2011 Bowhunter’s Buyer’s Guide

Posted on June 28, 2011

When it comes to great, innovative products, this longtime shop owner says these rule.

By Aaron Lasco

Hoyt Carbon Element (hoyt.com)Carnivore Meat Bags

Every year, I wonder what manufacturers could do to improve bow technology. Hoyt has answered the question with the 2011 Element. Last year, Hoyt introduced the Carbon Matrix with an all-carbon-tube riser, making a longer-axle bow lighter without giving up true shootability. This year, Hoyt has perfected it! The Element features the same carbon-tube riser but in a shorter, more desirable length for bowhunters, all without sacrificing the accuracy that a longer axle-bow provides. This bow is off-the-charts quiet, accurate and super deadly! It also emits zero vibration at the shot. All I can say is, “Wow!”

Carnivore Meat Bags (biggamebags.com)

Most game bags are made of cheese-cloth-type material, which stretches, rips and is not reusable. Carnivore Bags are made of tougher material comparable to cotton that allows for superior moisture-wicking capability to keep meat dry and cool. They are also ultralight, strong, very compact and reusable. They are the best.

Trophy Ridge Revolution (trophyridge.com)

What if you could buy a “bad-boy” arrow-holding, drop-away rest for the price of a basic whisker rest? Well, you can, and it’s found in the new Trophy Ridge Revolution rest. It cost about $50.

Trophy Ridge Revolution Bow

Hipbone Tactical Bow-Holder (tacticalarcherysystems.com)

Traditional bow hooks constantly snag tree limbs and other things–even your hunting buddies on occasion. The “Hip Bone” is a snag-free solution that hangs on your bow or belt for hands-free hunting. Trust me, it works great.

Woodland Buck 3D Target (rinehart3d.com)

I love the long-lasting durability of Rinehart Targets, but not everyone can spend $400 on a deer target. The new Woodland Rinehart Buck target solves the problem–all at a low cost. This target has that “rubbery”-type foam you’ll love, along with a replaceable insert.

Backseat Bow Sling (trophyhuntingproducts.com)

You spent big bucks on a new bow, but your hard case takes up so much room in the vehicle that you often end up just tossing the bow in the backseat. This is dangerous for you and your gear. A better system is the Back Seat Bow Sling, by Trophy Hunting Products. This product safely secures your bow to the back of your front seat and is quickly and easily made accessible again with a simple snap of a buckle. Nice!

ASAT Raingear Set (asatcamo.com)

Any hunter who has been caught off guard in a nasty rain storm learns the importance of having rain gear on at all times. However, we are sometimes hesitant to include it in our packs because of their unwanted bulkiness and weight. ASAT (our favorite camo pattern) cleverly designed a lightweight, packable-sized Rain Gear Set that comes with its own bag for easy storage and at an affordable price.

Da Holla Back Elk Bugle and Da Wild Thing Elk Bugle (www.mossback.com)

Just when you thought all bugles sound alike, Mossback Game Calls has reinvented the authentic sound. These calls are astonishing! I had no idea that these elk bugles consist of mouth and nose air openings, creating two parallel octaves of sound! Mossback achieves this technology with split tubes that successfully mimic these twin elk sounds to perfection.

Black Gold Rush Sight (blackgoldsights.com)

Black Gold has a solid reputation for durable sights. This company has done it again in 2011 with the Rush Sight. This product features five machined BombProof, all-metal, Micro Groove, Micro Dot (.019) ultra-strong pins encased in a tough frame and surrounded by an interchangeable glowing aiming ring. Brilliant!

Hoyt Carbon Blade Stabilizer (fusearchery.com)

The engineers at Fuse and Hoyt never rest. They travelled to a wind tunnel lab in California to prove the effectiveness of the new Carbon-Blade Stabilizer. These units are aerodynamic, incredibly strong and use lightweight carbon-fiber structures to lessen side wind resistance by up to 70 percent to keep your bow on target in windy conditions. They are available in various sizes.

S4 Gear Sidewinder Rangefinder System (s4gear.com)

Born late last year, the S4 Gear Sidewinder Rangefinder System is the best rangefinder retractor available. Want the “bells-and-whistles” version? The Sidewinder Evo clips on anywhere with a lockable swivel, ensuring that your rangefinder is always at your fingertips. Nevertheless, it will silently retract to prepare you for the shot of a lifetime.

R4000 Halo Laser Rangefinder Ground (wildgameinnovations.com)

Speaking of rangefinders, don’t have an extra $300? How about lightning-fast yardage reporting for less than half the cost of most other rangefinders? Check out the R4000 Halo, by Wild Game Innovations. Pretty cool.

Mission Craze (missionarchery.com)

Matt McPherson is certainly on a “Mission” with the new Craze bow. It’s adjustable from 15 to 70 pounds and 19 to 30 inches draw length. Yep, this bow that can’t be outgrow–and it’s only $299! Now, that’s crazy!

S4 Gear Lockdown Optics System (s4gear.com)

Are you tired of pine needles and nose drippings falling into the eye pieces of your expensive binocular? If so, this system solves it all by using a pliable cover over your bino’s lenses when not in use and prevents that annoying and uncomfortable bouncing against your chest during hiking. This bino system is like no other!

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak Arrows (carbonexpress.com)

When Carbon Express unveiled its Maxima Hunter arrows with dual spine-forward weight technology, it created a new plateau in accuracy. The new Maxima Blue Streak is even lighter, faster and more of a “killing machine” that incorporates all the technology of its predecessor.

Crooked Horn Trail Light (crookedhorn.com)

Headlamps are great, but they bounce when you walk and cause dead spots. The Backpack Trail Light, by Crooked Horn, is a flip-open headlight that clips to your backpack’s shoulder strap. It directs light in front of you, instead of downward like a headlamp, allowing you to maneuver safely through the woods

LidCam Video Eye Wear

LidCam Video Eye Wear

XSeries Xtreme Bow Sling (blacks-creek.com)

Sometimes you have to grab your pump from the back of the truck and get moving. When that’s the case, this sling really helps out. It attaches to your bow in two ways: You can shoot with it still attached to the bottom limb, or you can carry your essentials in it for those “spur-of-the-moment” game animal pursuits. When you are not carrying your bow, you can wear it like a fanny pack. Very neat.

Montana Trax Maps (koutdoorproducts.com)

These maps are the best thing since GPS. An entire state’s property ownership is downloadable on most newer Garmin GPS units. Now, you can find all public land, its access points and private property owners’ contact information to request permission in an easy-to-use GPS software program. Now, that’s priceless!

Havalon Knives (havalon.com)

I normally carry 2 ½ pounds of skinning knives, boning knives and sharpening stones. No more. These blade-change knives offer all you need in one package. A single blade is both strong and sharp enough to debone up to seven caribou before a new blade is necessary! No more fighting marginally sharp blades in the middle of the night.

Rhino Labs LidCam Video Eye Wear (rhinoutdoors.com)

Not much bigger than the average flashlight that clips to your hat brim, this video eyewear has a 4-8x zoom and a swiveling lens so that you can get on target quickly. It’s a must for capturing all those special moments in the field or on the range, such as viewing a youngster shoot his first Robin Hood arrow.

Editor’s Note: The author is the longtime owner of Spirit Quest Archery, in Kalispell, Montana. You can contact him at 877.756.0220 or 406.756.5455; e-mail: spiritquestarchery@gmail.com.

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