right to your phone via AT&T’s 3G data network. The funny part is that, despite the HD name, the pics it sends out are low res versions.
Yes, it does save high resolution images to an SD card if you want to hit the woods to retrieve them but, if that’s the case, is there really a point to buying the thing?
Just like with your cellphone, a data plan is required which can be set up on a month-to-month basis right on the Bushnell website.
Oh, and that price? It can be yours for right around $820.
Last, but not least, is something I thought would have come along well before now.
Ever imagined the benefits of a side-by-side, such as the Yamaha Rhino or Polaris’ Ranger, but in a smaller overall size like a traditional four-wheeler? Polaris is offering that very thing by way of their new Sportsman Ace.
This single-seater has all the features of the Ranger, such as a full roll cage and tilt steering wheel, and looks to be incredibly fun and useful for both hunting and play.
Power is provided by a single-cylinder 32 horsepower ProStar engine with On-Demand all wheel drive and can be had for the relatively low price of $7,500.
This thing looks to be a real winner.
So, there ya go. That’s our look at some of the more interesting things making their debut for this hunting season. Go ahead and check your wallet for a few extra bucks.
There’s always something we hunters just can’t live without.
Brad Harvey is a freelance writer in Clover. Visit his website at www.bradharveyoutdoors.com or follow on Twitter @BHarveyOutdoors.