8 Effective New Deer Hunting Gear Products You May Not Have Seen Yet

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Have You Used Any of These Products?

It’s December. The first day of the last month of the year is here. The rut is largely over for the northern half of the country. (Where did the time go?) And for most of you southerners out there, the best is yet to come. (Time can’t pass fast enough, eh?)

Wherever you live and regardless of the timing of the rut where you hunt, deer hunting gear products are toys for adults and children alike. Everyone who loves hunting loves to try out new pieces of gear that hits the market. That’s part of the fun. That’s part of the adventure. That’s part of the overall experience.

Throughout the years, I’ve test some good products and I’ve tested some not-so-good products. This year, these eight manufacturers sent me products to try out while in the field. Some I like. Some I loved. Here is what I have to say about each one of them.

New Arctic Shield Product LineNew Arctic Shield Product LineNew Arctic Shield Product LineNew Arctic Shield Product LineNew Arctic Shield Product Line

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1 | New Arctic Shield Product Line

I've worn a lot of different hunting clothing brands over the years. And I’m pretty impressed with the Arctic Shield line of products that I’ve worn this season. And there’s still plenty of cold-weather testing to come (I hope).

Up until now, the Heat Echo Light jacket and pants — along with a couple base layers underneath — have been enough to keep me warm in temperatures above 30 degrees. For me (I’m a fairly hot-natured individual), they’re a little warm for temperatures above 65 to 70 degrees, though.

Product Features

Jacket and Pants:

  • Water resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • Retain Active breathable heat retention
  • Bonded fabric (polyester exterior/fleece interior)
  • Interior includes bamboo charcoal fibers (helps natural scent minimization)
  • Breathable material

Jacket Only:

  • Multiple zippered pockets
  • Adjustable draw-chord waist
  • Chin guard

Pants Only:

  • Silicone band shirt keeper
  • Elastic waistband
  • Adjustable belt
  • Accommodating belt loops
  • Cargo pockets
  • Reinforced knees

The only negative (and it’s a very small one) is the reinforced knees are (very minimally) noisy when brush and foliage brush up against them. That said, this is par for the course for virtually all hunting pants I’ve tested with reinforced knees. That’s basically the tradeoff for having the additional comfort and protection. If that’s an important feature for you, then it’s a no-brainer — go with the reinforced knees.

All in all, this is a very good hunting jacket and pants. In fact, in my opinion, this set ranks in the top three brands that I’ve ever tested. And I mean that.

I wore them in varying conditions in three states and was not disappointed with their performance. These are comfortable hunting clothes that certainly do their primary jobs very well — keep you concealed and warm.

Because of the success of their lighter-weight line, I’m very excited to put their Classic Elite parka and bib as well as their boot insulators to the test during the late season. I expect they’ll perform equally well.

The late season can't come quick enough.

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Winchester Deer Season XP Copper ImpactWinchester Deer Season XP Copper ImpactWinchester Deer Season XP Copper ImpactWinchester Deer Season XP Copper ImpactWinchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact

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2 | Winchester Deer Season XP Copper Impact

Ammo. Everybody loves it. And when a new round comes out, it creates a buzz. That’s exactly what happened when word hit the street that Winchester revealed Deer Season XP Copper Impact.

This round is a spinoff of the Deer Season XP offering. But it certainly has its own unique advantages and style.

I recently tested the bullet on a rifle hunt alongside Jon Draper of American Hunter magazine and Chris Keefer of Winchester Life and Rival Wild. Each of us were blessed with opportunities to take deer. And the bullet performed. I received a complete pass through on my deer. And despite making a less-than-good (partial) gut shot, I still had a good blood trail to follow after giving the deer ample time. Jon and Chris both took great bucks and neither of their deer made it out of sight. Needless to say, the bullet did its job for everyone in camp. Jason Gilbertson and Nathan Robinson of Winchester also tagged great bucks as well and experienced great results with the new round. These were the first ever deer killed with the Deer Season XP Copper Impact, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

“This brand new all-copper bullet incorporates the Deer Season XP large-diameter hollow point with a polymer tip that causes rapid and devastating expansion with the added benefits of higher retained weight and deeper penetration,” said Winchester Media Relations Manager Nathan Robinson.

The solid-copper bullet design offers increased weight retention over standard jacketed lead-core bullet designs. That’s why with this round you get both the knock-down energy and the pass-through necessary for quality blood trails. But, unless you make a subpar hit, you won’t need a blood trail. The sheer shock factor this bullet has seems to put deer down within sight with good shot placement.

In layman’s terms, they took the Deer Season XP bullet, fed it some steroids, fattened it up, and made it one awesome load for bringing down even the biggest-bodied deer. And did I mention it’s lead-free? So much for having to worry about a good lead-free bullet that doesn’t break your piggy bank. Winchester offers just that.

Deer Season XP Copper Impact will be available in the following calibers:

  • .243 Win. | 85 grain
  • .270 Win. | 130 grain
  • .308 Win. | 150 grain
  • .30-06 Sprg. | 150 grain
  • .300 Win. Mag. | 150 grain

This bullet gives you more energy transfer, higher impact trauma and larger wound cavities.

Coming in 2018.

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Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex HarnessHunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex HarnessHunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex HarnessHunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex HarnessHunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex Harness

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3 | Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex Harness

Safety is one of the most important factors in deer hunting. And when hunting from elevated positions, you’d be crazy to hunt without a safety harness. It can be easy to forget to do it. Trust me I’ve been there. You either forget your harness at the house or think well, “I’ll be alright without it this one time.”

Wrong.

Never climb a tree without one. Furthermore, don’t ever climb a tree without a lifeline system or lineman’s belt, either. Most falls occur when transferring climbing up, climbing down or transferring from ladder to stand — not while sitting in it. So that harness does you no good unless you’re tied off from the time you leave the ground until you reach it again.

I’ve been using the Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Flex Harness all season and it’s the easiest, simplest harness I’ve ever used. It goes on and off with ease. Straps don’t get tangled. It fits right (and is very adjustable even within the same size). Plus. It’s lightweight as the name suggests — and that’s important when you carry as much gear afield as I do.

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Raptor Razor Skinner and MakoRaptor Razor Skinner and MakoRaptor Razor Skinner and MakoRaptor Razor Skinner and MakoRaptor Razor Skinner and Mako

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4 | Raptor Razor Skinner and Mako

Listen, I’m a fan of my old-fashioned, traditional straight blades skinning knives. Wouldn’t trade them for anything. But I’m also here to tell you I wouldn’t give up my new Raptor Razor Skinner and Mako for any other knife, either. This is a truly innovative and unique blade design that makes skinning easy. I’ve been testing these two products this season and they make gutting and skinning go much faster than using a traditional blade.

These knives come hydro dipped in Realtree AP Blaze Orange. This product is lightweight and completely aluminum. The curvature of the skinner blade makes it easier to make good cuts without dipping down into the guts or the meat. That translates to a better, cleaner field-dressing job.

The kit includes:

  • Mako housing
  • Big Game Skinner housing
  • Signature T-grip handles
    • Waterproof survival compartment with extra screws
    • Removable Phillips bit
    • Bit holder with spare bit
    • Non-slip knurling grip
    • Interchangeable bit driver for quick disassembly
  • Mako replacement blades
  • Big Game Skinner replacement blades
  • Marine Big Game Skinner blade
  • Safety guards
  • Carrying case

Get yours today. It'll make a great Christmas gift. Or any kind of gift -- even if it's to yourself. And as always, remember safety when handling knives.

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Moultrie S-50iMoultrie S-50iMoultrie S-50iMoultrie S-50iMoultrie S-50i

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5 | Moultrie S-50i

I’m a trail camera nut. So naturally, I get giddy anytime I have the opportunity to test out a new model. This season, it was the S-50i by Moultrie. And so far, it’s done pretty well.

I continue to receive consistent, quality images from the camera. Rarely do I get photos of butts and empty frames. Instead, with this camera, I get a lot of crisp, centered shots of clear images. After all, the point is to know what you’re looking at and not have a blurry Picasso-esque image of a deer, right?

This camera offers a pretty fast 0.3-second trigger speed. That gets the job done for sure. It also has a 100-feet flash range to help capture those deer that aren’t up in the cameras face. It also has a very easy-to-use interface which allows you to easily and quickly change settings. This model even offers a hi-res 1080p HD video mode for those who prefer that over photos. Lastly, but certainly not least, it comes in Realtree Original camo.

I’ve been very pleased with this model. I think you will be, too.

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Skeleton Optics SunglassesSkeleton Optics SunglassesSkeleton Optics SunglassesSkeleton Optics SunglassesSkeleton Optics Sunglasses

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6 | Skeleton Optics Sunglasses

Need a pair of sunglasses for the treestand? I was that guy who used to think shades weren’t necessary for deer hunters. Ah, lenses are for duck guys and the rest of the feather followers, I’d say. Wrong. It didn’t take many early morning sunrises and late-afternoon sunsets to change my mind.

Skeleton Optics offers great sunglasses that solve this problem for deer hunters. They protect your eyes. And they come in Realtree Xtra camo or Realtree AP Snow for you Eskimos out there. What more do you need?

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Morrell Back-to-Back Foam TargetMorrell Back-to-Back Foam TargetMorrell Back-to-Back Foam TargetMorrell Back-to-Back Foam TargetMorrell Back-to-Back Foam Target

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7 | Morrell Back-to-Back Foam Target

When you’re shopping around for an archery target, you only need it to do three things. One that stops arrows, doesn’t break your wrist when pulling them, and doesn’t cave to the weather after one season. Well, the new Back-to-Back foam target from Morrell is exactly what you look for. It hits all the marks.

This model works for field points or broadheads (a major plus). It’s lightweight and easy to carry. It also offers Flexback foam which helps to seal up those arrow channels after each shot.

As for aiming points, it has turkey vitals on one side and deer vitals on the other. On each ends, there are bullseyes to shoot at, with nine total dots, too. It is not crossbow compatible.

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Fourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor DispenserFourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor DispenserFourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor DispenserFourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor DispenserFourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor Dispenser

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8 | Fourth Arrow Wyndscent Vapor Dispenser

I’ve never been big on scents and lures while deer hunting. (I do frequently use them for mock scrapes, though.) Don’t get me wrong, they have their place. But I’m a low-key hunter who’d rather stay off a deer’s radar while I’m in the stand. I’m so reserved in fact, that I don’t even like to call that much unless the situation absolutely calls for it (pun intended).

That said, I tested out the new Fourth Arrow Wyndscent vapor dispenser this season and I must say that the concept is pretty intriguing. Instead of dumping out a liquid, this piece of tech transforms the liquid into a gas which allegedly allows the scent to travel further. Again, I’m intrigued. And, given the right setup, I imagine you can have some pretty great success if a buck walks downwind of such a rig. It might just prove to be what you need to draw that deer in range or to get it to present a shot opportunity.

Check your local regulations to be sure it’s legal to use where you hunt.

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