Game & Fish bowhunting guru Dr. Todd Kuhn searched from corner to corner for the best new gear at the Archery Trade Association Show Jan. 10-12 in Louisville.
Here’s what caught his attention.
TenPoint Nitro XRT
The XRT utilizes reverse-draw technology and an elongated power stroke to produce sizzling 470 fps arrow speeds. The ultra-compact design is perfect for treestand hunters, as well as groundblinders and spot-and-stalkers. The bow is light and aims nimbly. I really appreciated all the top-shelf features, like the new and improved ACU-Draw Pro which reduces cocking effort by up to 40% while operating silently. Industry-leading quality of construction can be seen throughout the XRT. The XRT is destined to impress those horizontal hunters in search of the “best-of-the-best” ($2,499; tenpointcrossbows.com).
Easton T64 Full Metal Jacket
The Easton T-64 will appeal to those archers desiring to shoot micro diameter arrows while using standard 8-32 broadheads. The T-64 is a tapered shaft (hence the “T”) with a 6mm forward section which tapers to a 4mm shaft in the aft section. This tapering improves FOC while the micro diameter shaft offers less surface area to negatively interact with crosswinds. The T64 offers improved flight and more penetration. I sincerely appreciate the aluminum outer shell with its carbon core — offering one really tough hunting arrow ($219/dozen unfletched shafts; easton.com).
Rinehart 1/3 Elk
Want to hunt elk in your backyard? The 1/3 Elk target is, as the name implies, a 1/3-scale elk target. The meticulously sculpted target measures 38-inches tall and 44-inches long (1/3 the size of the actual animal). Rinehart utilizes their industry-leading self-healing foam, making it very resilient. The hand-painted target is very reasonably priced at $219, with an easily replaced vitals core. The Rinehart 1/3 Elk is broadhead compatible too (rinehart3d.com).
Hawke Frontier Binoculars
Hawke has built a solid reputation by manufacturing the best crossbow scopes in the industry. However, they also produce some of the best econo-binoculars too. The Frontier HD-X is a compact binocular with stunning clarity and excellent low-light gathering capabilities. I was incredibly impressed with the HD-X’s in-hand performance, and more so, with its cost-conscious retail. Available in 8 x 32, 10 x 32, 8 x 42 and 10 x 42 models ranging from $289.00 to $349, the Hawke’s carry a lifetime warranty (hawkeoptics.com).
HHA Optimizer Tetra
The Tetra is a single-pin, ranging sight built with HHA’s proven Optimizer technology. Adjustable in one-yard increments, the Tetra is one of the most accurate hunting sights available. The ability to adjust the sight pin’s elevation means you can deliver exact broadhead placement while hunting. A new dovetail mount extends the sight away from the bow’s riser, further increasing accuracy. A large rotary knob works well even with gloved hands, making dialing in target distances a cinch. The 100-percent made-in-the-USA sight carries a bulletproof lifetime warranty ($249; hhasports.com).
Burris Oracle Laser-Ranging Sight
Misjudging target distances leads to missed animals — or worse, wounded animals. The Oracle instantly digitally displays target distance and selects the right pin for you. The Oracle accommodates up to 176 inches of arrow drop at 100 yards, allowing it to be set up from 80 to 110 yards depending on bow speed and arrow weight. To operate, you simply depress the pressure switch while aiming, and the sight does all the thinking for you — trick ($799; burris.com).
Stacked Outdoors Ladder Sticks
Hunting from an elevated stand gives whitetailers a distinct advantage. The Stacked Outdoors ladder sticks are injection-molded, eliminating the ills typically found with metal sticks. Corrosion is eliminated, as well as game-spooking noise while climbing. The system is lightweight — at around 9 pounds for four individual sticks. The sticks nest together very neatly, making them a compact carry to your favorite tree (stackedoutdoors.com; $179/4).
The made-in-the-USA GloryNock is a lighted nock that’s easy to turn off, requiring no tools or complicated steps. A side-mounted micro-switch is readily accessible, making its operation simple. GloryNocks come in a variety of sizes, fitting all common arrows for either bows or crossbows. I was amazed by how easy they are to use. Red or green LED versions are available and will remain lit in excess of 20-hours once activated ($29.99/3-pack; glorynock.com).
The XV-7000i and XA-7000i have modems built into the camera chassis. The all-in-one units are compact and are considerably easier to set up over other traditional two-piece camera/modem systems. These units are available for both Verizon and AT&T cell services, and deliver high-resolution images directly to smart phones, tablets, computers and iPads. With a trigger speed of .3 seconds, a 20-megapixel sensor and a detection/flash range of 80 feet, you’ll never miss anything happening in the woods. As a cost-conscious hunter, I really appreciate the very reasonable MSRP of $179. The camera also records video as well as audio (moultriefeeders.com).