A broad array of new hunting gear was unveiled at the recent Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. Here are some of the highlights of items that might be of interest for this fall's hunting seasons.
• Remington 783 Bolt Action Rifle: For 2013 Remington is offering a completely new bolt action rifle built at its Mayfield, Ky., plant -- the Model 783. It features an ergonomic synthetic stock with black finish and a high nylon count for extra strength and rigidity. The rifle uses a dual pillar bedding platform and the premium button rifled barrel is free-floated for consistent accuracy.
The bolt has dual opposing locking lugs and a 90 degree throw. For this year, the rifle will be offered in the .270 Win., .30/06, and .308 Win., all with a 22-inch barrels, and the 7mm Rem. Mag with a 24-inch barrel.
The rifle uses the company's new Cross Fire trigger system with a two-position safety. Factory set at 3.5 pounds, it can also be adjusted by the owner. Equipped with a Remington SuperCell recoil pad, the Model 783 includes a steel detachable magazine which holds three rounds in magnum action, four in standard calibers. remington.com
• Hornady American Whitetail Ammunition: Recognizing that no big game animal in North America is more popular than the whitetail, Hornady has introduced a complete selection of ammo directed towards this quarry called American Whitetail. The line features optimized loads tailored especially for the physical build and bone structure of deer and uses select propellants that ensure accuracy and reliable performance.
The bullets come in a variety of calibers and will serve the hunter well for a variety of species besides deer. The loads use the company's InterLock bullets, which have a tapered jacket for controlled expansion as well as flat trajectories. The InterLock ring secures the lead alloy core and jacket together for maximum penetration. I was especially glad to see the .30-06 offered in a 150 grain bullet, since the 165 and 180 grain loads in that caliber so often promoted as "whitetail ammo" are really heavier bullets than one needs in many situations. hornady.com
• Zeiss Conquest HD5 Riflescope: Today's big game hunters are demanding wider range zooming ability in their variable scopes, and they'll find that in a superb package in the new Zeiss Conquest HD5 riflescopes. The lineup includes a 2-10x42, 3-15x42 and 5-25x50, all featuring a five times magnification zooming capability.
The optics feature T* Lens Coating for superb light transmission and LotuTec hydrophobic water-repellant treatment for clear viewing in stormy weather. The 1-inch riflescopes have a compact, low-profile design and non-magnifying second image plane reticles. Eye relief is 3.5 inches.
The new HD 5 riflescope design includes rubberized controls for a sure grip. Models range from 13.19 to 14 inches long and weigh 17.5 to 26.6 ounces. zeiss.com/sports
• Irish Setter Treeline Boots: These new boots from Irish Setter are aptly named. When you hunt at or above the timber line you are forging into some of the roughest, steepest mountain peaks a hunter can explore. That's what these ruggedly-constructed boots are designed to tackle. I didn't reach those lofty heights when I tested my pair, but they performed exceptionally well at lower elevations.
The aggressive treads on the Vibram Summit Sole gripped rocky slopes and slippery hillsides firmly while the articulated heel provided strong footholds during steep descents. A Gore-Tex liner kept my feet dry in wet weather and the nylon shank and polyurethane midsole made for a comfortable fit. Side-to-side stability was excellent, with no foot-shifting even as I angled down sharp slopes.
Treeline boots use the company's own premium SB Foot Leather and feature an abrasion-resistant rubber toe bumper to guard against damage to both the boot and your foot from sharp rocks. Seven and 10-inch versions are available. The taller one is lined with 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, which traps air close to the foot for extra warmth, but is also lightweight and breathable. irishsetterboots.com
• Buck Micarta Harvest Series Knives: This series includes one knife for caping big game animals, one for boning the meat and another for field dressing waterfowl. Micarta handles are used for their strength and attractive looks. It's impervious to water, soil and solvents, so it won't become slippery during inclement weather or game cleaning.
I tested these knives and liked the feel of the Micarta handles, which are heavier than some materials. The natural textured surface allowed a firm, solid grip when I field dressed a deer. All three knives are made with 420HC stainless steel with full tang construction. They proved exceptionally sharp in my testing.
Buck's cryogenic heat treatment process optimizes the steel's strength and brings the hardness level up to Re 58-60 while the company's 2X Technology insures the blades stay sharp through many uses. They measure from 7 1/8 to 10 inches long and weight 2.4 to 3.7 ounces. bucknives.com.
Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.