Dave Smith Decoys – Production and 2016 NWTF Update

Dave Smith Decoys are widely regarded as the embodiment of perfection in a hunting decoy.  No other company comes even close to producing decoys that are as realistic, let alone as durable as those bearing the DSD name.  A reputation DSD is proud to have, but also a reputation that brings a huge demand for products.  Over the past few years, that demand has become so great it was nearly impossible for Dave Smith Decoys to keep up with.  As a result, wait times for many DSD products have increased, and availability has been limited.  As a business owner, this may not be the worst of problems, after all nobody should be upset that they make the most sought after product in their respective market.  But the guys at Dave Smith Decoys don’t only pride themselves on the quality of their decoys, they also strive to constantly supply their customers with product, and excellent customer service.

1Not long ago, I had the chance to speak with Brad Cochran, Co-Owner of Dave Smith Decoys to talk about some changes at DSD.  The biggest and most exciting change, DSD recently moved their production efforts into a new facility.  That facility will be more efficient than the last, allowing DSD to better meet the demand of their customers while still  maintaining the supreme quality2 DSD is known for.  When asked what exactly this means for overall productivity, Brad said, “While we don’t anticipate that it will ever be ‘easy’ to get our product, we do anticipate better availability, shorter lead times and better quality in 2016.”

Considering the long lead times on some of their decoys, Brad was ecstatic to share this news.  I can honestly say, I have been fortunate in that I have never had to feel the sting of a long wait to get my shiny new DSD’s.  For others, especially those after goose or deer decoys, they have not been quite so lucky.  “There has been a lot of talk, especially from the goose and deer hunters, about how you have to wait for years to get DSDs”.  As Brad shared this little tidbit of information, you could tell that did not sit well with him.  He explained that Dave Smith Decoys currently has a wait list for their goose decoys that dates back nearly three years.  In fact, the list was closed entirely about a year ago, meaning that no new orders have been taken since that time.  Thankfully, their new facility is going to allow DSD to get caught up much quicker than they ever hoped.

Photo compliments of Earnie Ross

Photo compliments of Earnie Ross

I asked for a specific timeline in regards to goose decoy production this year, Brad went on to say, “We anticipate that we will be through our back orders by the early part of the summer, and should be taking new orders again at that time.”  For those of you who have been patiently waiting for your DSDs to land at your door step, get ready, Christmas will be coming a little early this year.  Similarly, the DSD Posturing Buck decoy has been a hot 9commodity, and one not easily obtained over the years.  The DSD Posturing Buck took the market by storm a few years back, and since that time it has been in a constant state of “Out of Stock”, due to it’s sheer awesomeness and ability to fool even the most cunning whitetail.  But fear not, Brad assured me that their deer decoys  were the first order of business once they wrap up turkey decoy production this spring.

3Aside from the increased availability of DSD products over the next few months, goose hunters will be seeing some great new Goose designs later this summer.  Furthermore, Brad was quick to point out that the decoys produced in 2016 will be “BY FAR” the highest quality decoys DSD has ever manufactured.  When considering the increased competition in the decoy market today, this is more important than ever.  Way back in 1999, DSD started the hyper-realistic decoy movement.  Fast forward to 2016, there are many imitators, but DSD remains the best in4 the business.  A better understanding of the animals they seek to replicate, not to mention superior craftsmanship gives DSD a huge edge that promises continued top-notch decoys for years to come.  Best of all, DSD always has, and will produce their products in the USA.

7Last but not least, for those of you who frequently attend the NWTF Convention, you likely noticed that the DSD booth was absent this past year, and some may have noticed that DSD was not on the Exhibitor’s list for 2016.  As expected, Brad chalked this up to priorities.  As much as they love to participate at the show every year, their customers come first and they feel an obligation to make sure they are taking care of the people who support them.  Brad was happy to share that DSD anticipates a return to the NWTF Convention in 2017 since the new facility is going to allow them to more adequately keep up with consumer demand.

For more information on the product offerings at Dave Smith Decoys, please visit their website at www.davesmithdecoys.com.

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Motion Madness Decoy Install – DSD Feeding Hen

I’m sure it has happened to you a time or two before.  You are walking down the aisle at your favorite store and something just happens to catch your eye.  That is exactly what happened to me as I walked down the aisles of the NWTF Convention in Nashville last spring.  There are turkey decoys galore at the show, but this one was special.  As it sat there on the display booth, sweeping to the side, pecking, coming back upright and sweeping the other direction and then pecking again.  I sat there watching for a couple of seconds before finally going up to the Motion Madness Decoys booth and introducing myself to the owner, Randy Gunn.

What sat on that display booth was a whole lineup of decoys, turkeys, mallards, geese.  What I was most interested in was the one sitting front and center.  A Dave Smith Decoys Feeding Hen, and I knew I had to have one.  After already having the most realistic turkey decoy on the market, the DSDs, only one thing was missing and that was a realistic motion system.  As soon as the new Motion Madness DIY assembly kits were available, I jumped on the opportunity to get one.  This article isn’t meant to be a review on the Motion Madness DIY assembly kit, but it is meant to show you the steps on how to install one in your own DSD Feeding Hen decoy.  Follow along and if you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll be glad to help.

First things first, stop by the Motion Madness Decoys website and purchase the DIY assembly kit you need.  For the DSD Feeding Hen, you will need to purchase the Peck and Sweep Feeder DIY Assembly, Turkey Hen.  The kit retails for $72.99 and can be purchased directly here: Peck and Sweep Feeder DIY Assembly

1After receiving your kit, lay it all out to make sure that all parts are there.  You should have Motion Madness assembly, remote receiver (attached to the assembly), a small remote control, and a 14″ chisel point stake.  To complete the kit, you will need a DSD Feeding Hen and also purchase a small 12V SLA type battery and battery charger.  I purchased my 1.3Ah (ampere-hour) battery and charger here: AJC 12V 1.3Ah SLA Battery. This battery should last over 12 hours of continued use before needing to be recharged.

Now that you have all of the parts required to assemble your motion decoy, you’ll need to gather a few tools to install the assembly into your DSD Feeding Hen.

Required Tools:2
– Sharp Knife (Benchmade North Fork Folder)
– Drill with 1/4″ drill bit
– 5/32″ Allen Wrench
– Tape Measure
– Permanent Marker
– Saw (not pictured)


Step 1:

3Using a sharp knife, cut a hole in the bottom of the DSD decoy.  Usually with other hollow body decoys you would need to find the balance point of the decoy and mark approximately where the stake would come out of the bottom to make sure your assembly was situated perfectly in the decoy.  With the DSD decoys, there is already a small PVC tube in the decoy which acts as a guide for the decoy stake.   Use this PVC tube location and the legs as a guide as to where you should cut the hole.  Size of the hole isn’t too important, just make sure it is large enough to fit the assembly inside.  Remember, it is easier to cut more material off later than it is to put it back.  After cutting the hole in the bottom of the decoy, you’ll need to reach inside and cut the PVC tube.  Do not cut the PVC tube too close to the top of the decoys back or you may risk damaging your decoy.  After the hole is cut and PVC tube has been partially removed, test fit the assembly.


Step 2:

4Now flip the decoy over and locate the top center of the decoy.  On most of the DSD decoys you can see a little deformed spot (see circled part in picture).  This is where the PVC tube on the interior of the decoy meets up with the exterior body of the decoy.  5You’ll want to put a mark with your permanent marker 1-1/4″ on both sides of this spot in the directions of the wings.  After you have marked the two spots, measure again between the two spots and confirm there is 2-1/2″ between the spots.


Step 3:

6Next, take your drill with a 1/4″ drill bit and drill a hole through the two spots you marked in Step 2.  Once again, confirm that you have exactly 2-1/2″ between your two mounting holes and then proceed to Step 4.7


Step 4:

10The Motion Madness Decoy assembly has two allen head cap screws with a total of four (4) washers (2 small and 2 large) on top of the arms.  After removing the cap screws, set the larger washers aside for a second.  Put the smaller washer on the cap screw and then push the cap screw into the top of the decoy through the 1/4″ holes you drilled in Step 3.


Step 5:

11Now flip the decoy back over and place the large washers inside the decoy on the cap screws you installed on Step 4.  Next slide the Motion Madness Decoy assembly into the decoy body, making sure the wiring harness/receiver is facing the front (head) of the decoy.  12Align 8the vertical arms with the screws in the top of the decoy and push the screw into the rubber grommet.  After the screws are in place, tighten them with the 5/32″ allen wrench.  Do not over-tighten!


Step 6:

The last thing to do is to remove the tape from the backside of the velcro on the receiver and place the receiver inside the decoy body.  13The spot in front of the Motion Madness Decoy assembly (between the head and the legs of the decoy) is flat and makes the perfect location to stick the receiver.

14After you have finished Step 6, you are now ready to use your decoy.  Start by placing the chisel tip stake into the ground to your desired height.  Then align the hole of the Motion Madness Decoy assembly with the stake and slide the assembly down onto the stake.  Finally, connect your decoy to your 12V SLA battery.  16The red plastic lead goes onto the positive (+) pin on the battery, and the blue colored lead goes onto the negative (-) pin on the battery.  Using your remote control, turn the decoy on and you are ready to hunt!

15If you have any questions with the assembly, you can contact Motion Madness Decoys direct at 636-600-1817 or send them an email at info@motionmadnessdecoys.com.  You can also send us an email through our Contact Us page and we’ll be glad to help you out!

As always, check your state and local game laws before using this or any other electronically operated decoys.

 

 

 

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2016 ATA Show – Favorite New Products

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The 2016 ATA show has come and gone, and once again the SELFILMED crew had a great time checking out some of the new products to hit the market for the upcoming hunting season. Some years, the new releases are more jaw dropping than others, but there is always something neat to see. There are simply too many products to discuss in one article, but here are a few my personal favorites for 2016.

cirrusThe product that I was the most intrigued by this year was the CIRRUS, Vape Wind Indicator. I don’t know many big game hunters that don’t carry some form of a wind indicator, and I also don’t know many big game hunters that are totally satisfied with the products they carry. Whether you use a powder-based indicator or you just crumble up some leaves while in your stand, you know that most of the indicators available to us today simply don’t give you the whole picture. The CIRRUS uses pure vapor as the agent to show you what the wind is doing. The vapor emitted from the CIRRUS hangs in the air and shows you even the slightest wind or thermal currents. Additionally, one huge benefit of the CIRRUS is that you get thousands of puffs, making it last much longer than a bottle of powder. The CIRRUS takes refill cartridges and has an easy to use USB charger so you don’t have to worry about running out in the middle of your hunt.

Another product, or line of products, that really caught my attention was the Celestron celestron_elementsElements. Most of us carry a light, hand warmers, and often times an external charger for our phone and/or other electronic device. Celestron Elements provides and multi-function 3-in-1 solution that can keep your hand warm, provide illumination, and charge your cell phone all at the same time. The ThermoTorch comes in 2 models, the ThermoTorch 10 and ThermoTorch 5. Both models are flash light bodies equipped with 3 mode LED’s rated at 300 lumens. The ThermoTorch 10 and 5 respectively come with a 10,000 mAh and 5,000 mAh battery capacity. Best of all, the ThermoTorch is heated and promises to keep your hands warm when you are blood trailing in the frigid winter months. Celestron also has another offering in the ThermoCharge 10 and ThermoCharge 6 which function as a 2-in-1 device featuring the same style power bang in 10,000 mAh and 6,000 mAh capacities. Last but not least, the FireCel provides a 3-in-1 solution featuring a 4 mode flashlight, 6000 mAh rechargeable battery, and hand warmer. The ability to combine devices in my hunting pack and reduce weight is a huge win, and the Celestron Elements will certainly find a place in my gear back this fall.

ozonics_hr300For those of you who have used Ozonics over the years, you will be excited to know that Ozonics has released a new HR 300 model which comes in a slightly more compact body and ozonics_kinetic_packproduces nearly 50 percent more ozone than the original models, not to mention an increased battery life. The standard battery on the new Ozonics has a run time of 5 hours, with the extended battery keeping you scent free for up to 10 hours. Best of all, the new Ozonics HR 300 is significantly quieter than the original models thanks to upgraded internal components. Ozonics has certainly made good use of the feedback provided by it’s customers and has really created an awesome new product sure to be a huge hit in 2016. Ozonics also released their new Kinetic Pack which is perfect for carrying your Ozonics and whitetail hunting gear. It is a great size to be used as a day pack and is constructed very well.

sitka_fowl_bagI already wrote a review on some of the new products from Sitka Gear which you can find HERE. However, I’m afraid I’m not much of a waterfowl hunter so I did not touch too much on the new waterfowl line. I wanted to take an opportunity to showcase one of the cool new packs available for 2016 and show off a few pictures of the new pattern Waterfowl Timber. The Timber Pack is a smaller pack sitka_fowl_jacketthan the Half Choke and Full Choke Packs previously produced. It is a great pack to carry your essential gear, and also features an integrated loop system to carry out your ducks after a successful hunt. The new Timber pattern is also a great looking pattern that promises you’ll stay hidden from the keen eyes of any fowl species in the flooded timber. The new Timber pattern by Sitka has been met with a lot of excitement and is definitely something you’ll want to check out when it hits the market.

One of the last booths we stopped by, and one I always have to check out, is the YETI booth. Call it an addiction, a bad habit, whatever you want, I find it nearly impossible to yeti_rambler_bottlegrab a new YETI “whatever” anytime it comes out. This year, YETI released a few new items in their Rambler series. The Rambler Bottle is the perfect solution for grabbing your warm or cold beverage of choice that you want, but not quite yet. The Rambler Bottle can be sealed off and has the same insulation power as all of the other drinkware items in the Rambler series and can keep you drinks cold or hot for hours. Earlier in the year, YETI also released the Rambler Lowball. While they aren’t exactly new for the ATA Show, they have been a hot selling item and tough to yeti_1lbget your hands on. I finally got around to purchasing one, and thus far, I am pleasantly pleased with it’s ability to maintain a drinks temperature, be it hot or cold.  YETI also released a smaller version of their yeti Ice in a 1 pound version which is great for some of the smaller YETI model coolers.  The YETI Ice has been a huge hit since it came on the market, and I would be surprised if the smaller version does not find success as well.  Lastly YETI has released a few great new accessories for their different products, including a Straw Lid and a Slider Lid for the Rambler Tumblers.

yeti

As always, I was very excited to experience the ATA show, and sad to have it go by so quick. One thing is for sure, the fire that slowly burns out as the long hours on the stand make deer season sometimes seem a chore are always lit anew when I start thinking of putting so many cool new products to use when fall rolls back around.

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Firenock – Aero Concept System

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This year at the 2016 ATA show, we had the chance to catch up with Dorge Huang to discuss a few of his products that have been in the works for the past few years. While none of these are technically “brand new” for 2016, some have been updated and other products have simply been progressively moving forward and tweaked since they were first revealed.

If you have never had the chance to speak with Dorge at an expo, I highly recommend you1 make the time to stop by and have a talk. Dorge is the type of person who should be creating cutting edge machines to put us on the moon, but luckily, he’s an archery and hunting fanatic just like you and I. Most recently, Dorge showed off his Aero Concept System and explained how it works.

3The Aero Concept System is a multiple layer shaft design that reinforces the front end of the arrow with a Firenock AeroInsert A/H. What that means is that within your arrow, a carbon inner tube is fitted to the double shouldered AeroInsert with Firenock’s US Patented Reverse Taper Collar. The carbon inner tube slides into the front of your arrow shaft, along with the smaller shoulder portion of the AeroInsert. The outer shaft then slides up into the Reverse Taper Collar of the AeroInsert. The end result is an arrow with an extremely strong spine, reduced oscillation after the shot, and an arrow that isn’t going to split at the insert end when hitting a solid object. This will create straighter arrow flight and greatly reduces the loss of energy.

4We also took a look at a few of the other products Firenock created in the past few years and have been evolving to make better. Even down to the small things such as the bolt used to attach the AeroRest to your bow. Firenock recently changed the bolt by machining out and hollowing the middle of the bolt to further reduce the overall weight. A change that is also making its way into the Titanium Bolt upgrade kits for compound bows.  In addition to these updates, Firenock has 5also increased the number of AeroInsert options available for different arrow manufacturers.

Firenock is constantly looking for ways to move the archery world forward. We were lucky enough to get a few sneak peaks at products that are coming down the pike here shortly, and I’m sure you will be impressed. Be sure to check out www.firenock.com often for updates and new product releases.

 

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New HECS Base Layer and Accessories for 2016

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If you have followed our blog for very long, you more than likely have come across one or two of the reviews we have done on the HECS Stealthscreen suits made by HECS LLC. The HECS Suit has been heavily debated over the years, and many question whether or not the suit does what it is advertised to do. But anyone who has worn the HECS Suit more than a few times can attest to it’s seemingly magical ability to provide an extra level of concealment from the animals they are hunting. I no longer doubt the benefits of wearing my HECS Suit, but I have had times where I wished the HECS Suit came in a more form-fitted garment similar to other commonly worn base layers. This year at the 2016 ATA Show, the HECS crew delivered in a big way with the new for 2016 HECS Base Layer.

The original HECS Suit works just as well as the new Base Layer. However, as the name suggests, the HECS Base Layer will definitely excel when being worn beneath other clothing, and especially when it is worn underneath other insulation layers. Over the years, I have mostly worn my HECS Suit beneath my outer wear, and in situations where I have on multiple layers of thermals, the slightly looser fitting HECS Suit has a tendency to bunch up and ride up your arms/legs. HECS recognized this and responded to their customer’s requests to have a more form-fitting garment.

The new HECS Base Layer is made up of 77% polyester, 15% conductive yard, and 8% Spandex. When you feel the Base Layer, it clearly has a stretchy feel to it like you would expect out of a base layer and the material is slightly heavier than the original suit. As a result, the Base layer not only provides the concealing capabilities we have come to love from the HECS Suit, but it also provides some ability to protect us from the cold as well. 2The new Base Layer also has some great features to make it more comfortable when being worn in any condition.

For starters HECS put a quarter zip on the base layer top to allow for the garment to comfortably fit over your head when putting it on. The zip also can come in handy when the temperatures are a little warmer and you 3need a little extra air-flow to keep you cool. Integrated thumb slits are also handy as it allows you to quickly put other layers of clothing on over top of the Base Layer without the sleeves bunching up.

In addition to the new HECS Base Layer, HECS also responded to requests for some 5additional accessories.   The HECS Glove has been upgraded and will now be offered exclusively in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. The HECS Glove will also be offered in two sizes instead of the one size fits all design of the original HECS Glove. Finally, the all new HECS Socks are also set to hit the market soon.  The HECS Socks feature a conductive carbon grid like the HECS Suit and Base Layer, and will finally provide full “head to toe” coverage when worn in conjunction with the remainder of the HECS Stealthscreen lineup. Sizes for the new HECS Socks will be S-M (5.5 to 8) and L-XL (8.5 – 11).

Be sure to visit www.hecsllc.com to check for availability on the HECS Suit and all of the new HECS products (currently expected around June 2016). And If you are not familiar with HECS technology, I would also invite you to read my most recent post here detailing some of the reasons why HECS has become a constant part of any clothing system I wear.

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Benchmade HUNT – Nestucca Cleaver and Crooked River Folding Knife

2You never really know what you are going to find when you visit the Benchmade booth at the ATA show, but there is one thing you can be certain of; It is going to be sharp and built to last! This year, Benchmade released two new products in their successful and ever-growing HUNT series of knives. Both of their new knives are uniquely awesome for different reasons. The Nestucca Cleaver and the Crooked River Folding Knife are both sure to turn heads once they hit the market.

1The Nestucca Cleaver is odd-looking enough that it is all but certain to create enough intrigue that you have to pick it up, and once you do, you won’t want to put it down. The Nestucca is based on the traditional Alaskan Ulu. The handle placement is much more similar to a small hatchet, but the Nestucca 6sports a 4.41 inch long blade with a huge radius, further increasing the total cutting surface and drastically increasing edge retention. Additionally, the Nestucca features a large cutout in the middle of the blade intended to be used as a place to insert your index finger, making the grip much more similar to that of the Ulu.

The Nestucca Cleaver was designed to be an all-purpose blade around camp with its most common uses being for skinning, food preparation, etc. But after handling the Nestucca, I doubt there is much you couldn’t do with it in a pinch.

5The other new knife Benchmade revealed was the Crooked River folding knife. The crooked river has a 4 inch blade and features Benchmade’s patented Axis Locking Mechanism. An aluminum bolster, option of either Gray G10 or Dymondwood scales, and a large anodized aluminum 3pivot ring make the Crooked River look much more like a custom knife than a hunting knife, but a hunting knife it is.  One that is primed to become a top seller within Benchmade’s HUNT series of knives.

Both the Nestucca Cleaver and Crooked River feature blades made out of the same premium CPM-S30V steel as the rest of the HUNT series of knives. CPM-S30V is one of the sharpest and toughest steels made today and is capable of withstanding some serious punishment in the field.  Read some of our other Benchmade HUNT product reviews for more information on CPM-S30V blade steel.

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If you are in the market for a new hunting knife, I highly recommend you go to Benchamde’s website at www.benchmade.com and check out their new for 2016, and pre-existing knives. From small folders to larger fixed blade knives, Benchmade’s HUNT series of knives has you covered.

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Grim Reaper Broadheads – Carni-Four

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I still remember the first deer I ever shot with a Grim Reaper broadhead, I was extremely apprehensive to try an over the top mechanical due to the numerous horror stories I had heard. But at a friends urging, I finally gave in and decided to give them a try. The doe I shot that night didn’t make it 6o yards before she expired, and even though I saw her go down in the field, I still tracked her as if I hadn’t. It was far from necessary, but I could not believe the unreal blood trail; Never had I seen one like it. I knew right then that I had found my new favorite broadhead and I have never looked back since.

That was almost 7 years ago today, and in the time that has passed, Grim Reaper has introduced some truly lethal broadheads. Since the Whitetail Special was released 5however, I have not even considered trying a different head, that was until today. There I stood at the Grim Reaper booth in Louisville, Kentucky at the 2016 ATA Show and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It looked like a Grim Reaper with a chisel tip, but it had four blades. It’s name – the Carni-Four. It was just one of the many new heads available in the new Pro Series lineup of broadheads offered by Grim Reaper. Each of them sporting the new cut-on-contact, bone crushing tip, and every last one of them looked capable of producing supreme devastation. However, the Carni-Four was the broadhead that held my attention.

For starters, it’s a mechanical broadhead with FOUR BLADES. There are only one or two others on the market, but none of them are backed by the reputation the name of Grim Reaper carries. But it’s more than the fact it just has an extra blade compared to the standard Grim Reaper mechanical. The Carni-Four comes equipped with the all-new Staggered Blade Technology.   Sounds cool right? Well, it is. The four blades on the Carni-Four are not the same length. Two of the blades provide a 1 1/2 inch cut and the other two blades offer a 1 1/4 inch cut. What this means is that the longer two blades will always make contact with your target before the shorter blades. When the longer blades do make contact and the internal spring is compressed, the two shorter blades are released and will expand effortlessly, making it near impossible to 3have an entrance wound which lacks deployed blades. For those of you that have shot enough deer with over the top expandable heads, you know that there is always a small possibility that you will not have a large entrance wound. The Carni-Four all but guarantees epic blood trails with the large square-shaped wound channel.

1Equally as important, the new Pro Tip on all of the Grim Reaper Pro Series broadheads is razor-sharp and capable of penetrating the toughest bones you may encounter. At the ATA Show, Jay Liechty, President of Grim Reaper, demonstrated the awesome penetration power of the new Pro Tip. Taking an arrow shaft of about 10 inches in length and dropping it directly onto a block of wood resulted in the broadhead lodging itself into the wood. The same test2 with any other broadhead failed to hold the arrow shaft upright. Other cut on contact heads simply do not penetrate as well as the new Pro Tip.

The new Pro Series lineup of broadheads consists of 5 new heads. Three mechanicals including the Carni-Four with a total of 2 3/4 inches linear cut, the Pro 3-Blade with a 1 3/8 inch cut, and the Pro Whitetail Special with a 2 inch cut.  The Whitetail Special is also now available in 125 grain. In addition to the mechanical heads, there are also two new fixed blade heads.  The Hades Pro with a 1 3/16 inch cut, and the Micro Hades Pro with a 1 1/16 inch cut. No matter what your preference, there is sure to be a broadhead available in the new Pro Series to meet your needs.

For more information on the Carni-Four and other new broadheads by Grim Reaper for 2016, visit Grim Reaper at http://www.grimreaperbroadheads.com.

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Carter Enterprises – Wise Choice / First Choice 4-Finger

1Accuracy defined through design, a short, yet powerful motto that is at the heart of what 5makes Carter Enterprises a leader in the archery industry. For years Carter has been revolutionizing release aids by constantly making improvements to previously proven designs, and this year is no exception. Building off the platform of the 3-finger First Choice, Carter introduced the Wise Choice and a 4-finger First Choice.

The Wise Choice and the 4-finger First Choice both use 4the set screw tension adjustment system that has become the new standard for trigger adjustment in Carter releases. Both releases also feature the same elongated neck similar to the 3-finger First Choice. The Wise Choice differs from the 3 and 4-finger First Choice releases in that it has an index finger hole. Carter designed this release with the index finger hole specifically to aid in grip consistency.

2The Wise Choice also features an integrated lanyard that allows it’s user to securely fasten their release to their wrist when shooting. For those who prefer to just hang their release from their string loop instead, the lanyard is easily removable.

For more information on these great new releases and other models supplied by Carter, be sure to check out their website at www.carterenterprises.com.

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Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie XL / Hooter Shooter Auto Draw

Spot-Hogg has long been known to produce top-notch archery equipment. Their archery sights are 1second to none in the industry and they are constantly striving to make their products better and more user-friendly. This year at the 2016 ATA show, SELFILMED got to take a look at the new Fast Eddie XL. The Fast Eddie XL takes some of the best features from the original Fast Eddie and the Hogg Father and crams them all together into what is arguably the best hunting sight Spot-Hogg has ever produced.

The Fast Eddie XL is built on a very similar platform to the Fast Eddie. Like it’s predecessor, the Fast Eddie XL features a silent yardage knob lock which can be used to 2lock the sight so it cannot be adjusted, but it also can be left in an unlocked position and shot without fear that your sight will move. The yardage knob is moderately tight to turn by design, but it is still smooth and easy to adjust. The Fast Eddie XL comes equipped with a 6 inch dovetail mount which allows archers to move their sight farther away from their bow, increasing accuracy and stability when shooting. The dovetail itself was machined specifically with strength and weight in mind. Where the dovetail on the Hogg Father is a solid piece, the dovetail on the Fast Eddie has holes machined into it to reduce the overall amount of material, thus making it lighter weight. There are two available pin options to choose from: single up pin scope or double pin.

The double pin sight scope was made available last year, however there were a lot of 8questions as to the exact use of the second pin since it is not adjustable. We got the chance to talk with Josh Johnson from Spot-Hogg who was kind enough to explain the reasoning behind the second pin. While only one of the pins on the double pin scope can be set up to work with the yardage knob, the second pin (usually the bottom pin) is available to assist in gap estimation in the event you have to quickly take a shot at an animal before you can adjust your pin to the exact yardage of your target. For example, let’s say you have your yardage knob dialed to 20 3yards and you know that the second pin is dead on at 33 yards. Suddenly, the deer you were about to shoot at 20 yards catches some sound or movement and bolts a short distance. You have time to range the deer prior to shooting, but you don’t have time to adjust your sight. Now your buck is standing at 30 yards and you have to act fast. In the past, you would have simply held a few inches high without giving much thought to exactly how high you were aiming. But with the second pin, you now have the ability to do two things: 1. Provide a better estimation of how high/low to hold. 2. You potentially have a second pin to quickly use that may be closer to holding dead on your target. Ideally, you’d like to adjust that pin prior to losing an arrow, but we all know sometimes nature has a way of forcing us to improvise. When that happens, the two pin scope will likely make the difference in a bad shot and bragging rights back at camp.

Another great feature available to Spot-Hogg sights is the Triple Alignment Ring available in Orange and Yellow, and Yellow and Green. Standard single alignment rings are very 4helpful in making sure your sight house is centered in your peep. But depending on the lighting conditions and time of day, it can be difficult to tell if the sight house is truthfully centered in your peep. With the Triple Alignment Ring, you now have a dark ring surrounded by two rings of a lighter color. This provides great dynamic range and contrast making sight alignment within your peep a breeze no matter the shooting conditions.

5Finally, for those of you who are familiar with Spot-Hogg’s Hooter Shooter, you are well aware of how simple it can be to tune a bow when human error is removed from the equation. Now, the 6Hooter Shooter is even better with Auto Draw technology. The Auto Draw features a push button draw mechanism that uses limit switches to determine the exact draw length and does not allow the bow to be drawn past that point and over torqued. More over, after the bow is drawn and fired, the Auto Draw automatically returns to the loading position. This reduces the amount of movement required and can greatly speed up your ability to quickly tune a bow.

For more information on the Fast Eddie XL and Hooter Shooter Auto Draw, be sure to visit Spot-Hogg at www.spot-hogg.com.

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Sitka Gear – New Products for 2016

After the highly successful debut of Sitka Gear’s EVII pattern at the 2015 ATA Show, I assumed it would be tough for them to repeat the same “shock and awe” type of reaction in 2016. And while Sitka Gear did not reveal as many new items this year, there were plenty of great new products certain to create a little buzz.

The whitetail lineup remained largely unchanged, however there were a few new additions for 2016. Sitka built upon an already great line in the Fanatic Series with the Fanatic Vest and1 the Fanatic Lite Bib. The Fanatic Lite Bib was made to be worn with the Fanatic Lite Jacket or Fanatic Hoody. The Fanatic Lite Bib features a full length zipper and diagonal zip pockets on 3the thigh of both legs similar to the highly popular Grinder Pant. This pocket is designed so that when you are seated, the pocket opening faces up making it easy to access grunt calls, cell phones, or other gear. Additionally, the Fanatic Lite Bib features a seamless transition from the suspenders to the body of the bib using an integrated loop system.   This removes the need for the clunky buckles commonly found on most bibs.  The Fanatic Vest, like the 2Fanatic Jacket, features a diagonal zip and a large front hand pocket. The Fanatic Vest also has the Gore Windstopper built-in to help keep you warm when the temperatures start to drop. Both the Fanatic Vest and Fanatic Lite Bibs are sure to find a place in your hunting wardrobe this fall.

On the Big Game side of the fence, Sitka has revamped a few of their more popular items 5and introduced two entirely new jackets. Previously, the Mountain Pant and Timberline Pant were offered in even waist sizes only (Regular and Tall). Now, due to popular demand, the Mountain Pant and Timberline Pant will both be available in odd waist sizes as well. The new waist sizes are as follows: Regular (even 30-44 , odd 31-37), Tall (even 32-38, odd 33-37). In addition to the redesigned Timberline and Mountain Pant, Sitka has introduced the all-new Mountain Jacket and Vest, as well as the Timberline Jacket. Both of the new Mountain Tops, and the Timberline Jacket feature Gore Windstopper to aid in battling the harsh mountain elements.

Although the whitetail and big game hunters did not see major changes to their favorite product lines this year, waterfowl hunters hit the jackpot. Sitka Gear now has two patterns for 4their waterfowl series of clothing. Waterfowl Marsh is made for the waterfowl hunter who typically finds themselves in open marshes and fields, while the new for 2016 Waterfowl Timber was made to satisfy the waterfowl hunters looking for a pattern to better camouflage them in flooded timber. While I have never participated in any waterfowl hunting, I have grown accustomed to the quality of clothing produced by Sitka Gear and have no doubts that they did their research when designing the Waterfowl Timber pattern. Be sure to keep an eye out on Sitka Gear’s website for more information on their new waterfowl line.

8Last but not least, and perhaps what I was most excited about this year, was the new additions in the Solids series of clothing from Sitka Gear. Over the 7last few years there has been quite a few requests for more color options in solids for the customer who does not hunt, and by those of us who simply want to rep our Sitka when we are out and about in public. For those of you who enjoy turkey hunting from a ground blind, you will be especially excited to know that Sitka now has a completely black Fanatic Hoody and 6Jetstream Jacket. Perfect for keeping you hidden from the keen eyes of that ever watchful longbeard while sitting in a blind. Across the board from hats, gloves, belts, and multiple sizes of a new waterproof duffel, Sitka Gear has put a lot of time and energy into creating accessories that help make you more successful in the field.

Like every year past, Sitka Gear continues to create top quality hunting gear. More importantly, Sitka Gear continues to listen to the needs and desires of their customers to make sure the products they produce are exactly what their customers want. If history is any indicator, 2016 won’t be the last year we see Sitka raise the bar in the hunting gear world. Be sure to visit www.sitkagear.com for more detailed information on their many new products.

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