Tactical firearms and booth babes might catch the eye of many wandering souls plodding through the aisles of the 2014 SHOT Show, “the world’s largest gun show,” but for me I was on the hunt for new gizmos, gadgets and gear. The hunt for the new and cool was certainly easier than my last whitetail hunt, and I’m sure a few of the products I viewed would have made any of my past hunts a little less stressful. So, what’s new? Here are five products that I’m going to be using next season to increase my success in the field.
Tenzing Turkey Pack
Comfort, convenience and ruggedness are required when shopping for a new turkey hunting vest. Why not combine those qualities in a pack? Tenzing has done just that with the new TZ TP14 Turkey Pack. (Click here to see NAH Online Editor Josh Dahlke’s first look at the pack.) Tenzing, a leader in backpack innovations, created a pack that literally contains a “self-supported hunting chair.” Two spring-loaded legs deploy silently from the pack to create the chair with the assistance of a padded seat held in place with magnetic couplers.
When you’re finished at a calling site, the chair converts back to a pack within seconds. The pack includes 28 pockets designed specifically for the turkey hunter and an expandable vest to stow your prized gobbler. A blaze-orange cover provides safety on your hike out of turkey country. All of this ruggedness is built around a lightweight aluminum frame and retails for a suggested price of $299.99. Don’t leave this one just for spring as it has hunting applications year-round. Check it out at TenzingOutdoors.com.
Hornady Custom Lite
Nobody likes to be punished at the range or during the hunt by teeth-busting cartridges. That’s why Hornady introduced Hornady Custom Lite ammunition. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran, a smaller-framed female or an aspiring youth hunter, Hornady Custom Lite takes popular calibers and reduces the felt recoil by as much as 43 percent. It also tames muzzle blast for big game favorites.
Eight popular calibers make up the Custom Lite roundup, including: .243 Win., .270 Win., 7mm-08, 7mm Rem. Mag., .30-30 Win., .308 Win., .30-06, and .300 Win. Mag.
Custom Lite ammunition uses two proven bullets from Hornady—the SST and the Interlock RN. Depending on the caliber, each bullet accentuates accurate and dependable performance for a deadly ending to your hunt. If you crave that kind of recoil taming in a shotgun load, check out the slug offerings from Hornady in both 12 and 20 gauge options. For more information, visit Hornady.com.
From compact cars to slim smartphones, everyone craves more in a smaller package. If you have a similar craving in your optics, check out Nikon’s new Aculon rangefinder. It’s ultra compact (3.6×2.9×1.5 inches) and weighs just 4.4 ounces. It’s portable, easy to stow and fits your hand as ergonomically as a handle on a fine handgun.
The Aculon offers a 6X magnification and multi-layer coatings to provide increased light transmission across the entire visible light spectrum. Plus, there’s reduced loss of light due to reflection. The unit runs on a single-button operation, features bold display information and long eye relief that accommodates nearly every user. It’s weather resistant, too. This unit hits the shelves with a price tag of an affordable $169.99. Additional information is available at NikonSportOptics.com.
CRKT is a name synonymous with serious knives, but sometimes you need a little help to get the most from your blade. With this in mind, CRKT introduces two new hoists into their product lineup: the Hoist’N Lok Tree Stand Hoist and Hoist‘N Lok Big Game Hoist, designed by professional hunting guide Russ Kommer.
Both hoists incorporate a unique and patented locking system that’s easy to use with one-handed ease. The hoists use a “lobe mechanism” on the pulley that locks the rope into place by simply moving the rope to the side and allowing it to slide and lock. There’s no need for tying it off with the CRKT system.
The Tree Stand version has a capacity rating of 100 pounds and allows you to safely and efficiently haul gear into your tree. The Big Game version has a capacity rating of 500 pounds to handle large deer and other big game quarters with ease. It comes with a carabineer and gambrel for a complete system. Suggested retail pricing for each product is a modest $59.99. See more details at CRKT.com.
Smith & Wesson Model 69
If you’re looking for a new personal defense or hunting revolver, you need to take a look at the new Smith & Wesson Model 69. It’s S&W’s first L-Frame revolver in .44 mag./.44 S&W Spec., an ideal selection for hunting and a personal defense partner at your side.
The Model 69 features a five-shot cylinder that functions in both single- and double-action usage. Its stainless-steel construction includes a two-piece barrel and ball-dent lock-up for continuous magnum pounding. It measures 9.75 inches in overall length and weighs-in at a comfortable 37.2 ounces for perfect balance. It also includes full top strap and barrel serration. You won’t break the bank, either, with a suggested retail price of $849. Plus, S&W backs the revolver with its lifetime service policy. Visit Smith-Wesson.com for additional information.
For additional video footage of each of these products, go to HuntingClub.com/SHOTshow.