Whether you are putting a stalk on that big mule deer buck in the high desert of Southern California, or a trophy whitetail on the frozen tundra of Saskatchewan, the last thing you want is to have your binoculars bouncing around with each step alerting your target. To be honest, that is what happens when you use a provided binocular strap or an ordinary binocular harness. Most provided straps usually dig into your neck and aren't very comfortable. The straps on a harness are elastic and flimsy, yet still very popular due to less expense.
Staring into the shadows of an overgrown brushy hillside or down into a steep canyon, you look for an ear twitch, or a shape standing out differently than the rest of the scenery. In order to step up your game and be an effective hunter, you must use quality optics that are crisp, clear and powerful. As part of my scouting, and utilizing them on the Spring CA Bighorn Sheep Survey, I have been reviewing a pair of the KOWA SV50-10 binoculars from their new product line. I was also able to utilize them when I went hog hunting in different terrain and while shooting at the archery range.
I had the opportunity to review a Paracord Bracelet from Cobrabraid. Definitely a great product and if you have a chance you should check out the complete review and how I used it at www.IdahoBoneCollector.com
Technology seems to follow us everywhere these days. The days of the paper topographic map are certainly not gone, but the days of electronics are also here to stay. When scouting or on our hunting excursions we tend to bring our cellphones. Sure, most of us want to have them available in case of an emergency, but we also have them to take photos, use the hunting apps or just text our friends from our watch. On any given day there could be inclement weather. Dropping your phone on the ground or in the dirt is inevitable, too.
Without a doubt, hiking into your coveted hunting spot in the wee hours of the morn requires a good source of light. When you are 5 miles into the back country and are hiking out in the pitch black darkness you want a light source that will not only work, but work well and have lasting battery life. I have used headlamps that worked well, some that worked okay and some that downright failed. When I was offered a chance to review the LENSER H7 headlamp I gladly accepted.
Quality. Whenever a hunter asks me about what optics to buy, quality is the first word out of my mouth. That's what you want in optics and I can tell from first hand experience that KOWA is quality. I'll admit, I didn't know much about KOWA when I first saw some advertisements in a hunting magazine. I had heard about people using the brand, but hadn't seen them first hand. I didn't even personally know a single hunter who used their optics. I hope this review will change that for the hunting community.
I have to admit that lately I have had luck on my side. I was fortunate enough to win the SABO Gen 2 Tactical Archery sight from www.WinHuntingGear.com and was excited to give this a try. I have watched several videos and read up on it quiet a bit, and thought that this looked like an awesome sight to try. When I found out that I won the sight through Win Hunting Gear I was super stoked to give it a shot.
Last Fall, I found the need for a new water bladder that could hold more than a liter of water. You need to stay hydrated or risk major problems, disorientation or even death. I did plenty of research and found what I was looking for. When I spoke with Jennifer Lappin at Rocky Mountain Survival, LLC, she recommended the Pure Hydration Armoured Reservoir. She mentioned other hunters were using it, but that I should judge it for myself.
Bushnell, Wildgame Innovations, Cuddeback, and Moultrie
Trophy Cam, S1.3x, Capture, Game Spy D40 and Game Spy I40
I tested these 5 different models of trail cameras to see which one would capture the best image. I have my conclusions listed below and the pictures that were taken can be found on my blog, Idaho Bone Collector.
First off, I think that Wildgame Innoivations needs to send out an apology for putting junk like this on the market. This camera came in a 2-pack for $80-$90. That is why I bought it. I thought it was a great deal for the price, I couldn't have been more wrong!
Watch the video below and please leave a comment below if you have used this camera.
Below the video are some Trail Cameras that we reccomend and are at a great price.
The Alaknak II tent is a great tent! All last year I was doing research on wall tent type tents and I read reviews after reviews. I looked at different brands, types, and everything in between. I really had my mind set on a traditional canvas wall tent but that changed as the research ensued.
This last January I was able to use the Mr. Heater Buddy. I took the heater to Arizona during a December-January Deer and Javelina hunt. The temperature during the first 3 nights of our hunt was down into the low teens, however inside the tent we were sitting playing cards in a warm 68 degrees. We were also using a new tent that has the roof jack to install a wood stove but I chose to use the Heater Buddy.
Arizona Archery Enterprises (AAE), has raised the bar with their new "Full Capture" D.O.A. arrow rest.
I mounted the rest on a 2012 Hoyt Carbon Element. Right off the bat it was super easy to install. If you dont want to tie the cord into the serving it comes with an EZ-Clamp to attach the cord to the down cable. I made a few adjustments and shot it through paper....BULLET HOLE!
I'm new to this site and this is my first post, so I hope I'm not bending rules by starting with a gear review. I've been reading articles, reviews, and forum posts here for a while and am impressed with the amount of information you folks share with each other. I leave Monday for my first AZ desert mule deer hunt, thanks to an article I read by Eric and a trip we'd already planned to visit family in the area. Glad to be here, hope to offer something of value.
Keeping warm is something you must always think about when hunting. No matter if you are hunting the high desert of Southern California or the hardwoods of Western New York. When I was given the opportunity to review the new RedRam Merino Wool base layers I couldn't say no. For one, I had never heard of them and two, I had been looking for a decent pair of base layers for a while.
Hunting here in Southern California is extremely challenging. There are miles of ground to cover and precious time to do it in. What's the best way to find your prey? Gain some elevation, get yourself a good vantage point and scan the land using quality optics.
My first chance to try out the 2011 Danner Pronghorns was during this years Colorado elk season. Without a chance to break them in, I strapped them on for the first time, on day 1 of our hunt. After 16 miles and bull packed out and in the truck on the first day, I had zero issues or discomfort with my boots. I was nervous about not wearing them in before such an arduous hunt, but was thoroughly satisfied with the results.
When hunting, I like to have some sort of GPS on me at all times. Even if it is just for locking down different spots I highlight for future reference. The problem with handheld GPS tools is they usually take forever to find a satellite, your location and then you have to punch in a bunch of info just to save it. It used to drive me nuts until I started using the ScoutLook Weather Guide.
I have always used Danner boots and have been happy but never completely satisfied. It seemed that I always had an issue with the full leather uppers that were found on the canadians. When they got broken in the leather around the ankles seemed to fold over and cause comfort issues in that specific area. Also, the canadians are extremely heavy when it comes to putting miles on the feet.
When I read a review on a knife or a blade of any sort, I want to know that it's going to cut 'like buttah'. Don't you? That's exactly what discovered when I used the Knives of Alaska Pronghorn Knife last year. Yes, I realize I have been a schmuck for not posting about this yet. It should have been posted a LONG time ago.
The thermometer read 106 degrees last weekend and we were dead smack in the middle of archery bear season. If I was fortunate enough to kill a bear I was going to be pressed for time to get it cooled down. When you hunt and kill an animal, you have cool it down as quickly as possible and you also want to keep moisture off of the meat. I'll bet you didn't know that second part, did you? That's an interesting bit of information I got from Steve Glass, Owner of Trophy Bag Kooler, LLC.
Picnic baskets. Coolers. Tents. Bears love to get into each and every one of them. Whether out of curiosity or in their search for food, they tear them open and usually destroy them to get at the contents. If you are going to be hiking or hunting in the back country and it's known to have bears, you'll need to protect your food. That's where the BearVault BV500 comes in.
Treestand safety is something I constantly promote. Far too many hunters have fallen out of their stands and injured themselves because they didn't wear a safety harness. Some have been paralyzed and some have died. I have known a few guys who have fallen out and broken bones. Even if it is the harness that is provided with the treestand you bought, Use It!
I feel the two things you cannot cut corners on are boots and optics. Having used Nikon products for the last 15 years, I have seen the evolution of optics. During a recent trip to Colorado, I stopped by the optics department at Bass Pro Shops to get a good comparison. Initially, I planned on getting a pair of Swarovski EL 42's and took a few minutes to look through them. Satisfied with what I could see, as expected, I was convinced that would be my next pair of glasses. Then the salesman suggested I take a look at the Vortex product.
Backcountry hunting involves preparation, perspiration and burning plenty of calories. Yes, calories. If you are going to burn boot rubber you will need to refuel. Most times I pack in a lunch complete with a couple of sandwiches, energy bars, energy gel, maybe a pack of M&M's and a half gallon of water.
Does your bow fall forward after the shot? Is there up-swing or down-swing? What about vibration and weight control? These are all factors you should be aware of and consider before purchasing a stabilizer for your bow.
The G5 Prime Centroid Compound Bow is new to me because G5 just recently started building bows and they really know what they are doing. I was invited by the staff over at Archery Outpost in Los Alamitos, CA to come over to shoot the bow, ask questions and do a review on it. How was I going to say no? Before I went over, I wanted to do some research online. I avoided YouTube and other sites doing reviews. I wanted my review to be my own and not influenced by anyone or any company. My first stop was the G5 website to review the specifications on this bow.
Gear reviews on hunting gear are typically performed while hunting and fishing gear is tested while fishing. Most of the time I follow that rule, but not this time. This time I wanted to think outside the box a little bit. The good folks over at Magnum Boots sent me their RD (Rapid Deployment) Tactical Short Sleeve Shirt to do a review on before it hits the market in mid-July. I had to think long and hard on how I wanted to approach testing it out. You see, I know that you can take it hunting, fishing or shooting, but I wanted to also apply it to everyday use.
Hunting smarter is the name of the game. Out here in Southern California you have to do a lot of glassing to find your furry targets. I know that hunting out here can be a test of your patience because you used to have to set your bow down so that you could pull up your binoculars. I have tried slings, 'kickstands' and just holding my bow on my foot while I glass. I hate them all. I wanted a completely hands free device that I could use to hold my bow while glassing.
Let me start off by saying I am a glutton when it comes to bows and all the stuff that goes along with hunting. I have a Mathews Z7 and a Hoyt Carbon Matrix was recently added to the family too. With my Z7 at 68 lbs and a 28.5" draw length shooting a 474 grain Easton FMJ 340 arrow, I am producing 70 ft lbs of KE. My Carbon Matrix is at 61 lbs and is basically a blind bow (blacked out).
I really like the Primos Darkhorse ground blind with the ground swat pattern. I had never been to this property and didnt get much time to scout. I was there for 3 days and had numerous hens, jakes, and Toms come in and not once did I get busted in that blind. I was filming my own hunt, too by myself, and was moving a lot working the camera, ranging, and drawing my bow back, not to mention when they say no wind flap they mean it!! 40 mph winds a couple of days ago and not a single bird spooked... these blinds are one of a kind for sure!!