New Optics and Hunting Gear from the 2014 SHOT Show

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One of the best parts of buying a cool new gun is deciding which cool accessories you’re going to add to it. The SHOT Show is the perfect place to fuel such ideas. Today, we hit the show floor searching for new optics – riflescopes, binoculars, rangefinders – in addition to all manner of new hunting gear -- decoys, ground blinds, knives, electric buggies and more. And wow, did we ever find a big list of stuff. 

Check it out. 

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1 | Burris Predator Quest Scopes

Burris has teamed up with predator hunting legend Les Johnson to introduce an all-new line of riflescopes built specifically for predator hunting. Three configurations are available. There’s a classic 3-9x40. It's hard to go wrong with that for an all-around pick. But there’s also a 4.5-14x42mm for the western guys hammering coyotes at long range, and a more compact 2-7x35 for eastern hunters and AR shooters. These scopes all include low-profile, finger-adjustable turrets, trajectory compensating reticles, anti-reflection devices (to prevent scope glare) and optional Realtree Max-1 camo. They have an attractive price, too. The high-magnification model retails for $319. 

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2 | Nikon Aculon Rangefinder

Nikon has introduced a new line of high-quality, entry level optics that includes scopes, binoculars and this nifty little rangefinder. The Aculon is water-resistant and lightning fast. It also has an optional yardage scanning mode that works from 6 to 550 yards. But the coolest thing about it is the size. It’s 4.4 ounces, and not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes. It doesn’t have an angle compensation mode, which we really would’ve liked to have seen, but at $189 for a Realtree Xtra version that’ll fit in a shirt pocket, it’s hard to complain much. 

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3 | Browning Phantom Ground Blind

Browning has a new line of outstanding ground blinds, and our favorite is the Phantom. This 19 1/2-pound blind is 59 inches wide by 59 inches deep and 70 inches tall. In other words, there’s plenty of room to stand up and shoot a bow. The fabric is a durable polyester finished in Realtree Xtra, and the windows are all equipped with shoot-through mesh. A bow hanger is built into the ceiling of the blind, and there are four interior gear pockets for extra storage. The best feature of this – and the other blinds – though, is the Silent Track Window System. These systems work similar to window blinds, so you can adjust corners quickly, without fumbling with loose flaps and Velcro. The blind retails for a reasonable $239.99.

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4 | Mojo Scoot and Shoot Decoy

Turkey fanning: The deadly tactic is all the rage, and controversy, these days. But there’s no denying it works. Mojo introduced the Tail Chaser, which mounts on a gun barrel, last year, and has followed that up this year with the Scoot and Shoot – a full-strut gobbler decoy built especially for creeping up on turkeys in a field. They had a highlight reel playing in the booth with gobblers literally flogging the decoys with hunters squatted down behind them. Is this a product to use in an Alabama public forest? Hell no. But in a controlled, open-field setting, it certainly puts a new spin on turkey hunting. Two hunter orange flags can be attached to the gobbler’s wings for safety. Price is about $80.

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5 | Case Knives

Case is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a series of commemorative knives, and some new designs, several of which are from the mind of legendary knife maker Tony Bose. Among his designs are a Lockback Whittler and the Teardrop. On the more utilitarian hunting end of things is the Lightweight Hunter series, which are constructed with Santoprene handles. What do you need to know about that material? It floats. Drop your knife in the water, and it won’t sink. The Hunter knives are available in several blade styles and retail for about $30. 

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6 | Buck Knives

The all-new Marksman from Buck Knives was designed with the help of Grant and Gavin Hawk. It’s a stout knife built with tactical purposes in mind, but the 3 ½-inch blade, light weight and especially its all-new Strong Lock System make it a fine deer knife as well. The locking mechanism, according to the guy at the Buck booth, is the strongest folding knife lock Buck has ever used. Beyond that, it’s built with a ball-bearing pivot system for silky-smooth opening. The knife weighs just 4 ounces, has a “Forever Warranty,” is built in the USA and retails for $150. 

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7 | Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman

If you like gadgets, you’re going to love the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman, which is essentially a multi-tool on steroids. This cleverly designed contraption includes everything you need to set up camp and tear it down again, such as a mallet, hatchet, bow saw and tent stake pull. It’s ideal for back-country hunters or recreational backpackers who need to consolidate their gear to save on weight and space. In addition to being easy to manipulate and extremely useful, it just looks cool, and that counts for something. Price is $79.95. 

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8 | Brunton Pulse

Let’s face it, you love the outdoors, but you also love your electronic devices. The Brunton Pulse Rechargeable Power Pack ensures you can enjoy both by keeping devices charged and in working order when you’re miles from a power outlet. This compact, 1500 mAh rechargeable power station features Micro USB and standard USB output ports to connect most small electronic devices using their USB charging cables. With a 1.0 amp output, this power station will charge your smartphone, MP3 player, camera or other small electronic device while you’re enjoying a day in the field. Price is $30.

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9 | OtterBox and LifeProof

Waterfowlers are going to love the look of the OtterBox Defender and LifeProof frē smartphone cases in Realtree’s new MAX-5 waterfowl pattern. And while the pattern looks great, it’s the cases’ protective ability that hunters are truly going to appreciate. The Defender Series case, with the built-in screen protector, shields your phone against drops, bumps, dust and scratches, while the LifeProof frē keeps your iPhone waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and drop proof. We all know how rough we can be on our smartphones during a day spent outdoors. No use in worrying about it. Get one of these cases and continue on. The OtterBox Defender price is $59.95; LifeProof frē is $89.99.

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10 | Bote Board

Would you like to get to your favorite duck blind or fishing hole without wading through the muck and the mud? Well, now you can do just that using the Bote Drift inflatable paddle board. Yes, we were skeptical too, until we actually stood on the board and tested it out for ourselves on the show floor. Not only is it strong and sturdy, but it is loaded with cool features. The Drift actually has a wood inlay deck – a first we’re told as far as inflatable paddle boards go. It’s also the first Tackle Rac compatible inflatable board. Best of all, the Drift can be deflated, rolled up and stuffed into a dry bag for easy toting. Price is $1,250. 

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11 | Plano Double Long Field Locker

For storage solutions of just about anything in the outdoors, Plano has the answer. This year, they bring an all-new, redesigned series of hard gun cases to the market, solving any doubt for those of us who travel to far away hunting locations with a firearm. Of particular interest is their Double Long Field Locker, designed to carry multiple long-guns across the country, and taking the abuse that only the airlines can dish out. Built to military specs, these waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof cases are filled with high density, closed cell foam (think pool noodles) that can be custom trimmed to the exacts of any shotgun or rifle, and offer locking ports built for magnum padlocks. Price is $250.

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12 | Yamaha Viking 700 4X4

No one can deny that some of the hottest new items for landowners, or those of us traveling deep into the abyss, are side-by-side, off-road vehicles. Yamaha now offers a unit truly designed for multiple passengers with its new Viking. Offered in both Realtree camo and the new tactical black, the Viking is unique in offering three individual seats, complete with legroom and handholds for all passengers, and three-point harnesses throughout, so no one is left behind when traveling to the blind. Top speed is around 50 mph, and power steering is available. Price of vehicle shown is $15,122.

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13 | Flambeau TreeCoy

Years of testing, and hundreds of trail-cam shots, have led Flambeau to determine one thing: place a lone tree in a field, and deer, specifically bucks, will gravitate toward it. Such data has led the long-term decoy manufacturer to produce exactly that: a tree decoy to bring big bucks into the perfect shooting spot. Flambeau's new TreeCoy is a synthetic tree base, designed to incorporate natural branches placed by the hunter, to put big bucks in perfect placement. Light weight and easily portable, this overlooked advantage will allow for perfect quartering shots on your next wall-hanger. Price is $99.99.

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14 | SportDOG Locator Beacon

Even the best dogs occasionally succumb to their noses and take off, leaving owners with a lump in their throat in the predawn darkness while walking to the duck blind. End any jitters by placing one of a SportDOG Locator Beacon LED light on your hunting buddy. The lights are waterproof to depths deeper than any Lab can dive, and easily slide on the industry’s most popular coated-nylon collars. Lights are offered in five colors, and feature solid illumination or blinking. They also come with a small carabiner clip, and can be used for dozens of other applications, from riding a bike to trick-or-treating. Price is $14.95.

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15 | Flextone Supernatural Mallard

Flextone often uses out-of-the-ordinary materials to produce calls that sound ultra-realistic. Such is the case with the Supernatural; it’s made of blown PVC rather than traditional polycarb or acrylic materials. Coined as a “hybrid hard/soft” call, it’s ultra ducky and very easily operated. It’s also very durable, available in single and double reed, and priced well at $29.99. The double reed version actually uses two different materials for each reed, the upper being traditionally stiff, while the lower is soft and flexible.

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16 | Tanglefree Full Body Pintail Combo Pack

Tanglefree is the first company we’ve seen to produce full body pintails in a variety of poses. Included in the line-up are traditional high-head postures, as well as sleepers and feeders. The combo pack has you covered regardless of conditions, coming with four decoys and corresponding round base stands, as well as ground stakes. The decoys are very lifelike in both look and size, and make up a diverse “portfolio” for Tanglefree that also includes butt-up feeder pintails and full-body wigeon. Price is $89.99.

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17 | Beavertail Big Gunner Field Blind

Regardless of your size or stature, you’ll find the Beavertail Big Gunner Field Blind ultra-comfy. Besides being very large overall, with a width of more than 40 inches, the Big Gunner includes a “pop-up” style seat that actually incorporates a spring to assist a hunter into shooting position. I tested the blind myself on the SHOT Show floor, and found it takes almost no effort whatsoever to come upright. The unit also features a waterproof base, heavy duty square-tube seat frame, and is offered in Realtree MAX-4. Price is $339.99.

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18 | Foiles Migrators Raizin Cayne

Jeff Foiles named his latest creation, the Foiles Migrators Raizin Cayne, after one of his most beloved retrievers, a black Lab named Cayne, and has held nothing back in this masterpiece. The call features a twist-lock feature with a small metal stud, removing any chance of the call unintentionally separating and pieces becoming lost. This acrylic beauty comes in a variety of colors and is offered in both single and double reed. Also incorporated is a rubber O-ring seal to prevent air leakage and ensure high compression, as well as spit grooves beneath the reed for those of us who tend to gum things up. Price is $129.

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19 | Hard Core Blue Wing Decoy

Hard Core has expanded its line of teal decoys to include blue wings. Unlike many competitors, Hard Core created a completely unique carving of a blue-winged teal, rather than just relying on new paint schemes, to create a perfect match. These decoys are small in size, but not in features, as they include Hard Core’s “Whale-Tail Keel” that is advertised to respond to the slightest of breeze. Pro-staffers in the Hard Core booth this week reported relentlessly beating these decoys last season, with little damage being the result. Price is $49.99 for six.

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20 | NiteSite

Here’s an add-on for your predator hunts at night. The NiteSite converts a riflescope into a night vision system quickly. It’s simple to assemble. A unit clamped on top of the gun shines an infrared beam out and the light returns through a scope’s front end and into a camera with a 3 1/2-inch LCD viewing screen on the back end of a scope. “With conventional night vision, you have one eye closed and you’re looking down the eyepiece, and when you take your eye off the eyepiece, you can get disoriented,” said NiteSite creator Dave Craven. You keep both eyes open when using the NiteSite, and your head up off the stock. Depending on the NiteSite you choose, you can shoot out to various distances: The Viper has an identification range of up to 100 yards; the Wolf goes out to 325-plus yards; and the Eagle can see out to 550-plus yards. A stock-mounted lithium ion battery pack comes standard with each system and the battery lasts 4-plus hours. New to this country from the U.K., the units will be available in March, and cost $600, $900 and $1,200 respectively. 

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21 | Bad Boy Buggies

Bad Boy Buggies launched the second generation of its hybrid vehicles late last year. The Recoil iS 4x4 features 720cc Suzuki-engine gas and 48-volt AC electric powertrains, so you can choose between gas or electric power, or run them together for four-wheel drive. Bad Boy Buggies added a key start, instead of the pedal start, and front- and rear-locking differentials. It also increased the efficiency of the electric motor because now, when you use the gas mode, on-the-fly charging keeps your electric motor charged. This vehicle goes for 120 to 130 miles at a time, which is an improvement from the last model that could last for 100 miles. Add-ons such as gun scabbards, a windshield, a fold-down rear seat and tool rack are available. Dealers offer consumer financing. Price is $14,999.

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22 | Streamlight Clipmate

What a cool idea for concentrated light when you need it outdoors. Here’s a multi-function light from Streamlight that clips to your pocket or cap and features C4 LED technology. Built into a sturdy case, the Clipmate allows you to position an extending flexible PVC-coated cable to put a beam of light where you want it. Go quickly from 10 lumens of light (low) to 70 lumens (high). Hold down the button for a few seconds and you’ll get a red light so that you don’t ruin your night vision. At 3.3 inches long by 1.39 inches wide by .65 inches thick, this little number is water resistant with sealed openings. Recharge it by plugging it into a USB port or optional AC wall adapter. It will be available later this spring for $66. 

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23 | Kershaw Zero Tolerance Fixed Blade

This blade’s steel is so tough that Kershaw is planning on a making a tomahawk out of the same materials this year. The Zero Tolerance (ZT) 0100 is a fixed-blade, military-style knife built for the field from CPM 3V, tungsten DLC coating on the blade, complemented by a 3-D machined G-10 handle. It also comes with a sheath that can attach to either a belt or a MOLLE system. It measures 10.5 inches long and weighs 11.2 ounces. Price is $180.

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24 | ThermaCELL Flameless Torch

“Obviously, ThermaCELL isn’t reinventing anything,” said Keith Lavon, a marketing associate for ThermaCELL. Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts who hate mosquitoes have been enjoying the benefits of living in bite-free zones for years, thanks to the company’s units that use butane cartridges and repellent mats with allethrin. Now, folks can sit on their patios in the summer and not have to slap themselves all night. The multi-purpose Flameless Torch on an adjustable pole can stretch to 5 feet tall. Or remove the lovely little lantern with its internal LED flickering candlelight, and place it on the picnic table in its special tabletop stand. You can use the same mats and lighters that you used in your hunting unit in this model. It covers a 15-yard-by-15-yard area. The Flameless Torch also comes with a removable cover, so that you can leave this product outside on a rainy day. Price is $39.99.

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25 | FOXPRO

So, do you want to imitate at least six different hens for that one tom out there? Want to have a harem in your hand? If you do, you’ll appreciate the innovation of the FOXPRO Crooked Spur slate or glass call with accompanying striker. Built out of soft maple with an ergonomic shape that allows for ambidextrous calling, the pod comes with a lovely European beech striker. The striker features a built-in predator reed at the top end. Made in the USA. Price is $59.99.

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26 | Kutmaster Horizontal Hunting Tool

“We are the exclusive worldwide licensee for the Team Realtree brand of knives,” said Michael Mathews, Kutmaster's national sales manager. Mathews chose to show us the Horizontal Hunting Tool, a multi-purpose tool for bowhunters who shoot either compound bows or crossbows. Ten tools get put together, carried in a heavy-duty belt loop nylon pouch. The tools include a broadhead wrench, fletching stripper, serrated sheepfoot blade, awl/punch, needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, fine and coarse files, cross-cut wood saw and bit-storage handle. It also comes with 12 screwdriver bits in a separate compartment. Price is $39.95.

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27 | Leupold VX-6 Scope

Leupold’s new VX-6 7X42X-56mm riflescope is a beast. Yes, it’s big and robust, but for prairie dogs out over the distant mountain and up the next you’ll appreciate the VX-6’s six-times power multiplier that allows you to crank it up to 42X. In order to allow enough light at that magnification and give you 70 mils of adjustment range, the American scope maker had to make the tube 34 mm in diameter. Adjustments are 1/8-MOA clicks, and a side parallax wheel means it will be sharp at any distance. It’s backed by Leupold’s famous warranty. Price is $2,000.

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28 | Redfield DNS Scope Knob

Redfield has followed parent company Leupold in developing custom adjustment knobs for its Revenge line of riflescopes. The DNS (Dial N Shoot) system allows you to quickly install custom adjustment knobs for your .308 or .223 rifle (it’s also available in more calibers). Just turn the knob to any range you wish to zero and zero your rifle. Then use the rangfinding reticle to estimate the distance to your target, turn the knob to that range and fire. For people who prefer “dialing-in” rather than holding over, the DNS is the ticket. Price is $199.

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29 | Filson Heavy Tin Jacket

We all know that you're likely to wear out and die before your Filson coat, but nonetheless the company just made its legendary coat even tougher. The Heavy Tin Jacket uses 25.7 ounces of twill to protect you against thorns, barbed wire — maybe even a charging leopard! It's zip-in-liner capable and features an “action back” that’s billowed to allow easy swinging of a shotgun or rifle. A wool collar keeps you comfortable all day in the duck blind or pheasant field. Price is $320.

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30 | Gerber E-Z Skinner

The Gerber E-Z Skinner skinning knife is now available in orange, and that’s good news for anyone out there who’s ever lost a knife while filed dressing a deer at night. It features a high-carbon blade that’s been designed for maximum efficiency and a gut hook that will unzip an animal like a leather jacket. Its nonslip grip is a combination of rigid thermoplastic, so it won’t bend under leverage, and Gerber’s own Soft-Grip material ensures solid purchase even with the bloody thing gets as slick as oil. Sheath included. Price is $19. 

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31 | Stack-On Woodland Safe

Stashing granpa’s old Model 12 under the bed for safekeeping isn’t going to cut it. Whether you have one gun or 60, you need a safe, and the toolbox maker Stack-On makes a good and affordable one called the Woodland Series. Models hold 22 guns, 35 or 60. Each is fully convertible for your arrangement preference, features five bolts for crazy-security and a digital keypad for near-instant access. All are rated to withstand 30 minutes of fire at 1400 degrees. The Woodland Series is fully lined with Realtree camo. Price is $899 to $1,699.

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32 | SKB Camo Wraps

SKB makes some of the most trusted cases in the business – whether it be for guns, bows or gear. Now you can customize your SKB case and add Realtree Xtra style at the same time. SKB now offers custom adhesive wraps for some of its most popular cases. The wraps feature Realtree Xtra camo and an array of logos from some of the top brands in the outdoors. And the wraps are priced right at about $35.

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33 | Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Wireless

Bushnell has entered the wireless-transmission arena in a big way with its new Trophy Cam HD wireless unit. The base unit is a standard Trophy Cam HD that offers users the ability to wirelessly transmit images via AT&T’s cellular network. What’s unique about this system is that you don’t need to buy a SIM card or utilize any additional sending unit. The camera includes an AT&T SIM card in the packaging and the wireless sending unit it contained within the camera. To receive images, you must purchase a data plan through Bushnell’s site – but the rates are reasonable (about $20 will get you several hundred images) and the signup and deployment process seems fairly simple. The ability to use AT&T’s network should mean solid coverage in most areas and, of course, the Trophy Cam HD is a terrific camera. Battery life is stated to be about four months on a set of eight AA batteries. Price is $599.

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34 | Skull Candy

If you’ve ever been out fishing on the lake or just hanging around camp and wish you had a little music, you’re in luck. Skull Candy’s portable Air Raid speakers are soon to be available in Realtree Xtra. The speakers connect via Bluetooth to your portable device to stream music with impressive volume and lively musical reproduction. You can also connect to any device with a 3.5 mm audio jack. They are extremely impact-resistant and are water-resistant as well. They’ll sell for about $150.  

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