Every year manufacturers come out with a collection of new hunting guns, ammo, optics and other items to try to get us to toss out our old and reliable, but somewhat dated gear. In case you're in the market to replace some equipment, or just want to know about some of the new items being unveiled, here's a look at a few of them.
• Buck Knives Alpha Crosslock: Buck Knives Crosslock won major awards and praise from hunters when it was released. Now it's undergone a redesign that makes it not only stronger, but also easier and safer to use in wet weather. A new handle ensures a firm grip in slippery conditions, while a sturdier lock mechanism adds to safety and durability.
The knife includes a spear point blade and separate saw blade with integrated gut hook, covering a multitude of field dressing and camp chore needs. It's constructed with 420HC steel and features an orange or shadow green aluminum handle. Buck Knives, 800-326-2825; buckknives.com.
• Sauer 101 Rifle: The new Sauer 101 Rifle has a crisp factory-set trigger pull of 2 pounds, 60 degree bolt rotation and removable double-stack magazine. "Ever Rest" action bedding features an aluminum block with two inset pins to hold the barreled action in place.
The rifle's unique safety system uses Dura Safe, a direct firing pin safety device that you slide forward and back to activate, as well as an internal firing pin safety. The stock is ambidextrous with symmetrical palm swell. Finish is matte black with either a Grade 1 oiled walnut stock or Ergo Max polymer stock with soft-touch coating. Available in the .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win., .30-06, 7 mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag., and .338 Win. Mag. Sauer, 210-377-2527; sauer-101.com.
• Browning A-Bolt III Rifle: If you've admired Browning A-Bolt II rifles but balked at the price, you're in luck. The new A Bolt III has almost all the features of its predecessor and several new ones, but sells for about $300 less. It's being offered in a Composite Stalker model in four calibers --.270 Win., .30-06, 300 Win. Mag., and 7mm Rem. Mag.
It features a removable box magazine, Inflex recoil pad and free-floating hand-chambered barrel with target crown. The stock is matte black with textured grip, the steel receiver matte blue. Browning, 800-333-3288; browning.com.
• Federal Premium Woodleigh Hydro Solid Ammo: Federal Premium Woodleigh Hydro Solid Ammo is a perfect choice if you plan to hunt elk, large bears, moose or African game. The cartridge uses a solid copper-alloy projectile with a concave nose in front of a flared pressure ring.
Grooved shanks provide match grade accuracy and a polymer nose cap ensures consistent cycling. It's available in calibers from the .370 Sako Magnum, weighing 286 grains, to the .500 Nitro Express at 570 grains. Federal Cartridge Company, 800-322-2342; federalpremium.com.
• Zeiss Terra Riflescopes: Famous for their high-end optics, Zeiss recently introduced a very capable line of riflescopes (and binoculars) aimed at a lower price-point level. Called Terra, the scopes feature very comfortable ergonomics, light weight, rugged construction and excellent light gathering ability.
Using a 1-inch tube, Terra 3X riflescopes employ Zeiss glass with MC anti-reflective coatings for bright, sharp images even in low light. The scope adjustments are l/4 -MOA, offering 100 percent repeatability with crisp, easily-discerned clicks. They come with either standard Z-Plex reticle or the new ballistic reticles, RZ6 and RZ8. Models include a 2-7x42, a 3-9x42, 4-12x42, 3-9x50, 4-12x50mm. Weight is just 13.4 to 14.8 ounces, making them perfect for mountain rifles. Carl Zeiss, 800-441-3005; zeiss.com/sports.
• Bushnell Fusion One Mile Laser Range Finder Binoculars: The new Fusion One Mile from Bushnell is a combination binocular and rangefinder available in 8x32mm, 10x42mm and 12x50mm versions. The binoculars offer bright, crisp images thanks to BAK-4 prisms with PC-3 phase corrective coating and fully multi-coated optics.
Distances can be measured from 10 to 1,760 yards, with a new Matrix Display for easy reading under varying light conditions. Three modes of operation are offered: BullsEye, Brush and Scan. Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology calculates the topography angle, giving the correct distance for calculating holdover. Bushnell, 913-752-3400; bushnell.com.
• Champion Shooting Sticks: The new Folding Shooting Sticks from Champion are lightweight for easy carrying and nifty breakdown legs make them quick to deploy when you spot a nice buck and want to get a solid shot off. Simply pull the shock cords together and the legs fold out into a sturdy X-shape, offering a padded V-shaped yoke with an over-molded rubber coating to hold the rifle.
The Shooting Sticks' legs are made of durable polymer for quiet, reliable use. Rubber-coated feet kept my Shooting Sticks from slipping on wet mountainous terrain during testing and a belt-mounted carry pouch ensured they were always there when I needed them. Champion, 800-831-0850; championtarget.com.
Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.