Fall Hit List 2012
By: Marc Anthony
Well, it’s that time again! It’s hard to believe Fall is just around the corner and the opener will soon follow. With the new season comes new products and new choices. With so many options in front of you, how on earth can you make a logical decision? That’s where I come in!
I’ve tested more products this year than ever before. I’m pleased to announce I’ve found some really helpful and top notch hunting products that are available now. Before I begin, I would like for you to know that I spent many months testing these products and am happy to say that I only found a few products not worthy of my mention.
Most of the manufacturers that sent me products had well thought out products and designs. I also made it clear to these companies that I’m not one to say a product is good just to receive free equipment, because I don’t need them.
Competition is tough in this industry, so slacking off will get a manufacturer nowhere. The economy is tough and people don’t want to waste one dime on a product that doesn’t perform up to its advertised standard. With that all said, these are the products I’ve tested and will officially make my Hit List. I can sleep at night recommending these choices, so I hope you find some of these beneficial! Unfortunately, I had to not only drop one company, but had to advise against using them in the future. So there’s proof if they can’t make the grade, it’s not going to make my list!
No surprise here if you’ve been following any of my articles for the past year! Carbon Synergy http://www.carbonsynergy.net/ is one of those products that absolutely blow away the competition. Ever since I mentioned CS in my blogs, I haven’t found one person who has disagreed with my findings, in fact, I’ve received numerous testimonies on how wonderful this product works! I can remember last year when I found myself upwind of several deer, several times, at just a few yards away with no detection from those deer whatsoever! Even with a steady breeze blowing in their face, they didn’t have a clue I was within striking distance from them. CS is the read deal!
Reconyx was my favorite for years and rightly so. They built an outstanding camera that captured everything! You really didn’t know what you were missing until you placed another brand of camera next to it. Reconyx’s only downfall was their price.
Sure you get what you pay for, but in this economy if you want to survive, some compromises must be made. Reconyx never dropped their prices, as far as I know, and still remain one of the highest priced cameras on the market. You may ask: Why should they drop the price if they are the best? Answer: Because there are now cameras that are just as good, if not better, in my opinion for a lot cheaper!
Spypoint http://www.spypoint.com sent me their Tiny “D” trail camera this year and I was amazed what this little camera can do! It did everything the Reconyx does and more for a lot less money, in fact, about 2/3 less money! It even has video too! With seven zones of detection, this little guy won’t miss a beat.
Spypoint even makes a wireless version of this camera that will catch any thief attempting to steal your camera. They sell a “blackbox” receiver with their Tiny-W camera that will not only catch the thief trying to rob you blind, but also aids in keeping your hunting area free from human disturbance! The blackbox receiver serves 2 purposes: Allows you to check your images up to 250 feet away from the camera and will catch a thief in a nano second by sending all of the images in real time, to the blackbox receiver. Because you can mount the receiver up to 250 feet away from the camera, anyone attempting to steal the camera is immediately caught on the camera and the image is sent to the receiver (blackbox). So let them steal the camera because you caught them anyway! It also also makes it easier to check your images without disturbing the hunting area. What a great idea!
Some features of the Tiny D are:
- 8.0 Megapixel picture quality
- Built-in 2,4? viewing screen
- 3 sensors for a total of 7 zone detection range
- Tiny size (4.7" x 3.5" x 2.7")
- Sliding mount for easier handling
- 38 infrared LEDs for night time illumination
- Automatic infrared level adjustment
- Video recording from 10 to 90 sec. (640×480)
- Color pictures by day, black and white by night
- Adjustable period of operation
- Time-Lapse mode
- Multi-shot mode up to 6 pictures per detection
- Instant trigger time in electricity mode
- Date, time, moon phase and temperature stamp on pictures
- Requires an SD/SDHC card up to 32 GB (not included)
- USB and TV port (NTSC/PAL)
- Adjustable distance detection sensor (5 to 50 ft)
- Requires 6 alkaline AA batteries (not included)
- Can be powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack
(not included) and maintain it’s charge by a solar panel
- 12 volt or Solar panel / External trigger jacks
- User friendly menu
- Kit includes: TINY-D camera, installation strap,
USB and video cables, user manual
Arrow Fletching Tool
If you fletch your own arrows, this little guy does the trick! Now the Arizona E-Z Fletch Mini http://www.ezfletch.com isn’t brand new but it is the easiest fletcher I’ve ever used. I had had a few people email me in the past and tell me they had to replace their E-Z Fletch because of glue ruining the device, but that is not the problem of the E-Z Fletch but rather the user. Only a minute amount of glue is required to fasten a vane to an arrow, so if the glue runs down the shaft and pools up in the fletcher, you are using too much glue! Most of the glues used today are equal to Super Glue gel, so you can imaging how fast that sets up! If you use too much, wipe it off immediately.
The E-Z Fletch makes a nice helical formed vane on your arrow and unlike most fletchers, allows you to fletch all three vanes at the same time. It’s quick, fast and effective. Welcome to my Hit List E-Z Fletch! If you would like to read my review on the Arizona E-Z Fletch, you can read it here: AZ E-Z Fletch Review
Wow, I’ve tested a lot of binoculars this year! I’ve tested high-end, low-end and even ultra-high end binos and was surprised by some of the findings. I even purposely removed the manufacturers suggested retail price and tested all of them just to see what I liked best. After the results were in, one set of binoculars stood out, and it was the Vortex! Vortex http://www.vortexoptics.com/, from Wisconsin, not only makes some of the best optics I’ve ever tested, but they also have one of the best warranties around too! Anytime you can have a product repaired or replaced at no cost, other than the shipping costs, with no receipt or warranty card to fill out, it definitively deserves to be called “one of the best” warranties. Every single piece of equipment they make is of the utmost precision and balance but at a fraction of the price you would expect to pay. Being fog proof, water proof, shock resistant and carrying one of the best warranties in the business. you’ll be hard pressed to find another set of optics that out perform Vortex. Check out the review here:
Polaris http://www.polaris.com/ which is based out of Minnesota, stands out from the crowd for several reasons. First, they’re established right here in the U.S. Second, they make some of the best ATV’s in the world. In fact, I think they make the best in the world! With my countless years behind a Polaris, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and many other manufacturer’s ATV’s, I can tell you it’s the Polaris that stands out ahead of the rest. Dependability and performance are the top two subjects of importance for me, but when you add loyalty to the armed forces and organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, that just completes the message of a true American company. Polaris has never stopped at ingenuity nor have they been complacent with their lineup of newer and innovative designs. I would, and have, trusted my life to the Polaris in some of the most remote places and in some of the worst weather imaginable. That’s true comfort knowing your ATV will not only get the job done, but get you home safely too! I love this company and you should by all means consider a Polaris when you’re ready for a new ATV.
Yep, that’s my ugly mug in this picture! For me to place a product I designed into my Fall Hit List may seem a bit biased, I know, but nobody else makes a bow hunter Ghillie suit! That reason alone should be good enough why I call it the best but I’m not relying on that fact to be the sole reason it’s in this list. First and foremost, 3D camo is the best camouflage you can have, hands down. If you don’t think so, talk to any military sniper who has had to work around all types of foliage and has had to remain undetected! Whitetails are some of the toughest creatures to fool, so I use the some of the best equipment around to equalize the playing field. This suit is manufactured by Bushrag but I have been authorized to answer all questions related to this suit by them, so visit my website at: http://www.marcanthonyoutdoors.com for more information! My bow hunter suit can be used in a tree or from the ground and has provisions cut out for the right and left hand shooter, not to interfere with your bow. We can’t seem to keep these in stock for very long, so someone is using them. Happy hunting and check out the information video for more details!
Sights and Rests
Trophy Ridge http://www.trophyridge.com/ has come a long way in a hurry. In today’s hunting world, there are so many choices it can be overwhelming. You either step up to the plate or you get left behind. That’s exactly what’s happened to Vital Gear, now known as Vital X, a company I used to support. Vital Gear, or Vital X, didn’t listen to the people who actually used their products nor did they listen to their retailers, in my opinion.
I heard numerous reports from pro shops that used to stock their products, of neglect and lack of technical data and support. I also heard from customers that they had the worst customer support they’ve ever seen. That’s too bad because they used to build a superior product. That should be a lesson to anyone reading; there’s no room for a closed ear in this business. I now recommend for everyone to “steer clear of Vital Gear”, or Vital X. Trophy Ridge on the other hand, is a company that listens. In fact their ears have been wide open for years now and they have built one of the finest arrow rests in the business known as the Revolution. It’s a self contained, rest that moves out of the way when fired. Testimonies from the users are singing some of the highest praises for this rest. Their Cypher series sights are made with space age materials which are lighter than, and as strong as aluminum. With micro-adjustments and no tools needed to fine tune, it’s a winner in my books!
Travel and Hunting Bags
Being the scent freak that I am, it was pleasing to find that someone actually thought of making a portable storage unit (if you want to call it that) capable of sealing your clothing from ambient air when traveling, or just storing your hunting garments for the next season. Calling it a storage unit is really not the proper terminology for this handy device because it does much more than just store your hunting clothes. I believe the manufacturer really thought of everything when designing this nifty little device.
The Watson Bottomless 26 http://www.watsonairlock.com/ is a multi-purpose unit that doubles as roller luggage and an airtight bag. The features are many, which is a by-product of a well refined and well thought out design. This bag was made for the person who wants their hunting clothes to be sealed from outside contaminates that saturate our surroundings and for those of us who are mobile just the same. It’s equipped with rollers and a handle, just like you’ll find in today’s luggage, and a patented Back2Back seal that prevents outside odors from entering. In fact, nearly every section of this bag has this technology. Given the size of this bag, (26"L x 18"H x 15"D) you can fit everything that I can think of and more into it, for the avid bow hunter. It has a separate and sealed lower portion large enough to carry your hunting boots too! There are numerous pockets and even a detachable tree stand field pouch that has enough room for nearly everything I can think of, including game calls, scent elimination products, bow releases, etc. If that wasn’t enough, it also has a changing mat that unfolds while in the field to keep your feet or your body from the elements while you change into your hunting attire.
When I mentioned above about being a well thought out product, I meant every bit of it; right down to the zipper. It was even designed for durability and ease of grip. When the zipper rides the upper echelon of quality, you can bet the rest of the product will parallel as such. The floor panel is reinforced and rugged, and the interior lining can be removed for cleaning. Needless to say, there is a handle and a strap on every side of this bag so transporting it is a breeze, even if you choose not to use the attached wheels.
Aesthetically speaking, it’s a beauty! It comes in Genuine Mossy Oak® Breakup Infinity Camo with an option to choose a pink trim for the ladies, in which a portion of the proceeds will go toward the Pink Arrow Project™.
Now here’s a device that’s going to blow your mind. A range finder that has no electronics in it nor does it carry a hefty price tag! It’s the Dead-On range finder http://www.deadonrangefinder.com. It’s a simple piece of rubber with adjustable pins that fit inside your arrow sight! By aligning two pins on the belly of the animal and the top of its back, the adjoining sight pin points to the proper distance!
That’s it. No fumbling around with an expensive hand help range finder or moving around unnecessarily with game right in front of you.
It’s inexpensive and easy to install too! Better yet, it works! these people should get the product of the year award from creating a product that is really useful yet inexpensive to purchase and operate. You owe it to yourself by purchasing one of these.
I’m still a fan of the Muzzy http://www.muzzy.com/ MX-3! This tiny little monster really delivers a nasty punch. What I like the most, is how well it flies. When I practice shooting my bow, I only practice with broadheads and rarely use field points. I practice that way because that’s the way I hunt. I don’t like making adjustments for field points and broadheads. With that being said, these MX-3?s fly pretty close to my field points, especially at closer distances under 40 yards. They also leave great bloodtrails too!
Another product I deemed worthy of adding to my Hit List were these laser hollow point broadheads called Spot On, Hogzilla Killa’ by Clean Shot Archery http://www.clean-shot.com . If you like to hog hunt, these are for you! These hollow point, laser tipped, hole making miniature flesh destrying broadheads, will drop just about anything unfortunate enough to stand in its path! They’re especially good in low light conditions, like when hunting hogs, because you just point the laser beam on the hog and fire. They come preset from the factory but you can adjust them for yardage too! Just incredible!
This is a handy little device that you may find useful! Are you tired of holding your bow while walking into the woods?
The GT Claw by Goat Tuff products http://www.goattuffproducts.com is one of those accessories one may think is a waste of money or maybe just a gimmick, but in fact, it’s a real handy little tool! I tested it on my Bear Carnage with absolutely no issues and it worked as described. I walked around the test area sitting, standing and walking with no indication that the bow was going to fall off the Claw. It also proved that it will free up your hand allowing you to do other tasks as well.
The GT Claw simply slides on a belt and the belt you use, doesn’t have to be attached to your belt loops in your pants. In fact, I just wrapped my belt around my waist in the midsection area of my body and it seemed to be the optimum position for me. When fastening your bow to the Claw, you simply insert the bow into the Claw in a mostly vertical position and then twist horizontally to stabilize the bow for good. Two simple steps to follow and you’re ready to go! It comes in a right hand which is worn on the left side and a left hand version which is worn on the right. For full Review: CLICK HERE
Spring or fall, cold feet are never welcome. Instead of buying multiple heat pads that last for a few hours, you may want to try these heated insoles by Thermacell http://www.thermacell.com/heated-insoles-foot-warmers instead. What’s nice about these are the fact that they slip into your shoes/boots and can be custom fit with a pair of scissors if needed. Once in, you can control the heat with a remote control unit! You can choose either no heat, medium heat or high heat to suit your needs. The batteries are rechargeable, so no need to worry about purchasing new ones every few days. They offer five hours of heat, which happens to work well for hunters whom hunt in the mornings and afternoons.
- Provides heat up to 111°F under your feet – three temperature settings to match conditions (high, medium, no heat)
- High-tech wireless thermal technology run by remote control
- Powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries
- Fits easily into your boots or shoes
- Comes with bag, charger, and wireless remote control
- Remote control range of up to seven feet
Another great invention! Check them out if you hate cold feet.
Love em’ or hate em’, crossbows are here to stay.
State by state, the legalization of crossbows for hunting is closing-in fast. It appears Illinois will be on that list with a modified version for the inclusion of a crossbow during the later part of the archery season. Currently, a person can hunt with a crossbow here in Illinois with a doctor’s excuse that demonstrates either a permanent or temporary disability but it appears that they may not need a doctor’s blessings before too long!
With the ever changing laws comes equipment that evolves along side with it. This year the addition of a crossbow will no doubt be sending hundreds of hunters to the archery shops for a new crossbow. With that choice of weapon relatively new; how does one perform proper due diligence in such a short amount of time?
In the states that have allowed the use of a crossbow for years, is it possible they have more choices than they can handle? Regardless what state you live in, you may want to save time and energy by reading what others are saying about their equipment!
I was fortunate enough to review the Barnett http://www.barnettcrossbows.com Ghost 350 crossbow in addition to surveying the experiences/opinions that the dealers and end-users have been able to give me. My conclusion; the Barnett Ghost 350 was the best all around high performance crossbow. It was easy to assemble, it shoots very fast and is relatively light. It comes with a scope and the riser is made of carbon to save weight and to shift the center of gravity to the rear for ease in handling. For the video review, CLICK HERE
|Draw Weight||175 LBS|
|Power Stroke||12 IN|
|Arrow Length||20 IN|
Check them out if you’re interested in hunting with a crossbow this year!
If you’re into elk hunting, you’ll love this call! Hunter’s Specialties http://www.hunterspec.com/ has a winner with this Wayne Carlton Qwik Bugle! I tested this at a trade show and never looked back. It was the easiest and best sounding elk call I’ve ever had my hands on. Check out this video for more information:
For a full showing of Gear Reviews by Marc Anthony go his web site: NontypicalHunter.com or BHN Gear Reviews by Marc Anthony