OK, it’s here!
With so many good products out there today to choose from in the hunting world, it can be tough deciphering what’s the best and what isn’t. When I choose what products are on my hit list, I’m loyal to no one. Pro staffer or not, if I don’t like a product, you’ll know it! In fact, I dropped a product this year and replaced it with a better one. The truth hurts but it is what it is. Here’s what I found good enough to be in my list:
Tru Carbon is OUT and Carbon Synergy is IN!
I dumped Tru Carbon this year for Carbon Synergy http://www.3koutdoors.com mainly because Carbon Synergy has silver added to their formula. Silver will kill odor causing bacteria. Carbon absorbs scent. Combine them and you have a longer lasting formula that works even better. Hats off to these chemists who created Carbon Synergy! It’s great stuff and cheap too! After I contacted them with my admiration of their new concoction, they insisted giving a discount to those of you who order it through their website and type the word “Marc” in the code section. That will save you a few bucks! FYI, I get NO kickback.
Muzzy wins the blade game again.
When choosing broadheads, I’ve made it known in the past that I’m a Muzzy guy all the way. That decision was based on decades of use, even though I’ve rotated through other brands along the way. I’ll have to admit, I tested some pretty promising broadheads again, which is proof that competition forces other companies to up the ante. One thing for sure, I’ve never had a failure…ever with the Muzzy, which is why Muzzy belongs on my Hit List again. I am still not sold on the mechanical blade either! Since my only recommendation is on a fixed blade, I tested the best of the bunch. I fell in love with the Phantom’s and have used them in the last three years with great results. In fact, the last 4 kills were with the very same broadhead, without even sharpening it. They rip great holes and get the job done. This year, they’ve added new sizes to their MX-3’s and one of those sizes happens to be in my favorite weight, the 125 grain. The MX-3, 125 grain fly’s like a rocket and does immeasurable damage to bone and tissue. I’m going to use both this year! Check them out at: http://www.muzzy.com/
Back to Bear.
I was honored to test some pretty good bows this year. One of those bows was the Carbon Matrix from Hoyt, which you may know is made from carbon. Indeed that bow is built like a brick and light as a feather and my hat’s off to them for reaching above and beyond! I like innovation and that’s exactly what they used when designing that bow. Credit given where credit is due! Even as impressed as I was with the bow, it didn’t make my list. Why? The bow is ultra expensive and doesn’t shoot any better than many of the new bows today. Their advertising consists of plastering some of the biggest celebrity’s name in the business on this bow, which in turn, will drive the cost of your bow way up! I personally don’t care if any celebrity shoots a particular bow, I just want one that fits me. With all of the bows I’ve tested , I have to say I was also impressed with some of the new line from Bowtech. When it came dow to the wire, nothing could beat the feel, the light weight and the consistency of the Bear Carnage. In fact, every single person I asked to shoot that bow, came back with an astonishing response. You can’t say that about every product on the market. For speed, comfort and weight, it’s the Bear Carnage again. For that reason, I’ll stay with bear again this year and remain on their staff. Bear’s come a long way from a company I would have never even looked at 4 years ago.
When it comes to carbon arrows, I’ve tested a bunch. I can honestly say that there are many good arrows on the market today, which makes it especially difficult in finding the best one. After many hours in testing, I think the carbon arrows that Trophy Ridge make are going to make my Hit List. Their arrows are as tough as nails and fly very true. They claim to penetrate 27% better than many arrows on the market and demonstrate why on their website. I’ve been shooting them for about a year now with no problems whatsoever. Trophy Ridge claims their arrows are also 40% stronger than any arrow on the market today, so check them out at: http://www.trophyridge.com/arrows
The Huntmore 360 degree chair.
Today hunters are using ground blinds more than ever when hunting deer and turkey across the U.S. After purchasing the blind, the next obvious piece of equipment comes the chair! You wouldn’t think a chair would be on your list of products to contemplate, but when you think about it, it’s one tool that could make or break your hunting success for the day.
Placing a lot of thought into a product that will keep you comfortable for hours and yet maneuverable enough without noise to make a decent shot, doesn’t come easy. Many man hours of design are dedicated and implemented on paper and in the shop, only to be improved upon the following year. It’s a never ending refinement, much like the dross being removed from silver. In the end, the consumer doesn’t have to worry about a squeak here, or fumbling around there, when it comes time to concentrate on their game. Many times when a product is well designed, the consumer won’t give the product a second thought, and that’s a good thing! It’s when something goes awry when you actually realize your device is worth noticing.
We tested the HuntMore 360 chair and found it to be a great chair and a product that should be looked at by the consumer! We tested the assembly, the breakdown, the comfort, the usefulness, stability and the ergonomics of this chair and found it to be a well designed chair for anyone looking for a piece of equipment that’s easy to shoot from (bow or gun), easy to assemble and quiet in operation.
One feature of the chair I especially like are the wide feet. This chair is exceptionally good on soft ground because of the wide base that keeps you from sinking in grass or dirt platforms. Another thing I really like is the adjustable legs! How many times have you lugged a chair outdoors only to scour the ground for a flat piece of ground to place the chair on? With this chair, you can basically pick a spot, adjust the legs, and in no time you’re sitting on a level chair anchored to an uneven surface. If you’ re a fisherman, take note!
For those of you who hunt from the ground without a blind, you now have a chair that folds up and can be carried in it’s own bag, to your favorite site. With the addition of a camouflaged apron of some sort, your setup now becomes incognito. The chair also allows you to sit in it for a great length of time without fatigue thus reducing that feeling of wanting to leave earlier than desired.
Polaris all the way!
In the ATV, side by side four wheeler class, nothing can beat Polaris. OK, don’t get mad and turn the page just yet! This is one review that I’ve had the luxury to perform mostly by myself; and I have many, many years worth of experience with all types of vehicles. If I must give you my background information just to get some respect here, I’ll do just that!
I know how to push a vehicle to its limit and with due respect, know how to take care of it the just the same. I’m a licensed aircraft power plant mechanic with decades of experience in engine and air-frame overhauls. I’ve raced 9 second quarter mile drag bikes, muscle cars and flew some mighty fast jets in my time. Having said that, I’ve also pushed my 4 x 4 trucks to the brink of destruction. Now that I’m mature and not so aggressive, I don’t necessarily punish my vehicles any more, but rather use my experience and wisdom toward preventative measures. It’s hard to pull a fast one past me if it has an engine in it!
I have tested Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, etc. and I have never pushed a four wheeler so hard as I did a Polaris. In fact, I was in love with Kawasakis for years as I believed they built their bikes/four wheelers tank-tough. Not any longer. Polaris builds the toughest, most durable, longest lasting and strongest four wheelers on the market today, in my opinion. What’s even sweeter? They’re based here in the U.S.A!
My test model, a Sportsman 500, has incredible power and torque. The frame is rigid. The suspension is in a class of its own. The dependability can always be counted on. I pushed the tow limit, the weight limit, the engine limit, in 102 degree weather for several HOURS, several times, with never a failure. In sub-zero weather, with the wind chill in the -17 degree mark, I had no problems with starting whatsoever. I really can’t emphasize enough how tough these ATV’s are!
The clearance on the Sportsman is exceptionally high and great for crossing streams, logs, rocks and debris. Since there is no manual shifting required (unless you want to just use the low gear), your limbs are not busy at critical times of operation. Even the material used for the switches are made to handle the most extreme weather. Order some of the accessories made for today’s hunter, and you’ll never go on another hunting trip without your machine. I could go on and on but I have more reviews to cover, so if you’re in the market for an ATV, be sure to at least stop by the Polaris dealer and check them out. You owe it to yourself!
In closing you may ask: How much time did you have with your test model? Answer: 14 years. I took possession of it from the dealer in 1997, brand new, and it still runs great today. It’s been on countless hunting trips, fell off of a 70 foot cliff (thanks to my dear wife for not putting on the parking brake), been buried in water, fell off the back of a pickup truck at 30 miles per hour, has about 40,000 miles of off road use and have pulled so many deer from the deepest of gullies, I can’t count. It still has the factory tires, factory spark plug, and has never had a failure of any part other than what broke off when it went flying off that 70 foot cliff. I’ve had four other four wheelers during the same time frame! It STILL runs like a champ today. Impressed yet?
Twisted Timber tree stands lead the way!
Now here’s a really good one for you tree stand hunters! This company, Twisted Timber Treestands, has one of the best ideas on the market today! Finally, someone came up with a solution for mounting a tree stand out of a tree that is less than straight! Have you ever found a really good place to hunt deer but just couldn’t find a straight enough tree to mount it on? That’s happened to me so many times in the past, it was one of the reasons I converted to a ground assault game. This new tree stand can be mounted to the crookedest of all trees, yet remain level and safe for you to shoot from. The seat is adjustable, the back rest is adjustable, and everything in between is! I tested this stand out a year ago and worked directly with the engineers to modify and improve it throughout the months. It really is an innovative idea and in its own class. http://www.twistedtimbertreestands.com
Reconyx still leads!
Reconyx trail cameras are without a doubt, the best trail cameras a human being can buy…period! Thery’re not cheap but you will get images on these cameras that none of the others will ever pick up. I have tested the Reconyx camera against every major camera manufacturer in America and all I can say is; Reconyx rules. Their motto is “See what you’ve been missing” which is funny, because there is no better way to put it. If your serious about camera scouting, check them out: http://www.reconyx.com
Bushrag Camouflage Systems for the ultimate in concealment.
When the newest tree bark designed camo came out in the late 80′s – early 90′s, it was considered the latest and the greatest simply because there was nothing quite like it. It was very innovative by their inventors to disguise a human like a tree, with the intentions of fooling a deer’s eyes. It worked well and still does today. In fact, the idea is a tough act to beat. How does one create better camo? The multitude of companies have copied the same idea but just incorporate different patterns. Not very creative! Bushrag, on the other hand, took the concept one level higher by making a true 3-D camouflage. They’re so good at it, the U.S. military uses their Ghillie suits for their snipers. When a person’s life is on the line, it’s got to be good…and it is!
Bushrag, from California, wasn’t into the hunting scene until recently. I contacted them after using their military Ghillie suit for over a decade, with some ideas for a bow hunting suit. They were very receptive of the idea and the bow hunting suit was born, AKA, the “Marc Anthony” suit. OK, it’s hard not to like a hunting suit with your name on it, but on the other hand, it had better be good IF your name is going on that item. It is indeed. It has it all! Light weight, bug screen netting, incredible 3-D pattern/material, specially designed arms to accompany trouble free shooting with a bow, colors that deer cannot see well, large mesh for adding live foliage to and a reasonable price tag to boot! After taking numerous whitetails up close with their suit, I’m a form believer there is no other camouflage that can even come close to equally performing like their Ghillie suits can. Check them out at https://www.bushrag.com/
Vital Gear triple play.
Vital Gear’s Nomadic Stabilizer is already becoming a real hit among archers and the product has only been out a few months! It’s designed from scratch and it’s light, effective and 100% machined. The stabilizer sports 2 vibration dampeners and a harmonic piston acting as floating arm. There is nothing like this on the market. It even looks cool!
The Quad Angle sight from Vital gear is my sight of choice for bow hunters. In summary, anytime you build a sight so bright (without lights) that you may need the light reduction rings that come with it, you’ll never need to worry about losing sight of your pins in low light conditions. Add the fact that they’re made from solid machined metal, a rarity these days, you’ll never have to worry about a squeak or pins that come out of adjustment easily.
In the arrow rest market, Vital Gear, the patent owner of the fall away, full capture arrow rest, is the leader in this game. Their rests hold your arrow while you move without flopping around, drop away when released and make no noise while doing so. Nothing even comes close to them! http://www.vitalgear.net