July 29, 2020
By Game & Fish Staff
Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 Pellet Grill
Smoked meat is a summer staple. Whether the menu calls for elk steaks, pulled pork or salmon, the Woodwind WiFi 24 will make you master of the main course—even while you kick back with friends.
Independently control 10 smoke settings and a temperature range of 160 to 500 degrees without ever leaving your chair via the Camp Chef Connect app. The app enables your phone to communicate with the grill’s Wi-Fi-equipped PID controller (a precise regulator). By glancing at your screen between songs on your playlist, you can check smoke output, grill temperature and the internal temperature of up to four items with the included meat probes. The app also allows you to set notifications lest you become so wrapped up in conversation you forget to tend the meat.
The Woodwind WiFi 24 has 4,850 cubic inches of capacity and 811 square inches of surface area on two grill racks. To cook over open flame, simply pull a knob to permit direct fire to reach the lower rack, which will increase grill temperature up to 650 degrees. An optional propane-powered 14-inch burner mounts to the side of the grill and accepts accessories such as a pizza oven for even more versatility. Why would you ever want to cook indoors again? MSRP: $1,000; campchef.com
Big Frig Badlands 70-Quart Cooler
One of the drawbacks to high-capacity, heavy-duty rotomolded coolers is that when they’re full of drinks, food and ice, it takes at least two grown men to move them. The 70-quart Badlands addresses that problem with two rugged wheels that make pulling it from the deck to the firepit easier than dragging a buck downhill through fresh snow. Whether you’re planning a weekend or weeklong gathering, the Badlands will keep contents ice-cold for 10 days thanks in part to its freezer-grade gasket. Stainless steel lock plates double as bottle openers, a cutting board serves as a compartment separator, and the cooler comes with an internal basket. MSRP: $374.99; bigfrig.com
Streamlight Siege X Outdoor Lantern
At just 4 1/2 inches high but producing up to 325 lumens, the Siege X is a lantern you can set or hang any place in the yard where you need light. Plus, a lens in the top of the unit allows it to double as a flashlight. The Siege X has high, medium (170- lumen) and low (30-lumen) white-LED lantern settings, as well as three red-LED modes. The flashlight settings are 300 lumens and 40 lumens. On the highest setting, the lantern has a runtime of 4 1/2 hours; the flashlight runs for 3 1/2 hours. Equipped with a USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, the Siege X also accepts two CR123A batteries. MSRP: $75; streamlight.com
ALPS OutdoorZ Crosshair Chair
You know those cheap folding chairs that cut into your upper legs and cramp your lower back? The Crosshair isn’t one of them. Its bucket-seat design has an ergonomically angled bottom and back to cradle your, well, bottom and back. Unlike the flimsy models that you have to toss after a couple summers of use, the Crosshair’s durable 600-denier polyester fabric and powder-coated steel frame hold up to 300 pounds. This chair can party hard and look good doing it with Realtree Edge or Mossy Oak Obsession accents. When the fun is over, it folds into a shoulder bag for carry and storage. MSRP: $69.99; alpsbrands.com
Champion Workhorse Electronic Trap
If your backyard is the back 40, turn it into a clays range with the Workhorse—for less money than you might expect. With a 12-volt battery (not included) providing power, the Workhorse throws targets to 75 yards at three different launch angles, automatically resets in less than three seconds and holds up to 50 clays. The pedal release has a 25-foot cord so even when you’re shooting solo you can vary your position relative to the flight path. Rear legs fold and the target magazine detaches for storage and transport, and the Workhorse weighs just 32 pounds. It easily fits in a car trunk or the back of a side-by-side. MSRP: $359.95; championtarget.com
Leupold Switchback Performance Eyewear
Cool shades are simply essential when hanging out under the bright summer sun. The Switchback, though, has more going for it than style. Leupold puts some of the same elements into its eyewear as its scopes, including DiamondCoat scratch resistance, a Guard-ion hydrophobic coating that repels water and dirt, and a lifetime guarantee. The Switchback’s lenses have an ANSI Z87.1+ ballistic-protection rating, as well as Daylight Max UV protection. These shades will cover you from the deck and yard to the range and field year-round. MSRP: $179.99; leupold.com
Rinehart Woodland 1/3-Scale 3D Targets
The backyard isn’t just a place to have fun. Practice for your upcoming elk or caribou hunt with 1/3-scale targets from Rinehart. They are downsized for affordability and convenience, yet both the elk and the ’bou offer lifelike anatomies and present realistic shot scenarios. Placing either at 20 yards simulates a 60-yard shot at an actual animal. Plan to limit any shot at a bull to 40 yards? Set the target at a step over 13 yards to prepare for the real thing. Constructed from UV- and weather-resistant, self-healing solid foam, the Woodland targets incorporate Rinehart’s Signature Series replaceable core. Just like their dimensions, the targets’ prices are but a fraction of what you’d spend on the full-size versions. MSRP: $219.99 (elk), $224.99 (caribou); rinehart3d.com
Hatsan Hercules Air Rifle
Just about everyone who lives outside of town limits has spent a summer afternoon in the yard plinking with an air rifle. The Hercules steps up that activity considerably, delivering a 180-grain, .45-caliber slug at up to 850 fps. Twin 500cc bottles of compressed air (one cradled by the fore-end, the other housed in the buttstock) provide enough volume for 15 shots at or near that velocity. Each bottle is constructed of carbon fiber, reducing weight by as much as 3 pounds compared to the Hercules’ predecessors.
The rifle cocks via a side-mounted lever and feeds from a seven-round rotary magazine. It is equipped with a two-stage adjustable trigger, as well as a buttstock that adjusts for length of pull, butt-pad angle and comb height. The 23-inch barrel is shrouded to minimize shot noise, and while the sound is attenuated, this big-bore still has some bark. It also punches tight groups out to 75 yards. MSRP: $1,199.99; hatsanusa.com
SportDog YardTrainer 100 E-Collar
For bird hunters, the term “dog days of summer” has special meaning. It’s training time.The YardTrainer 100 is an affordable e-collar with a 100-yard range that lets you and your hunting companion brush up on basic commands in the backyard. It offers tone, vibration and eight levels of static stimulation. Each has a dedicated button, making operation intuitive. The compact YardTrainer 100 operates on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and is waterproof to 25 feet. MSRP: $119.95; sportdog.com
FireDisc Portable Propane Cooker
The impressively sturdy FireDisc is a grill without grates, a wok with walls and a deep fryer all in one. Its ultra-high-carbon steel pan has a 22-inch diameter with 5-inch-high sides to provide 5 gallons of capacity and 380 square inches of cooking area. The pan’s surface slopes toward the center to drain excess grease away from food and provides three temperature zones—hotter in the middle, cooler along the sides.
The burner runs off a 16-ounce propane bottle but can be converted to accept a 20-gallon tank with an optional adaptor. Requiring no tools for assembly, the 36-inch stand sets up in seconds. Clean-up is almost as quick, as the pan’s porous surface seasons with use and requires only wiping with a wet cloth. The FireDisc folds flat for storage and transportation, making it a great cooker for meals beyond the backyard, too. MSRP: $349.99; firedisccookers.com
Mossy Oak Swiftwater Elements Deck Clog
Like the look or not, you can’t say Crocs aren’t comfortable. These clogs are made for lounging, but they also keep your feet feeling good during long hours on the water. Yardwork even seems bearable when wearing them. Flexible foam uppers make Crocs almost weightless, while side ports drain water and allow your feet to breathe. Lugged outsoles provide traction, and the Mossy Oak Elements Manta pattern helps you retain your identity. MSRP: $44; mossyoak.com
Get Your Backyard Ready
Looking to improve or get more use out of your yard this summer? Go to gameandfishmag.com and click on the Backyard Ready tab near the top of the page. You’ll find dozens of tips to make tasks like cleaning a pellet grill and installing a firepit easy, and even get advice from bass pro Brian Latimer on how to mow stripes in your lawn like an expert landscaper. Plus, Backyard Ready provides guidance on projects such as creating a fishpond, establishing a ready supply of bait and growing vegetables to serve with dinner. And speaking of dinner, you’ll find a host of wild-game recipes to try this summer in the Backyard Ready section, too.