Hunting Gear and Products

Gear Reviews

Over the last few years Hoyt has garnered a lot of attention with their lightweight carbon bows. However Hoyt is still innovating when it comes to aluminum riser based bows as well. For 2012, Hoyt has released a new flagship aluminum riser bow called the Vector. For this review we'll be specifically looking at the Vector 32, which the name implies is a 32" axle-to-axle (ATA) bow.

For 2012, Bear Archery has released several new bows that we will be taking a look at over the next few months. For this upcoming year the Carnage, which we reviewed favorably before, is being supplanted by a new flagship bow that Bear has dubbed the Anarchy. The Anarchy shares some features in common with the Carnage but departs in some technology that is new for Bear this year. The riser design is similar to the Carnage although Bear has spent more time rounding out the holes in the riser and contouring it a bit more for 2012. The net result is that the Anarchy comes in about 5% lighter than the Carnage at 3.8 lbs, while maintaining a forgiving 7.25" brace height.

For my wife and me, introducing our kids to the outdoors has been an exercise in careful design. If you're passionate about hunting, and you want to share all that it has to offer with your children, then I'll bet you've considered the options. Not every hunting adventure is a positive one. Temperature, weather, and the mood of the game generally have some bearing on the outcome. While seasoned outdoorsmen and women learn to cherish every outing, it's the exhilarating successes that keep us coming back for more.

A good hunting pack can make the difference between a laborious but comfortable hike or a never-ending march of back agony. With the escalating amount of equipment that has been deemed "necessary" on a hunting expedition it's all the more important to pick a pack that can evenly carry the load especially if you're lucky enough to harvest game.

The firearms market of the 21st century has powerful manufacturers that got their start in the latter part of the 19th century. A lot has changed in firearm designs and manufacturing in this time, but the desire for superb accuracy still reigns as important today as it did in years gone by. Cooper Firearms of Montana, while a relatively young company, understands shooters desire for accuracy and since 1990 has built their company around producing highly accurate and aesthetically pleasing rifles.

Over the last few years the interest in higher power scopes with more durability has increased among hunters. Some hunters look to these scopes to improve visual clarity at longer ranges in order to increase the range at which they can consistently make a kill shot, while others want a more rugged scope that can take a few bumps and scrapes. For decades Leupold has developed their line of tactical Mark 4 scopes that offer both a rugged scope and optical superiority. For this review we'll be taking a look a the Mark 4 lineup of scopes along with a closer look at a Mark 4 LR/T 4.5-14x50mm Illuminated Mil-Dot scope.

O.F. Mossberg and Sons, or simply Mossberg for short, is perhaps best known for their line of shotguns. The Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun, and shotguns derived from the 500, have reliably served hunters and the military since the 1960's. However Mossberg is more than just shotguns and in recent years has moved aggressively into the bolt action centerfire rifle market. For this review we will be taking a look at the 4x4 bolt-action rifle.

It's not hard to round up a group of shooters to blast an afternoon away plinking. However given the same group, it can be expected that there will be few volunteers to spend any time cleaning up the firearms after the shooting and excitement is over. None-the-less, firearm cleaning is a critical part of firearm ownership and while boring, is necessary. The gun cleaning situation is compounded for hunters on the move; who wants to clean a gun after packing it around all day?

If you talk to an AR shooter, one of the first benefits that they will likely tout is that of all the cool AR-specific accessories that can be attached to the firearm. Some necessary, some novelty, but none more important than a quality scope. Nikon, long known for building quality optics for hunting has embraced the AR market with open arms and designed a riflescope, the M-223, specifically around the most popular AR cartridge, the .223 Rem./5.56mm NATO. With AR rifles being built for short and long range use, Nikon followed suit with a current offering of six different M-223 models to meet the consumers needs.

Over the last five years, probably no other "gadget" has changed the way we scout more than the trail camera. For many of us, running trail cameras is a hobby in itself, bringing a whole new excitement to our deer hunting efforts. Much more than just something to pass time, however, running trail cameras can give you a unique insight into the patterns of deer on your hunting properties and really tip the odds in your favor for harvesting a mature whitetail. Let's take a look at the features to look for when purchasing a trail camera, and how to get the maximum benefit from the camera once you have made your purchase.

Previously we looked at G5's Prime Centroid bow with favorable results. G5 is also the maker of the Quest brand of bows which has been gaining attention over the last few years with their lineup of compound bows. For this review we'll be taking a closer look at Quest's top-of-the-line Primal bow.
Having the best video equipment that money can buy won't result in great hunting footage, if you don't know how to properly use it. On the flip side, even low budget equipment can produce great footage in the hands of a knowledgeable videographer. In the last article, we covered the basic equipment needed to successfully video hunts, and how to best choose that video equipment based on your available budget. In this article, we will discuss some tips and techniques to get the most out of whatever equipment you have - regardless of whether it is a $6,000 professional HD camera, or one you picked up for $100 at the local flea market.

If you're venturing into elk country and want to carry only one call, hands down the call to take is a cow call. Regardless of pre-rut, post-rut, rut, or no-rut a cow call is one of the best ways to at least stop a bull in its tracks and on a good day, call one in. If you're new to calling or just want a simple call, a few manufacturers offer push button, non-electronic calls. For this review we'll take a closer look at Wayne Carlton's Estrus Squeeze Me call and the Primos Hoochie Mama series of calls.

There was a time - and I'm talking not too long ago - when watching a hunting show on television required waking up early on a Saturday morning and tuning to a single cable channel. Today, you can just about find one on 24 hours a day! And if you can't find one on TV, you've probably got a few recorded on your DVR that you've only watched three or four times. Heck, there are now entire cable networks dedicated solely to hunting, fishing and the outdoor pursuits. All of this exposure has lead to an exploding interest in people videoing their own hunts.

The number of new bow manufacturers in the market has grown substantially over the last decade and an archer today has more bow choices than ever before. One of the new manufacturers in the market is LimbSaver, produced by Sims Vibration Laboratory (SVL). LimbSaver has been producing a few bows over the last few years and their new Proton has been getting more interest in the last year. We decided to take a closer look at the Proton and see what LimbSaver is up to.

At just a little over ten years in the industry, G5 has carved out a respectable corner of the archery market. From broadheads, to sights, to rests, to the Quest line of bows G5 produces a variety of products for today's archery. For 2011 G5 is introducing a premium line of bows under the Prime brand. Currently there are two bows under the Prime line: the Centroid and the Shift. For this review we will be taking a closer look at the Centroid.

The hunting market sure has changed. What was once a business dominated by only a few manufacturers offering a relatively small number of products has become just the opposite. Every year, countless new products are developed. Day Six Outdoors is a relatively new company in the trail camera market. I put their PlotWatcher Time-Lapse HD Video Camera to the test to find out if it truly was a different way to scout game and not just another fish in the sea of available trail cameras.
While Bear Archery got its start with traditional bows, today the company has expanded to compound bows offering a variety of modern configurations. For this review we are going to be taking a look at the Bear Charge in what they call a Ready-To-Hunt (RTH) package. The idea behind RTH is that the bow should be as close as possible to having everything you need to hit the field and start practicing. A packaged bow that comes with a variety of accessories used to be unheard of years ago, but over the last 7-10 years has become steadily more popular, especially with those just getting into bow hunting.

Hunting is one of those endeavors that's timeless. The dynamics between predator and prey are similar to those millennia ago. However hunting tools have changed significantly and with the computer age, some tools seem to get a constant upgrade. For instance five years ago simply having a rangefinder when bow or rifle hunting was cutting edge. However now nearly every manufacturer in the market has raised the bar by including angle correction technology (an inclinometer with software) in at least one of their rangefinder models.

The number of choices for outerwear on the market is almost staggering, but they are certainly not all created equal. Many will leave you cold, wet or uncomfortable when they are put to the real test. The Big Game System took everything that my job could throw at it and performed beyond my expectations. The fit, function, durability and ingenious details that are in each piece of the outerwear system leave little doubt that they were designed by people that spend a great deal of time in the woods and by a company that stands behind what they sell.
Previously we have favorably reviewed Vanguard's Spirit 1042 binoculars. The Spirit is Vanguard's mid-range offering, while the Endeavor ED is their top of the line offering. Vanguard is better known in the photography accessory market, but with the Endeavor ED series of binoculars they are making a strong push into the hunting and outdoor optics market.

Badlands is in the business of creating packs particularly tailored to the hunter. We have covered their Hypervent pack in the past. Like most small manufacturers that focus heavily on quality and service, Badlands has a loyal customer base. Previous Badlands owners have been highly anticipating the OX for several years and the company has somewhat released the pack in the past only to pull back. Officially this year, 2010, is the release of the finalized OX and we were able to get our hands on one to test.

Every year countless hunters fall victim to tree stand accidents. Fall being the operative word, using tree stands can be risky business. Unfortunate but true, no one plans to go airborne, but it happens. I know several individuals myself who have suffered injuries while putting up, sitting in, or taking down stands. The good news is that commercial tree stands have evolved plenty over the past couple decades. Furthermore, by taking a few extra precautions we can avoid, or at very least minimize, the potential for tree stand mishaps.

I recently picked up a ScentBlocker outfit. I know hunters who swear by odor elimination technology and, as the consummate skeptic I just had to try it for myself. I'd heard plenty about their new-last-year Dream Season apparel, but in the end I opted for the lighter-weight Bone Collector Brotherhood jacket and pant. During the fall of 2009 I put it to the test in warm, cold, wet, and dry weather hunting caribou on Canada's northern tundra, and pronghorn, mule deer, and whitetails in Alberta. I was pleasantly surprised.

At first glance, the Cuddeback Capture IR digital scouting camera looks almost identical to its cousin, the Cuddeback Capture. In fact, the only visible difference is the presence of 48 small, infrared LEDs at the top of the unit in place of the less technically advanced flash bulb. The Cuddeback Capture had performed impressively in my product review and I was anxious to see if the IR version would perform as well and solve the problem of spooking game with a nighttime flash.

Seven decades is a long time. When it refers to a company's existence, it is very uncommon. When it refers to the continuous production of a single invention, it is almost unparalleled. In 1941, Frederick Ehrsam wasn't thinking seventy years down the road. He was simply trying to design a tool that would replace the unbalanced, bulky and often unsafe machete used by professionals in the forestry, agricultural and horticulture fields to clear brush and cut trails, and his innovative Woodman's Pal did just that.

I can't believe it took as long as it did, but SPOT came to the rescue, a couple years ago in fact. Now becoming hugely popular, the rugged SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker is a must-have for anyone and everyone who ventures into remote places or participates in high-risk activities. Whether you're a hunter, angler, backpacker, paddler, snowmobiler, or even a globetrotter - this little unit is a keeper.
Mention the name Swarovski to most hunters and they immediately think of quality. Over the past two decades I've been able to experiment with most major manufacturer's optics for one application or another. My conclusion - you don't always get what you pay for... but, thankfully sometimes you do. Such is the case with my latest acquisition - Swarovski Optik's Z5 5-25x52 P BT L rifle scope. The letters simply refer to the ballistic turret, a recent innovation introduced to facilitate long-range shooting.
The hunting/sporting optics market in the 21st century is highly competitive. New manufacturers and brands seem to crop up regularly and even established companies with long histories are continually updating their product line. In this competitive marketplace it's easy to get lost in the variety of products out there. Keeping this in mind we were a little skeptical when we were approached by Vanguard of Whitmore Lake Michigan to take a look at their flagship Spirit 10x42 binoculars. In a crowded optics marketplace, why bother with yet another manufacturer? It turns out the Spirit line of binoculars is worth your consideration.
My expectations were simple enough - I needed a blind with plenty of room, plenty of shooting windows, made from a durable fabric, at an affordable price. That wasn't asking too much, was it? In all honesty, I was really looking hard at the Primos Double Bull Dark Horse, but I just couldn't get past the $400+ price tag. That's when, while walking the aisles at the NWTF National Convention, I came across a brand new blind by Rhino Laboratories called the Evolution XP-1. Note: This review includes a video, let us know what you think!
Nikon has been in the optics market for a long time, and is best known for their camera and non-hunting optics business. However over the last decade, Nikon has been progressively making a push into the hunting and sporting optics market. Today, Nikon manufactures a variety of binoculars, spotting scopes, rangefinders, and rifle scopes specifically for the hunting market. Chances are good that you or a hunter you know has tried out one of Nikon's products. For this review we are going to take a look at the Monarch series of rifle scopes.
I'd seen this company's name in a few places but never having had a chance to look at their products, I arranged the loan of a Sightron SIII 10X42 binocular and a Sightron SII Big Sky 3.5-10X42 riflescope. When they finally arrived, initial impressions were good. Both items looked and felt like well-crafted products and the literature with each, promised Sightron would provide a lifetime guarantee, saying, "We wouldn't expect you to trust our products, if we didn't believe in them ourselves." I wish all companies had a philosophy like that.
When Double Bull Archery introduced their T5 blind in 2002, I cringed at the $500 price tag but eventually bit the bullet and shelled out the money to purchase one. Most blinds on the market at the time were noisy, shiny and cheaply made. The T5 seemed to take a different approach and answered the desires of hunters willing to pay for a quality product that would perform well. Since then, I have put my T5 through a variety of punishing hunting situations and weather conditions that would have left most blinds in a heap of shredded material and bent rods but the T5 still looks almost as good as the day I got it and has performed flawlessly.
I began hunting in the 1980's and camouflage choices basically consisted of military camo or the original Treebark® pattern. Although both helped in certain situations, I spent many hours in the woods thinking about how to hide better. The trees, the forest floor and the brush piles all had their own unique colors. The idea of having to be right next to a tree to blend in was too limiting. Recently I was introduced to The ShadowShield, a line of portable, mirrored blinds. I was excited to find out if it worked as good as it sounded.
The technology of monitoring game trails has progressed rapidly since man first decided he needed to know what time his prey walked down a specific path. The 35 mm versions have all but disappeared with the explosion of the digital age and manufacturers have been scampering to get a piece of the market ever since. Cuddeback has always been a leader in the digital market and their new Capture model trail camera proves that they are continuing to produce quality products.
Whether you are locating treestands, hunting the backcountry or finding your way out of an unfamiliar area, the GPS revolution has made life much easier for big game hunters. Each year, GPS manufacturers add a number of features that are quickly adopted by those that spend a great deal of their time in the woods. Garmin has long been a leader in GPS technology and the Colorado 400t leaves little doubt that they are continuing to set the bar very high.
Let's face it - today's hunters carry more "stuff." From binoculars to spotting scopes, rangefinders to GPSs, extra clothes, food and drink, and calls for every occasion. In order to keep all this gear organized and still easily accessible, every hunter needs a good backpack. While some of us can get everything we need into just a small daypack, others of us need something with a little more storage room. If you're like me and fit into the latter category, then you may want to give Fieldline's Glenwood Canyon internal frame backpack a look.
Binoculars are one of those critical tools that have not changed significantly over the last hundred years. Gains have been made in optical clarity and light transmission, but the basic function of the binocular has remained the same over the years. Leupold's switch power design is one of those simple changes that will alter how you think about and use binoculars.
The advent of the digital trail camera has probably done more to change the way people scout than any other product. Nothing solves the mystery of what went down a trail better than an image of that exact animal and incorporating the trail camera technology into your scouting arsenal can greatly improve your success.

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Since 1957, Camera Land has been the nation's most knowledgeable Photo and Optics source. Let our experts advise you when selecting your piece of sports optics equipment or camera. We are well versed in Digiscoping, Photography and all aspects of Sports Optics. We are a family owned and operated business with an emphasis on customer service. Contact us with your photo optical needs.
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Webyshops

Webyshops.com is a new group of online retail stores with an extensive inventory including such items as rifle scopes, binoculars, flashlights, rangefinders, dog training collars, binoculars and night vision, from such brands as Leupold, Nikon, Bushnell, EoTech, Burris, Zeiss, Dogtra and others. The products are positioned at various price points for the maximum breadth of offering and are targeted towards various skill levels and applications.
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