It is a virtual wonderland for someone passionate about hunting and/or shooting. In fact, every year I feel as if I am one blessed individual to get to be there as part of my career work.
I thought for this final installment of my SHOT coverage I would give you my personal picks for the coolest items of the show. Some of these have already been mentioned in previous blogs but that’s OK. Their coolness factor allows for a second round.
I will also interject some random thoughts about the show and the industry that popped into my head during and since the TF&G trek to Vegas.
In no particular order…
Miss November—Tink’s new doe decoy is so real I wanted to check her for ticks. I have really gotten into final approach details on duck and goose decoys and this will do the same for deer hunting. And for only $50 who can argue?
Plotwatcher Time Lapse Video Camera—The first of its kind on the market, the PlotWatcher utilizes time-lapse HD video to record images of an area regardless of how far the subject is from the camera. Unlike typical trail cameras that trigger on short-range motion, the PlotWatcher TLV does not rely on motion detection and can record deer activity at a much greater distance. The applications for this are absolutely huge.
Random SHOT thought #1: Everyone was saying whoever did the numbering and floor pan for the show must’ve been on crack. I disagree. It had to be LSD or some other hallucinogen to get things that screwy. Picture Jerry Garcia with a blueprint.
Federal Black Cloud Snow Goose—This stuff delivers 1635 FPS velocity and comes in #2 and BB specifically geared for hard to kill geese. Black Cloud has been getting high marks for waterfowlers for several years and now we have something especially for those smart aleck snows.
Random SHOT thought #2: I think I saw Dan Haggerty, the actor who played Grizzly Adams on multiple occasions. Of course it could’ve been TF&G Editor-In-Chief Don Zaidle spotted at a distance. He was once almost shot for being a bear so being mistaken for Grizzly Adams would not be a stretch.
Leupold Vendetta Laser Rangefinder—It fits on a bow, lines up with your site and weighs only 10-ounces. Need I say more?
Columbia Omni Heat Jacket—The new Omni Heat Jacket looks killer with a nice wetlands pattern and Omni-Tech technolgoy which provides waterproof and breathable protection by keeping outside elements from getting in. At the same time it allows moisture vapors to move away from the skin. I got a sample to test at the show and have been impressed with how lightweight it is, yet how warm I stay. More field tests need to be conducted before I can give it a proper review but as far as the cool factor goes, this one has got it.
Browning 100th Anniversary 1911—I have always loved the Browning 1911 which is one of the all-time iconic handguns. They have a new commemorative edition coming out to celebrate its 100th anniversary featuring beautiful etching, a sleek finish and a limited supply. Collectors will snag this one quickly.
Random SHOT thought #3: Isn’t it amazing how tens of thousands of people gather to display, view, handle and sell guns and ammo and no shootings occur? Perhaps the mainstream media really doesn’t have a clue. Nah. Couldn’t be.
Hunter’s Specialites Kruncher Deer Call—I have had little luck with deer calls over the years because quite frankly I have heard very few running around the woods grunting or bleeting. But I have heard plenty crunching on corn and acorns. This simple to use call definitely has the cool factor and is something Texas hunters can get lots of practical use from.
Realtree—Realtree are unveiling an entire line of clothes designed for people who want to fly their hunting flag high from teens to women and seasoned sportsmen. The designs look amazing and the spirit behind the campaign is refreshing and well needed. Kudos to Realtree.
Tenpoint Turbo XLT Crossbow—I love crossbows but they can be cumbersome if you hunt in thick cover like I do. Tenpoint has a super fast shooting new bow (315 FPS) that comes in a radically compact package designed for the brush and ground blind hunter. It also sports their patended anti dry-fire trigger which is a big bonus for something with so much energy.
Streamlight Sidewinder Compact—A very cool hands free light that features 20 different light functions and an LED that has a 50,000 hour liftetime. It clips easily onto a belt and is simple to adjust with a 185 degree roating head.
Final SHOT Show random thought: Erik Estrada was promoting an online college at the SHOT show. That is about as random as it gets. Cool, cool guy by the way.