Almy: Gearing up for another season
A few months back when we highlighted a few of the interesting new hunting items being unveiled for sportsmen, several readers mentioned how much they enjoyed the piece.
Since only a few of the newest products were included then, here’s a look at some others that might be of interest for pursuing our local Shenandoah Valley game such as whitetails and bear, or for more exotic out-of-state trips in quest of animals like moose, elk, caribou and antelope.
Winchester Ultimate Shadow Hunter Rifle: Winchester’s Ultimate Shadow Hunter comes in blued or stainless steel versions and uses a lightweight camouflage synthetic stock with over-molded rubber gripping surfaces for a sure hold in wet weather. Barrels are free-floated, and the receiver is forged steel, bedded front and rear for accuracy. The rifle uses a pre-’64-style controlled round feed with claw extractor and the trigger system is the company’s M.O.A. design with zero creep, take-up or over-travel. Barrels range from 22-26 inches and include a recessed target crown. Winchester, 801/876-3440; winchesterguns.com
Weatherby X Rifles: Trying to appeal to a younger generation, Weatherby has come out with a complete sub-line of rifles that teens and 20-somethings might really like.
“Weatherby X is more than a product line,” says CEO Ed Weatherby, “it’s an attitude, a lifestyle, a distinction that sets you apart from the crowd.”
Young hunters will especially enjoy the appearance of these new flashy rifles with deer antler and hog skull camo patterns, and names like Whitetail Bonz, Black Reaper, GH2 (Girls Hunt 2) and Hog Reaper. But the new, separate line of firearms gives up nothing in performance. Built on the Vanguard Series 2 platform, they feature a crisp, creep-free trigger adjustable to 2.5 pounds, Mauser-style bolt-action, three-position safety and a guarantee to print 0.99 inch or less 3-shot groups. The Whitetail Bonz also comes in a youth version with a spacer to adjust length-of-pull as the hunter grows. Weatherby, 805/227-2600; weatherby.com or wby-x.com
Remington Hypersonic Ammunition: If you like your bullets to fly fast, you’ll like Remington’s new Hypersonic ammo. Designed to offer an extra 200 feet per second on average over standard loads, the new bonded ammo gives the hunter higher velocities and flatter trajectories, great for the potentially long-range shots required for game such as sheep and antelope or even a Shenandoah Valley whitetail if it was 200 yards across a cornfield.
The company uses their proprietary Core-Lockt bonded bullet to create the new blistering-fast cartridges. They’re available in calibers ranging from the .223 up to the .300 Win. Mag. Remington, 800/243-9700; remington.com
Nightforce TS-82 Xtreme Hi-Def 20-70X Spotting Scope: Renowned for their quality low-light riflescopes, Nightforce has entered the spotting scope field with a superb 20-70X model made with the finest APO fluorite glass and a rugged aluminum body. The large 82 mm objective provides terrific performance in dim light and proprietary Nightforce coatings produce crisp, high-contrast images.
A hydrophobic coating sheds water during inclement weather and also repels fingerprints. Both straight and angled versions are offered, and an optional wide-angle 30-60X eyepiece is available. Resolution is sharp from edge-to-edge with no distortion. The weight is 67 ounces; length is 16-16.4 inches. Nightforce Optics, 208/476-9814; nightforceoptics.com
Motorola Electronic Earmuff: With the new Motorola Electronic Earmuff you’ll get ear protection from rifle shots, but have important low level sounds like a deer grunting or turkey gobbling multiplied up to four times. The low-profile earmuffs can also be connected to Motorola’s Talkabout 2-way radios with a microphone cable that’s included, allowing you to communicate with other hunters in your party.
Ear seals are soft and I found the low-profile, adjustable headband extremely comfortable during field testing. Using two small N batteries that last up to 230 hours, the earmuffs weigh just 9.3 ounces and can also be used with phones and music players. Motorola Solutions, 800/638-5119; motorolasolutions.com
Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.
Browning On Point Flashlights: Aiming a flashlight at a project without holding it is usually difficult, but not with the new Browning On Point. It features a design that lets it stand vertically with a 90-degree angled head, as well as a deep-pocket carry clip that rotates 360 degrees for hands-free use.
One AA battery provides a 95 yard viewing distance with the Cree XP-E-LED light in the On Point series. The On Point Max uses two CR 123A lithium batteries and has a 130 yard lighting range. Both have lockout tail-cap switches and high, low and fast strobe output settings. Browning, 800/333-3288; browning.com