After our annual trip to the ATA show to meet with customers and check out all of the new bowhunting gear for this year, I have put together my Top 10 list of products that I'm most excited about heading into the next bowhunting season. Some of them may not be the most innovative or high-tech products on the market, but they're ones that I think a lot of bowhunters could benefit from owning - or stuff that I just think is cool. So here they are, in no particular order!
Even Don and Kandi Kisky love the NAP Quikfletch! Which means you should love them too!
Okay, the Quikfletch isn't new for 2010 but I still think it's one of the best products on the market. Anyone who frequents our forum knows my newfound fondness for this product after I started using them last summer. The Quikfletch is a special heavy-duty shrink tubing with NAP vanes pre-adhered to it. You simply slide the Quikfletch over your arrow shaft, then dip it into boiling water for 10 seconds and you're done. The material shrinks up and a special adhesive on the inside of the tube secures the Quikfletch to your arrow so it doesn't slide or move. And that's it! No more jigs, glues, wraps, or time spent fletching when you could be doing something else. The Quikfletch come in a variety of colors including special Bone Collector and The Crush with Lee & Tiffany editions. Of course when we get our special Bowhunting.com edition in stock, that one will be my favorite. And it should be yours too!
Camoflex DeadFall Ground Blind
The new DeadFall ground blind from CamoFlex. Brushin in your blind just became a thing of the past!
The guys over at Lone Wolf Stands/Camoflex know what they're doing when it comes to making products for serious bowhunters. This new DeadFall ground blind is no exception. This innovative blind utilizes Camoflex's patented technology and has "branches" already attached. What this means for bowhunters is no more "brushing in" your blind when you move it to a new spot. Simply pop the blind up, spread the branches out, and hunt. Anything that saves time and makes my hunting job easier is a good product in my book! This blind also has a patent-pending elliptical shaped entry door for easy entrance/exit, and magnetic closures on all of the windows. At last, no more velcro! Well, that's not entirely true. The blind uses velcro to hold in the shoot-thru replaceable netting, but that's to be expected. Being able to open and close the windows silently is a great idea, and a much needed improvement over the velcro used in many of today's ground blinds. The DeadFall also comes with a backpack style carrying bag as well. This blind is expected to retail for around $300, which makes it one of the more affordable blinds on the market.
The NuFletch spectrum is available in a variety of colors and will fit virtually any carbon arrow shaft.
Much the same as the NAP Quikfletch, the NuFletch Spectrum greatly simplifies the arrow fletching process. This innovative product is a machined aluminum ferrule with three slots that currently fit the Bohning Blazer vane (more versions are in the works to fit other vane types). The back of the NuFletch screws off, allowing you to slide your vanes into the grooves and then reattach the back end along with the nock. Tightening the screw places pressure down on the vane base, thus holding it securely in place. A standard insert must be afixed inside the back end of your arrow, which allows the NuFletch to screw in just as a field point or broadhead would. If you rip or damage a vane in any way, simply unscrew the back, remove the damaged vane, and replace with a new one. Quick, easy, and painless. The one downside of the NuFletch is that it does add roughly 50 grains to the overall weight of your arrow. But if you can work around that, this is a pretty cool product.
Leupold Bow-Mounted Rangefinder
The next time you miss, you won't be able to blame it on not knowing the yardage!
For years people have been trying to come up with a bow-mounted rangefinder that works, doesn't weigh a ton, and is easy to use. I think Leupold has finally done it. At a mere 10 ounces including mounting hardware this new rangefinder mounts securely to your bow and provides a quick and accurate yardage readout while you are at full draw. A small triggering mechanism must be run down your bow's riser to your handle, and when activated the large red LED display will give you an immediate yardage readout. The rest is up to you!
Norway Industries String Tamer 2
More adjustability, more dampening power, and more adjustability. How can you go wrong?
String suppressing devices hit the market a few years ago and in no time have become standard equipment on many of today's high-end bows. However, for those of us with older bows or ones without a factory-equipped supressing device we must still turn to the aftermarket for these little gems. The new and improved String Tamer from Norway Industries may just be your best bet. This new version of their popular product is lighter, more adjustable, and has more dampening power that before. Available in both a front and rear mount application the String Tamer is a no brainer for anyone without a string suppressing device on their bow.
Kyle Wills from ScentBlocker talking to us about the new Silent Shell garments. Stay tuned for our full video review of this new product.
New for 2010 ScentBlocker is debuting a new technology called ColdFusion, which actually bonds the activated carbon to the fabric of their garments, making it more effective at stopping human odor from ruining your hunt. If you don't believe in activated carbon scent control products, skip this one and check out the next product! If you do, then you'll want to check out ScentBlocker's three new premier products for 2010. They are the Dream Season Silent Shell, new Dream Season Pro, and Bone Collector Mack Daddy. My personal favorite after checking them all out is the Dream Season Silent Shell. These garments are made from a soft shell material so they are extremely quiet, burr resistant, and treated with a DWR (durable water repellency) finish. With plenty of pockets and Mossy Oak's new Break-Up Infinity pattern this is one nice suit. Stay tuned to my blog in the next few days as I'll be giving you the low down on all of the new ScentBlocker products for this year.
NAP Bloodrunner 2 Blade broadhead
The new 2 blade Bloodrunner from NAP. 1 1/8" diameter in flight, a whopping 2 1/16" diamater on impact.
Broadhead technology has sure changed since I started bowhunting 18 years ago (wow, I'm getting old!). The past few years have seen an explosion of new technology, much of it centered around massive expandable broadheads like the popular Rage lineup. However, with that new technology and all of it's benefits always came some drawbacks as well. In the case of the Rage heads, many people reported blades opening prematurely in flight, coming open in quivers, etc. To solve those issues while still providing maximum accuracy and cutting diameter NAP released their Bloodrunner broadhead last year as a 3 blade version. With the widespread popularity of that broadhead they have now rolled into 2010 with a 2 1/16" cutting diameter 2 blade version. The spring-loaded broadhead is only 1 1/8" wide while closed in flight, and opens up to a massive 2 1/16" diameter upon impact, creating massive entry and exit wounds without worrying about premature blade deployment.
Predator Informer XP Trail Camera
The new Informer XP trail camera from Predator. It makes me sing the song "Informer" in my head every time I look at it. Is that good or bad?
Predator burst into the trail camera market a few years ago with their innovative lineup of touchsreen cameras. Taking their technology to a whole new level for this year they are introducing several new cameras including the Informer XP. The most notable difference with this new camera is the new Dragon IR techology, which uses less LED emmitters while providing a brighter and longer flash range (75 feet!) all while using less battery power. This new camera is a 3.2 MP cam by day and 1.3 MP cam by night, and also affords you the ability to take video clips as well. All Predator trail cams for 2010 also use SD cards, versus the CF cards in previous versions. New for 2010 all Predator trail cameras come with a standard mounting strap instead of the bolt-on mounting bracket on the previous models. (They must have watched my video review of the Xtinction and taken my advice!)
Plano Guide Series Cases
Waterproof and air tight - but is it Justin-proof? Only time will tell!
Without fail I pick up new bowhunting gear each and every season and I'm always looking for new ways to store it. Like most guys during the bowhunting season I'm usually in a hurry and can be less than gentle with my equipment from time to time, which means I need storage that can stand up to my abuse. The new Guide Series polycarbonate cases from Plano may just be what the doctor ordered. These cases are available in a variety of sizes and are made from a super tough polycarbonate material, which means I won't break them into a bunch of pieces tossing them in an out of my truck all season. They are waterproof and airtight, meaning whatever I put inside of them should stay safe and sound. One great use I already though of is storage of scents (deer pee doesn't smell too great when it gets on your clothes), and of course electronics that can be damaged by water (as in my old Canon XHA1 that met it's maker in McKee Creek last fall).
Muck Superlite Boots
I will be honest, I really don't know much about these boots. The folks at Muck were always super busy when I stopped in, and the catalog I picked up has no information on these. However, I can tell you I did pick them up and check them out and WOW are they light! I thought my Alpha Burly's were light, but they feel like lead bricks compared to these boots. If they are anywhere near as comfortable as their currentl line of hunting boots I have a feeling they're going to be a bit hit with bowhunters. I know these boots do have a patent-pending "air tunnel" built into them, which I believe helps your feet breathe which of course prevents sweating and cold feet when on stand. As soon as I get more info, I will be sure to post it up.
Of course there's a LOT of other new products for this year I'll be covering in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back. And if there's any cool new products you've seen that we don't talk about feel free to send us an email and we'll check them out! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the goods!
As an honorable mention - check out the cool "Skulls" camo available on select Alpine bows. I would feel like a bowhunting pirate if I shot this bow.