Everything I saw suggests the hunting and shooting industry is in great shape because the industry has produced a number of nifty new products for predator and varmint hunters.
Got a smartphone? Good, because we have a great new tool for using it as an electronic caller. Not long ago, Extreme Dimensions purchased the iHunt game call app. When I saw the press release announcing the acquisition, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was coming down the pipe.
And there it was at SHOT—a speaker that connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone, allowing it to be used as a remote controller. I've had iHunt loaded up since the day I first got a smartphone and this speaker now gives it some amazing potential. It'll play any of the more than 600 sounds on the app at up to 115 decibels. Power is via four C-cell batteries and the price should be about $60. The app is free, so download it, use it and then try and tell me you don't want a speaker to pair with it.
FoxPro has been busy designing some new calls as well. Their big news is the introduction of a couple of entry level e-callers to the market. These will move FoxPro into novice end of the market with prices starting in the $100 range. Expect to see these around October of this year, about the same time we should be able to find a new line of old-fashioned mouth calls from them. I counted six new predator models, including three open reeds.
Unfortunately, they only had images on display, but they do look promising and because they're from FoxPro, the sounds should be great.
The only new diaphragm calls I saw were from Hunter's Specialities, where they've gone all-out to offer six new versions. These include models producing wolf and coyote vocalizations, as well as prey distress sounds, including one model tuned specifically for bobcats. They should all be available for next season and, considering how much I like diaphragm calls, this hunter will be lined up to give them a try.
Stepping away from game calls, I was pleased to see a new 10-round magazine announced by Savage. This is a 10-shot .308 Win. Magazine, which will be standard on a new tactical version of the basic Model 10 rifle—but I'm told it'll be available as an accessory as well.
It's supposed to fit all current versions of their short action and should work with any cartridge that is .308-based, including .243 Win. and .260 Rem. While it's intended for the tactical market, I'm of the opinion that killing coyotes is tactical, too.
After spending a week soaking up the Vegas lifestyle, I'm happy to get back home. SHOT is always fun, but I look forward to occupying a quiet snowbank … a place where the only noise is whatever I choose to produce on a predator call.