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Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards: Top Hunting Gear 2017

by John Geiger   |  June 19th, 2017 0

Game & Fish Readers Choice Awards 2017: Here are your picks for the best in hunting gear for 2017.

By John Geiger

First off, let me say that our readers are well-qualified to judge new gear. Nearly 50 percent of the 4,614 who voted had hunted at least 20 days last year. A handful hunted more than 180 days! And when asked how they describe their level of experience, nearly two-thirds said they were “expert” or “advanced.” About 35 percent said they were “intermediate” and only 5 percent said “beginner. That’s a hard-core group. Who better to judge the worth and ranking of gear?

Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

These hunters made some startling decisions.

  • See your top picks on hunting gear below

Cabela’s Polar Cap Cooler unseated the perennially popular YETI cooler this year. Likewise, Barnett took the top spot from TenPoint. Three companies won at least two of the 15 categories. Leupold won Binocular and Thermal Imager categories. SureFire won both Flashlights and Suppressors categories. Winchester got to the top rank in both the Rifle Ammo and Shotshell categories.

Other close calls include a neck-and-neck finish between Hunt onXmaps and HuntStand apps, and Gerber Vital and Havalon EXP knives.

Some products dominated the competition.

At 75.4 percent of the vote, SureFire’s Fury Intellibeam was a full 64.7 points over the next closest flashlight. Gamo’s Swarm also was far and away the favorite airgun with 65.2 percent.

You can bet voters used the brands they voted for. Anyone who hunts between 20 and 180 days a year knows a thing or two about guns, ammo and everything else hunting.


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Barnett Ghost 420 Revenant

WINNER: Barnett Ghost 420, 29.6%

RUNNER-UP: TenPoint Carbon Phantom RCX, 24.6%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Remington 700 AWR

WINNER: Remington 700 AWR, 28.6%

RUNNER-UP: Browning X-Bolt Pro, 21.8%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Ruger American Rimfire

WINNER: Ruger American Rimfire, 56.1%

RUNNER-UP: Savage A22 Magnum, 19.0%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

WINNER: Benelli Super Black Eagle 3, 37.2%

RUNNER-UP: Remington Versamax, 26.4%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Gamo Swarm

WINNER: Gamo Swarm, 65.2%

RUNNER-UP: AirForce Texan, 17.2%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Winchester AA Steel Dove (cutaway)

WINNER: Winchester AA Steel Dove, 18.4%

RUNNER-UP: Remington American Clays, 16.6%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Winchester Big Game LR (cutaway)

WINNER (close call): Winchester Big Game LR, 27.7%

RUNNER-UP: Federal Big Game Edge TLR, 26.3%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

SureFire SOCOM 300 SPS

WINNER: SureFire SOCOM 300 SPS, 40.3%

RUNNER-UP: Blackhawk Carnivore, 27.7%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Mathews Halon 32

WINNER: Mathews Halon 32, 36.9%

RUNNER-UP: Hoyt Pro Defiant, 16.9%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Gerber Gear Vital

WINNER (close call): Gerber Gear Vital, 22.2%

RUNNER-UP : Havalon EXP, 21.9%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Hunt onXmaps

WINNERS (close call): Hunt onXmaps, 25.9%

RUNNER-UP : HuntStand, 25.6%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Leupold BX-3 Mojave HD

WINNER (close call): Leupold BX-3 Mojave HD, 25.7%

RUNNER-UP: Bushnell Legend L Series, 24.1%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

SureFire Fury Intellibeam

WINNER: SureFire Fury Intellibeam, 75.4%

RUNNER-UP: Cyclops Revo 700, 10.7%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer

WINNER: Cabela’s Polar Cap Equalizer, 41.8%

RUNNER-UP: YETI Hopper Two, 27.4%


Game and Fish Readers Choice Awards

Leupold LTO-Tracker

WINNER: Leupold LTO-Tracker, 44.8%

RUNNER-UP: Sig Sauer Echo 1, 21.9%


We invite you to vote in our next Readers’ Choice Awards: hunting voting is in the spring and fishing voting in the fall. Sign up for our free electronic newsletter at the bottom of, and we’ll send you a notice when it’s time to give your opinion about the best new gear. —Editors

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