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3 Cool Looking Products for this Year

by Todd Graf 28. May 2009 10:44
Todd Graf

CRKT Guppie Tool
The Guppie multi-tool is a great tool for bowhunters to carry in their bag. It includes an adjustable wrench, a high-carbon stainless-steel knife, screwdriver, bottle opener and a removable bit carrier with LED light. Also, the carabiner design makes it easy to attach to a backpack or a belt loop.

 

 

 



Garmin Oregon 550t GPS/Digital Camera
Do you ever find yourself getting lost while hunting? This Garmin GPS is great for helping you get into backcountry terrain. The GPS is touch-screen and has a built in digital camera. Avoid getting lost and capture your hunting memories at the same time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitka Gear System
If you're tired of wearing bulking hunting gear then the Sitka Gear System is perfect for you. This next-to-skin Core base-layer garments use a sliver-activated scent-elimination system with Polartec material that will keep you warm. Garments include a Celsius hat and vest, Traverse beanie and gloves, 90 Percent jacket and Ascent pants.

For more information on the Sitka Gear System checkout the blog Optifade Camouflage: Technological Breakthrough or Clever Marketing?

 

 

Jenesco Ozone Generator Review

by John Mueller 28. November 2008 03:49
John Mueller

Early in the hunting season Todd sent me a Jenesco Ozone Generator to put to the test. The model I was sent is the Edenair Scent Remover II. This device is supposed to remove unwanted scents from hunting clothing. It does this by “generating ozone, which attaches to other air born molecules rendering them inactive by oxidation.” Nature does this thru sunlight and thunderstorms, both produce natural ozone. Larger models are used to clean up smoke odors in fire damaged buildings and to get rid of mold in buildings.

 

I have to admit I was skeptical, but I gave it a try with some of my hunting clothes. I hung my clothes in the plastic garment bag that comes with the unit.

 

 

The unit comes complete with the garment bag and generator.

 I plugged in the unit and stuck the hose into the bag and zipped it up tight around the tube. Like the directions state to do.

 

Insert the hose into the bottom of the bag and turn it on.

 

When operating the generator gives off a strong bleach smell. This is supposed to be normal. I let it run overnight with my clothes in the bag. When I took my clothes out the next morning they had the bleach smell on them for a while. But it disappeared after about 10 minutes or so on most of my stuff. However my HSS Harness seemed to retain some of the bleach smell in the mesh part of it. I don’t know if is something to do with the material or what. But I couldn’t get it out of the mess even after a couple of washings. I put the vest in a bag of dried leaves and that took care of it. The rest of my hunting gear seemed to be odor free.

 

I then decided to give the ozone generator a real test. I had some old hunting caps that I had sweated in a few times and they had a good odor to them. I put them in the bag overnight. When I took them out they still had the odor to them. So I tried the generator in my hunting boots that had some foot odor going on in them. I let it run overnight without much reduction of the odors.

 

The next test was with a coat I had worn around a camp fire that smelled really strong from smoke. I hung it in the bag overnight and the next morning the smoke smell was completely gone.

 

I had driven over a dead skunk with my car and some of the odor just didn’t want to leave the inside of my car. I used the generator in the car with the cigarette lighter attachment. I let it run overnight and the next morning after the bleach smell cleared out there was no more skunk smell.

 

I have had mixed results with the tests I have put this unit thru. It seems to do a good job of taking care of foreign odors like skunk and smoke, but as far as human odors like sweat and foot odors. I haven’t found it to be totally successful at removing them. Then I had the problem with my HSS Vest retaining the bleach smell. I believe this had something to do with the mesh material. That was the only time I noticed any item retaining the bleach smell. I am not sure this is the answer to all of our prayers about remaining scent free, but it may be another small piece of the process. Just like scent-lock nothing is 100% effective, but if it gives us just a little help it might get us one more crack at that big buck. If you would like more info.  on the full line of Jenesco Ozone Generators, you can check them out at their website.

 http://www.Jenesco.com

And if it is something you would like to see Bowhunting.com carry in stock, send us and e-mail and let us know. Or leave a comment below this article.

Categories: Pro Staff

Trail Cameras: The Good and The Bad

by Justin Zarr 22. October 2008 17:04
Justin Zarr

Over the past decade or so, few products have hit the hunting world by storm like the trail camera has.  When the first cameras came out on the market those few short years ago there weren't a lot of options.  In fact, there were only 2-3 manufacturers and all of their units worked pretty much the same.  You put batteries and 35mm film in them, strapped them to a tree, and they used passive infrared motion detectors to sense an animal and take it's picture.  These early units were pretty expensive, in many cases upwards of $500 each. 

As more and more hunters started using these new-fangled devices more and more manufacturers started popping up and pretty soon the market was full of trail cameras of all makes, models, and sizes.  As this happened, loads of information on how to use them, where to use them, and when to use them also started to appear.  Many hunters felt that with a trail camera they could pattern that nocturnal trophy buck they've been after for years and finally put him on their way.  And as many bowhunters sadly found out, that wasn't quite the case.  Trail cameras or not, killing big deer on a consistant basis is still hard!

In the early 2000's the first digital trail cameras hit the market.  Much like their 35mm predecessors, they too were fairly expensive and sometimes unreliable.  But as technology got better and prices came down, the digital trail camera quickly replaced the film camera and became the staus quo for scouting cameras.  Today there are literally dozens of cameras on the market from a variety of manufacturers that range in price from less than $100 to more than $500.  How do you decide which one is right for you?

For me, the first factor in deciding which camera I want to purchase is price.  Like most bowhunters, I set a budget for myself when it comes to bowhunting expenses and have to pick and choose which products I really need, and which I can live without.  I try to purchase at least one new trail camera each year to either replace old cameras that I am retiring, or to cover additional ground looking for more bucks.  I currently own 4 different cameras and try to keep them out from the end of July through the end of January, even into February.  This helps me get an accurate feeling for the amount and quality of deer in my hunting area.  So in my case, it makes more sense to purchase two less expensive cameras and cover more ground than to purchase one expensive area and risk missing photos that could alert me to a presence of a buck I never knew existed.


I like to use my cameras to get an inventory of the deer on my hunting grounds at any given time during the year, not necessarily to try and pattern and hunt them.  I still rely on good old fashioned scouting, planning, and a lot of luck for that!

The second biggest factor for me is trigger speed and reliability.  For anyone who owns a trail camera and has experienced the frustration of a blank roll of film or an empty memory card you know what I'm talking about.  Its like opening up a present on Christmas day only to find out there's nothing inside!  I have personally owned several brands of trail cameras that were extremely unreliable even under controlled conditions inside my own home when testing them out.  Needless to say, I don't own them any more.  Instead I have chosen to do as much online research as possible about the cameras before I buy them.  The Internet is a great place to read real-world reviews and find out which products are working, and which aren't.  When it comes to trail cameras, you can read a lot of great information about them right here at Bowhunting.com and also at our sister website Trailcam.com.  This will help you make an educated decision as to which cameras to avoid and which are getting good reviews.

With the exception of those two major factors, there are also some secondary features to consider.  Battery life can very greatly from camera to camera and determine how often you need to check your cameras, and how much money you will end up spending on batteries over the course of the season.  Some cameras allow you to hook up an external battery pack to them for longer run time even in the coldest conditions.

Flash type is another big factor for many bowhunters when choosing a trail camera.  With the recent surge in popularity of infrared flash cameras, many people are getting away from traditional flashes which they feel may spook animals, most notably mature animals that are more reclusive and sensitive to human intrusion.  Personally, I feel that it's hit or miss when it comes to flash type.  I believe some animals are scared of any type of flash, traditional or infrared, and in fact are scared of trail cameras even during the daytime as well.  Naturally, they usually contain human scent from us handling them and some models stick out like a sore thumb on the side of a tree.  Despite the fact that they may spook some animals, I personally believe that it doesn't negatively effect your hunting opportunities provided you play your cards right.  Don't put your cameras right on top of your best hunting spots.  Rather, put them in well-used travel corridors or on community scrapes to get a better idea of overall inventory of deer in your area verus trying to find out what deer is walking by your stand, and when.  Good hunting techniques will never be replaced by info from scouting cameras, no matter how hard we try.

In conclustion, my two personal favorite cameras right now are the Cuddeback Capture and the Moultrie I40.  The Cuddeback is a 3.0 megapixel camera with traditional flash that is super easy to use, has good battery life, and is extremely reliable when it comes to trigger speed and sensitivity.  The Moultrie I40 is a 4.0 megapixel camera with infrared flash that takes great photos and has extremely good battery life thanks to its 6 D-cell batteries.  The Cuddeback Capture is available here at Bowhunting.com for $199 and the Moultrie I40 for $219.99.  For the bowhunter on a budget looking for a good camera that won't let you down, either of these would be a great choice.


The Cuddeback Capture is a new camera for this year, but has performed very well for me so far.


This photo is a great example of what you can expect from the Cuddeback Capture.  Photo clarity and flash range are excellent, and this buck doesn't seem to mind the flash one bit.


The Moultrie I40 has a lot of great features including infrared flash, superior battery life and great image quality, but it is a bit bulky and cumbersome to use.  Once you get past that, it's a great camera at a great price.


The Moultrie I40 takes great color images during the day, and black and white images at night using the infrared flash.

If you're interested in higher end features including true invisible IR flash, 3 shot burst mode, extreme battery life, and extreme sensitivity check out Todd Graf's review of the Recoynx trail cameras by clicking here.

   

Tried Out My Hooyman Saw

by John Mueller 14. October 2008 13:41
John Mueller

Tried Out My Hooyman Saw 

            I received my Hooyman Saw a few days ago, and put it through the paces last night. I gave it pretty good test in the backyard.

 

            I was really impressed with the way it cut through small limbs. The angle of the blade to the handle lets it cut easily without having to apply much downward force.  Just pulling the handle straight toward me made the teeth of the saw bite right into the limbs. And the teeth on this baby are scary sharp.

 

 

These teeth really cut.

 

 They slice through 2” limbs in just a few strokes.

 

            The neat thing about this saw is the way it folds down to only 13” long.

 

 

Folds down really compact.

 

 But can extend to 5’ in length.

Extends to a full 5'

 

 

Making it just the right tool to have when climbing a tree with my climber for the first time. I can clear out those limbs that would have been out of reach with only a hand pruner. And I don’t have to carry along my 10’ pole saw. I don’t use a back pack so I put mine in the little pouch I have on my API Climber.

 

 

A perfect fit in my carry pouch.

 

 A perfect fit and it only adds about a pound and a half in weight.

 

            The extendable handle is made of sturdy aluminum and seems to hold up very well to the sawing action. On the other hand the handle that holds the blade is made of plastic. Not sure why they didn’t go ahead and make it out of aluminum also. I’ll have to get back to you on how well that holds up. No problems so far.

 

             I’ll be carrying my Hooyman along with me on my climber the rest of the season. To get one for yourself, click here

Hunter Safety System Vest Review

by John Mueller 6. October 2008 13:51
John Mueller

My take on the Hunter Safety System Vest

  

            I have been using the Hunter Safety System Vest this season mostly for safety reasons. I live by myself now and mostly hunt that way too. So if I did have an accident and fall from my tree stand, there might not be anyone coming to look for me for a while. I thought this system provided the best opportunity to survive a fall.

 

            The vest is very well put together from a safety standpoint. Lots of stitching at stress points and a heavy duty strap material was used in the actual harness straps. The vest part makes the system easy to put on in the dark. Not having to figure out what strap goes over which arm and so on. You just slip it on like any other vest and everything falls into place, a neat idea. The vest has 2 pockets on each side that are nice for storing my cell phone, range finder and wind checkers.  The mesh on the vest is great for the early season hunts. It lets the air circulate thru the vest.

 

 

 

The mesh keeps you cool in the early season.

            I am very happy with the level of safety the vest provides. However there are a few things I would like to see improved or changed. The first is the weight. This thing weighs in at 5 pounds!! That is a lot of weight to add, especially since I usually carry my climber and bow with me too. The 4 pockets are nice, but the top 2 have Velcro closures.

 

I hate velcro on bowhunting clothes.

I would much rather see snaps or buttons. Velcro has been known to scrape at just the wrong time. And more pockets would be nice too, since access to most pockets under the vest is blocked by straps or the vest itself. The buckles are another area that needs addressing.

 

 

Here you can see the buckles.

 

 

 

Binos sitting right on the buckles.

The front plastic buckles are located right where my binos lay on my chest. I have the armor coated Nikon Monarchs so it isn’t as bad. But it still makes a bit of a clunk when they hit the buckles.  The buckles for the leg straps are of the car seat belt variety. Push button metal closures. I keep hitting mine with my release. Once it cools off I can put a jacket over the vest and solve the noise issue, but right now I am wearing it on the outside.  I also had a problem with the tether length to the tree. It was too short to my liking. So I lengthened it by cutting loose some of the folded up material that is supposed act like a shock absorber in case of a fall. That solved that problem.

 

What I like about the Vest:

1:  Safest system out there.

2:  No tangled straps to mess with.

3:  Mess is cool in the heat.

4:  The vest is very quiet to wear.

5:  The pockets are nice. (More would be better.)

6:  Comes with a deer drag strap.

 

What I don’t like about the Vest:

1:  It weighs in at 5 pounds (Too Heavy)

2:  Exposed hard plastic and metal buckles.

3:  Velcro pocket closures.

4:  The vest blocks access to pocket underneath it.

5:  The price. A bit much, but then again if I ever need it, it’s nice to know I have the    best.

 

            So if your looking for the best safety system on the market and don’t mind a little extra weight. You can get your Hunter Safety System vest right here at Bowhunting.com. Just click on the link below.

  

           

 
Categories: Pro Staff

The Rage Broadhead - 2 Blade Hype

by Scott Abbott 29. September 2008 16:29
Scott Abbott

I finally gave in and got a pack of the Rage 2 blade broadheads....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just cannot ignore the overwhelmingly positive reports on their performance... Hearing one person tout a product is one thing, but these heads have been the talk of the town for two years now.  I do not recall any negative press about these heads that was confirmed to anything more than brand bashing.

Huge entry and exit holes.... Massive blood trails..... Thirty yard track jobs.... 

What more could you ask for?  Nothing, that's why I picked up a pack and they shot beautifully!

You can pick up a pack here

What do you think?

Moultrie I40 Trail Camera Review

by John Mueller 29. September 2008 12:52
John Mueller

I put 2 Moultrie I40's into use almost a year ago and have been very impressed with the results. That is after I updated the software. It seems there was some type of glitch in the cameras originally. They would produce a whiteout image when in the IR mode on some pictures. After downloading the update from the Moultrie website onto the SD card and then loading it in the cameras my units have performed very well for me.

The Moultrie I40.

 

The daytime pictures are some of the clearest I have seen from a trail camera. The 4 megapixel camera produces very sharp images.

2 turkeys in my food plot.

A doe in the plot.

 

The one feature I have mixed reviews on is the IR Mode of the camera. It was one of the reasons I had originally bought the camera. To get away from the flash going off in the woods and possibly scareing the deer. This model uses Infrared Illumination to capture lowlight and nighttime photos. A band of 72 IR bulbs glows red to take the lowlight pictures. These photos are black and white images.

 

 This is not supposed to spook deer. I do catch some of them stareing at the camera while it is taking their picture. The bad part about this is it takes a lot of daylight to get the camera off of the IR mode. When my camera is in the woods 90% of the pictures are IR mode even in daylight. The only way I get color daylight pictures is to have my camera on a food plot or open field. The black and white images are great for just cataloging your deer and seeing what is out there. But if you want to frame some of the photos or show them off on your favorite website, the color pictures work much better.

Some of the neat features of this camera are:

1. 3 different still picture settings for picture quility.

2. 2 different video settings. (which I have to figure out so I can put my camera on some scrapes this fall)

3. Uses SD Cards, which most digital cameras use now. I use my camera to view them in the field.

4. A laser aim pointer to adjust where the unit is pointed.

5. Time, Date, Temperature, and Moon Phase stamped on the picture.

6. Uses 6 D-cell batteries that last a reported 150 days. I have had mine in operation for almost 1 year and am on my second set of batteries( still have 65% charge)     Truely extended battery life.

7. Easy to set up and reset after checking.

Nice and simple to operate, not a lot of switches or buttons.

8. Does the scouting when you're not there.

Some things I would like to see changed:

1. The SD Card is in a very awkward place to get to. Unless you have very long skinny fingers. There are many other places this could have been put.

Here you can see the SD Card just to the left of the white label.

2. The unit is a big black box. A grey or softer color would not stand out nearly as much. Harder for the deer and would be thieves to see.

3. No real way to lock it to the tree.

4. It does make a bit of a click when the shutter opens.

All in all I have to say the pluses far outweigh the minuses on this camera. I am very happy with the service my 2 units have given me in the year I have had them. No problems at all after doing the original upgrade to the software. And I have not heard of another unit with the battery life of the I40. If you would like to try one of these out for yourself. They can be purchased right here on Bowhunting.com by following the link below.

Nikon Binoculars: As tough as They Come

by John Mueller 25. September 2008 14:06
John Mueller

I have had my pair of 10x42 Nikon Monarch Binoculars since 2005. I first bought them to take on my Elk Hunt to New Mexico. Now I use them every time I am in the woods whether hunting or not. They are a great tool for long range scouting. They were definately a couple of steps above my old Tasco model.


One of my favorite features of this model is the rubber coating on the housing. It serves a dual purpose. It protects the unit form severe shocks and dings. And believe me mine has seen their share of dings. No worse for the wear tho.  And it makes them very quiet when they come into contact with metal or plastic objects on your jackets, safety harnesses and tree stands. That was really annoying on my last pair. Those metal buttons and zippers really made a racket when the binos rub against them. Always at the wrong time too.

The view through the lenses of these binos are crystal clear. Makes it easy to tell if that movement you saw was a big old buck or a trophy squirrel. The light gathering ability is great when those last minutes of daylight are slipping away too. Lets you know if it's safe to slip out of your stand or if you are being watched.

The 10 power is great choice for the average hunter. Any more magnafication and you loose to much field of view.

All in all I have been extremely happy with my Nikon Monarchs. If I lost them tomorrow I would have to get another pair just like them. Mine really take a beating during bow season. Between bouncing around in my truck cab and clanking off of everything as they swing from my neck, they have been put through the torture test.

 If you need a new pair of binos or just want to upgrade, you can purchase these from the Bowhunting.com shopping page by clicking here

 

New Lone Wolf Sit and Climb Seat Review

by Scott Abbott 19. September 2008 14:44
Scott Abbott

I must say, the padded seats that used to come with the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb are perhaps the most uncomfortable seat on a climbing tree stand I have sat in for years....  The thin nylon straps underneath the old seat dug into the back of my legs through the rather thin padding of the seat cushion in no time making an other wise pleasing sit, not so pleasurable.


Installed on all 2008 and newer Lone Wolf stands is their improved seat cushion design.  It is a HUGE step above the old offering.   The seat is firm rather than soft.  It is also acceptable for a lengthy sit, but still not as cush and comfortable as a Summit seat.

 

 


A head on view of the new seat.  As it looks, it is firm and not as soft as the Summit seats, but is not near as bulky or heavy as the Summit seats either. 

 

 


 A view looking down on the seat.

 


You can see how the nylon straps attach to the climbing portion of the stand.  You just thread the straps through the plastic buckles and slide them up or down to adjust the seat to your desired height.  If you like your seat to sit high, you may want to trim the excess straps length off as they are rather long.

 


The seats strap is nylon with a plastic buckle closure which I seem to like better than the bungee cord with metal hooks like the Summit replaceable seat.  The metal hooks would always catch on things and I would seem to make unwanted noise with them at times as well.

Final words, the seat is not as comfortable for an all day sit as the Summit seats are, but is lighter, less bulky and packs better.  It also lacks the metal hooks which I did not care for on the Summit seat I had on here previously.

To me it is give and take.... I think I am willing to give the extra comfort of the Summit seat for the benefits of this slimmer, less bulky design.

Primos Boot Dryer Review

by John Mueller 18. September 2008 13:51
John Mueller

I was first introduced to this style of boot dryer on my elk hunting trip to New Mexico. Two of the guys had brought them along on the hunt and these two guys had the most comfortable boots the entire week.

You do a lot of walking while elk hunting and my feet do a lot of sweating in hunting boots. We left our boots out on the porch at night so they wouldn’t absorb the cooking odors in our cabins and so they could hopefully dry out a little bit. The two bowhunters with the boot dryers would plug them in overnight and have nice dry and toasty boots to slip into in the morning. The rest of us would be putting on clammy sweat soaked boots. Not fun and very uncomfortable. This is just one use of the boot dryer that I have personally found.

Another thing I like to do is when it’s really cold out, I’ll use a timer (like you have for Christmas tree lights) and set it to come on a few hours before I am going hunting. That way my boots will be preheated and my feet will stay warm that much longer. I have found this will allow me to stay on stand longer in bitter cold weather.  It sure beats putting on a pair of ice cold boots that you've left outside or in your garage all night.

You can use the dryers to dry out shoes, boots and even gloves. There are no fans or motors to wear out, just a small heating element. It uses the principal of warmer air rising to circulate the air in the boots. It does a great job of drying sweat or water from that creek you just had to cross. In a few hours the boots are completely dry. After that elk hunting trip all of us had one of these boot dryers. I’ve had mine since 2005 and use it all the time to dry out my boots or just to warm them up before the hunt. It helps to keep your boots from getting that dirty sock smell too.

The Primos Boot Dryer is a handy tool to have that will last you a long time and be one of the most valuable pieces of hunting equipment you own!

Categories:

Octane One-Piece Quiver Review.

by Scott Abbott 8. September 2008 12:58
Scott Abbott

I have now had my Octane quiver for a couple months and have had time to really put some shots through it and test it out.


The quiver features a magnetic hood which has powerful rare earth magnets that automatically center your arrows inside the rubber housing.  This feature works great as your broadheads do not come in contact with anything dulling blades or prematurely deploying mechanical heads.  The quiver also comes with a foam insert which contains a corrosion inhibitor if one prefers a foam insert over the magnetic offering. 

  

The quick disconnect assembly requires no tools and features Teflon connections for silence.  A half turn is all it takes to remove the quiver or attach it. The mounting block offers 30 degrees of adjust ability and the quivers spine has more than six inches of vertical and horizontal adjustments to customize the feel of your setup.  No more nocks getting caked full of mud from the arrows protruding past the cams.

 

A simple pull of the arrow and it silently releases from the arrow gripper.  There is no loud clicking sound while removing or replacing an arrow from the quiver.   

The Octane one and two piece quiver will fit any bow with it's included adapters.  It is also available in an assortment of camo patterns to match your bow and other accessories.  This quiver can be purchased here on Bowhunting.com by clicking here

 

Rage 2 Blade Broadhead Review

by John Mueller 5. September 2008 13:51
John Mueller

Rage Two Blade Broadhead Review

I have been using the Rage 2 Blade Broadheads for almost one year now. I believe they are superior to any other broadhead on the market right now.

The Rage 2 Blade Vitals are:

100 grains

¾” Diameter closed

2” Diameter open

2 Blades-.030 thick

Blades fully deployed on impact

Cut on contact tip

3 per pack, plus 1 practice head.

The #1 reason I believe the Rage 2 Blade is the best BH on the market is the 2” entry hole. It is unmatched in the industry. I killed 2 deer with the Rage last year, and the entry holes were the biggest I have ever seen. The exit holes were huge too, but other expandables produce large exit holes. The Rages ability to be fully deployed to its 2” diameter on impact is what puts it in a class by itself.

 
This is an Entrance Hole!

Even though the Rage is a 2” diameter BH it penetrates much better than other large diameter broadheads. This is due to the fact that the blades open to the rear instead of having to fold over from the front of the head. The loss of kinetic energy is much less with this style of blade deployment. Both of my shots were complete pass throughs with the arrow sticking in the ground on the other side of the animal.

Another thing I like about the Rage is its durability. I have used other 2” diameter mechanical broadheads. Some of those were a 1 time use and throw it away head. The Rage has very sturdy .030 blades and a very strong ferrule. I used the same head to take both of my deer last year. Both shots were complete pass throughs and stuck in the ground. I just sharpened the blades back to a razors edge and that arrow is #1 in my quiver for this fall.

You still need to practice good shot placement and only take ethical shots. But I believe the Rage 2 Blade can help you kill more deer and make finding wounded deer easier, with the large entrance and exit holes and massive blood trails.

 
This one left a nice short blood trail


They can't go far hit like that!!

You can order the Rage 2 Blade Broadheads online right here at Bowhunting.com. They're $39.99 per pack and in my opinion are well worth the money!  Click here to purchase your Rage 2-Blade broadheads today.

Cuddeback Capture: First Look

by Justin Zarr 27. August 2008 08:47
Justin Zarr

Several months ago reports started popping up that Cuddeback was set to release a new trail camera for this fall, called the Capture.  As one of the more widely recognized names in the industry needless to say we were excited to see what these new cameras would offer.  This past week our first Capture arrived at the office.  Here are our first impressions.

There are two models of the new Capture available, one with standard flash and one with an IR flash.  Both cameras are 3.0 megapixels in both day and night, and are priced very reasonably.  The standard Capture retails for $199.99 and the IR version for $229.99.  To date only the standard-flash cameras have shipped out so that’s what we’ve had the chance to test.

If you’ve seen any of the new print or TV ads for this product you’ll notice that the main feature Cuddeback is trying to push is the ease of use.  A lot of cameras we’ve tested have settings that are buried several levels deep into the menus and can be somewhat cumbersome to figure out at first.  Let’s face it, none of us want to sit around and read a 20 page manual and spend an hour trying to figure out how to use our trail cameras.  We want to open them up, put batteries in them, strap them on a tree, and be on our way.  With the Cuddeback Capture, you can do just that.

Both Capture units feature a new rotating dial system for controlling the camera settings and arming the camera in the field.  There are only two push buttons, which are only used for your initial time/date/year setup.  Once you take care of those, which takes less than a minute, you don’t have to use them again.  Once your camera is set up and in position you simply rotate the dial to the time delay you want (30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes), close the cover and walk away.  It truly is a very user-friendly interface.

Like the older Cuddeback cameras the new Capture also uses 4 D-Cell batteries for power.  Although unlike my C2000 Excite the battery system is much easier to use.  The batteries actually slide into the case underneath the main cover and aren’t held in by that cheesy metal plate that I always had problems with in the past.
Also new with the Capture units is the switch from Compact Flash (CF) cards over to the more industry-standard SD cards found in most other manufacturer’s units.  This is great for those of us who have a bunch of cameras and have been managing different types of cards.  Not to mention SD cards are more readily available and cheaper than CF cards.  A big thumbs up to Cuddeback for finally making the switch.

My one complaint on this camera is the fact that they did away with the screw-in fastening system found on my older units.  I really liked this method as it added one small measure of security for my cameras.  I could screw them in, fasten the face plate, then put a small padlock on it that made it more difficult for thieves to run off with.  The new Capture units no longer have this option and instead come with a more traditional strap system.  It works fine for what it is, but now there is no easy option for locking the Capture unit to the tree.  Even if you put a padlock on the door that only prevents someone from opening it, not from removing the strap from the tree and taking the whole unit.  Definitely a step backwards in my opinion.

My new Cuddeback Capture went out to the field last night and I plan on checking it next Saturday to see how the trigger speed, flash range, and image quality is.  I tested it inside my house a few times before putting it out and the trigger speed looks like it’s on par with my older Cuddeback units, and image quality definitely appears to be higher than my C2000 Excite.  As soon as I have an update, you’ll be the first to know!

If you'd like to purchase a new Cuddeback Capture digital trail camera we have them in stock and ready to ship over at our sister website TrailCam.com!  Retail cost is $199.99 and you can purcahse your new Cuddeback Capture by clicking here.

Categories: Justin Zarr



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